India – Pakistan Acrimony over LoC in Kashmir

Apr 4th, 2013 | Category: Articles

By Bassam Javed

line-of-control

The military clash on 8th of January between Indian and Pakistani military forces on LoC in Kashmir was a fierce one. Whereas the Indian political voice addressing the domestic audiences in India spoke stridently on the incident, Pakistan’s foreign ministry and the military hierarchy consistently sounded conciliatory. Pakistan Army in a show of inexplicable restraint did not retaliate and instead gave diplomacy a chance to douse any escalation. It even did not consider meriting response to Indian Army Chief’s threatening statement;warning Pakistan of an aggressive response in case there is any future violation of LoC. Keeping in line with traditional Pakistan’s bashing on conflicting events, the media in India made hay castigating Pakistan as an aggressor on LoC violation. Indian television channels demeaned Pakistan Army for the violation in its day long aggressive coverage of the event on 9th of January. It was unfortunate to watch Indian television anchor persons and their analysts use extremely derogatory and insulting remarks against the Pakistan army during their coverage of the event. The Indian media simply lost its independent character and crossed all limits of bias to the extent that made even BJP and RSS look small in their traditional anti Pakistan rhetoric. The Indian traditional clamor from hard-line nationalist sections of the media, especially the Indian electronic media supported nationalistic voices and consistently maintained a credible level of abhorrence against Pakistan in the week long acrimony. However, a deafening silence in the Pakistani media was observed on an issue that remains sensitive for the security of Pakistan. When it was needed the most, the Pakistani media failed to respond to India’s unbridled propaganda and blinked on the naked threat hurled at Pakistan by Indian Army Chief General Bikram Singh. The fourth pillar of the state, the media, faltered on its national duties and failed to even generate a debate or build a consensual national stance in the Pakistani society on Indian belligerence on the LoC.

On events, such as LoC violations in Kashmir, an anti-Pakistan lobby in India comes into full swing and pleads that the Indian army be unleashed against Pakistan without going into deeper analysis of dynamics that generate such conflicts between the two states. However, two significant Indian newspapers, ‘The Hindu’ and the ‘DNA’ (Daily News & Analysis) analytically dilated on the LoC incident in their respective issues on 10th of January. As per both the newspapers, the Pakistani attack in Mendhar area of LoC was in response to an Indian attack on a Pakistani check post in Uri on 6th of January in which one Pakistani soldier was killed and another seriously injured. The article in ‘The Hindu’ also went on to say that earlier Indian attacks on Pakistani military posts on the LoC had sometimes also been accompanied by the beheading of Pakistani soldiers.

Anti-Pakistan lobby remains averse to seeing amity between India and Pakistan. This time round also when some credible successes were made through some direct and some indirect back door diplomatic channels, the same lobby came to fore and tried to derail whatever progress had been made so far in improving the bilateral relationship. Also, through its saffron power politics this lobby has made strong inroads in the Indian establishment and its security forces as well.

The incident of LoC clash between India and Pakistan has nevertheless gone to reinforce Pakistan’s assertion that till the time pending Kashmir conflict is resolved between the two nations, such incidents may potentially lead to uncontrolled escalations. These escalations may finally turn into a full scale war between the two nuclear rivals that the world does not want to see. However, the way the situation was allowed to develop in India on the incident indicates a growing nexus of the Indian military, Hindu extremists organizations, nationalistic political parties and the Indian media to downplay the achievements made by Congress led coalition at the centre in resurrection of India – Pakistan relations. The existence of the nexus got credence when Indian Home Minister Shinde recently admitted to practices of Hindu nationalists that promote terrorism. This goes to prove international community’s concern as well on the dynamics of internal fissures spiraling up in Indian polity that routinely get covered up at the behest of anti-Pakistan lobby through various engineered events. India needs a mechanism of checks and counter-checks that should resist the state government, opposition and media to succumb to politics of opportunism by the Nay Sayers of India-Pakistan amity. Indian Prime Minister’s and Indian Chief of Army Staff’s statement on the issue are a testimony of succumbing to such pressures. To save bilateral and regional environment from perpetual violence, flash point Kashmir that some day may become causes belli crystallize into yet another full scale war between the two nuclear armed nations, needs to be resolved on priority basis.

Tags:

Leave a Comment