By Jai Kumar Verma*
The relations between India and Pakistan are generally tense and both countries do not miss any opportunity to slander the other although several times the accusations and counter accusations are for the consumption of hardliners in their own state. The border violations by India’s hostile neighbor Pakistan has increased manifold since the last few months. Pakistani security forces have violated the ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir more than 250 times in 2015 alone, in which several civilians and personnel of security forces lost their lives.
Pakistan, which never misses the opportunity to internationalize the Kashmir issue, constantly writes letters to United Nations to intervene. It alleged that Indian security forces used heavy mortars and machine guns in which several Pakistani civilians were killed. In fact, the Pakistani troops used heavy weapons, and accused India of using the same.
Nonetheless the fact of the matter is that United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) lost its utility after the Shimla Agreement (1972). The Pakistani army first violates the Line of Control (LoC) and then alleges the firing was initiated by Indian security forces, and then it approaches the UN, the Western countries, and the Muslim world to malign India; and all the while it claims that it responded to Indian firing with force and killed several Indians. In this way it appeases the Pakistani masses, especially the hard liners.
When India lodged a strong protest with Pakistan about constant ceasefire violations Pakistan fabricated a story that it shot down a drone which was sent by the Indian intelligence agency. Later on it was revealed that it was a Chinese-made drone and it had no concern with India.
Pakistan violates the Ceasefire Agreement of 2003 with ulterior motive; first it internationalizes the Kashmir issue, secondly under the garb of heavy mortar firing, the terrorists trained by nefarious Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) penetrate India. The Kashmiri populace is tired of terrorism and wants to live in peace. Several Kashmiris who visited Pakistan have seen the condition of people residing in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) as well as the plight of the Muhajirs.
Pakistan talks of plebiscite in J&K; however it had not given the right of self determination to the people of Baluchistan, Sindh or Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; otherwise all these provinces will cease to be a part of Pakistan.
The ISI, which sponsors terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir, is frustrated as terrorism is declining in the valley, but the ISI wants to flare it up again. The ISI, which has launched a low intensity war against India, spends very little money in instigating terrorism in J&K; while India has to spend a lot of resources to curb the violence.
Pakistan in the early stages assisted Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) but once it was disillusioned by Pakistan, the ISI started helping Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Harkatul Mujahideen, Harkatul Ansar, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Ahle Hadith etc. The Pakistani motive is clear, it knows that it cannot defeat India; it simply wants to disturb peace and tranquility in the country so that the economic progress of its rival is hampered.
The Pakistani Army which usurped the scarce resources of the country by harping on the illusionary threat of Indian invasion does not want to have cordial relations with India, and it is the reason that border skirmishes increase manifold before the visit of any foreign dignitary to India or before the meetings of Indian and Pakistani leaders/officials.
General Raheel Sharif wanted to undermine elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, hence he created such a situation that the meeting between National Security Advisors (NSAs) agreed upon by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nawaz at Ufa, Russia, could not be held. The Pakistan army gave a clear and bold message that Pakistan-India policy will be decided at the military headquarters at Rawalpindi and the elected government has to implement it.
The Pakistan army is certainly weaker than the Indian Army, and the economic condition of India is much stronger than Pakistan’s, and on top of it the present Modi government has made it clear that it will strike back at Pakistan’s misadventure with full force, but still the Pakistani army does not want to understand this hard fact and the ISI continues to send terrorists to India.
Several times Pakistani Rangers resort to heavy firing at the borders to give cover to ISI trained terrorists so that they infiltrate India. Hence, the genesis of firing and infiltration is not at the borders but deep inside Pakistan. Hence, if Indian security planners want to resolve this menace they will have to destroy training camps run by the ISI or terrorist outfits sponsored by ISI so that the creation of terrorists is discontinued.
Islamic extremism is deep-rooted in Pakistan and rampant poverty has played a vital role in enhancing the madrassa culture. The ISI and jihadist leaders convince young terrorists that once they reach Kashmir they will be welcomed by the locals and will be treated like heroes. But once they reach Kashmir they realize the falsehood; and a few of them surrender while a few die in the hope of getting all amenities in heaven which they dreamt of while alive.
The chances of peace and tranquility between India and Pakistan are remote. Pakistan was created on hate for India and there are ideological differences between both the countries. The Pakistani Army, ISI, leaders of various terrorist outfits, Chinese lobby and several hardliners who survive on anti-India rhetoric would never allow peace between the two neighbours which share several things in common. The Pakistani government always uses threat from India and the Kashmir issue to distract the masses from the rampant corruption, poverty, illiteracy, inequality in the country.
However, the negotiations must continue overtly even while Indian security forces reply to ISI and the Pakistani army in the language they understand.
*Jai Kumar Verma is a Delhi-based strategic analyst. He can be contacted at [email protected]