Opinion: Ceasefire Violations: Causes and Implications
Intro: The Pakistani army is continuing unprovoked firing across the LoC/IB only to register its presence.
Ceasefire violations along the line of control (LoC) and the international border (IB) with Pakistan are a cause of concern; they are increasing tensions and blocking forward movement in relations between Indian and Pakistan; they are causing avoidable loss of life and property to the already hard pressed people living in the border areas; and most alarming is the fact that they can become a catalyst for conflict escalation.
Pakistan is already embroiled in a civil war like situation in North Waziristan and is facing a political stand-off with Islamabad: it is also fighting debilitating insurgency/terrorism in most of its provinces. Yet, the Pakistan army is not desisting from keeping the LoC/IB with India heated up! It is engaging in this wholly counter-productive adventurism despite knowing full well that nothing good can be achieved from the same.
It would not be out of place to suggest that a large number of Pakistan based organisations with different motives, intentions and objectives are contributing to the unfortunate state of affairs leading to cease fire violations and tension along the LoC/IB.
It is well known that infiltration of terrorists from Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK) into Indian territories of Jammu and Kashmir is carried out by fundamentalist Jihadi organisations operating from Pakistan, who are assisted in their evil designs by the Pakistan army. Pakistani troops and rangers deployed along the LoC/IB provide the covering fire to facilitate infiltration. Under pressure from their financers as well as their depleted cadre operating in the Kashmir valley to build up terrorist strength in the region, the Jihadists in view of the forthcoming assembly elections are today in a sense of urgency to get terrorists across LoC.
But because, the LoC fencing and strong counter insurgency grid in Jammu and Kashmir have made infiltration a very difficult process. A large number of infiltrating terrorists are being killed during the bid itself. Therefore, the number and intensity of bids has increased drastically and so has the need for covering fire; hence, more ceasefire violations. Since traditional routes along the LoC are not producing the desired results attempts are being made along the IB leading to heating up of the border in Jammu region. The imperative need of infiltrating terrorists, therefore, continues to be a major reason for the ceasefire violations.
The bonhomie witnessed during the visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to India to attend the swearing -in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi rang alarm bells to the Pakistan Army as well as the jihadi organisations.
As Pakistan army is very conscious of the downslide in its traditionally dominant position in the political environment of the country. The best option for the Pakistan army and the Jihadis in this scenario is to join hands and heat up the LoC/IB to break down the trust building between the two countries. This is exactly what they are doing.
They are quite paranoid about Indian military intentions. While being engaged in the civil war like situation in North Waziristan the top brass of the Pakistan army wants to create an impression that it continues to dominate the eastern border with India. By resorting to firing and so-called “area domination” they feel that they can create the necessary smokescreen. Indian has, of course, given no reason for this wariness and the Pakistani fear is unfounded.
A pragmatic consideration of the situation along the Loc/IB with Pakistan would lead to a conclusion that the situation will not change in the short term. There is nobody in Pakistan who has the stature, the authority or the will to break the stand-off. Now it is left to India to deal with the adverse situation in the best possible manner.
Meanwhile, India has limited options to deal with the situation. Talks cannot produce results because what is happening is specifically to stall the dialogue process. Conflict escalation could lead to open military confrontation that would pull back India from its path of development and glory and should therefore be the last resort.
In continuation of efforts for bringing peace in Kashmir the 57th One Day Peace Conference was held at SKICC, Srinagar organised by Jammu And Kashmir Peace Foundation (JKPF) on the eve of 68th Independence Day. The organisation has been holding such conferences every year on national days for the last 20 years. This conference carried significance as it was chaired by Dr Ram Jethmalani honourable Member of Parliament (Chairman Kashmir Committee) and Dr Najma Haptullah, Hon’ble Union Minister for Minority Affairs representing Government of India participating as Chief Guest. Among other important guests of honor representing different sections of the society and community were – Hafeeza Muzaffar (President JKPF), Girish Juyal (National General Secretary JKPF), Farooq Rinzoo Shah (Chairman Kashmir Society), Ab. Rashid Kabuli (Ex. M.P.), B. Lateef Bukhari (Mirwaiz Central Kashmir, President Ulmah Fourm JKPF), K.N Pandita (President Jammu and Kashmir Study Centre).
The central government has reposed full faith in the security forces of the country and given them the freedom to respond as required by the situation on ground. This has been emphasized by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and even Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his one to one interactions with the Indian soldiers in J & K.
Diplomatically, some innovative measures need to be evolved to sensitise the international community about the situation along the frontier and make Pakistan roll back its adventurist policy before it is too late and open conflict emerges as the only option. Video footage of the firing and loss being suffered by the people needs to be sent across the world through diplomatic channels. Media can play an important role by projecting the right picture without indulging in sensationalism and mindless brinkmanship which kills the message. Because, an integrated, multi-pronged approach is the only method available to meet the challenge.
Jaibans Singh (The writer is the Editor of www.definceinfo.com and can be contacted at [email protected])