'Pakistan are shelling LoC to legitimise their concept of a working boundary'

The atmosphere on the International Border has remained tense in the last few days with Pakistan resorting to heavy mortar shelling on Indian posts and villages leading to civilian casualties and injuries.

Unlike past incidents, India has this time responded with equal or greater measure. A surprised Pakistan has sought flag meetings between local commanders which India firmly rejected making it clear that the guns have to stop firing before the talks take place.
Even as this copy was being written on Wednesday evening, firing from the Pakistani side had resumed at 8 pm targetting three Indian sectors of Akhnoor, RS Pura and Hiranagar in Jammu. Even more surprising is Pakistan's stance where they are trying to blame India for the ongoing tension on the International Border.

An injured child being treated at the Government Medical College Hospital after firing from the Pakistani side injured him in Jammu on Tuesday. 

"India finds it awkward when there is a peace on the International Border and the Line of Control because the world and the UN is calling for peace talks. So it wants to keep it hot for its own advantage. We want peace with India but if India fires on Pakistani soldiers and civilians, we will fire back," former Pakistani Army Major General Rashid Qureshi told Times Now during a panel discussion.

At the core of this fight is the issue of Jammu and Kashmir. It is obvious that peace would be a tough buy until the Kashmir issue gets resolved.

"Once Pakistan stops having Kashmir as a national agenda, things will fall in place. Right now, they are shelling the International Border to legitimise their concept of a working boundary. But the thing is if they fire, we fire back. During my tenure in the Northern Command, I realised that till the time they are not pulverized continuously they continue to inflict casualties on India. Otherwise they stop for a while after flag meetings and start all over again. We should not heed to their white flags," said Lt Gen (Retd) BS Jaswal, former Northern Command chief.

There is also a viewpoint that the present crisis could be de-escalated at the level of local commanders.

"Both the armies are basically retaliating against each other. The Indian Army Chief had said a few days back that the Pakistani firing will be returned with full force. The media should also play a responsible role. Instead of putting cold water, they are adding fire to the fuel. There is a need to start from the top to downwards for normalisation of atmosphere. To start with only local commanders can sort out the ongoing tension," said former Pakistan Army officer, Brigadier Yusuf Dogar.

Asserting out that there is no curb on the Pakistani media to report on the damage inflicted by the Indian security forces, Pakistani journalist Reham Khan believed that both the nations should rather talk out the issues as civilians on both sides are facing the brunt.

"There is no censor on the Pakistani media. All Pakistani prime time shows are discussing India-Pakistan border clash. Had we been interested on pulverizing India, we would not have sought for a flag meeting. Frankly speaking the civilian population on both the sides are suffering. Both the countries should resolve their issues through dialogue," Khan said.

National Conference, provincial president, Devinder Singh Rana was in consonance with Khan that the civilians are taking the brunt particularly in India. "People of Jammu and Kashmir on the International Border and Line of Control have been affected. Thousands are migrating to safer places leaving their homes behind," Rana said. But the NC leader was also of the view that "talks can only happen when the guns fall silent".

Since the regime change in India, the stance of the Indian government has also been altered drastically. The government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has simply refused to bow down to pressure tactics of the Pakistani establishment. In no uncertain terms, the new Indian government has conveyed its steely resolve through a tough stand and actions after assuming power.

"Either they (Pakistan) must silence their guns or we silence their guns for them. Pakistan should realise that three red lines have been drawn. Firstly, no talks with Pakistan till the time they entertain separatists. Secondly, there will be no talks under the shadow of terror. Thirdly, there will be no talks under the shadow of gun," said senior advocate and BJP member Mahesh Jethmalani.

Source - First Post

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