THE key question is: Who is initiating hostilities - India or Pakistan? Here's the reported data on major ceasefire violations: In January there were four major violations; one in February, one in April and two in May (there have been several minor ones). In July-August, Pakistan "accused India of 70 ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) and the international border".
In 2015, twenty-two Pakistanis lost their lives-two soldiers and twenty civil- ians. On the other side of the border, fifteen Indians lost their lives - six soldiers and nine civilians.
Reportedly, each violation by either side "triggers a heavy exchange of mortar, rocket and machine gun fire that usually goes on for several hours." The month of August has seen a definite spike. The Indian envoy in Islamabad was summoned by the Foreign Office for the fourth time in a week. India and Pakistan continue to accuse each other.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has now expressed "serious concern about the recent escalation of violence" and has called "upon the governments of India and Pakistan to exer- cise maximum restraint." According to a recent New York Times editorial, these ceasefire violations "could spiral out of control and set off another war between the two nuclear-armed adversaries."
Who is initiating hostilities - India's Border Security Force (BSF) or Pakistan Rangers? Back in 1949, the United Nations must have had the same question in mind. In 1949, the UN secretary-general appointed a military adviser to command the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP). On January 24, 1949 the first contingent of United Nations military observers arrived in the 'mission area'.
UNMOGIP is mandated to "observe, to the extent possible, developments pertaining to the strict observance of the ceasefire…and to report thereon to the Secretary-General." This year's appropriation stands at a wholesome $19.6 million and UNMOGIP's current strength is 43 military observers, 25 international civilian personnel and 47 local civilian staff. UNMOGIP's military personnel belong to Chile, Croatia, Finland, Ghana, Philippines, Republic ofKorea, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand and Uruguay.
Who is initiating hostilities - India or Pakistan? I linked up with Brian Cloughley, a retired lieutenant colonel of the Australian Army who was the deputy commander of UNMOGIP in 1980-1982 and then returned to Pakistan six years later as the defence attaché at the Australian High Commission.
Question: Who is initiating hostilities - India or Pakistan? Cloughley: The only means to know the right answer is to employ neutral observers. And there are UN neutral observers in place; the UNMOGIP, which is tasked to supervise the ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir. They should observe and report, investigate complaints of ceasefire violations and submit its findings to each party and to the secretary-general. The duties of UNMOGIP have not been altered by the UN Security Council, the only body legally empowered to do so. But India refuses to acknowledge the Mission and will not cooperate with it. Pakistan, on the other hand, cooperates fully.
Question: What about the armed conflict that took place in the Kargil district? Cloughley: If the Indians had permitted UNMOGIP to function then the Kargil war would not have happened because UN observers would have detected all the movement. "If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility" - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.