Posted on 14 October 2014.
By Sajjad Shaukat
Since October 6, this year, India accelerated cross-border shelling along the Line of Control
(LoC) and Working Boundary (WB) and killed several innocent persons including their animals
inside Pakistan. It compelled tens thousands of the residents of the villages to migrate to safe
areas, with their livestock and other belongings.
In this regard, spokesman of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Maj-General Asim
Bajwa said that Pakistan Rangers and troops “befittingly” responded to “unprovoked firing” by
Indian Border Security Forces (BSF) and military troops. He also clarified that Pakistan’s Armed
Forces are fully prepared to meet any aggression.
Regarding these constant violations, Pakistan government has lodged a strong protest, and also
raised the issue with the UN Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan, asking for a visit of
the observers to the affected areas.
Meanwhile, in India where Pakistan is accused of starting the skirmishes, leader of the
fundamentalist party BJP and Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi is reported to have given a
free hand to the Indian forces to go on aggressively with the violations. While, Pakistan’s Prime
Minister Nawaz Shariff convened a meeting of the National Security Committee on Oct 10, this
year, and discussed the recent ceasefire violations by India at the LoC and WB.
It is notable that by acting upon a preplanned scheme, Indian soldiers crossed over the LoC in
Kashmir on January 6, 2013 and attacked a Pakistani check post, killing one Pakistani soldier
and injuring many troops. Contrarily, on December 24, 2013, New Delhi agreed for the meeting
of Directors-General Military Operations (DGMOs) of both the countries, who met in Pakistan,
and discussed specific measures strengthening the bilateral ceasefire mechanism across the LoC.
While, Islamabad and India had on November 25, 2003, agreed to observe ceasefire along all
areas of WB, LoC and the Actual Ground Position Line in Jammu and Kashmir. However,
Pakistan military indicated that Indian hostility has gradually increased since 2010 making lives
of civil population living in closer vicinity of the LoC and WB difficult. Indian troops committed
86 ceasefire violations in 2011, 230 in 2012 and 414 in 2013. But, Indians have again resorted
to unprovoked firing for about 224 times on both LoC and WB and killed several people on the
Pakistani side this year.
In this context, military officials further elaborated that Indian perennial escalation across the
LoC and WB is according to a deliberate plan. So question arises as to why India continues
cross-border shelling inside Pakistan.
In fact, by promoting Hindu chauvinism on the basis of anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan slogans,
extremist party, BJP won a landslide victory in the India elections 2014 by defeating the
Congress. Now, BJP-led Prime Minister Modi has been implementing its party’s agenda against
Pakistan. In this context, recent upsurge in skirmishes across the LoC and WB is also linked
to upcoming elections in Indian occupied Kashmir, as BJP again wants to make Pakistan
a scapegoat. Therefore, the border violations, accompanying hostile statements by Indian
leadership are aimed at motivating support base before the elections, and even the expected delay
in polls in Kashmir would provide more time to the Indian side to hype up sentiments at the cost
of Pakistan. The BJP government is looking at winning a majority in the Kashmir assembly so
that it could fulfill its manifesto pledge of revoking the special status, given to Kashmir under
Indian constitution’s Article 370, and to strengthen its measures to annex the area.
As regards Indian covert aims, BJP rulers are trying to divert attention of international
community from the Kashmir dispute, while, Kashmiri leaders and Pakistan have been keeping
this issue in limelight.
In this connection, terming the support and advocacy of the right to self determination of the
people of Jammu and Kashmi (J&K), Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, while addressing 69th
session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), stressed for settlement of the Kashmir
issue, and offered Pakistan’s readiness to endeavor for the same through negotiations. He also
reminded the international community of its pledge for holding “plebiscite” in the Indian-
held Kashmir, and resolves the issue in accordance with UN Charter. The speech generated
appreciations from the political circles of Pakistan and Kashmir as well. It is also acknowledged
that the speech is true reflection of sentiments of the people of Pakistan, who believe that peace
and prosperity in south Asia is inter- linked with solution of core dispute of Kashmir between
Pakistan and India.
