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Opinions5 signs India's surgical strikes have deeply rocked Pakistan

5 signs India’s surgical strikes have deeply rocked Pakistan


Shiv Aroor

As it is, it has been a bad month for Nawaz Sharif.

's special forces' assault in Pakistan-occupied- (PoK) has unified much of Pakistan in a visible way. Save a few lonely voices scattered across media and non-governmental activity, the minority moderate and majority rabid have melded into a somewhat homogeneous mass in the last 24 hours.

This, in itself, is unsurprising, nor anything to jeer at. A country that has just been attacked by its principal adversary will see such action unify its classes. There are five unmissable signs that Pakistan has been rocked to its core by the actions of 25 Indian commandos:

1) A day after the attack that reportedly left about 38 terrorists and 2 Pakistan armymen dead, the Pakistani media has absurdly abandoned the story to instead focus saturation coverage today on Imran Khan's political march.

If there is a more conspicuous admission of shame over what has happened (and thereby a confirmation), I cannot think of it. A pliable, terrified media is of course fully on board with propagandists from a fumbling, shaken establishment.

2) Fake are inescapable in the context of propaganda. But for Pakistan to choose videos of Pakistani troops being picked out and slaughtered by what appear to be Taliban terrorists is a particularly harsh punch in one's own gut.

Especially when they're being projected as Pakistani soldiers killing Indian ones. Again, the urge to put out such absurdly fake videos establishes a totally rattled propaganda ecosystem.

3) In a glorious spasm of cross-border synergy, Pakistani voices have latched on to Indian scepticism of the surgical strikes. Scepticism is a valuable and an indispensable tool for journalists and non-rhetorical questions about the Indian attack are both relevant and necessary – what's farcical is Pakistani journalists, academics and the usually rabid mob firing off Indian shoulders, finding uncommonly common cause with those they would perhaps pour abuse on at other times. Supping willingly with the “enemy” is a certain sign of a rummaging desperation.

4) It's been a bad month for Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Serially humiliated from one stage to the next, he suffers the ignominy of having a smaller voice today than Pakistan's military spokesperson, General Asim Bajwa, who is doing literally all the talking, post India's surgical strikes.

The chasms that separate the government and military in Pakistan are always clear. Today they're veritably throbbing. A clueless Sharif and a furious Army will be fully aligned on one matter alone – hit India back. On all other counts, the Pakistani PM's chumpishness has been rudely amplified. His silence is beyond deafening.

5) Even moderate Pakistanis have special colours on display today. From Asma Jahangir's pathologically false equivalence of “violence” and “terror” on both sides, to Pakistani scholars gaffing over Indian “aggression” against terrorists as an act of war (and thereby establishing terrorists as state property), even Pakistan's informed, influential classes (with some notable exceptions) have shuddered into the trap of tired old rhetoric that feeds propaganda lines and the overall message Pakistan intends to send to soften the blow.


The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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