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A lesson in peace and war games, futility of war: Pakistan media reacts to IAF airstrikes in Balakot and Pulwama aftermath

Apart from reporting how Pakistan Air Force 'chased away' Indian jets, the Pakistani media weighed in on the futility of war and heightened tension between the two neighbours, while also blaming India for giving in to domestic political needs to whip up anti-Pakistan rhetoric. In the wake of Pulwama attack and Indian air strike on terror camps inside Pakistan, the media houses from across the border opined in unison how India's polity is forcing it to resort to war games, while some of them also highlighted the need for introspection for Islamabad.

In an editorial titled War Games published in The Express Tribune, columnist Hassan Niazi argues that Modi has "never been shy about using Hindu nationalism to garner support in India," adding that India "somehow manages" to control the narrative on terror attacks on its soil and convince the world to believe in its theory "without even a shred of evidence" against Pakistan.

He points out that the militant who blew up the CRPF bus in Pulwama was not linked with Pakistan, and how the quantity of explosives used in attack was impossible to have been bought and carried over from Pakistan.

 A lesson in peace and war games, futility of war: Pakistan media reacts to IAF airstrikes in Balakot and Pulwama aftermath

Representational image. Reuters

However, the opinion piece fails to note how Jaish-e-Mohammad — based out of Pakistan — had willingly claimed responsibility for the attack. The fact that JeM released a video of the militant who carried out the attack also does not finds mentions mention in the piece. It instead schools Indian authorities on the need to win over Kashmiris and blames Modi for the Pulwama attack.

"Modi perhaps realises that it is the BJP’s relentless brute force policy that is the root cause behind the Pulwama attack, but it is easier to blame Pakistan. The aftermath of Pulwama has shown that the people of Kashmir are not really welcome in India. Rather than sit down and consider how best to win the people of Kashmir over, the people of India have demonstrated a masterclass of discrimination and bloodshed against Kashmiris."

It has a line or two, reeling off the usual advice to the Pakistani administration to take its word on combating terror decisively, but mostly it attacks India for its "ruthless hate policy" in Kashmir.

Likewise, another article in Dawn drew attention to how even ministers from both sides were "talking casually" about war. The opinion piece also seeks to differentiate the Mumbai terror attack from the one in Pulwama, which it claims was "an indigenous reaction to India’s brutish tactics in held Kashmir."

It advised India to take up Pakistan’s offer to "give peace a chance" as the "alternatives to constructive dialogue are confrontation and yet more hostility."

Another opinion piece in The News Internationaltitled Ending our collective insanity speaks about the futility of war, arguing that the "current sabre-rattling and the spectre of a terrible war in South Asia indicate that not only is our past full of follies but, our present too seems replete with irrational acts.

"The current war-mongering and jingoistic frenzy that is sweeping through India and Pakistan suggests that we have a strange fascination for the strafing of cities and blitzkrieg of towns. We tend to believe that the detonation of nuclear arms would bring goodies for our kids."

The article mostly cautions the two nuclear-powered nations to display caution while talking about wars and bombing each other. "It is prudent that the two states make hectic efforts to lift their millions out of poverty instead of pumping billions of dollars into the arms race, which is nothing but a recipe for disaster."

The article ends with an advice of conscious restraint, adding that the two nations would be foolish to believe that any of the world powers will want a de-escalation of tension between them. It says that barring India and Pakistan, everybody else has only profits to make from an Indo-Pakistan war.

"It is puerile to believe that the US and other Western countries or global powers would prevent the eruption of any conflict. The US, the UK, Germany, Russia, China, France and even pacifist Sweden are engaged in the lethal business of arms sale. For them, war is bloody – bloody profitable. So, the unscrupulous merchants of death in those states might actually want a conflict that is likely to give a boost to their arms sale. Therefore, it is important that we produce our own Gandhis, Ashokas, Russels, Sartres, Bhittais and Bullay Shahs to prevent this deadly conflict from engulfing our land of peace and love"

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Updated Date: Feb 26, 2019 16:20:52 IST