Rajat Sharma

Why Pakistan army’s tone and tenor changed within 24 hours?

akbToday I attentively watched a press conference by Asif Ghafoor, the Pakistani Army spokesman, and found that his tune had completely changed in the last 24 hours. For at least 20 times, he said, Pakistan does not want a war with India. Yesterday, this same gentleman had spoken of ‘teaching a lesson’ to India, after the spectacular IAF air strike. He had then threatened that Pakistan would give India a surprise, and retaliate.

Today this army spokesman claimed that Pakistan Air Force aircraft crossed the Line of Control in J&K and deliberately threw bombs on empty spaces. He then clarified on his own that the Pakistan Air Force wanted to show to India that it had the capability to strike, but “since we do not want a war, we only showed our might and came back”.

This spokesman had yesterday claimed that PAF jets had forced IAF aircraft to flee from Pakistani airspace and India should wait for our response. Today the same gentleman said the same thing which the Indian Foreign Secretary had said yesterday. The Pakistani army spokesman said, “our PAF jets did not target any military establishments, and we did not cause any civilian casualty. Our jets kept a safe distance from the targets.” He however added that “we could have attacked, but we did not, because we are a responsible nation.” Today this spokesman appealed to Pakistani reporters not to report about war, but about peace, because “we do not want war”.

Why did the Pakistani army’s tone and tenor about war and peace changed within 24 hours?

There could be two interpretations: One, Pakistan is scared, it does not want a war, it has now perceived that it may have to face humility if it loses a war. Two, this change in tone and tenor could be a cosmetic one and it could be an attempt to fool the Indian army. In other words, speak about peace, but fight a proxy war on the side.

I think the second interpretation could be true. In Hindi, we have a saying, “an elephant has two sets of teeth: a set of teeth for display, and the other set of teeth to chew on.” My bet is on this interpretation only.


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