The response of Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan to the accusation of Pakistan’s involvement in the deadly terrorist attack in Pulwama India by the Indian authorities puts forth a strong narrative of Pakistan. In the last decade, Pakistan has rigorously fought the wave of terrorism in the country which has resulted in the loss of over 70,000 lives. The newly elected government also showed interest in developing friendly relations with India along with participating in ending the war in Afghanistan. With such a precedent being set, it is unreasonable to point fingers at Pakistan, that too without any credible evidence and right before the elections in India, when the anti-Pakistan rhetoric is at its peak.

Pakistan has pledged to help India if credible evidence is provided of Pakistan’s involvement in the incident. If anyone in Pakistan is proven guilty, PM Khan has promised to take action because he rightfully pointed out that carrying out extremist agendas is against the national interest of Pakistan - a country which at this point is aiming towards economic stability and greater regional cooperation. He also rightfully pointed out India’s consistency of backtracking on its promises of dialogue and initiating anti-Pakistan rhetoric whereas Pakistan has been time and again pushing towards peaceful Indo-Pak relations.

India needs to adopt a new political narrative which does not encourage hate speech against Pakistan. After the attack, the Indian media has been contemplating war against Pakistan or aggression of some form in the least. Such measures will not go unanswered from the Pakistani side and it is definitely not a move that both countries can afford at this point. The lesson, as pointed out by PM Khan, from the Afghanistan war is that military solutions are not working out which is why dialogue is important. India should now pursue this frame of reference rather than playing the role of an aggressor in the region.

Lastly, it was intelligent of the Pakistan government to not respond immediately to the attack. Pakistan had an important visit which would have been overshadowed by engaging in rhetoric politics. The Pakistani economy has bright prospects which cannot be overlooked because our neighbour points fingers at us for everything wrong in their own country. Pakistan has been a victim of terrorism in the region as well and if India wants stability, it should join the bandwagon of collaborative efforts because maintaining diplomatic clout will no longer work in their favour.