Why India Accelerated Ceasefire Violations Along the Loc?
On the one hand, India has accelerated ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC), but, on the other hand, it is accusing Pakistan for the same by following the threatening diplomacy.
In this regard, Indian media, including “The Times of India” allegedly reported on October 1, this year: “In what will be read as a signal to the new government of Imran Khan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday [September 30] warned that the Indian Army will respond firmly to any ceasefire violation by Pakistan and other provocative actions intended to disturb peace and spark violence…our soldiers will give a befitting reply to whosoever makes an attempt to destroy the atmosphere of peace and progress in our nation. The PM’s remarks on the officially promoted second anniversary of surgical strikes on terror launch pads in Pakistan-Kashmir and in the backdrop of India’s decision to cancel a meeting between Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers can indicate recourse to a tougher or more proactive response to violence along the LoC. The Modi government has followed a policy of heavy retaliatory firing on the LoC and the IB [International Border] in J&K [Jammu & Kashmir]”.
Hindustan Time wrote on September 30, 2018: “A day after a special police officer (SPO) attached with legislator from Wachi, Ajaz Mir, decamped with seven rifles and one pistol from the official residence of the legislator at high security zone Jawhar Nagar, the J&K director general of police (DGP) said that the SPO was in touch with the militants…We have found that the SPO had joined the other side (militants)…Police will take action against all those found involved in dereliction of their duties.”
It is mentionable that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s extremist party-BJP had got a land sliding triumph in the Indian elections 2014 on the basis of anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan slogans. Therefore, since the Prime Minister Modi came to power, he has been implementing anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan agenda with the support of fanatic coalition outfits. Now, same slogans-based policy has become the BJP strategy to win the Indian general elections 2019.
In this context, in her speech at the 73rd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s had slammed Pakistan on September 29, this year by raising false allegations of infiltration in the Indian Controlled Kashmir and of harbouring terrorists.
Reacting strongly to Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s verbal attack on Pakistan, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on September 29, 2018 said in his address at UNGA: “The neighbouring country rejected the Pakistani offer of resuming peace talks on ‘flimsy grounds…India is exporting terrorism to Pakistan and other countries in the region. Kulbhushan Jadhav is an example of India exporting terrorism to its neighbouring countries.”
Qureshi, maintained that Pakistan wanted ties with India based on mutual respect by adding: “We are ready to talk to India on all issues but with respect…Kashmir issue is the biggest obstacle to regional peace…the Indian forces subjecting Kashmiris to atrocities for seven decades. India should not test Pakistan’s patience…we will respond to Indian aggression…The latest UN report on the occupied Kashmir has exposed Indian atrocities on innocent civilians…the meeting between the Pakistani and Indian foreign ministers would’ve been a great opportunity for dialogue. But, the Modi government chose politics over dialogue…India would have to bear the brunt of Pakistan’s retaliation if it makes the mistake of any misadventure on the Line of Control (LoC)”.
Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s address has “disappointed” Congress leader Shashi Tharoor who feels that all the Pakistan bashing in New York was aimed at the BJP voters. His other objection to her speech on Saturday [September 29] was that it did not portray India in a good light.
It is mentionable that report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released on June 14, 2018-“Situation in Kashmir” is pointed out Indian atrocities in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK). It said: “From July 2016, the High Commissioner for Human Rights has on numerous occasions requested the Governments of India and Pakistan that his Office be given unconditional access to Kashmir to assess the human rights situation. India rejected this request; while Pakistan offered access…The refusal to allow unhindered access to United Nations team into Indian-Administered-Kashmir gave rise to an idea of “Remote Monitoring”. The report was then compiled by doing “remote monitoring” on the situation of Human Rights in Kashmir. The report by the independent authority is an eye-opener for many. The focus of the report is on the situation of human rights in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir from July 2016 to April 2018. During this period ‘OHCHR’ received reports of allegations of widespread and serious human rights violations by Indian security forces that led to numerous civilian casualties.
