As Indian political leaders, and even some Indian journalists, question the veracity and impact of the Indian Air Force strikes on Jaish e Mohammed facilities at Balakote on February 26th, their questions resemble those of the smug lawyer who was questioning a pathologist in the Coroner’s Court:
Lawyer: Doctor, before you signed the death certificate, did you check the patient for pulse?
Lawyer: Did you check for blood pressure?
Lawyer: Did you check for breathing? For heartbeat?
Lawyer: (triumphantly) So, doctor, do you admit it is possible that the patient was alive when you signed his death certificate?
Doctor: Well…let me put it this way. The patient’s brain was sitting in a jar on my desk when I signed his death certificate. But I guess it’s possible he was alive; indeed, he might even be practicing law somewhere.
I, dear reader, have no doubts at all about the IAF strikes on Balakote and their impact on the Jaish cadres sleeping in the targeted buildings. The several thousand kilos of penta-erythritol tetranitrate carried by those Spice missiles and thrust through the roofs of the buildings would have wreaked horrific destruction when they went off within – ripping apart metal, concrete, brick, wood, human flesh and bone.
I entirely empathized with the IAF Chief when he curtly told the media: “Our job is not to count bodies.”
Unlike the doubters as well as the gleeful war-mongers in their TV studios and editorial rooms, I do NOT want proof on how many JEM personnel were killed, or how many brooms and hoses were needed to clean up their remains.
Only the post-mortem of the deceased JEM cadres remains to be concluded.
The Coroner’s Court is noisy.
Two groups among those present—one Indian, the other Pakistani—are particularly strident. But strangely, both groups are screaming more or less the same things.
“The Modi-led government is lying.”
“The Indian government is lying.”
“There was no Jaish camp in Balakote.”
“Where is the proof that there was a Jaish camp at Balakote?”
“Where’s the proof that the IAF hit their targets or killed any Jaish men?”
“The IAF hit nothing…only a few trees.”
How can Indians and Pakistanis be united in screaming against the Indian government?
The Pakistani group – comprising the Pak establishment, ISI, army and media – hates India in general and the Modi-led Indian government in particular. This is sad, yet understandable.
The Pakistani group’s hatred has been stoked by the IAF strikes on Balakote, which have gone down well among the Indian public in an election year.
The Indian group – comprising Congress, CPM, TMC and other Opposition parties, as well as large sections of Indian media – hates the Modi-led government. This is sad, yet understandable.
The Indian group’s hatred too has been stoked by the IAF strikes on Balakote, which have gone down well among the Indian public in an election year.
Easy to understand…no?
I pay no attention to politicians because I do not trust politicians. By definition, all politicians lie. Nikita Khrushchev put it succinctly:
Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river.
With a few noble exceptions, I pay no attention to journalists because I do not trust journalists. Try this out: take any event or issue, look at five different newspapers or TV news channels or websites, and you’ll get at least 19 different versions of ‘fact’, varying continuously and seamlessly with every passing hour. Breaking news is no longer distinguishable from breaking wind. As Thomas Jefferson put it:
The advertisements are the most truthful part of a newspaper.
Who, then, O long-suffering reader, can we trust to show us, tell us, the truth?
I don’t know about you…but I’ll stick with the Indian armed forces.
Be at peace, O deceased Jaish men. Unlike your Pakistani army handlers, I at least acknowledge that you once lived.