News Desk |
On February 21st, 2018, the Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said, “Indian army will give Pakistan a reply “sooner rather than later” for the February 10 attack on a military camp allegedly by militants of Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM). He added, “Pakistan thinks it is fighting a war that is paying them dividends but we have several options, including surgical strikes”.
India’s Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman claimed that Pakistan supported the attackers and that Pakistan will pay for its misadventure in which around six Indian soldiers and a civilian were killed. He further added, “The Indian army will honor the ceasefire and de-escalate tensions the day Pakistan stops sending terrorists across the line of control, referring to the 2003 agreement put in place as a confidence-building measure”.
Read more: The Reality of Surgical Strikes …
India has violated the ceasefire 125 times at LOC and Working Boundary in the first month of 2018. These violations resulted in the death of 7 civilians and injured 20 people. Since the beginning of 2018, Indian forces carried out more than 150 ceasefire violations along the LOC whereas the number of violations was 1300 in 2017 which left 52 dead and 175 injured.
During the interview, he was asked about the January 27th firing in Shopian which left three protestors dead, at a time when the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Bhatar Jantiya Party (BJP) government had withdrawn cases against stone-pelters on the suggestion of Dineshwar Sharma. Rawat replied, “The cases were withdrawn as a goodwill gesture but what goodwill are they (the stone pelters) showing? The pelting continues”. He defended the military actions and said, “stone-pelters were hampering military operations.
The father has a right to defend his son. If a girl (Kerala actress Priya Varrier) can approach the court because her wink has offended people, can’t a father do the same if he apprehends that his son would be arrested?
The army has a job to do. We don’t want collateral damage but what you expect us to do when we get surrounded by a stone-pelting mob? Even in Shopian, we fired in the air first”, he explained, making a reference to the controversial incident when an Indian Major Gogoi tied Kashmiri shawl weaver Farooq Ahmad Dar to the bonnet of a jeep last year, he stated, “Let me tell you, we honor local sentiments and don’t conduct operations during janazas (funeral processions) even though terrorists come there and fire in the air. What do you want me to do, have a seat in front of all jeeps. We got flak even for that”.
After these incidents, the police of Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) registered an FIR against the army after the Shopian incident. The father of Major Aditiya approached India’s Supreme Court to crush this complaint. Rawat replied, “The father has a right to defend his son. If a girl (Kerala actress Priya Varrier) can approach the court because her wink has offended people, can’t a father do the same if he apprehends that his son would be arrested?”
Indian generals have instructed its media not to show the families of Indian martyrs and just to focus and to show the soldiers killed by Pakistan to build a narrative that Pakistan is inflicting damage on India.
Foreign Office Director General for South Asia and Saarc Dr. Mohammad Faisal condemned the fresh ceasefire violation by the Indian forces in Rawalakot/Satwal Sector, which resulted in the martyrdom of the laborer working at a crush plant on the Poonch river bank.
He protested, “Despite calls for restraint, India continues to indulge in ceasefire violations. During the current year, the Indian forces have committed at least 391 ceasefire violations along the LoC and the Working Boundary, resulting in the martyrdom of 16 civilians and injuries to 65 others”.
Last year in April 2017, India announced its Joint Military Force Doctrine to counter “full spectrum of Military Conflicts”. One of the significant developments of this doctrine was that India was infatuated with “surgical strikes” supposed to counter terrorism. This term was used for the first time in September 2016.
Initially, India had relied on diplomatic maneuvering against the threat of terrorism. Last year, it had been claimed by Pakistan’s government that surgical strike was only a fake case in order to manage the pressure coming from Indian masses complaining that their state is not doing enough to counter so-called Pakistan backed terrorism.
Many international and national security analysts claimed that surgical strikes in military actions consisted of air strikes to be conducted with efficiency, precision and the element of surprise in it. To the contrary, India considers it a military action done by forces with lightning speed to hit and destruct enemy’s installation and coming back to the same position.
There is dire need to start negotiation on the table to end these violations and stop this blame game against each other because people living across the LOC are suffering. As Chief Minister of Indian Held Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti, tweeted on 12th Feb, 2018 against these ceasefire violations, “dialogue with Pakistan is necessary if we are to end the bloodshed. I know I will be labeled anti-national by news anchors tonight but that doesn’t matter. The people of J&K are suffering. We have to talk because war is not an option”.
Pursuing diplomatic efforts is need of the hour. India must calculate the consequences of any war escalation in that region.