Nevertheless Kashmir has become Achilles Heels for India. Since the publishing of the United Nations Human Rights on “Situation in Kashmir”, Indian frustration has increased manifolds. India attempted to ventilate the frustration by hollow claims and usual allegations against Pakistan as noted at UNGA’s recent session. On the contrary, Islamabad used a decent and mature posture to project the sufferings and struggle of innocent Kashmiri people against unlawful occupation of IOK. Pakistan’s mature stance has even attracted appreciation of Indian external affairs expert like Shashi Tharoor who censured speech of India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
Failing to get acknowledgement in UNGA, New Delhi has started accusing Pakistan for failure in resumption of dialogue. On the contrary, it was India which avoided resuming dialogue on petty pretexts.
It is mentionable that Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat on September 22, this year threatened Pakistan with retaliation over its alleged involvement in killing of a border guard and policemen in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK).
Indian electronic media quoted Gen, Rawat as saying: “We need to take stern action to avenge the barbarism that terrorists and Pakistan Army have been carrying out”, and threatened “surprise attack [surgical strike] on Pakistan…teaching Pakistan a lesson.”
The remarks come a day after New Delhi called off a meeting scheduled for talks between the foreign ministers of Pakistan and India.
On the same day, reacting to the Indian army chief’s threat and reckless remarks, the Director-General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor advised “India not to get into war-mongering as a ruse to deflect international challenges…Pakistan is a nuclear nation and is ready to give a befitting reply to any misadventure…Pakistan’s desire for peace should not be taken for weakness…Pakistan is a peace loving country and has played an unparalleled role as forces of peace in the region.”
Warning India of stern military repercussions and urging Indian army chief to abstain from deteriorating peace situation, Maj. Gen. Ghafoor added: “War is never a solution to any problem. Pakistan has always positively responded to all peace initiatives. It’s India who backs out from the dialogue…Indian army has been indulged in its country’s politics in the wake of corruption scandals…the Indian government is under criticism internally from the opposition on various corruption scams and failure of economic agenda. Such statements are attempts to divert domestic narrative towards Pakistan…India is trying to divert attention from the domestic problem and is resorting to baseless propaganda…No Pakistani troop was involved in the mutilation of an Indian soldier.”
Regarding Indian ceasefire violations across the LoC, in the recent past, the DG of ISPR said, “Indian army started unprovoked firing along the LoC in different sectors, targeting civilian populations. Pakistan army troops responded effectively to Indian ceasefire violations and targeted those posts which [had] initiated unprovoked firing.”
Similarly, Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal stated that so far “in 2018, Indian forces carried out more than 150 ceasefire violations along the LoC and the Working Boundary in just 20 days, resulting in the death of nine innocent civilians. In 2017, more than 1,300 Indian ceasefire violations, the highest ever in the recent past, have resulted in 52 deaths…and 175 were injured…The ceasefire violations by India are a threat to regional peace and security and may lead to a strategic miscalculation.” The FO spokesperson urged India to “respect the 2003 ceasefire arrangement.
He added, “The Indian side should permit the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan [UNMOGIP] to play its mandated role as per the UN Security Council resolutions…Ceasefire violations are a frequent feature along the LoC and Working Boundary despite the leadership of Pakistan Rangers and India’s Border Security Forces agreeing in November 2017 that the spirit of a 2003 ceasefire agreement must be revived to protect innocent lives.”
Surprisingly, on September 24, 2018, Indian Army Chief Rawat again threatened Pakistan by saying that I “want another surgical strike’ on terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC)…time is ripe for such action…But I will not disclose how we intend to go about it.”
On the other side, talking to media in London on October 13, this year, DG of ISPR, Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor stated: “Pakistan will launch 10 times, if India launches one surgical strike”.
It is noteworthy that a leading newspaper of Pakistan wrote on September 30, 2018: “The current hardening of position by the government of India is directly linked to its general elections which are due early next year. The ruling BJP cannot afford to be seen soft on “terror”— a frightening bogey which has been created and which in India is now synonymous with Pakistan…This intransigence and refusal to engage and talk has not only held the people of Kashmir hostage, but by placing the region on the dangerous trajectory that it is currently moving on, it is a threat to the people of both the countries. Kashmir stands as a potential nuclear flashpoint between them which will consume the lives of millions of people in an instant.”
Nonetheless, as per instructions of the Prime Minister Modi, Indian forces have accelerated ceasefire violations along the LoC, as Modi wants to divert the attention of Indians from the domestic problems and scandals such as corruption etc. Another major purpose of the BJP-led government is to malign Pakistan and its security agencies by creating war-hysteria inside India to win the forthcoming elections.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations