Pak science minister Fawad Chaudhry
Pak science minister Fawad Chaudhry
File Photo

Earlier on Thursday (October 29), Pakistan's Federal Minister for Science and Technology, Fawad Chaudhry, controversially made the claim that Pulwama was a 'great achievement' under the country's prime minister Imran Khan's leadership.

While addressing the National Assembly on this day, the Federal Minister said that Pakistan has "attacked India after infiltrating its very own land" and that the achievement has been accomplished under the regime of Imran Khan. On a boastful note, Fawad Chaudhry even said that all those present ought to take pride in the incident.

Suffice to say, the comments received substantial online backlash, in light of the fact that Pakistan had, since now, denied any involvement in the 2019 Pulwama attack, which resulted in the deaths of 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and had received widespread condemnation in India.

In an ostensible cover-up of his loose talk, the minister later hit back at his critics, claiming they misunderstood his statements.

Chaudhry quoted a tweet from the retired Major Gaurav Arya, a well-known Defence Analyst frequently appearing on television, and said, "Meri jaan hear full speech so you will know unlike #Endian definition of #GhussKMarna by using terrorism n Kalbhoshans our #GhussKMarna is when our planes target combat installations, unlike Your security doctrine we do not show Bravery by killing innocents n we condemn terrorism."

Now, even if you ignore the obnoxious patronising tone that is so unbecoming of someone holding the post of a federal minister, there's a lot to unpack here.

The minister claimed that his statement was being taken out of context and that if only one were to listen to his full statement, they'd know what he meant by "Ghuss Ke Marna". He said that the phrase carries different connotations in India and Pakistan, quite an absurd claim even by Chaudhry's accounts.

He seems to have forgotten that the rhetoric of jingoism is unmistakable, no matter if it's made in Hindi or Urdu.

The minister argued, in terrible hamstringed language, that what he meant by 'great achievement' was actually targeting "combat installations" and subsequently slammed India on a host of factors in a single breath.

His 'Kalbhoshan' jibe also seemed to be a random juvenile sneer at Kulbhushan Yadav, the retired Indian naval officer who was arrested in Pakistan under charges of terrorism. Although India has denied on numerous counts the claims of Yadav being a spy, Pakistan continues to implicate him in alleged subversive activities.

It is to be noted that India had, of course, always blamed Pakistan for orchestrating the Pulwama attack, the responsibility for which was claimed by the terrorist organisation Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

Among security quarters, it is widely believed that the JeM is a creation of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency. Even the BBC News had, in an article published a day later, reported that "the involvement of JeM in the car bombing directly links Pakistan to the attack."

If one were to be completely honest, ranting on social media and sub-tweeting for being called out over loose talk might be a strategy linked to several anonymous accounts on Twitter, but is now, apparently also the choice of federal minister in Pakistan, who took just a bit too long to come up with a tepid apologia for his loose talk.

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Free Press Journal