Awareness is a first need for anyone, there is no exception to this; a person looking for a job or a person seeking to sell a product, or a terrorist organisation. Without awareness they are all equally in the shadows, unknown and disregarded at the spot. So when we were alerted to yesterday’s airstrike by the Indian Air force on Jaish-e-Mohammed, most people had the response: ‘You who now?‘ The group which translates to ‘The Army of Muhammad’ is a terrorist organisation that operates out of Kashmir. Their goal is to relocate Kashmir from India into Pakistan and as such, it would cause great friction with India even under the most docile conditions. It is Al Jazeera, who less than a day ago reports ‘India foreign secretary says jets hit Jaish-e-Mohammed camp in Pakistan, but Islamabad denies casualties in air raids‘, which is now also a much larger escalation in creating a more direct conflict between Pakistan and India. We also get: “Pakistan reported the Indian airspace incursion, with military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor saying its air force jets were scrambling to respond, forcing the Indian aircraft to “release their payload in haste while escaping“, I found the term ‘in haste while escaping’, that is no jest, even as the Pakistani air force is merely half the size of the Indian one, the insider gossip is that this Pakistani air force is more than able to deal with the IAF even as it is twice the size, so we could consider that the Indian act, whilst being optionally essential was not the tactically clever. Consider that the act was against a target that was less than 60 Km across the border finding another solution would have been a much better act. This is speculation as I have no terrain intelligence at my disposal, yet hitting a target that is optionally around 225 Km from Islamabad, where one of the more alert airports is was definitely not a great idea, so the ‘in haste whilst escaping‘ becomes pretty much the ruling for India at that point. This does not invalidate the attack on Jaish-e-Mohammed, it merely becomes tactically questionable. Of course there are other considerations, how does the Kashmir population feel about joining Pakistan, because that also impacts the tactical choices available. Any planned attack on Jaish-e-Mohammed from closer to the border whilst that population is loudly singing
Count 1 to 10 in a MIG on high
You go hide, and they come fly!
Better prepare, make a stinger rage in flight
(Source: adapted nursery rhyme)
At that point, we can agree that there are not that many options, especially in remote areas. Yet there is another side, and that is on Pakistan at present. After we have seen that they sheltered Osama Bin Laden only two miles from their military academy, they need to lash out stronger against terrorist organisation operating from their territory. We can agree that Pakistan is too large to keep properly in check with military against extremists, but this escalation could have larger repercussions and in this day and age as Pakistan’s economy is in dire needs of international investment. That setting alone will not go anywhere when operations like Jaish-e-Mohammed pretty much have the lay of the land. Now, be aware that is me not speaking out in favour or against the need of Kashmir that is for the people of Kashmir. I am however of the mind that it is not up to Jaish-e-Mohammed to decide either. The anti-feelings between India and Pakistan have been around long before the Mahatma accepted the separation, it is a setting that might never be resolved, yet in all this a much larger issue plays and I am painfully aware I do not have the wisdom on how to feel (as well as a massive lack of data intelligence on the area and the subject matter), yet the escalation as the IAF pushed for is up for debate. Even now we see ‘It was a non-military, pre-empted action targeted at terrorist activity‘, yet how exactly was that place bombed? So when we are also given: “In an early morning attack on Tuesday, the Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 jets crossed 50 miles undetected into Pakistan and hit Balakot“, my question towards Indian Foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale would be: “Who were the civilians flying the borrowed Mirage 2000 Jets and can I please borrow one? I have always wanted to get my flight wings on that fabulous French jet!” Perhaps the foreign secretary could limit the BS regarding a ‘non-military’ action when it requires the high end Mirage to get there, clearly a non-civilian form of transportation (a crazy assumption from my side). We all agree that actions against terrorists are essential, we all know that rules will be broken under these conditions, yet the essential need and then reflect on the term ‘non-military’ is too much of a stretch.
In addition, when less than 10 hours ago, the news (at https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/eu-urges-maximum-restraint-from-india-pakistan-after-air-strike) give us: ‘EU urges ‘maximum restraint’ from India, Pakistan after air strike‘, it needs to be stated that the EU needs to grow a spine and stop being a paperback, a bad one at that. We either accept actions against terrorist organisations, even if they operate from deep within Pakistan. When I see the bloated “exercise “maximum restraint” after Indian warplanes attacked a militant camp in Pakistan, sending tensions soaring between the nuclear-armed arch-rivals” in light of the fact that it was an attack on a terrorist group, and in the second when Pakistan claims “insisting there was no damage or casualties” we see that both sides are to some degree in denial and the comments from limelight seeker Maja Kocijancic are just a little to hypocrite. We understand that the EU is in denial of terrorist activities all over the board and keeps on facilitating for Turkey and Iran for too many reasons, most merely for those trying to instigate another gravy train in the EU, others to keep their desolate economy from completely collapsing, in that day and age as we see the actions of Iran facilitating for the Houthi and Hezbollah forces, the entire matter as well as the call by Maja Kocijancic becomes increasingly distasteful.
