Toba Toba Toba!

How would you like to be citizen of a country where the army holds such a vice grip on affairs of the state that they export terror, breed ‘snakes’ in their backyard (Hillary Clinton’s words), preside insensitive over slaughter of thousands of fellow citizens, including school children, and – when caught with their pants down – pretend as if nothing happened?

Tuesday, 26th Feb 2019, was another red-letter day in the history of India’s western neighbour where their much-venerated army’s shenanigans came home to roost. In a pre-dawn, calibrated ‘non-military preemptive action’, the Indian Air Force (IAF) launched a multi-aircraft airstrike on terror camps near Balakot in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK). Some twitterati smartly coined the phrase “now the Bal is in your Kot” (not mine, but an apt play of words).

Well, indeed the ball is in Pak’s court. This is the first air strike on non-military targets after 1971 Indo-Pak War that cleaved Pakistan in two and liberated Bangladesh (then East Pakistan).

For a country that led its citizens up the garden path with India-baiting, this must surely be a moment from ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’. Noted strategic analyst Brahma Chellaney tweeted this grim reminder earlier today:

Air strikes should never be taken lightly in military affairs. They signal a certain national will and appetite – however unpleasant – for escalation. By any yardstick of diplomacy, this is a tight slap on the enemy’s face, delivered with a sharp crack. Only those who have been at the receiving end of an international ‘tamacha‘ would know. I am sure Pakistani establishment feels the pain; having been at the receiving end of many such misadventures their ill-advised military leaders inflicted upon the country repeatedly since 1948.

For example, remember the PAF Atlantique that ventured too close and was shot down by an IAF MiG-21 in 1999? Or Kargil War where they refused to take back the bodies of their own soldiers; whom Indian Army then laid to rest as per Islamic rites? The same army, sipping finest scotch whisky and leading privileged lives in the hill town of Abbottabad, must have spilt their morning coffee all over Persian carpets in their living rooms when they woke up to US Navy Seals taking out Osama Bin Laden from right under their JeMmed-up noses.

What goes around, comes around. It’s a fact of life. It is the eternal cycle of Dharma which keeps churning out more devils for Pakistan as it continues down this ignoble path.

Look at the irony. India has a lady Raksha Mantri today. Indian women serve with pride in all three services. Our diminutive External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj stands tall with world leaders, with suave and substance. We have had lady PMs and Presidents, stellar Generals who kept their adrenalin in check. Our defence forces do not dictate foreign policy, however compelled they may feel at times. There’s a thriving democracy at work here that survives any maelstrom of hate and bigotry that crosswinds of elections may may blow in. Indians head the world’s biggest conglomerates and occupy the highest seats of intellectual discourse.

Look at yourselves, my dear Pakistani citizens. What have you done to yourselves?

A song from Pink Floyd’s last album ‘Division Bell’ comes to mind:

“From morning to night

I played out of sight

Didn’t recognise what i’d become

No more than a lie, I barely survive

In a word, overrun”

Beware. You are becoming synonymous with terror and violence, especially against women and those who oppose the ruling coterie of Generals and moneybags. India is thriving, warts & all, racing to occupy a seat at the high table of world leaders. See the writing on the wall? Is low-cost war your perpetual answer? We still agree “mehenga roye ek baar, sasta roye baar baar”, don’t we? Then why are you pelting down this path?

Did repeated subterfuge and proxy wars get you what would’ve come out of more informed investments in building lives, livelihoods, not bombs or IEDs? Think about it.

Years ago, a young lady (later, my wife) took her tiny, pugnacious Lhasa Apso ‘Bobby’ for a walk to US Club at Land’s End, Colaba. Sprawled on the greens next to the navy’s golf club was a huge, bush coat German Shepherd belonging to veteran industrialist and one of India’s finest – Ratan Tata. Let’s call the big canine Nano for now, even though he was actually the size of a Jaguar, err…Land Rover. Bobby made a desperate attempt to intimidate Nano, continuously barking and sniping at the giant Alsatian’s heels. Nano didn’t bat an eyelid & kept snoozing.

When Ratan Tata walked in after his round of golf, he was quite amused at young Bobby’s gusto. He called him ‘quite a fellow’, and patted him.

Nano agreed and let out a deep throated ‘RRRUUFF’ that reverberated through the open grounds of US Club. Bobby, of course, was blown away by the downwash of that roar and had to seek comfort under Madhuri’s heels.

Fellow Pakistani citizens, maybe your Generals and the family jewels that stand exposed today, can hide behind long cloaks from Arabia. But not for too long. And last we checked, Trump ain’t giving any more either.

