Following Thursday's surgical strikes at terrorist launch-pads in the Pakistan-held Kashmir, an uneasy peace prevails on the Indo-Pak front. Both countries are on high alert. Though Pakistan denies that surgical strikes took place, its military, political executive and the jihadi crowd were all in a tizzy. The obvious contradiction might escape the blockheads in-charge of the rogue nation, the wider global community will not fail to see the fallacy in the Pakistani claims. India has to be prepared for a Pakistan misadventure anytime soon.
Pak Army Chief Raheel Sharif's extension in service beyond November, when he is due to retire in the normal course, would depend on escalating hostilities and then arguing that he cannot go in the midst of tensions on the Line of Control with India. Happily, India is prepared to give a fitting reply to any misadventure that might be launched by our hostile western neighbour.
Modi would not have given the go-ahead to Thursday's riposte without taking into account all possible consequences. After 30 years of soft-pedaling jihadi attacks, India has at long last decided to call Pakistan's bluff. And the Modi Government has no intention to stray from the script now.
Any attack by Pakistan would be met with a strong Indian response. The template for India's response was set on Thursday morning when special units of the Indian Army went deep inside Pak-held Kashmir. The Government finessed its handling of the pre-and post-attack activity, taking care to inform the Pak DGMO about what it had done to destroy the terrorist outposts and taking into confidence the domestic Opposition and briefing the diplomats posted in New Delhi.
The fact that the stock markets and the rupee fell sharply on Thursday underlined the absolute importance of peace for economic growth. Despite India reiterating for the nth time a desire for normalcy, if Pakistan is hell-bent on mischief, India cannot be faulted for defending itself. That much ought to be clear to the global community.
Modi has gone out of the way to befriend Pakistan. Rebuffed each time, he cannot be blamed for now standing up to a terror-exporting Pakistan. After Thursday, the gloves are off, the action is on. Should Pakistan make the mistake of further provocation, the Modi Government has the support of the entire country to give a fitting reply. India is no longer ready to soft-pedal jihadi attacks. Which is how it should have been long, long ago when Pakistan first started exporting terror.