IT was a bloody Sunday in the vicinity of the Line of Control as at least six civilians and an army jawan embraced martyrdom in AJK due to “indiscriminate shelling” by Indian forces.
The Pakistan Army replied in kind to the provocation, with the ISPR saying that around nine Indian soldiers were killed in the Pakistani counterattack.
The Indians have claimed that “terror launch pads” were targeted on the Pakistani side, but this claim is hardly credible as all evidence shows that innocent civilians were murdered in cold blood by New Delhi’s forces.
According to the Foreign Office, since 2017, the Indians have committed nearly 2,000 ceasefire violations. Such reckless behaviour on the part of New Delhi is totally unacceptable, and in the highly charged atmosphere currently prevailing in South Asia it is akin to playing with fire. Emotions are running high, mainly due to India’s brutal lockdown of India-held Kashmir, and such flagrant violations are sure to draw a response from Pakistan. It would be fair to ask if ultra-hawkish elements within the Indian establishment are purposely seeking to escalate matters with Pakistan.
If India claims it has smashed what it calls terrorist infrastructure in this country, where is the evidence?
The FO has rightly called upon the five permanent UNSC member states “to ask India to provide information about the alleged launch pads”.
The fact is that the state has cracked down on militant groups, and there is no evidence that infiltration into India or across the LoC is occurring from this country. Rather, it seems that the Indians are attempting to promote a psychological warfare campaign against Pakistan.
This is also being done to take the world’s focus away from the atrocious human rights situation in occupied Kashmir.
It seems that the Indian establishment is using a mixture of lies, brinkmanship and violence to cook up another crisis. However, beating the drums of war is one thing; managing a fight between two nuclear-armed states is quite another.
It is hoped that the Hindu extremist clique that rules India realises that should tensions increase to the point of conflict, it will wreak massive devastation in this region.
India needs to immediately cease its hostile behaviour along the LoC and end the siege of IHK. A new conflict in South Asia will be in no one’s interest — and will only worsen matters for the toiling masses.
Published in Dawn, October 22nd, 2019