Game’s up, buddy. Our pilots smoke Charms, drink Rum and wear their aircraft on their sleeves. They can hold their own against the best in the world – many Red Flag exercises have proven that beyond doubt. Our army & navy are waiting to taste first blood. They never sleep.

Step back. Peace is what the subcontinent needs most. We can send your Premier’s middle stump, or whatever’s left of it, careening across the world stage; no big deal. We want peace, economic development of our people; dialogue in place of guns; cross-border trade & bonhomie in place of cross-border terror.

Your call.

We didn’t start the fire. Now you douse it.


©KP Sanjeev Kumar, 2019. All rights reserved. Views are personal. I am always rooting for peace & harmony.

Cover photo: ‘Just another successful strike mission. Thanks for remembering my ilk‘ – Art by MR Anand, a veteran IAF test pilot. You can find his works here.


16 thoughts on “Toba Toba Toba!

  1. Totally agree. The Pakis had it coming for quite some time now. They have tested our patience for far too long. Hope that they have learnt their lesson of not targeting us with terror anymore

  2. Well articulated as always KP! The enemy better step back, we have tolerated enough… But a lot of times, that the heart bleeds at the loss of the unknown soldier..

  3. hi KP’s I really appreciate the timely article on our country’s IAF valiant act of deterrent backed by our army and Navy as wished by every citizen of India. After removing it from the eastern sector This message of deterrent act against a nuclear powered Rogue nation makes EVERY CIVILIAN SALUTE THE THREE armed forces of our country.JAIHIND!

  4. Hurrah! Well said JD. The other side should realise how close are the sensitive targets more proximate than Balaghat

  5. great composition Sir .
    I agree with one of the comments above ” got goosebumps reading it” especially where you talk about our Indian Air force fighters .

      1. Kaypius,

        I don’t know who you are but it is strange to see despite your self-claimed expertise, you are no different from many Indians I have seen. Boosting without much evidence is Indian’s forte.

        Balakot was an abject failure of IAF. The whole world is laughing at India and their persistence to paddle their lies. The saga of 350 killed claim and what not. I am sure you know it all.
        As for Abbotabad, care to tell us how the seals of the downed heli make their way back to Afghanistan!! Enough said.

        1. Thanks, bhai. I am sure you’ll get your answers if you look beyond the propaganda DGISPR peddles to folks like you. “the whole world is laughing at India”…seriously? Professionals must hold themselves, their leaders and their armed forces to a much higher standard. I do that. Suggest same to you too. Fare well, my friend.

          1. Difference between Indians and us, we question, we don’t follow blindly.
            I couldn’t care less for DG ISPR. I have my own mind and I use it effectively. No propaganda penetrate my brain, Pakistani, Indian or USA, only facts matter.

            Are you denying that International media and analysts have confirmed that Indian didn’t hit the claimed sites in Balakot!

            Are you denying that F 16 shooting down had been denied by the Americans after the count!! Would you offer SU 30s and Mirage 2000 counts to the world!

            The day the count is conducted, the true horror of 27th Strike would become known to the Indians.

            Secondly, you mentioned Abbotabad to belittle Pakistan. I would say, Pakistan provided a great help to the Yanks by taking the line they have.
            I am sure you know that two Chinooks landed in Kala Dacca, nobody claimed that Chinooks were stealth. Do you understand what I mean!!
            Their pilots were so damn scared, despite no fires from the ground or resistance from the air that the pilot of one of the heli couldn’t land in the compound. The tail hit the wall, and the fuselage hit the ground so hard that its pieces could be found miles away. The kids collected them from the area. So how the seals survived the crash!!
            Second you know the capacity of the assets used!! How the remaining seals from the destroyed bird boarded the remaining one!!
            Here all your narrative and propaganda busted in simple words.
            I challenge you if you are an expert or seasoned pilot as you claim to answer me. I can produce huge amount of facts and evidence, which would prove without shadow of a doubt that a huge favor was given on that day.

          2. Please go ahead and provide ‘huge amount of facts’. In God and Allah we trust. Everybody else must bring data

  6. You making me laugh Mr expert.
    Why don’t you answer the questions I have asked in my previous comments!
    Were Chinooks involved in the raid!! Were they stealth too!!

    What is the troops carrying capacity of Black Hawks used!!
    Did any other support helicopters sent by the USA to rescue the seals from “destroyed” Black Hawk!! Even though it was actually crashed hard.
    When you can answer simple questions asked, I will go forward. One baby step at a time for the “Expert”.
    Do you also know that one year down the line, a helicopter crashed in Afghanistan carrying the seals team which took part in the raid in Abbotabad.

    Word balloony comes to mind.

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