Amid the escalating tensions between India and Pakistan in the aftermath of the surgical strikes launched by Indian troops on Pakistani terrorists, an innocent Indian solider inadvertently crossed the Line …Read More
Days after Indian troops carried out special strikes targeting Pakistani terrorists across LoC, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has underlined that India has never coveted any territory or attacked another country though it made sacrifices for the freedom of others.
“…It is neither hungry for land. But in the two World Wars (in which India had no direct stake), 1.5 lakh Indian soldiers had laid down their lives,” Modi said after inaugurating the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra, a majestic complex dedicated to nearly 27 million Indians living abroad.
“In the last two years, you have seen how the government rescued people from conflict situations, not just Indians but foreigners too,” Mr Modi said while alluding to his government’s rescue missions in conflict zones, including Libya, Iraq, Yemen and Ukraine.
Mr Modi’s remarks were aimed at the international community which has expressed concerns over escalation of tensions between India and Pakistan following the Indian Army’s special operation to target seven terror launch pads across Line of Control, in response to the Uri terror strike perpetrated by Pakistani militants. Read more…
The audacious surgical strikes on seven terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) by India has underscored India’s resolve to punish Pakistan for the Uri terror strike and its continued use of terrorism as an instrument of state policy.
The special operation launched by the Indian Army on the intervening night of September 28 and 29 in a nearly five-hour-long operation to destroy terror camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir has been widely welcomed in India and is seen a fitting retaliation for the killing of 18 Indian soldiers in Uri the terror strike.
The surgical strikes have also demonstrated to Pakistan and the world that India is not going to suffer any more Pakistan’s duplicity and nuclear blackmail by deploying techniques it considers necessary for the country’s honour and self-defence.
The details of the special operation are not clear, but reliable sources disclosed that the launch pads in PoK were located in the range of 2 to 3km from the LoC and were under constant surveillance for over a week.Read More
India’s announcement that it will not participate in the forthcoming 19th SAARC summit scheduled to be held in Islamabad did not come as a surprise. There was already a rethink afoot on India’s participation after the shabby treatment meted out to Home Minister Rajnath Singh during his visit to Islamabad to attend the SAARC Home Ministers’ meeting. Unlike during past conventions, the Pakistan media blacked out the speech that Singh delivered at the meeting. India contemplating the decision of not participating was reinforced when Vikas Swarup, the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, countered Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale’s remarks in Karachi that “as of today Prime Minister Modi is looking forward to visiting Islamabad for the SAARC summit.”
Bilateral Issue or Regional Consensus?
Unlike in the past when SAARC summits have been postponed due to one member state’s decision not to attend the summit, this time India is not alone. Three other member states – Afghanistan, Bhutan and Bangladesh – have decided not to attend the summit in Islamabad and have conveyed their decisions to the current SAARC chair Nepal.
The reaction of each of these countries and their frustration with Pakistan has given rise to a new regional consensus that state sponsored terrorism cannot be dealt with only at the bilateral level. Bangladesh cited the lack of a congenial atmosphere and interference in its internal affairs by “one country” as the reason, while also firmly stating that it is its own decision not to attend the summit. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement which read – “uncalled for reactions after the execution of war criminals in Bangladesh that amount to direct interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign country, which is totally unacceptable” – as the reason for Bangladesh’s abstention.
The September 18 attack on the Uri military camp, launched by Pakistan-based terrorists, has agitated the entire country and ignited serious, high-decibel debate as to how these repeated provocations need to be handled by the leadership.
Pakistan appears to have hit upon a ‘no cost’ grand strategy which is backed by its nuclear weapons capability with its announced first use policy. The aim, clearly, is to show Prime Minister Modi as a weak leader, to keep India unsettled by negatively impacting its international image and a calculation that the state response to terrorism can widen India’s potential internal fault lines. By applying this strategy, it feels that it has the strategic and tactical initiative for escalation of tension and, indeed, in the bilateral relations as a whole.
