, 14 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
THREAD Deconstructing the Indian foreign secretary's statement on "the Strike on JeM training camp at Balakot" (esp for those just starting their day in the US)
mea.gov.in/press-releases… 1/
The Indian FS also separately briefed diplomats (bit.ly/2INs2ye), and did a briefing for journalists 2/
GOI's public approach - thus far, just MEA out front (right pic) - is in contrast to post-Uri "surgical strikes" briefing (left pic) done jointly w/ the defence ministry (bit.ly/2GLiRwA). Signals desire to emph non-mil targets & minimize likelihood of escalation 3/
The Indian FonSec's stmt emphasizes Jaish-e-Mohammad's "bad guys" status, noting they are not first-time offenders (Parliament, Pathankot attacks) & that this is not just an Indian judgment, but int'l community recognizes this too - the UN has banned them. 4/
Indian FonSec's stmt reiterates Pakistan's connex to JeM. Says:
- based there, active for 2 decades
- ops too expansive for Pak "authorities" to claim deniability & estbs their complicity (by omission/commission)
- Pak's done nthg to take action vs JeM 5/
This in Indian FonSec's stmt also seems to be designed to counter view that hvn't been any asks that Pak cld comply with. Emph repeated ask to take action vs JeM & Pak has taken no "concrete" actions vs "infrastr of terrorism on its soil" (reminder that not just India-focused) 6/
Indian FS stmt makes case for action - an imminent threat (on Feb. 22, sources to reporters: bit.ly/2Nsx6He). Intended to limit escalatory potential + shape int'l response to India's move.
Recall GOI readout of Bolton call: "supported India's right to self-defence" 7/
Indian FS stmt details what action was taken, asserting:
- vs JeM training camp
- not an insignificant facility (contra Pak ISPR argument)
- in Balakot (see @joshuatwhite @d_jaishankar re its history as terrorist camp)
- link to Masood Azhar & his brother Yusuf 8/
Indian FS stmt describes IAF action as "non-military preemptive" i.e. targeting non-state actors that were poised to attack India. Also emph target carefully selected, incl to avoid civilian casualties.
Intent of language de-escalatory + shape int'l response 9/
Indian FS stmt ends w/ a call for Pakistan to live up to its CT commitments (tho not clear that IAF action makes it more likely that Pak will take action vs JeM). Echoes recent call by US & others for Pak to live up to promises & UNSC stmt asking "all states" to combat terr 10/
Overall, Indian FS stmt, briefings designed to
- make India's case for action
- emphasize it doesn't want to see situation escalate
- get int'l community to (1) limit criticism vs Indian action (2) urge Pak twd restraint/action vs terrorist groups/infrastructure 11/
Another possible sign of Indian desire to keep this from escalating are these leaks that it wasn't part of IAF's intention/initial plan to cross the LoC...
Thus far, GOI's kept rhetoric de-escalatory. But this ain't going to be easy. Post-Doklam, Uri strikes (+Myanmar cross-border), msg discipline went flying out of the window. GOI will hv to:
- ensure ministers careful re tweets/stmts
- resist temptation to leak videos/imgs 13/
Managing rhetoric on this is going to be esp challenging ahead of elections. It's a good sign that Indian foreign minister held an all-party mtg .
But, we've seen such unity/non-politicization fall apart before - after Uri strikes & even this one 14/
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