It was ironic that India’s official statement on the brazen incident of killing five Indian soldiers through a cross border raid went through a series of flip flops before finally fixing the blame on the Pakistan Army. This was all the more pitiable when
Despite the recent barbaric cross border raid by Pakistan, our political hierarchy is eager to open immediate talks with Pakistan. The ceasfire put in place at the line of control (LoC) between India and Pakistan in November 2003, is all but a charade now. Brutal killings, cross-border raids, medium and heavy firing with small arms and mortars have increased exponentially over the past couple of years. This calendar year alone, there have been 57 ceasfire violations by Pakistan, a whopping 80 per cent jump from 2012. The number of infiltration attempts have risen dramatically too. But more than anything else, it is the intention of the Pakistani Army and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to keep the pot boiling in Kashmir that has not changed, ceasefire or no ceasefire.
Recall what the then Northern Army Commander Lt General K.T. Parnaik told me during an interview on June 17 less than two months ago: “We have to understand that the infrastructure that supports and propels this entire proxy war across the border is intact, whether they are the training camps or the launching pads or the communication facilities. Secondly, the continued efforts of the establishment in Pakistan to push the infiltrators across the LoC continues.
“The number of ceasefire violations that we have had and a large number of incidents in which they had tried to breach the LoC and the fence, has been detected in the past. So I feel as long as the intention on the infrastructure doesn’t change, we cannot keep our guard down. While these figures have marginally changed over a period of time, it is not the numbers that are important, it is the fact that they continue to be there and every season these camps get activated for training and motivation. Intelligence agencies have confirmed that these camps continue to be active. So they are talking about 42 camps across and 4,000-5,000 is generally the strength. They come for training and go away, but the important part is why should the adversary maintain these camps, why should they give them the patronage? They get arms, equipment, state-of-the-art communication equipment and wherewithal to carry out infiltration. This itself highlights the problems that exist today. Despite a number of dialogues, there is no improvement, that’s why we can’t let our guard down.”
Words of a true professional who foresaw what is in store.
Despite all the professed willingness showed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to take the peace process with India forward, as long as the Pakistani Army and ISI along with groups like Lashkar-e-Toiba, remain inimical to India, no amount of dialogue will calm the situation on the LoC.
The Indian establishment, especially those pushing for talks with Pakistan at any cost must take this factor into account. Can Sharif ensure the closure of these camps? Can New Delhi hold Islamabad