Amid global concerns, hostilities between India and Pakistan-arch rivals with nuclear capabilities – is further escalating after India’s audacious military strike on September 23 across the Line of Control (LoC) that destroyed 40 terror training camps located in Pakistan.
In retaliation to India’s unprecedented offensive last month, alleged Pakistan-sponsored militants struck the camp in the garrison town of Baramulla, 50 kilometres northwest of Srinagar, the main city in Kashmir on October 2. One attack was on 46 Rashtriya Rifles camp of the army and the other on the adjacent Border Security Force camp in main town Baramulla. So far a BSF personnel has died and another has been injured.
Though both the countries can ill afford a war, they seem to nevertheless try to inflict injuries on each other.
India took 11 days to respond to the Uri terror attack on September 18. Similarly, Pakistan too chose its own time, place and scale of retaliation.
Like India, Pakistan too is keeping the surprise element intact. This is the reason why it has so far denied that any surgical strike at all took place, calling it a ‘cross-border’ firing instead.
India’s surgical strike was not aimed at attacking Pakistan per se. Instead it was aimed at driving its point on how Pakistan is the epicentre of terroristic activities, which has now spilled over across the border and around the globe. In fact, the same terror elements have taken a toll on hundreds of lives in Pakistan as well.
Aided and abetted by Pakistan, terror attacks across India that began more than three decades back has continued and grown in magnitude and frequency. The list of alleged Pakistan-sponsored acts of terrorism is endless. Be it the 26/11 attack in 2008 on Mumbai or the bombing of Samjahauta Express in 2007, all fingers point at the western neighbours.
Realizing the enormity of the possible consequences of these skirmishes, the global community wants India and Pakistan to defuse the tension through dialogue. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said India has never attacked any country nor ‘coveted’ anyone’s territory.
“This country has never been hungry for land. We have never attacked any other country,” PM Modi said, speaking for the first time in the aftermath of the army’s surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line of Control.
After inaugurating the PravasiBharatiya Kendra, a facility dedicated to the Indian community abroad, on Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary, PM Modi reminded how India has fought for others. “We are a nation that has laid down lives for others. During the two World Wars, more than 150,000 Indians died martyrs. Unfortunately, we have not been very effective in telling this to the world,” Modi told the audience.
Strikes and counter-strikes won’t draw a sustainable solution. It needs to be understood that Pakistan, over the years, has invested both financially and politicallyin building the infrastructure of terror networks. It cannot be dismantled overnight. Instead, it reportedly continues to shield some of the most high-profile terrorists of the world. Even Osama Bin Laden found Pakistan a safe haven!
Is there a way forward? It would be best to quote what India’s External Affairs Minister,Sushma Swaraj, said weeks ahead of the Uri attacks about New Delhi’s willingness to improve its relations with Islamabad.
“There is no full stop in diplomacy. It’s always a comma or a semicolon. And, after all this, people always move forward. There is no end to a diplomatic journey.”