On 14th February the nation wept again with yet another terrorist strike in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
A convoy of vehicles which was carrying security personnel on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway was attacked by a vehicle-borne suicide attacker in the Pulwama district of the state leading to the death of 40 personnel from Central Reserve Police Force.
Pakistan-based Islamist militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad was identified as the perpetrator of this attack and the attacker was shockingly a Kashmiri Local named Adil Ahmad Dar, who is a member of the aforementioned terrorist group.
The good news is that a Joint team of Indian Forces has successfully killed Ghazi Rasheed, the mastermind behind the attack in Pinglan encounter in Pulwana, leading India one step closer to justice.
ALSO READ: Pulwama Attack; Nation pays tribute
The public responded with a wave of sorrow and anger, targeting Pakistan and viewing vengeance as the appropriate response.
Candlelight marches were held in the honour of the martyrs in the national capital by the CRPF residents and personnel.
Even the members of the Indian diaspora reacted to the attack as they gathered outside the Victorian parliament in Melbourne on February 16 to protest.
Their chants reflected patriotism and contempt of Pakistan’s Support to terrorism. A social media campaign has also been ignited through the states.
Navjot Singh Sidhu
Going against the common opinion, Navjot Singh Sindhu sparked controversy around the attack when he claimed that it’s wrongful to blame an entire nation for the attack. Before going deep into the discussion around this, here is a little background on Navjot Singh Sidhu’s political career:
Sidhu is a minister of the Local Government, Tourism, Cultural Affairs, Archives and Museums in the state of Punjab. Earlier affiliated to Bharatiya Janta Party, he is currently a member of the Indian National Congress.
Controversial Relations With Pakistan :
Navjot Singh Sidhu was invited to the oath-taking ceremony of the Imran Khan, newly elected Prime Minister of Pakistan.
He also was attracted disapproval over his decision to hug the Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistani Army, Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Responding to the acquisitions he said that Bajwa promised him the opening of the corridor before the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. After the corridor opening was executed, Navjot Singh Sidhu showed his appreciation to the Pakistani Prime Minister and his former Cricketing Friend.
Yet again in the year 2018, Sidhu sparked off another controversy with a photo of Gopal Singh Chawla, a Khalistani separatist leader.
Sidhu’s response to this was that he encountered too many people while his stay in Pakistan and that he was unaware of who Chawla was.
Sidhu’s Remarks on the Pulwama Attack:
One day after the Pulwana Attack, Sidhu during his appearance on The Kapil Sharma Show made remarks of whose repercussions he is facing till date. While describing the attack as an act of cowardice. However, he continued by quoting:
“For a handful of people, can you blame the entire nation and can you blame an individual?”
This statement invited a lot of criticism as Navjot is identified here as speaking in favour of his friend, the Pakistani Prime Minister.
Opposition political parties have demanded his resignation from the party and the host of the Kapil Sharma Show, that is, Kapil Sharma himself responded to these statements by releasing Sidhu from his position in the show and he is said to be replaced by Archana Puran Singh.
Sidhu also mentioned the 1999 hijack of an Indian Airlines flight and questioned the release those involved in the Kandahar incident.
He claimed that the nation should see terrorism as the problem at hand and urged not to identify terrorism with any particular nation and to look for a permanent solution.
Sidhu’s comments can be seen in terms of his support towards Pakistan and towards his treatment of terrorism as an issue of humanity, untied to any country in question.
It is the former explanation that has ignited the negative remarks accompanying the statement.
Despite the flow of criticism, Sidhu did not defer from his claims and continued on his stand of seeing only terrorism and not Pakistan as the issue at hand.
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Picture Credit: Google Images