On the 14th of February, an Indian military convoy was attacked in the Pulwama district of Indian occupied Kashmir. But rather than realise that the attack was conducted by an indigenous Kashmiri who had no links with any foreign government or military, India jumped to anoint itself judge, jury and executioner – rushing to condemn Pakistan for an incident that not only had nothing to do with Pakistani state institutions, but which was claimed by an organisation that has been banned in Pakistan since 2002.
Instead of listening to reason, India proceeded to stage a so-called “surgical strike” against Pakistan. Due to the quick intervention of Pakistan’s air force, the attacking Indian jets quickly turned around and in the process, they dropped their payload in the middle of a forest. No one was killed as a result, even though Indian media were quick to claim that hundreds of “jihadists” were eliminated. As it turns out, only a score of trees were harmed in the incident.
In the aftermath of the “surgical strike”, Indian media congratulated itself on “extracting revenge against Pakistan”.
Today, it has been revealed that Pakistani nationals were among the casualties of twin terrorist attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. The attacks appear to be the work of a so-called lone wolf anti-Islamic terrorist. There has been no evidence at all to suggest that the terrorist had any connection to any government, just as was the case in respect of the man behind last month’s Pulwama incident.
Of course, whilst the incident in Pulwama targeted military occupiers of the most militarised disputed territory in the world, the terrorist in New Zealand attacked civilians in houses of worship.
If however, Pakistan were to twist the facts about the attack in New Zealand in the way that India twisted the facts of the Pulwama incident, one could imagine New Zealand being seen by Pakistan in the way that occupied Kashmir is seen by India and that furthermore, because the monster behind the mosque attack was an Australian, Pakistan could view Australian territory in the way that India views Pakistani territory beyond the line of control in Kashmir.
As such, if Pakistan were to behave in the way that India behaved last month, one could imagine Pakistani troops by the thousands, landing in New Zealand against the wishes of the people whilst Pakistani jets would conduct a “surgical strike” against the terrorist’s ancestral community in Australia.
Of course this will not happen and not just because of the extreme distance between Pakistan and New Zealand. More importantly, Pakistan realises that one cannot scapegoat the real causes of extremism on governments that have no legally defined or evidence based connection to a specific attack.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has instead highlighted the broader causes of hatred against Muslims whilst calling on people everywhere to change their mentality in order to make the world a more peaceful and safer place for all. This is an attitude that exudes dignity and calm at a time of intense frustration.
While Indian television screamed for “vengeance” against Pakistan after an attack that Pakistan had nothing to do with, today, Pakistan’s leadership is calling for answers, for reflection and for a new mentality to replace the swamp of hatred in which terrorists like the barbarian from Australia were radicalised.
This is the difference between holding the values of peace in the face of terror and reacting in an irrational manner by attacking a country that had no role in an incident that effected soldiers of one’s nation. This is why there will be no “surgical strikes” by Pakistan against New Zealand or Australia.