Balakot has been a game-changer. The country crossed the lakshman rekha of nuclear blackmail by Pakistan. In fact, Afghanistan’s former Chief of Intelligence, Rahmatullah Nabil, is reported to have said that “India should have done this (Balakot strikes) much earlier”. There was adequate justification for taking action in the wake of Jaish-e-Mohammad’s attack on the parliament in December 2001. The government, in fact, mobilised forces for ‘Operation Parakram’, but it fizzled out under international pressure and the forces were sent back to barracks after ten months. The 26/11 Mumbai attacks offered another opportunity in 2008 when Lashkar-e-Taiba’s foot soldiers killed 175 people in Mumbai. The country, however, tolerated what was an intolerable onslaught on its sovereignty. It was left to the present government to say, ‘enough is enough’.
There are enough indications that terrorist strikes in future would not go unpunished. That is how it should be. Countries which are averse to taking risks in upholding their territorial integrity end up in the garbage of history.