Yes, we are still talking to Pakistan but in different languages

File photo of a Mig-21 Bison. India's Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was flying one of these fighter jets when he shot down the F16 fighter jet. The American F16 was being flown by a Pakistani fighter pilot when he intruded into Indian air space in Kashmir and was challenged by the Indian pilot. The two fighter jets then engaged in a mid-air dog-fight and Abhinandan shot down the F16. (Photo: PTI)

Pakistan has been saying from all public platforms that it wants talks with India. Pakistan wants to talk in order to defuse escalating tensions between the two neighbours. It wants third party or multiple party mediation to help achieve its goals which is to get off the hook. The right, left and centre flailing of arms by India has left it shattered and agitated.

Pakistan is mortally afraid to be made a punching bag by the giant that it has been needling all these years. Pakistan’s political class as also its people and the so-called “civil society” members on both sides of the border are proving to be its most valuable assets.

This is a 360 degree turn, from talking to India through its terrorism machinery to pleading in a civic manner. All this is fake optics meant to dissolve the Indian resolve to break bones of terrorists.

Talks have always been on between the two nations and the mode of communication were terrorist proxies controlled by Pakistan. These talks are at least a decade old and date back to 26/11 Mumbai attacks of 2008.

Pakistan talked in terms of killing over 166 people in 2008, and India responded by setting up the NIA (National Investigation Agency)! Laugh or cry at this choice by India, but that is the most serious thing done by India post-26/11.

Cut to the Uri attack of 2016. This was a message from Pakistan regarding its destructive capabilities. Merely ten days after the Uri attack, there was a communication from India by way of retaliatory surgical strikes. INDIA DID TALK BACK. However, Pakistan said there was no response from India, entirely refuting this two-way communication.

Cut to Pulwama terror attack on the Lovers’ Day (February 14) in which 40 CRPF jawans were martyred. Indian Mirages replied back by bombing Balakot. Again, this was one communication from India that Pakistan refuses to acknowledge.

Analyse its claims that other than some trees, nothing much was hurt. This claim and any truthful account regarding the extent of damage suffered by Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) has been stubbornly kept under wraps by Pakistan. This serves to anger India further as these bombardments were carried out to damage Jaish. Pakistan claims it has suffered no damage and needs to be put firmly on the escalatory ladder of hostilities.

It should not be allowed to step back into its cocoon of comfort and allowed to act as a hatchery of terrorism. If its hatchlings are its prime priority, the whole hatchery needs to be targeted.

What was Pakistani response to Balakot? Intruding aerially into Nawshera area and dropping bombs. This was its effort to send a message to India. There was a perfect response from India with a MiG-21 worth $2 million shooting down an F16 worth $18 million.

Unfortunately, a Pakistani pilot was killed in most tragic circumstances after surviving a hit from Mig-21 Bison. He was lynched by his own countrymen. He was not even given the honour due to a martyr sacrificing his life for the nation. Why? As a rogue nation, Pakistan cannot admit openly that it used F16s given by the US for carrying out attacks on the Indian territory. It is a miserable failure of its calculations that its use of F16s for attacks will get exposed in the very first attempt. The wrong end of the stick from the US will sure be reserved for a future date and time.

Pakistan’s conduct will shape the future US ties with it and it is difficult to foresee the Americans doing nothing about it. They will factor in Pakistan’s behaviour in the manner of a thug. The end user agreement of F16s, to defend itself against possible attacks, has been VIOLATED by using them for aggression against the Indian military target of Naushera Brigade.

With the downing of F 16, Abhinandan has virtually made all of Pakistan’s squadrons of F16s a useless asset. Assets that can be deployed only within the boundaries of the Pakistani nation to defend itself. Any aggressive intent or use of these fighter aircraft will possibly bring a swift response from the US.

Losing one F16 has psychologically crippled the Pakistani Air Force (PAF). It is faced with a situation where its best aerial asset is reduced to a useless showpiece. These F16s CANNOT enter the Indian airspace as things stand now under the agreement for their supply. They will be seriously violating the agreement with the Americans.

This two-way dialogue has been continuing and talks have been on between the adversaries. Pakistani denial of this dialogue is a pack of lies and worth sheer contempt. Nothing else.

Pakistan’s choice of language had been robust Punjabi all this while, with Muridke and Bahawalpur dictating the discourse, as Bajwa’s proxies. We had chosen to speak a soft language earlier and opted for speaking French (Mirage 2000s) and Russian (MiG-21s) at Balakot and elsewhere.

Israeli Hebrew via Hebron drones, Spice (missile), American English (via surveillance aircraft), Russian (via IL 76 Refueller) etc are among the languages that India is speaking in present times. This multi-language discourse delivery is the reason for Pakistani discomfort.

There is no reason for us to break down the dialogue, even if it is likely to turn into a monologue from us soon. Talks were always on and they must continue, unabated.

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