Country should never doubt the valour of its saviours, the defence personnel. Their round the clock vigil, utter daredevilry under extreme circumstances, difficult service conditions that keep them away from their families for months in harsh terrains and attitude of ready to sacrifice their lives for the country at the drop of a hat are all the traits that distinguish them from their fellow countrymen.
Pulwama was the most unfortunate occurring when para defence personnel travelling to their post were run into by a fidayeen (suicide bomber). Pakistan based terror group JEM claimed responsibility and the way any self respecting nation should have reacted , India retaliated by destroying terror camps in Balakot by crossing into Pakistani territory. Pakistan hit back next day by sending its fleet of F-16, which were chased away by IAF fleet comprising mainly MIGs-21! There were reported dog fights between Indian and Pakistani aircrafts and Abhinandan’s story is now a folklore of extreme courage shown by the Indian Wing Commander.
For once the entire country stood united, with politicians of all hue and colour speaking the same language. And so did news channels and panelists appearing thereon. Unfortunately, this show of unity was to be short lived. It’s a matter of utmost shame and grief that this act of exemplary courage by our defence forces was blatantly used by political parties to meet their ends in view of the impending elections. Some protagonists, who consider them to be intelligentsia and great champions of human and minority welfare, only added fuel to this confusion. A fight of life and death by our defence forces to restore the national pride by sending strong message to the terrorists and the forces sheltering them turned into a political and intellectual slugfest that was most unsavoury.
Pakistani press and media are agog with failure of India’s Balakot mission (fuelled by bickering in our country only), valour of Pakistani pilots in downing two Indian fighter planes, including capturing an Indian pilot live (vehemently denied by India; on the contrary, on Abhinandan having downed one F-16, the company that manufactures F-16 are investigating this being the first instance in the history of an F-16 going down in a dog fight and that too by an inferior MIG 21), ploy by parties in India to win elections by evoking patriotism of Indians ( fuelled by views and counter views debated by political parties), criticism of India by OIC countries for its handling of Kashmir issue (India’s diplomatic fragility ) and the most recent veto of declaring Azhar Masood as global terrorist by China ( describing Pakistan as its Iron friend). In a way, all these have unfortunately led to puppet regime of Imran Khan being treated as more tolerant and peace loving, celebrating his so called great statesmanship in releasing Abhinandan and defusing tension escalated by purportedly more aggressive neighbour India, with some extreme elements demanding Nobel peace prize for Imran!
It’s naive on part of anyone to believe that by either glorifying or doubting the attainment of end objective of certain mission of our army, airforce or navy, our politicians and pseudo secularists can score any brownie points. Military missions can be successful and at times fall short of the desired objective, but no one can doubt the courage and bravery behind each of such missions. Let electorate of this country show hitherto unforeseen unity and send the right message to unscrupulous politicians trying to achieve their myopic objective and these pseudo intellectual self styled secularists at raising stupid issues at the cost of supreme sacrifice of our soldiers!