Terror blurs boundaries, and widens the arc of sympathy. In the wake of the barbaric terror attack on an army school in Peshawar which killed 132 students, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi promptly picked up the phone and rang up his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif and shared India’s “heard-rending sorrow and pain” at this horrific assault and stressed the need for joining hands to defeat the scourge of terror.
Mr Modi called Mr Sharif on December 16 evening, soon after the latter returned from Peshawar to Islamabad. In his telephonic conversation, Mr Modi “condemned in the strongest terms the brutal terrorist attack” and underlined that “this savage killing of innocent children, who are the epitome of the finest human values, in a temple of learning was not only an attack against Pakistan, but an assault against the entire humanity.”
“At a time when the world is getting disturbingly accustomed to acts of terror, this terrible tragedy has shaken the conscience of the world,” Mr Modi told Mr Sharif. He conveyed that “the people of India shared the heart-rending pain and sorrow of the bereaved families and the people of Pakistan and stood with them in solidarity in this hour of immeasurable grief.”
Prime Minister Modi also expressed hope that “the children who had witnessed the horrific attack and loss of their friends would come through this trauma through counselling.”
In a compelling message, Mr Modi conveyed to Mr Sharif that “this moment of shared pain and mourning is also a call for our two countries and all those who believe in humanity to join hands to decisively and comprehensively defeat terrorism, so that the children in Pakistan, India and elsewhere do not have to face a future darkened by the lengthening shadow of terrorism.”
In a separate message, President Pranab Mukherjee said that “such heinous acts are against all tenets of humanity” and exhorted the world community to redouble efforts to root out terror.
India’s message of solidarity in this dark hour of Pakistan has underscored the need for Islamabad to address the causes of terror and shed ambivalence about using terror as an instrument of policy.
Pakistan plunged into national mourning after the cold-blooded massacre of 132 children triggered howls of outrage and grief across the spectrum. The massacre has intensified pressure on Pakistan’s military and civilian dispensation to decisively crush Islamist militancy, with Mr Sharif vowing to take the battle against the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan to the finish.
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