Skip to comments.Pakistani soldier's killing a response to provocation: India
Posted on 01/11/2013 4:57:19 PM PST by James C. Bennett
NEW DELHI/ISLAMABAD: New Delhi on Friday reacted to Pakistan's protest over the killing of one of its soldiers in cross-border gunbattle the previous day by asserting that Indian troops had resorted to "controlled response" in retaliation against unprovoked firing by Pakistani troops at Mendhar.
With Pakistan persisting with its disdain towards the outrage in India over the beheading of its soldiers and tensions spiking, Indian troops were stepping up their "alertness levels" along the entire 778-km LoC. Indian Army threatened Pakistan with "dire consequences" if the latter refused to mend its barbaric ways.
Indian high commissioner in Islamabad Sharat Sabarwal conveyed the country's response to Pakistan after he was summoned and issued a note verbale (an unsigned diplomatic note) against the killing of Havildar Mohyuddin at Hotspring (Tatta Pani) on the Line of Control. India's stand stood out because of the implied assertion in public that it would not let go of provocations from Pakistan army unchallenged and because of Islamabad's attempt to blame the spike in tension on the LoC on India.
Even as India seethed with anger over the killing and beheading of its soldiers, Pakistani foreign secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani on Friday accused India of launching "repeated, unacceptable and unprovoked" attacks on the soldiers of his country. It also stopped the movement of buses and trucks across LoC in the Poonch-Rawalkot region without informing Indian authorities.
Foreign ministry spokesperson in New Delhi Syed Akbaruddin said Indians had given a "controlled response to the unprovoked firing by Pakistani troops" in Mendhar on Thursday afternoon. He also confirmed that Pakistan had stopped the movement of buses and trucks. "Yes, it is true that in one sector, trucks and buses were stopped due to local reasons. Our officials are engaged in talks over this issue," he said. Sources translated "local reasons" as Pakistan's protest over cross-border firing in the Mendhar sector.
Islamabad reiterated its commitment to a peaceful resolution of all bilateral disputes through dialogue. However, Pakistan's indifference towards the outrage in India over beheading of its soldier, and feud over gun duels between the two armies suggested that the peace process remained vulnerable to any fresh flare-up on one of the world's most fiercely contested borders.
Truce breached for 5th time in 11 days
The worry looked even serious after a heavy fire-fight on Thursday night stretching over five hours in Krishnaghati area in which Pakistan fired four rounds of its heaviest 82 mm mortar besides machine guns. India retaliated strongly against the attack on nine Indian forward posts. This was the fifth time in the last 11 days when the ceasefire was breached.
A furious Indian Army, with its ranks roiling with anger over the brutalization of the bodies of their comrades, asked its Pakistani counterpart for a flag meeting between the brigade commanders along the Pooch sector of the LoC. "Patrols and sentries have been doubled... snipers are also keeping a close eye on the posts across to take out mischief makers," said an officer.
The toughness mirrored the opinion of the political class, with Congress appearing to compete with BJP in upping the ante. BJP demanded the suspension of dialogue until Pakistan learnt to behave itself. For a change, Congress was on the same page, and asked the government to put confidence building measures on hold until Pakistan changed its ways.
But even as India maintained that Pakistan's "barbaric" behaviour would force it to draw conclusions about what Islamabad desires for the future of its ties with India, an unfazed Pakistan remained in denial mode. It claimed that it has pursued with seriousness dialogue with India and has taken significant steps to create a peaceful environment.
Pakistani authorities claimed that on January 10, at 2.50pm, Indian troops shot dead a Pakistani soldier at Hotspring (Tatta Pani) on the Line of Control (LoC).
The Pakistani high commission in New Delhi issued a statement to publicize the accusation, conveyed by their foreign secretary Jilani to Indian high commissioner in Islamabad, that Indian troops had launched "repeated, unacceptable and unprovoked" attacks.
