It is a morning of renewed hope as the nation gets set to welcome its son Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. His flight had crashed during India’s aerial combat with Pakistan. What an eventful week this has been.
For the first time since 1971, India sent war planes to the Pakistani border and in a pre-dawn strike killed more than 300 terrorists as per estimates and completely destroyed their training base on February 26. For a nation, singeing in wounds of the ghastly and brutal terror attack on 40 of its brave soldiers in Pulwama just two weeks ago, it was a vindication of sorts. In one of the most gruesome terror attacks till date, Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists had killed a Central Reserve Police Force convoy early on February 14.
You can now understand the thumping unanimous spirit of gratitude that India welcomed the dawn of February 26 with. The newspapers headlines were showering applause on the defense forces aerial blitzkrieg. Messages and forwards on social media updated you on the gory details and perhaps every household across the country felt it was just the right payback after the horrifying Pulwama attack.
The Indian Foreign Secretary clarified that this strike was pre-emptive in nature and absolutely necessary to stall planned terror strikes in the country. Addressing a rally, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi referred to this strike and said that “I assure you, the country is in safe hands.”
The Balakot camp was headed by Maulana Yousuf Azhar. He was the brother-in-law of Masood Azhar. For those of our readers who have faint memories of the gruesome 1999 Indian Airlines flight hijack, Yousuf Azhar was one of the masterminds involved in the hijacking and eventual killing of the passengers onboard this IC-814, flying to Delhi from Kathmandu. Sadly they were kept hostage to free Masood Azhar, another key JeM leader. So many innocent lives were lost, aspiring youngsters slain in the pool of blood and a young bride returned a widow from her honeymoon onboard this fateful flight.
Almost for the last three decades, India along with many other countries globally are dealing with the perils of terrorism on a daily basis. Little lives are nipped in the bud, village after village lives in mourning for years and people are pushed out of what’s been their homeland for generations. If the fateful 26/11 attacks in Mumbai or the 1993 bomb blasts across Bombay does not strike a chord in your heart, I am sure your heart goes out for all those desperate helpless lives lost in the 9/11 attack. The millions of refugees from west Asia fleeing their motherland, the woeful state of Afghanistan…. The scourge of terrorism cannot be good news for anybody.
Gladstone once wrote that “When the power of love overcomes love of power the world will know peace.” I rest my case with those hopeful words of wisdom, forgiveness and global tolerance.