The Post-Balakot challenge
India’s response to the Pulwama terrorist attack does signal a break from the past. But there is no clarity if the contours of a new approach have been drawn.
All this was on display in the weeks after the Pulwama attack and distracted attention from what in the aftermath of the attack should have been the national focus — how to end Pakistan’s terrorism, which has continued for almost three decades. Instead, popular attention by itself, and intensified by the media, was on the politics over the entire sequence — Pulwama, the Balakot response and the Pakistani counter. It was also on the grieving families of the victims of Pulwama and the capture and return of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. It was right for the nation to share the grief of the families and rejoice in Abhinandan’s return and for the media to report but not at the cost of the root of the problem.