Shoot Thy Neighbour!

The military recognized imaginary line segregating the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir into the two parts namely the parts under Indian occupation and the parts under the Pakistani occupation is often referred to as the ‘Berlin Wall’ of Asia. This line of separation, however, is not in any way an internationally recognized boundary, separating the two countries but is identified by the military of both the countries as the veritable boundary line. This bonafide boundary line (previously known as the Cease Fire Line) was renamed the Line of Control (LoC) after the Simla Agreement in 1972. The India occupied portion of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir is known as Jammu and Kashmir while the Pak occupied sectors are known as Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. On November 26th, 2003 a formal cease fire accession was achieved between the two potentially dangerous and nuclear weapons armed conflicting countries apparently marking the end of fourteen years of feud and gun battles. But the future was not destined to be peaceful as Pakistan continues to violate the LoC mandates till date and are engaged in a consistent effort to infiltrate LeT and other terrorist factions across the Indian boundary. While the Pakistani soldiers continue unprovoked firing on the Indian soldiers at the LoC, the Pak funded terrorist factions are tearing apart India with various disruptive activities.


Some recent incidents of unprovoked firing on the Indian soldiers from the Pakistan side:
•  On 16th August, 2013, 10:31AM, Pakistan violated the cease fire mandates by firing at Indian soldiers. This occurred in the Poonch District of Jammu and Kashmir
•  As per the statement of an Indian defense spokesperson, “Unprovoked firing occurred at our positions from the Pakistani side at 9:30PM (Friday, 16th August, 2013) at Mendhar and Hamirpur areas of the LoC in Poonch. Our troops retaliated to silence the enemy fire”.
• On the same day, the Defense spokesman, S N Acharya stated, “Pakistani troops targeted the Indian forward areas with small arms fire at around 9:45 PM and Indian troops responded to it.”
• On 14th August, 2013 at 9:34 AM, in yet another instance of cease fire violation that too for the 17th time, Pakistani troops engaged in an unfounded attack on the Indian soldiers using rockets and mortar shells. The attack that lasted for approximately four and a half hours ended at 2:00 AM (15th August, 2013) injuring three soldiers and a civilian. Villagers in the vicinity reported retrieval of spent shells from their fields.


• On 13th August, 2013 at 12:30PM an intense gunfight occurred between the Pakistani and the Indian troops in what seems to be the ninth attack in a span of four days and undoubtedly another instance of the ceasefire violation from the Pak side. The targets of the Pakistani attack were 16 leading Indian positions and civilian sectors in the Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir. The Defense spokesman, S N Acharya said, “Pakistani troops fired on Indian posts along the Loc in the Hamirpur-Balakote and Mendhar forward areas in Poonch district last night”.
• An ambush was laid by the Pakistani forces on an Indian patrol in the Poonch sector on Monday 6th August, 2013 claiming the lives of 5 Indian soldiers. A sixth Indian soldier and a BSF Jawan were injured in the incident. The BSF personnel succumbed to his injuries in a Delhi hospital later that week.


Reaction of the Lok Sabha regarding the LoC Violations:
The Lok Sabha session was marked by the issuance of a strongly versed declaration denouncing the cease fire violation activities of Pakistan. In the speech delivered by Kumar the said issue was strongly underlined, “India is not a threat to Pakistan and its people but the terrorists nurtured by Pakistan are. We strongly condemn the attacks by Pakistan along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. Our restraint should never be taken for granted. We uphold the sanctity of LoC and call upon Pakistan to do so”. He further added that, “All of Jammu and Kashmir including that forcibly and illegally occupied by Pakistan is an integral part of India and will always remain so”. A declaration pertaining to this issue was later endorsed by the Members of the House.


The reaction of the Indian Army regarding the LoC Violations:
The Indian army is maintaining a constant vigil along the LoC evident from the 19 missions conducted by the Indian Army along the LoC. 27 terrorists have been eliminated as a result of the said missions in the past two months, who were trying to infiltrate into India using the LoC. Gurmit Singh, General Officer Commanding, 15th Corps, in a press conference declared, “We are proud of the commitment of our soldiers on ground, all this is done to provide for your safety”. He further affirmed that terrorist frameworks exist along the LoC and the borderland but numerous attempts of intrusion by the terrorists inside India using the Kashmir valley as a transit point has been apprehended by the Indian Army.


USA’s opinions regarding the Loc Violations:

The warmonger USA has smelt blood in the LoC violation issues and have started circling the scene like vultures waiting for a kill. The State Department spokesperson Marie Harf declared, “We’re aware of these reports and are concerned about any violence, as we always are along the Line of Control, and we continue to press and hope that India and Pakistan will continue the steps that they have recently taken to improve their bilateral relation”. She added that, “These are discussions that happen in those two countries among their own two governments and that’s the appropriate place for determinations to be made”. Highlighting the Kashmir and terrorism issues she insisted that, “I think we are talking about two separate issues here. I’d want to make a distinction between the Kashmir issue and the broader issue of our concern about extremism in that region. Our position on Kashmir has not changed, and I’ve nothing further to add on that”.


The future as visualized by the Indian Government regarding the Loc Violations:
While the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had scurried to USA to meet the Pakistan Premier Nawaz Sharif on 29th September, 2013, opposition party BJP leader Yashwant Singh expressed serious doubts about this move of the PM. According to him neither the time nor the circumstances are ideal for the proposed ‘peace talks’. He further underlined the decision taken during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s tenure as the Prime Minister between the two conflicting countries that peace talks and extremism cannot possibly go hand in hand. While the Pakistani soldiers continue to violate the LoC mandates, Defense Minister A K Anthony has given a free hand to the Indian Armed Forces posted at the LoC to retaliate as the situations demand. The recent unprovoked actions of the Pakistani soldiers have been identified as the most gross and biggest violation of the ceasefire arrangements that exist between the two countries. With the elections around the corner, the Government expects an escalation in violence from the Pakistan side along the LoC.
It is a well known fact that Nawaz Sharif is a puppet dancing to the tunes of the ISI and the military regime that is the de facto ruler of Pakistan. Manmohan Singh’s attempts of a peace talk will be much ado about nothing and it will hardly improve the situation at the LoC. I end this article with a small joke: America says: If you attack us we will annihilate you; Israel says: If you attack us we will decimate you; India says: If you attack us we will not play cricket with you. That seems to be closest to the current take of India regarding Pakistan’s ceasefire violations.