That being said, Pakistan is not without blame, finding a common ground with India to take Jaish-e-Mohammed out of their jurisprudential domain seems to be an essential first. It is not a solution that JeM is likely to go for, yet at that point enabling the IAF in these actions would set a much larger stage of trust for foreign investors to take Pakistan more and more serious for serious investments, it will enable Pakistan more and better than Jaish-e-Mohammed ever could. You see the more immediate issue is neither, the more immediate issue is the question on where the people of Kashmir want to be. I actually do not know, mainly because the media has kept many in the dark in that regard, or merely quote some politician seeking the limelight (read: Maja Kocijancic) on a call of restraint from ‘nuclear enabled nations‘ (India and Pakistan).
The first issue for Kashmir is to get awareness, it might not give us information that we like, that we accept or information we hope for, but awareness is a first need. For now the awareness is merely limited to terrorist groups acting from within Pakistan and the fact that Indian civilians have access to military jets for hot rodding and cruising through the mountains of Kashmir and Pakistan. Perhaps it is a great day to upgrade Grand Theft Auto 5, to become Grand Theft Jet 6, hot wiring a Mikoyan MiG-35 at Shatalovo airbase and take it for a nice cruise and land it at Stockholm Arlanda (undamaged), would that make for a fun game or what? And it was Indian Foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale who gave us the idea with his ‘non-military, pre-empted action‘, some half-truths really should not be used ever, it complicates matters as we make light and fun of the situation.
So why make fun?
That is the issue when we give light to NDTV who (at https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/15-years-ago-us-took-note-of-jaish-e-mohammeds-terror-training-camp-in-balakot-1999829) gives us “15 Years Ago, US Took Note Of Jaish’s Terror Training Camp In Balakot“. If this can be confirmed, we see the setting where Pakistan allowed a terror training camp was allowed to go on for more than a decade, unopposed and unchallenged. It is one of the reasons why foreign investors will not consider serious investments in Pakistan. We accept that Pakistan is too large to police to the degree it needs to be, but 15 years is just too unacceptable. The quote “The memorandum talks about a Pakistani national Hafez K. Rahman, a Guantanamo Detainee, who was 20 years old and born in Gujrar, Pakistan, who turned out to be a jehadi” is very much at the heart of the matter here. In addition, the quote: “Rahman has admitted to volunteering to fight jihad against the US and its allies, remaining after the events of September 1lth to continue to fight, and receiving training from the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). The JEM espouses Jihad against the US and is directly supported by Al-Qaida, General Miller wrote“, in this light we need to ask a lot more questions form a lot more people, as this is not limited to some Kashmir disagreement, any place that caters and facilitates towards terrorism to a much larger degree is a direct threat to the continuation of Pakistan. Pakistan might seek out to remain in seclusion form world trade, yet they are already learning that Pakistan cannot continue to survive in that way. Pakistan must select a path that gives Pakistan forward momentum and it is clear that JeM training camps cannot cater to that future.
In the end it is up to Pakistan to find a solution that they can live with, the question ultimately becomes, what caters to the continuation of the Muslim State of Pakistan?
If we take three publications, the first being the Business Standard (at https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/pakistan-s-hamstrung-economy-can-t-weather-a-conflict-with-india-119022700052_1.html), where we see: ‘Pakistan’s hamstrung economy can’t weather a conflict with India‘ with the quote “The country has been facing an ever-rising fiscal deficit, increasing debt and high inflation“, is more than a truth and a half, in addition, the dependence and reliance of the IMF will at some point end, there are multiple sources giving indication that the support to Pakistan must stop, at that point what will be left for Pakistan? The second supports the views. It comes from the Nikkei Asian Review (at https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/Pakistan-must-end-damaging-dependency-on-IMF) giving us: ‘After 21 assistance programs in 60 years, time to create sustainable economic growth‘, as well as “the new government is slowly persuading the public that Pakistan will need another International Monetary Fund bailout. At the same time, it has stepped up diplomatic efforts to secure short-term financial support from friendly countries. This approach appears to be bearing fruit. The government recently received $4 billion from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and is expecting a further $2.5 billion loan from China. Such bilateral support may allow Pakistan to seek a much smaller IMF package than expected“, yet behind the partial truth is that the Pakistani government has no way to pay these loans back in the immediate future, whichever path they take, repaying the loans and interest via a road that is twice as long as projected and merely gets settled with new loans under less optimal conditions is all that the Pakistani people have to look forward to. All this whilst the Indian Business Today (at https://www.businesstoday.in/current/economy-politics/pakistan-trying-to-hide-dead-body-of-terrorists-in-balakot-tries-to-debunk-india-claims-source/story/322532.html) gives us: “The Pakistan Army has cordoned off the entire area of Balakot and are clearing away evidence such as dead bodies so that they can deny India’s claims of the latest IAF strike wiping 300 militants in the area, a source has told India Today“, in my legal view, i would change “are clearing away evidence” into “are seemingly clearing away evidence“, for the mere reason that most Indian publications would more likely than not be too biased in this matter. Yet the given accusation, as well as intelligence from multiple sources give rise to the decent reliability of the Indian claim. Yet the article has a gem at the end. With “A sound relationship and cooperation between the two serves the interests of both the countries and peace and stability in South Asia” we see a much larger truth. Both nations could flourish to a much larger degree if they can find a common not to move forward on and both their economies would benefit in finding in such agreements. If only to learn that several players outside these two are too much interested in those two to lack stability to a much larger degree, when they realise that, and look for stable forward momentum would cater to both economies to a much larger degree and that is never a bad setting.