Narendra Modi’s decision to order the Air Force to attack jihadist camps in Pakistan has had the unintended consequence of throwing our Opposition leaders into a frenzy of confusion and self-loathing. India has never before responded militarily to a jihadist attack, so initial shock and confusion can be forgiven. For this to turn into self-loathing cannot. The Prime Minister is not wrong when he says that their hatred of him is so deep that they have transferred this hatred to India and our Armed Forces as well. To prove that Modi is a liar they started singing the praises of Imran Khan in concert.
This cue was picked up by their supporters on social media and in important western newspapers. This extraordinary, unexpected praise for the Pakistani Prime Minister caused people in the Islamic Republic to announce plans to nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize. Imran Khan was embarrassed enough for him to say modestly that he was unworthy of such an honour and that it should go to someone who could bring peace to Kashmir. This did not deter India’s opposition leaders. They continued their campaign to prove that he was a statesman and Modi a warmonger.
In shrill tones, they denounced Modi and his ministers for lying about the number of dead jihadists in the Balakot camp. When I tweeted about the absurdity of Indian political leaders believing the Prime Minister of an enemy country over our own, my timeline was flooded with tweets saying that Modi had ‘lied for four years’ so nobody except a ‘bhaktan (devotee)’ like me believed him any more. And, why is it so easy to believe Imran Khan? He is the face of a military government that has lied for decades about promoting jihadist attacks on Indian soil. It has become a new strategy in an old war. Pervez Musharraf is one of my least favourite people but it pleased me to hear him say that Jaish-e-Mohammad was very much a Pakistani jihadist outfit that was created by the army but must now be stopped because it had tried to assassinate him twice.