J K News Today  Commentary

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan  announcement in the Pakistani Parliament that his government will release  Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman on Friday as a goodwill gesture toward India as a prelude to peace between India and Pakistan  would come complete circle only when he follows it up with strong anti-terrorism operations on his home soil.

The background of this “ peace gesture” by Pakistan PM has an unpleasant background – the terror attack in Pulwama, Kashmir, on February 14 in which over 40 CRPF personnel  were killed . That became the trigger for the air strikes at Balakot in Khyber Pukthnawa in Pakistan  believed to be the terror training cenntre of Jaish-e-Mohammad, the group that owned the responsibility for the  Pulwama attack..

Many in India , particularly the Kashmir Valley, have appreciated the gesture shown by Pakistan Prime Minister  in ordering the release of the Indian pilot in Pakistan captivity because he had become a symbol of  a threshold . The instant tensions  seemed to have dissipated , if not disappeared altogether.. Even at this moment the guns are booming on the Line of Control and both India and Pakistan are accusing each other of  violating the ceasefire.

This  is a time to be realistic . India and Pakistan relations cannot be determined  by 24×7  hostility toward each other . It cannot be denied that the two sides have issues between them to be sorted out , and those issues cannot be resolved either through guns on the Line of Control or by threatening noises of teaching each other a lesson  nor the dog fights  of aircrafts in air deliver  anything concrete.

The two nuclear-powered nations must realise that the issues can be resolved  by taking a clear-eyed look at the threats confronting them  and not by living in deniability . And nuclear weapons cannot  and should not be used as a shield to hide the truth.

Pakistan has an added responsibility to work for peace by taking action against the terrorists operating from its soil . That is the first test for it to prove that it is serious in its fight against terrorism. It is not that if terror strikes Pakistan, then it is terrorism and  when it hits its neighbors then it is something different . Taking refuge in the clichés , provide “ actionable intelligence of evidence,” is defying the logic .

Did Pakistan army seek  any actionable evidence  when it reacted with bombarding the terrorists’ hideouts in Pakistan following the macabre  killing of children in Army Public School in December 2014 . Terrorists are terrorist and there can be no excuse in taking action against them.  It is  for Pakistan to act against the terror hubs  because they can spin out of control and expand where  world will see Pakistan  not as a responsible nation.

Pakistan should also try to understand that terrorists are different from the common people . What message Pakistan sends when it calls armed militants who kill Indian armed forces  personnel, attack their convoys as “Kashmiris.” Common Kashmiris  love peace . They are against all sorts of violence . By calling the militants as innocent Kashmiris , Pakistan is hurting the  very ethos of Kashmiris .The least Imran Khan, and his foreign minister can do is to change this kind of narrative , things will start shaping up for better future between India and Pakistan.