Pak-India Border Tension Deepens, Danger of Nuclear War

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                                                    By Sajjad Shaukat for Veterans Today

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) Major General 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, 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.”

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry also expressed almost similar feelings and gave a matching response to the Indian army chief’s threat.

As a matter of fact, New Delhi seems to be totally perplexed that compels her to stage dramas such like events-this time a fictional and illusory story of beheading of an India soldier followed by beheading of Pakistani soldiers that are not showcased. In a television interview, Defence Minister of India Nirmala Sitharaman said that the security forces are giving befitting replies to the Pakistani soldiers across the border. She added that the Army is cutting off several heads of the Pakistani soldiers in retaliation to the beheading of one Indian soldier. Such concocted stories are framed by most of the Indian top brass, including media persons. This statement was later towed by the Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat, as already mentioned.

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.”

In fact, there many reasons of Pak-India border tensions which have deepened due to irresponsible policies of New Delhi.

In this respect, in the recent past, visit of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to New Delhi proved inconclusive, as there were many sticks this time in the shape of Indian defense deal (to buy the Russian S-400 missile defense system) with Russia and India’s initiatives with Iran i.e. energy sector deals and Chabahar Port. The US has imposed economic sanctions on Russia and Iran, while American President Donald Trump has repeatedly stated that Washington would impose sanctions on any country which concludes agreements with these countries.

It is of particular attention that Russian President Vladimir Putin reached India on Thursday (October 4, 2018). Indian media reported that during his visit, Moscow and New Delhi signed on Friday (October 5, 2018) the $5 billion S-400 air defence system deal and India could face American sanctions.

Earlier, during Pompeo’s visit to Islamabad, the US and Pakistan vowed to review their strained relations positively. In this regard, during his recent trip to the United States, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi met American top officials, including President Trump and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Especially, Quereshi’s meeting with Pompeo was very successful. Both the leaders reiterated Pakistan’s support for a political settlement in Afghanistan, noting that the use of force had failed to deliver results. They agreed that the time was ripe for the Afghan Taliban to avail the opportunity for a political settlement by seizing the opportunity for dialogue. They stressed that peace in South Asia, which was a common goal of both the US and Pakistan, would remain elusive until all disputes, including the core dispute of Jammu and Kashmir, are resolved. Welcoming Pakistan’s foreign minister to the State Department, Secretary Pompeo said: “the United States looked forward to working with the new government of Pakistan in implementing its reform agenda.” The two leaders agreed to remain engaged with a view to achieving their shared bilateral and regional objectives. However, these developments irritated India.

It is notable 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. That is why; firing by the Indian Army and Border Security Force (BSF) across the LoC has been accelerated, targeting the innocent civilians and their property in Pakistani side of Kashmir and Working Boundary. Hence, border tension has deepened between Pakistan and India. New Delhi has ignored that fact that both the countries are nuclear powers. So, LoC tension needs appropriate analysis, as it has raised the question, does India wants atomic war?

In this connection, in a recent statement, the ISPR spokesman 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 Pakistan had summoned the acting Indian deputy high commissioner to lodge a protest over the killing of civilians in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

He elaborated 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.”

Regarding tension at the LoC, Times of India wrote on February 6, 2018, “In the absence of any diplomatic detente, the deadly war of attrition between India and Pakistan along the 778-km Line of Control (LoC) and 198-km International Boundary (IB) in Jammu & Kashmir has taken a sharp turn.”

Nevertheless, border tension along the LoC cannot be seen in isolation, as it is part of interrelated developments which may lead to atomic war between Pakistan and India.

Since July 8, 2016, Indian security forces have martyred more than 700 innocent persons in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK), who have been protesting against the martyrdom of the young Kashmir leader Burhan Wani and for liberation of their land. Kashmiri freedom fighters are demanding their legitimate right of self-determination, as recognized by the UN resolutions. They have accelerated their legitimate struggle in the aftermath of the martyrdom of Burhan Wani in wake of sieges and prolonged curfews, including arrests and detentions of the Kashmir leaders.

Meanwhile, on Setember18, 2016, India staged the drama of the terror attack in the Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) at a military base in Uri, close to the LoC with Pakistan. By manipulating the false flag terror assault, the BJP-led Indian Prime Minister Modi also intensified war-hysteria against Pakistan and instructed Indian forces to continue shelling across the LoC.  Notably, Islamabad also exposed the myth of Indian surgical strikes inside Azad Kashmir, which also depressed New Delhi.

Notably, New Delhi’s main aim is to deflect the attention of the international community from the new phase of Kashmiri Intifada, while pressure has been mounting on the Modi government both domestically and internationally to resolve the issue of Kashmir with Pakistan.

India which has strategic partnership with Israel and America has perennially been manipulating the double game of the US-led West regarding world phenomena of terrorism in connection with Pakistan and Afghanistan, while exploiting their anti-Muslim approach to obtain Indo-Israeli-American clandestine designs.

Emboldened by the fanatic President Trump, India has continued shelling in Pakistani side of Kashmir which remains a nuclear flashpoint between both the neighbouring countries.

It is mentionable 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.”

Nonetheless, it is wishful thinking of the BJP leader that India can defeat Pakistan. While, both the adversaries are nuclear powers, New Delhi has been ignoring the principles of deterrence, popularly known as balance of terror.

After the World War 11, nuclear weapons were never used, and were only employed as a strategic threat. During the heightened days of the Cold War, many crises arose in Suez Canal, Korea, Cuba and Vietnam when the US and the former Soviet Union were willing to use atomic weapons, but they stopped because of the fear of nuclear war which could eliminate both the super powers. Therefore, the two rivals preferred to resolve their differences through diplomacy.

Political strategists agree that deterrence is a psychological concept which aims to affect an opponent’s perceptions. In nuclear deterrence, weapons are less usable, as their threat is enough in deterring an enemy who intends to use its armed might. In this context, a renowned scholar, Hotzendorf remarks that nuclear force best serves the interests of a state when it deters an attack.

In the present circumstances, BJP-led government of Modi is badly mistaken, if it overestimates India’s power and underestimates Pakistan’s power. As Pakistan lacks conventional forces and weapons vis-à-vis India, so, in case of a prolonged conflict, Pakistan will have to use nuclear weapons and missiles which could destroy whole of India, resulting into Indian political suicide.

In the past too, Indian rulers had intended to implement their doctrine of limited war in Kashmir or to fight a conventional war with Pakistan, but they could not do so owing to Pakistan’s nuclear weapons.

But, unlike the former Soviet Union and the USA, war-like situation exists between New Delhi and Islamabad owing to the perennial firing by the Indian forces across the Line of Control and the Working Boundary in wake of the unresolved issue of Kashmir.

It is noteworthy that at present, fanatic leaders are in power in the US, India and Israel and they are in collaboration against the Muslims, Islamic World, Russia and China. And it is part of Zionist agenda to ‘denuclearize Pakistan’, as she is the only nuclear country in the Muslim World.

In order to avoid the settlement of Kashmir dispute, extremist Prime Minister Modi can take the risk of nuclear war with Pakistan. Likewise, so as to avoid the two-state settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian issue, Tel Aviv will prefer atomic war between the US and Russia or between the US and China.

We may conclude that Pak-India border tension and irresponsible approach of the Indian extremist rulers have increased the danger of nuclear war between India and Pakistan.

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

Email: [email protected]

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