News Analysis |
Defence Attaches of US, UK, France, China, Turkey and Indonesia visited Line of Control (LOC) in Rawalakot Sector of Azad Jammu & Kashmir to get firsthand knowledge of India’s ceasefire violations which resulted in the deaths of several civilians on February 23rd, 2018. The men were briefed about Indian agitation along the LOC and deliberate targeting of civilians. They also interacted with the families of the victims of Indian shelling and firing, Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) reported. They were further updated about Pakistan’s Army’s activities to provide relief to the people of Kashmir.
In the meantime, AJK President Sardar Masood Khan called on Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa at the General Headquarters. He admired Pakistan Army’s efforts for its contribution in the security and development of the region. They agreed to continue the policy of restraint against Indian provocations as it was the Kashmiris who suffered most from escalation on both sides.
Senior military leadership in India seems to believe that India has ‘options’ against Pakistan, including ‘surgical strikes’. What they fail to realize is that Pakistan can also play this game of escalation dominance, even though Pakistan has shown great restraint so far.
The day before, Pakistan summoned India’s Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh for the fourth time in a month in order to condemn unprovoked firing by India across the LOC.
According to Pakistan Foreign Office, India has allegedly carried about more than 335 ceasefire violations along LOC and the International Border (IB) in 2018 which left 15 civilians dead and 65 injured. It claimed that Indian forces committed more than 1,970 ceasefire violations in 2017. India continues these violations to pursue its objective of diverting the attention of the international community from the massive human rights violations by the Indian military in Indian Held Kashmir.
India is in breach of the Ceasefire Agreement which was signed by the two countries in November 2003. Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO) spokesman Mohammad Faisal said at the weekly briefing in the last week, “During 2017, there were more than 1,300 Indian ceasefire violations, [that] have resulted in 52 deaths and [left] 175 injured. We have consistently stressed that Indian aggression is a threat to regional peace and tranquility.” India’s aspiration in doing these violations is to legitimize its massive oppression of the Kashmiri masses who are asking for their right of self-determination in IHK.
The UN’s military mission is only able to operate on Pakistan controlled side of the LoC, as India refuses to accept its functioning on the other side and opposes its expansion, said the UN Secretary General Banki Moon in 2016.
The most recent development was that 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.”
These kinds of statements may escalate tensions between the two nuclear states. Most of the national and international defence analysts see LOC as the most dangerous place in the world. The recent killings which include the killing of a 23-year-old labourer in Hajira sector of Poonch district on Thursday, a boy in Khuiratta sector of Kotli district on Feb 19th, and a school van driver in Hajira sector of Poonch district on Feb 15th, proves that the bloodletting continues in the region due to Indian aggravation.
Targeting civilians is a tactic used for terrorizing or frightening entire populations. These crimes against humanity have necessitated immediate intervention of the United Nations and big powers. Grave and unceasing human rights violations by India across the LOC led Pakistan to take the defence attachés of six nations to show them firsthand the unspeakable human suffering caused by India’s brutality and, secondly, to bring this matter to the attention of the international community.
India continues these violations to pursue its objective of diverting the attention of the international community from the massive human rights violations by the Indian military in Indian Held Kashmir.
This demonstrates Pakistan’s seriousness in stopping this violence and its respect for human rights of the people living there. This visit may pressurize India to stop unprovoked firing across the border.
If the international community, especially the United Nations, does not pay attention to this alarming situation along the LOC, a direct confrontation between two nuclear states may occur, causing irrepressible damage in a war, conventional or otherwise. The UN’s military mission is only able to operate on Pakistan controlled side of the LoC, as India refuses to accept its functioning on the other side and opposes its expansion, said the UN Secretary General Banki Moon in 2016.
Senior military leadership in India seems to believe that India has ‘options’ against Pakistan, including ‘surgical strikes’. What they fail to realize is that Pakistan can also play this game of escalation, even though Pakistan has shown great restraint so far. That does not bode well for the people of the region. India must end its ceasefire violations to normalize the situation.