Cover Story: No Nonsense
Intro: Since 1947, Pakistan has been using notorious policy of promoting cross border terrorism under the cover of military shelling. Now the time has changed. Diplomatically isolated, domestically unstable and economically shattered Pakistan has now got the befitting reply from a strong and rejuvenated India. The message is loud and clear, “NO NONSENSE”.
Pakistan’s intention has always been to spread volatility in India. Unable to digest India’s improving relations with the neighbouring nations, and of its increasing influence and ability to harness support internationally, Pakistan has once again stirred up ceasefire violations across Line of Control and International Border. The regular violation are mostly the result of Pakistan’s increasing insecurity and uneasiness.
Giving a befitting reply to the “totally unprovoked” shelling by Pakistan, India feels that it has resorted to this action to raise the temperature and to bring the focus on Kashmir—Earlier Pakistan had tried to raise the Kashmir issue at the United Nations (UN). Having failed to garner attention it is felt the recent violations across the border is to escalate tensions to the draw the world attention. Moreover, the way Indian Army went out of its way to help the flood victims, being well aware that the image of the Indian Army amidst the Kashmiris has improved significantly, to counter it, Pakistan fired at Indian posts on the night before Dusshera even when the Border Security Force (BSF) Jawans chose not to retaliate after the first incident of firing on October 2 following Pakistan’s loss to India in the Asiad hockey final.
This time around, not only the BSF posts are being targeted, but the villages that lie along the Indian side of the LoC have also been aimed at – resulting in about 12 civilian causalities. It’s not new to have Pakistan violating the ceasefire, but this time the uniqueness of this violation must be given special attention to. Earlier, Pakistan used to fire along the LoC, but this time around it is firing along the International border only.
Old Tactics, Changed Response
1. May: Nawaz Sharif attends Modi’s swearing-in ceremony; India-Pakistan agress to resume secretary level talks.
5. October: Sudden rise in the shelling along LoC and International border targeting Jammu region, 15 Pakistani killed in retaliation by BSF, and some major posts in Pakistan destroyed;
During the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) floods recently, it’s been analysed that a lot of terrorist camps and Pakistan border post got destructed in floods. It is believed that this has largely affected the infiltration of terrorist from the Pakistani side.
Every year Pakistan infiltrate terrorists into the Indian Territory at a particular timing. Due to these floods, the Pakistani Army didn’t get much time to do so this year. The season will change in November, and Hills would have their share of snowfall and then there’d by elections as well. Infiltration is certainly not possible during the snowfall, making it a reason for Pakistan to shell the border and keep the military busy in combating the firing across borders than combating the infiltration.
Meanwhile, after having exercising restraint for long, this time, India has left no stone unturned to give a befitting reply to Pakistan. Our neighbour probably thought that-since the area in which its firing is institutionalised is manned by BSF, it would be easier to dominate them. But Pakistan has got a reply in its own language and this response has aptly shaken it to the core.
It is also extremely pivotal to understand that Pakistan is now targeting areas where residents are mostly Hindus. Earlier during the ceasefire-violation incidents, Pakistan had mostly broken the ceasefire in the Kashmir Valley. But, this time, Samba district of Jammu, that had fallen to Pakistani firing later last week is essentiality a Hindu dominated area. Pakistan call this area as a working boundary, where as we call it our international Border.
It is extremely difficult to ascertain who started the firing first. Pakistan can allege that at India, but the whole world knows whose provocateur in this from decades.
Previously, the Government of India had a very casual attitude towards the ceasefire violation. But this time, the armed forces have been told to give the most appropriate reply to Pakistan for all its anti-India endeavors. But, situations at ground suggest that India doesn’t want any war with Pakistan right now, and neither is the Pakistani Army in position to fight a war with India. At present Pakistani soldiers are employed in Northern Waziristan over the operation “Jarbe–Ajab”. Henceforth, to establish instability in Kashmir– Pakistan is trying to infiltrate terrorist under the veil of firing. The need of hour is that Government of India must use all its handles to put pressure on Pakistan so that the Pakistani Army is restrained in these mischiefs beyond a point.
The Kashmir Raga crooned by Nawaz Sharif at the UN General Assembly was undoubtedly, the rhetorical view of Pakistan Army instead of Sharif and history is testimony to the fact that whatever happens in Pakistan does not happen without the consensus of the Pakistani Army.
Nawaz Sharif also knows his miniscule importance in front of the Army. It’ll be better for him to drop his Anti-India endeavours if he wishes to decrease Pakistan Army's influences and interruptions in Pakistan’s national affairs.
Alok Bansal (The writer is the Director, Centre for Security & Strategy, India Foundation New Delhi) Translated by Divyansh Dev