In a series of events which led to the capture and return of Pilot Abhinandan Varthaman, many people from around India have once again started to question our ability to fight terrorism effectively and to bring peace to the country. While some applauded Imran Khan for sending Wing Commander Abhinandan safely home to his country, many saw it as a weak effort to avert a war that Pakistan would have lost. Citizens of India are also divided on whether Modi is using these events as a political stunt or if he is genuinely interested in ending terrorism by showing them what India is capable of.
Amidst all of this, there are families that lost their loved ones, homes that were destroyed, and innocent Kashmiris who were scrutinized by the general public with respect to their loyalty towards their country.
If we end up dividing ourselves this way, then terrorism has somehow succeeded even if the army crushed the terrorists. When residents of a country start living in the fear of being attacked by terrorists, or of being plunged into war, or of living in a country that is at constant unrest, then terrorists have been able to effectively introduce terror into the country.
This terror feeds on the peacefulness of the country and it starts bringing political chaos which eventually leads to the identification of a scapegoat. But the truth is that terrorism doesn’t end by shifting the blame from one political party to another; it ends when we unite against the instruments of terrorism.
The alienation of states and the constant feeling of being left out by youngsters of these alienated states, gives terrorists the opportunity to make them believe that terrorism is the way of solving the problems they face. If we chose to unite and not allow any of the states to feel that they must suffer for the actions of a few in the region, then our impact against terrorism will be more effective.