Islamabad’s successful attempt at the UNGA seems to have irked Indian political, diplomatic and
journalist circles. Under the growing frustration, a notoriously controversial journalist affiliated
with the Indian NDTV namely Barkha Dutt engaged Pakistan’s prime minister’s special advisor
on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, and managed to create a controversy through aggressive posture
to make him concede that Pakistani High Commissioner Abdul Basit’s meeting with the
Kashmiri leadership in New Delhi was ill-timed, and affected secretary level engagements with
Pakistan. No doubt, Barkha-Aziz episode has been projected, because under the pretext, India
cancelled secretary level talks with Islamabad.
Moreover, Indian media created an impression that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by highlighting
Kashmir issue made an effort to improve relations with military establishment in the backdrop of
the protesters of the sit-ins led by PTI and PAT. It also generated controversy of gray relations
between political and military echelons of Pakistan. By increasing cross-border shelling, New
Delhi also wants to create pressure on Islamabad and the Armed Forces in wake of present
political turmoil—and military operation Zarb-e-Azb which successfully continues against
terrorists in North Waziristan Agency.
It is of particular attention that BJP leader Dr. Subramaniam Swami stated on July 12, 2014 that
India needed only two years to defeat Pakistan militarily, and the only solution of Kashmir was
war, as “there is no peaceful, democratic solution. Responding to the withdrawal of the US-
led NATO forces from Afghanistan, he remarked, “Americans will hand over Afghanistan to
Taliban and go…India should send at least 200,000 troops to Afghanistan.”
In these terms, Indian hawks think that in the aftermath of the withdrawal of NATO, they will
keep their anti-Pakistan network in Afghanistan by harming the genuine interests of Pakistan
which shares geographical, cultural and religious bonds with the former, and is determined to
bring peace and stability there.
Now, as part of its blame game, India has intensified unprovoked firing at the LoC in Kashmir
and WB in Sialkot to delay the Pak-India peace process, without caring for latter’s nuclear
Undoubtedly, every Indian government due to international pressure found it easy to make false
pledges that it was willing to engage in peace process to resolve all issues like Siachen, Sir
Creek, Wullar Barrage, Water and especially main dispute of Kashmir with Islamabad. But, New
Delhi earnestly endeavored to find excuses and pretexts to cancel peace talks, while shifting the
blame to Pakistan. For example, in 2002, under the pretension of terrorist attack on the Indian
parliament, India postponed the dialogue process. Again, in 2008, India cancelled the ‘composite
dialogue’ on the pretext of Mumbai terror attacks.
Particularly, on May 27, 2014 Prime Minister Modi’s meeting with Prime Minister Sharif in
the oath-taking ceremony proved faultless, because Modi raised baseless issues of terrorism as
pre-conditions to advance the Pak-Indian dialogue. He said that slow pace of trial against the
terrorists of the Mumbai 26/11 terror case; being held in Pakistan is main hurdle.
But, Indian prime minister ignored the fact that on July 19, 2013 the Indian former home
ministry and ex-investigating officer Satish Verma disclosed that terror-attacks in Mumbai in
November 26, 2008 and assault on Indian Parliament in January 12, 2001 were carried out by the
Indian government to strengthen anti-terrorism laws.
Notably, in the recent past, United Nations Military Observer Group India and Pakistan in New
Delhi was asked to vacate official accommodation, claiming that its role had become irrelevant.
It is also mentionable that Pakistani business community is agitated by the High handedness of
Indian authorities in India, whenever they participate in trade exhibitions. As per visa protocols
of year 2012, both India and Pakistan are bound to give business visa “Exemption from Police
Reporting.” Recently, Pakistani delegation members were fined $ 40 per participant for missing
Police reporting during trade exhibition (Alishan Pakistan), held at New Delhi from 11-14
September 2014. Besides this, no relaxation is being granted by Indian authorities in issuance of
visa to Pakistani businessmen. Element of non-cooperation and aggressiveness towards Pakistan
is significant in conduct of Indian authorities after the arrival of Modi regime in power.
Nonetheless, we can undoubtedly conclude that India continues cross-border shelling inside
Pakistan so as to obtain multiple designs against the former.
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