It looks like this plot was planned to get political benefits and also to ruin good image of Pakistan, which Islamabad developed during its fight against the menace of terrorism and as well to put pressure on UN to declare Masood Azhar a global terrorist who is heading Jaish-e-Muhammad and is suspect to involve in many terrorist attacks in India and also held responsible for Pulwama attack.
This article intends to investigate that to what extent Pulwama terror attack pays back India in its bids to declare Masood Azhar a global terror. The authors argue that the attack proved a blessing for New Delhi’s endeavors to designate Masood Azhar a global terrorist and to put diplomatic pressure on China and Pakistan.
The February 2019 terrorist attack consumed 40 soldiers of CPRF in the Pulwama district of Indian Held Jammu & Kashmir. The incident abruptly changed the environment in both states of India and Pakistan as India instantly blamed Pakistan for the attack but Pakistan denied its involvement. The accusation of India was based on the basis that Jaish-e-Muhammad is a Pakistani originated militant group and the responsibility of this terrorist attack was claimed by said militant group whose head is Masood Azhar. As was expected both countries immediately used offensive language specially leadership of India was going beyond the thought.
The Finance Minister of India Arun Jaitley said that India would completely isolate Pakistan in the diplomatic community. Besides this proclamation India took immediate steps against Pakistan by deciding to boycott the cricket world cup of 2019, and though it was refused by ICC India succeeded in getting permission to wear camouflage military caps to show aggression against Pakistan. India also banned its movies being released in Pakistan.
Contrary to the Indian actions, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on February 19, 2019 publicly stated that providing safe havens to terrorists is not in Pakistan’s interest. He asked the Indian government to provide authentic evidence about Pakistan’s involvement in the attack. India could not prove that Pakistan itself was involved in this attack, but the statements of leadership provoked people against Pakistan and also media played a big hand in this attempt of India’s leadership by showing all the offensive stuff against Pakistan.
Against this backdrop, Pakistani leadership publicly proclaimed that Islamabad would retaliate in case of any misadventure from the Indian side. Later the different aims and interests of Indian leadership was exposed. It gradually became apparent that this attack was totally in India’s interest and Pakistani involvement was putting its state in a state of total loss economically and internationally.
Internationally India tried to remove Pakistan’s status of MFN and also imposed trade restrictions on Pakistan. These trade restrictions effected the Pakistani economy. India being a traditional and historical rival of Pakistan had already breached the water agreement and had built dams that are affecting the water flow to Pakistan, and after the Pulwama attack India once again stated that they will starve Pakistan by building more dams to stop the water flow to Pakistan.
Jaish e Muhammad is a Pakistani-based terrorist group, however on this basis India cannot link Pakistan with the terrorist attack of Pulwama in IOK because the terrorist group is non-state actor and state does not own it.
The deadly attack of Pulwama only proved a loss for Pakistan because it damaged the image of Pakistan and also the political environment at the time when the important incidents happening in Pakistan. Firstly, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia was going to visit Pakistan — which was threatened to be cancelled due to the attack — and also the PSL which is the grand event of Pakistan with the involvement of foreign cricketers, was set to be held, and ICJ was going to hear the case of Indian Spy Jhadav.
Pakistan was going to face total loss, but India on the contrary was totally going to be benefit from the fallout — and to some extent this has proved to be so. Firstly, the election was on the head of Modi government (and due to Modi’s extremist Hindu policies) which was going to lose them. Secondly, the traditional rival was trying to build possibilities to ruin the image of Pakistan so that it could declare it a terrorist country and also the beneficiary visit of the Crown Prince could be cancelled, and moreover the biggest aim was to make an environment favorable to declare Masood Azhar an international terrorist so it could be said that Pakistan is a country that gives shelter to terrorists. India for a long time has been trying to declare Masood Azhar an international terrorist, but China was a hurdle that became weak after the Pulwama attack and could not resist international pressure of the western alliance of U.S, France and the UK. China consequently lifted its hold due to which UN Security Council under resolution 1267 declared Masood Azhar a global terrorist. India with the Pulwama attack got international sympathy and made itself reasonable to breach the agreement on borders and violate the international law and order on the basis of self defense like it did in the name of surgical strikes.
On the basis of so-called surgical strikes the Indian Air Force after Pulwama entered in the territory of Pakistan and breached its sovereignty by firing missiles on its soil. According to the Indian government press briefing, the so-called surgical strike killed some three hundred terrorists and destroyed their campus. But when India made a second attempt Pakistan shot down two Indian Jets and captured one pilot, who was later released and showing goodwill gesture by Pakistan.
Indian offensive actions and coercive diplomacy though succeeded and fulfilled Indian desires of enmity with Pakistan, but India should not forget that with little miscalculations or with unexpected reactions this diplomacy could have turned into full-fledged war that can be fatal for the two nuclear rivals. The mutual assured destruction is not only a threat for the two South Asian states, but it can also endanger the life of entire globe as the nuclear bombs are ten times more powerful than those that were at the time of Nagasaki.
The Indian attempt to isolate Pakistan and U.S support for New Delhi further distanced Washington and Islamabad. The Indo-US strategic partnership aim to contain Chinese influence which is an all-weather friend of Pakistan and any aggression against Islamabad can drag Beijing into it. Moreover, India’s malicious designs cannot weaken the issue of Kashmir in UN because Kashmir is not the issue of only Pakistan, but it also involved the local inhabitants of Kashmir who are the subjects of Indian genocide and mass murders.
On the Kashmir issue and other problems, India has always adopted an offensive policy whereas Pakistan is following a defensive one, and this strategy by both states yet balancing the situation but if both states chose the offensive policy the situation can be changed as international law is not capable to force any state for certain action and even cannot impose restrictions. So any change in the present status quo can be proved disastrous for both countries.
As Pakistan has shown again and again that it is not going to start a war but against any step of India towards war Pakistan then has right to retaliate. Although India has successfully gained many interests, and as well in getting declared Masood Azhar an international terrorist, it cannot link Pakistan to terrorism. In conclusion it can be stated that the Pulwama attack benefited India and proved to be a total loss for Pakistan either in terms of economic or political gains. Pakistan lost its case in the UN by accepting Masood Azhar a global terrorist.
*Authors are MSC Students of International Relations at Women University of Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Bagh Pakistan