Prime Minister Narendra Modi has just concluded the 53rd edition of his once-a-month Mann Ki Baat. After this much awaited episode, post Pulwama terror attack, are we in a better position to foresee the immediate future for Pakistan-sponsored terrorism?
As expected Prime Minsiter Modi began with Pulwama terror attack, saluting the security personnel who made the supreme sacrifice in the attack and lauded the Indian Army for eliminating the people, who had organised attack, within 100 hours. He talked about the anguish and anger the Pulwama attacked had whipped up in the people across the country. He praised the family members of martyrs who are still swearing by the nation despite their personal losses.
And then he mentioned about the National War Memorial for martyrs which would be dedicated to the nation shortly.
This was Prime Minister’s first Mann Ki Baat after Pulwama attack. And certainly people (opinion makers, opposition parties, journalists, etc. and not to forget those listening in Pakistan) were eager to know if he would tell the nation something more with regard to the further steps to avenge the Pulwama incident than that was already in the public domain. He didn’t.
So one has to pick some strands from his speeches delivered in rallies and public events to gauge what is going on in his mind.
The attack took place on February 14. The following day, Modi gave a hard hitting response in New Delhi, while flagging off the Vande Matarm Express. He said, “Security forces have been given complete freedom, the blood of the people is boiling”.
On February 18, Modi was making a joint statement with the visiting Argentina president Mauricio Macri. He said: “I and President Macri agree with the view that terrorism is a serious danger to world’s peace and stability. The cruel attack in Pulwama shows that the time for talks has passed… Now, it is required that the world unites against terrorism and those who support it. Hesitation to take action against terrorism and those who support it is akin to encouraging terrorism.”
Significantly, India has succeeded in getting 59 countries condemn Pakistan sponsored Pulwama attack. At the same time, Israel has offered an unconditional and unlimited help while France has promised to move a proposal at the UN to put Masood Azhar, the chief of Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group, operating out of Pakista, on the global terrorist list.
On February 22, US president Donald Trump indicated that ‘India is looking at something strong’ in response to Pulwama attack.
On February 23, addressing a rally in Tonk in Rajastan, Prime minister Modi said, “Enemies of humanity must be taught a lesson. Everything will be accounted for. Pakistan must be isolated in the world. Your chowkidar (watchman) is working just for this.”
And on February 24, through his Mann Ki Baat, Modi said, “the Army has resolved to wipe out the terrorists and their harbingers.’ He hinted about ‘firm, strong and decisive’ steps.
Now, are we getting a clearer picture about what is in store in the days to come vis-à-vis Pulwama attack? Now do we know if war is on Modi’s mind?