The cost of #SayNoToWar- A message to India’s “peacekeepers”

Four words. Four noble words that any humanitarian is expected to endorse in order to save lives.

But add some context to these words and suddenly the cost of these four “noble” words is blood. Yes, you read that right. Blood. Blood of Indians; both soldiers and civilians.

We have not been at war only since the past 48 hours, but since the last 30 years. Our adversary, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, has not been fighting this war conventionally with soldiers in uniforms. And neither do their victims wear uniforms. They have been fighting this war with proxy terrorists. Terrorists, who are bred, trained and funded by their military inside Pakistani territory, and who have, over a series of attacks in the past 30 years, killed innocent civilians and soldiers inside our home; the sovereign territory of India.

And it is a war they are winning because when Pakistan decided to #BleedIndiaWithAThousandCuts, you decided to #SayNoToWar.

  • When Pakistan decided to train and fund JKLF and Islamist insurgents in Kashmir, you decided to #SayNoToWar and more than 700,000 Kashmiri Hindu Pandits fled their homes in a mass exodus to become refugees (until date) in their own country.
  • When Pakistan-based terrorist organisation Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) attacked the Indian parliament in 2001, you decided to #SayNoToWar and an attack on the heart of the world’s largest democracy went un-avenged.
  • When Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) perpetrated the dastardly 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai claiming more than 170 civilian and security personnel lives, you (and our proxy Prime Minister of the time Manmohan Singh) decided to #SayNoToWar and Hafiz Saeed, the UN-designated terrorist leader of LeT roams freely as “political” leader and recently founded a journalism institute in “Naya Pakistan”.
  • When Pakistan-based terrorists decided to infiltrate the Indian border and kill our defence personnel in Uri (2016), Pathankot (2016), Pulwama (2019) and continue to blood bathe Kashmir, you decide to #SayNoToWar and keep the death toll of our soldiers ticking (which over the past 30 years has exceeded 10,000).

So when you, the urbanised, “woke” millennials, trend your hashtag on social media in aspiration for the “Malala” peace prize, what you do not realise is that your Pakistani counterpart (the “average” Pakistani citizen), who purports to not want (conventional) war with India is completely oblivious or in denial of the fact that:

  • their country not only harbours UN-designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar (leader of JeM; mastermind of Pulwama and 2001 Indian Parliament attacks) but allows them to operate with absolute impunity within Pakistani territory;
  • their country houses terror launchpads across Pakistan-occupied Kashmir from where armed insurgents cause deaths of hundreds of security personnel in India every year;
  • their country was the retirement home for Osama Bin Laden, terrorist godfather, who was living in utmost comfort in Abottabad, just 120km away from the Pakistani army HQ in Rawalpindi; and
  • their country is foster home to the Taliban, Hizbul Mujahideen and various other terrorist organisations that export terror to the world.

But you continue to #SayNoToWar and encourage the Pakistani ostriches to bury their heads in the sand, instead of pushing them to clean up their backyard. Your misplaced sense of how peace can be achieved enables the status quo that will continue to result in the meaningless death of Indian soldiers on Indian soil.

But thankfully, you and your ilk are not (and will never be) responsible for India’s security and keeping the integrity of our sovereignty intact.

So why appeal to you then? Why do your actions matter?

Because your farcical hashtag that purports India to be a war mongering nation is the biggest disservice to our armed forces.

India has never been the aggressor. When the Indian Air Force destroyed the JeM terror camp in Balakot on 26 February (thus providing partial closure to the families of the Pulwama martyrs), it ensured that no harm was caused to any Pakistani civilian or military personnel. It was the Pakistani retaliatory attack on the Indian military, in defence of terrorists, which was the actual act of war legitimising Pakistan’s terror affiliations.

When the entire world is endorsing India’s right to self-defence and pressurising Pakistan to act against terror, your misguided activism undermines the war on terror and encourages Pakistan to continue with its unconventional war methods (i.e. terror).

A loss of even one soldier’s life is heart-wrenching for every Indian. Testament to that is the entire nation forgetting the success of the Balakot air strikes and praying for the safety of captured Wing Commander Abhinandan.

But the nation’s call for retribution is not “war mongering”. Pulwama martyr Ratan Thakur’s father demand for justice was not “war mongering”. Wing Commander Abhinandan’s act of preventing an attack on Indian military by chasing those Pakistani F-16s out of Indian air space was not “war mongering”.

Our armed forces were raised to protect us and themselves. Note that India has lost more soldiers in “peace” time than in actual war and our soldiers were not trained to stand by and watch your “Aman ki Asha” Tamasha. Let us allow them to do their jobs.

So #SayNoToTerror before you #SayNoToWarOnTerror, Phir aman hoga… Shanti bhi hogi.

Jai Hind.

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