"The foreign secretary asked the Indian government to thoroughly investigate the repeated violations of the ceasefire along the Line of Control by Indian troops and also take necessary steps to ensure their non-recurrence,'' the Pakistan high commission said in a statement.
The high commission also said that Jilani reiterated Pakistan's offer to hold an independent inquiry into the recent incidents of ceasefire violations through the United Nations Military Observers Group for India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) which India has already rejected.
India on Thursday rejected Pakistans demand for a UN probe into the LoC incident, saying it would be tantamount to internationalising the issue. The development came as reports from Islamabad suggested that a Pakistani soldier had been killed in firing by Indian troops across the Line of Control (LoC).
Same old trick again
Saturday, January 12, 2013
Pakistan demands third party probe, snubbed
Pakistan’s desperate efforts to bring in a third party’ to resolve the January 8 incident, wherein its troops crossed into Indian territory and killed two Indian soldiers and mutilated their bodies, have rightly come a cropper. Its demand for an investigation by the United Nations Military Observer Group for India and Pakistan has been entirely ignored by the international community including the US, which has instead called for a bilateral solution. In fact, even the UNMOGIP has cold-shouldered Pakistan, preferring to focus instead on talks between the two warring Armies. As for India, its response is possibly best exemplified in National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon’s reply to journalists when he was quizzed about the UN agency’s potential as a mediator. Mr Menon said: UNMOGIP still exists? I thought they did not have a role.
There are three reasons why Pakistan wants India to invite an international mediator. First, it wants to buy time and nothing serves the purpose better than announcing an investigation by an international agency. It will take weeks, if not months, before the agency can bring out its report, and in the meantime Pakistan will have ample opportunity to brush the episode under the carpet. Second, Pakistan wants to look above board by claiming that it has nothing to hide and is open to international scrutiny. A smart move, no doubt, but it has fallen flat on its face because the world sees through Pakistan’s doublespeak. This is perhaps one of the most important reasons why even the Obama Administration has refused to involve itself in the dispute. Interestingly, this is the same Administration that had once toyed with the idea of appointing a special envoy to Kashmir. Of course, when Special Representative Richard Holbrooke’s mandate was finally announced in early 2009, it did not include Kashmir it was limited to Pakistan and Afghanistan but that was the result of effective lobbying by India. The third reason is that Pakistan wants to internationalise the current border fracas in the hope that this would serve as a diving board for that countrys leaders to then invite third-party intervention in the affairs of Kashmir as well. Because Islamabad realises that it cannot take on India unilaterally, it is seeking to muddy the waters by calling for third-party solutions. It has been persisting with the technique despite knowing well that India has consistently refused foreign interference in the Kashmir dispute and rightly asserted over time that the matter needs a bilateral resolution. This is one of the primary reasons why it has not given cognisance to the UNMOGIP for the past four decades.
Islamabad must understand that such deviatory tactics are not going to work. In the case at hand, it would have done much better to punish its errant soldiers who had mutilated the bodies of two Indian jawans at the Line of Control, and express regret. But Pakistans Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has straightaway denied the role of Pakistani soldiers in the brutal killing, while that countrys Army has actually dismissed the matter as Indian propaganda. With Pakistan in denial as it has always been over many recent instances where is the scope for a peaceful resolution that Pakistani leaders keep mouthing ad nauseam?
With Pakistan persisting with its disdain towards the outrage in India over the beheading of its soldiers and tensions spiking, Indian troops were stepping up their "alertness levels" along the entire 778-km LoC. Indian Army threatened Pakistan with "dire consequences" if the latter refused to mend its barbaric ways.Yeah, that's gonna happen. A war between India and Pakistan will be ugly but short, as the previous ones have been. India won't put up with this crap, but also doesn't want the Pakistani pseudostate to fall apart more than it already has.
Pakistan seems to believe that the U.S. will come to its aid no matter what. (And it does, nearly no-matter-what.)