Costs for Pakistan can, certainly, be raised. Its grand strategy is anchored in waging an asymmetrical, ‘irregular’ war against India, backed up by its military and nuclear capability: this ‘irregular’ war involves non-uniformed, ‘civilian’ elements trained in subversion and guerrilla warfare in urban areas and the countryside. Conventional military action, as seen in the ‘Operation Parakram’ mobilisation of the Indian troops on the India-Pakistan border after the Parliament attack, cannot be the response.
As it needs to leverage all aspects of a country’s strength, countering asymmetric warfare is a protracted affair and cannot take the form of a short, swift conventional war. Ultimately, it is the strength and resilience of a political system which actually prevails in a war of attrition, against the strategy of ‘death by a thousand cuts’. The answer to our Pakistan dilemma, in short, is not ‘strategic restraint’ but ‘strategic patience’.
In his first public rally after the Uri terror attack, India’s Prime Minister PM Narendra Modi, under pressure from hardliners to retaliate against Pakistan, struck a statesman-like tone, challenging Pakistan …Read More
“We’ve been hearing it for a while – 21st century is Asia’s century. And Asia has all it takes to achieve that. But there is one country in Asia that …Read More
India fielded a young diplomat to trash Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s staccato speech at UN, in which he drummed the Kashmir cause in a formulaic manner and sought to glorify the leader of a proscribed terrorist organization. It was a stinging rebuttal of the Pakistani leader’s speech, who invested 80 per cent of his time in orchestrating the Kashmir cause, with hardly any resonance among world leaders.
“The land of Taxila, one of the greatest learning centres of ancient times, is now host to the Ivy League of terrorism. It attracts aspirants and apprentices from all over the world,” said Eenam Gambhir, First Secretary at India’s Permanent Mission to the UN. Ms Gambhir was deployed to exercise India’s Right of Reply during the General Debate of the 71st session UN General Assembly on September 21.
Condensed in just 510 words, India’s rebuttal was a model of precision and the most devastating indictment of Pakistan’s continuing use of terrorism as a state policy.
In a rebuff to Pakistan, the leaders of more than 25 countries have spoken at the UNGA, but no one even alluded to Kashmir and everybody spoke about the need to fight terror unitedly, underscoring Pakistan’s growing international isolation.
India’s strategy of isolating Pakistan in the aftermath of the Uri terror attack has struck a powerful chord in the US. A day after US Secretary of State John Kerry chastised Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and asked him to prevent terrorists from using his country as safe havens, two American legislators introduced a legislation in the US Congress to designate Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism.
The bill, H.R 6069 or the Pakistan State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation Act, calls upon the US administration to make a formal assessment on the matter within four months of its passage.
The move to brand Pakistan as a terrorist state is seen as a triumph of Indian diplomacy as External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj heads to the US on a concerted drive to corner Pakistan on account of its alleged complicity in the Uri terror attack in north Kashmir, which killed 18 Indian soldiers.
The bill is seen as a huge setback for Mr Sharif as he gears up to make a speech in the UNGA, in which he is expected to highlight India’s alleged human rights abuses in Jammu and Kashmir.
The US’ admonition of Pakistan underscores Washington’s growing wariness with Islamabad’s systematic duplicity on terrorism, and will bolster India’s drive to isolate Pakistan in the international community.
The terror attack on an Army base in Uri in north Kashmir on September 18 has triggered worldwide sympathy and solidarity with India. The attack, which the Indian government believes to be the handiwork of Pakistani militant group Jaish e-Moahmmed and their handlers in the military establishment, has plummeted the India-Pakistan relations to a new low.
As India embarks on a multi-pronged strategy to diplomatically isolate Pakistan in the international arena, New Delhi should leverage expressions of solidarity to press these countries to sanction Pakistan for its brazen use of terrorism as a state policy. The attack has elicited strong condemnation from all P5 countries – permanent members of the UN Security Council – as well as key partners of India, including Japan, Germany and Afghanistan.
India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is set to highlight Pakistan’s dubious record in exporting terror and exhort the world leaders to go beyond the comfort zone to sanction and penalise this instigator of world terror. Besides speaking at the UNGA on September 26, Ms Swaraj is also expected to meet her counterparts from several countries and seek their support for countering Pakistan-origin terrorism.
World rallies behind India: Highlights
Here is a brief summary of reactions from key world capitals on the Uri terror attack: