Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to the nation for the first time after the dastardly attack by Pakistan on the Indian Army brigade headquarters in Uri in which 18 soldiers of Indian Army were martyred. It came amidst growing demand for retaliation against Pakistan whose terror against India continues unabated.
The PM was at his oratorical best as he addressed multiple audiences through his speech.
He addressed the Indian armed forces to boost their morale when he spoke of the courage and sacrifice of the Indian Armed Forces and how the nation backs it. He spoke about how India and the Indian Armed forces were ready to face the challenges in the form of terrorism and the threat of the 1000 years war the Pakistanis dream of with India. How the army has in recent months has seen an escalating battle against the terrorists and saved the country from 17 attacks by killing over 110 terrorists. He said the nation will not forget the sacrifice of 18 soldiers martyred in Uri and that their sacrifice will not go in vain.
He addressed the people of India in assuaging their sentiments when he said the government in Delhi is willing to take the battle to the enemy. To what extent he was successful is a question as people of the country are really outraged and looking for the government to initiate punitive action against Pakistan.
He addressed India’s neighbors who are also suffering from Pakistani terror especially Afghanistan and Bangladesh and the larger international community when he said after ever terror attack anywhere in the world, links of the terrorists lead to Pakistan or that the terrorists find refuge in Pakistan like Osama bin Laden did. This is part of India’s effort to isolate Pakistan diplomatically in the world. India is preparing a dossier to be sent to the international community where it intends to name and shame Pakistan for perpetrating terror attacks across the world. The recent terror attack in US has links to Pakistan for example. India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh called Pakistan a terrorist state after the Uri attack.
The interesting part of PM’s speech was when he addressed the Pakistan army, its civilian government and the people of Pakistan. In my opinion it was a massive psyop by the Prime Minister.
He used the words “Hukumrano of Pakistan” referring to the civil leadership of Pakistan and “Atankwadiyo ke Aqa”referring to the Pakistan army generals when he said Pakistan ke hukumrano read the script given to them by the Atankwadi ke Aqa. It’s for the first time an Indian Prime Minister has called the Pakistan Army a terrorist organization when he says its chief of army is the leader of of all terrorists. I have been saying for years that the Pakistan army are terrorists in uniform.
He addressed the individual constituents of Pakistan when he said Pakistan wants Kashmir but can’t take care of what it has. It can’t take care of Gilgit-Baltistan part of Indian territory of Jammu & Kashmir that Pakistan occupies. It can’t take care of Pakhtunistan which is under its control. This plays on the fault lines of the Pashtuns. Afghanistan which has large Pashtun population has never recognized the Durand line and wants the Pashtun areas which is occupied by Pakistan. He talked about Pakistan not able to take care of Sindh. There is a Sindhudesh freedom movement running and also the violent uprising of the Mohajirs led by the MQM. He once again talked about Balochistan which Pakistan occupies but can’t take care off. He also referenced East Pakistan and how Bangladesh came into being. The message is not lost when he refers to the individual constituents of Pakistan and then refers to Bangladesh in whose independence India played a prominent role.
And finally but importantly, he addressed the people of Pakistan directly. Probably the first time any PM of India has done this. He said before 1947, their ancestors loved the land that is India. He asked the people of Pakistan to rise against the terror its army and civil leadership promotes. He asked the people of Pakistan to question its army and leaders as to why after 70 years of independence and partition, Pakistan is known for exporting terror while India is known for exporting software. He asked the people of Pakistan to compete with India in eliminating poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, infant mortality and maternal death.
Modi’s address to the people of Pakistan will not go well with the Atankwadi ke Aqa as Modi tried to urge the people of Pakistan to rise against them. Most likely they will censor Modi’s speech and not publish it in their newspapers or give much coverage on their TV. Pakistan army tightly controls all news and vets it before being published. Those not falling in line face the music.
While the speech was excellent as PM Modi conducted a brilliant psyop against Pak, it didn’t give away anything about what India plans to do to deter terror coming from Pakistan and avenge Uri. Obviously he can’t lay out specifics but he did say we will not forget the sacrifice of the 18 soldiers in Uri and their martyrdom will not go in vain. This can be interpreted in any manner. Whether India does impose military costs on Pakistan for its continued terror against India and especially avenge Uri, remains to be seen.