Pakistan deserves stronger tit for tat

The Pakistan government was not accustomed to India paying back for ceasefire violations with ferocity. During the UPA regime, the Indian army’s hands were largely tied. Now, however, the open instructions to the army are to strike back without let or hindrance to teach the enemy a befitting lesson. That tit for tat attitude is rankling the Pakistanis no end. On Monday, Pakistan summoned the Indian deputy high commissioner and condemned the alleged firing by Indian troops along the  line of control in which three Pakistani civilians were killed.

Year after year, we have seen how the enemy troops fire at Indian positions when the snow in the passes is melting and there are plans to send infiltrators into India to kill, maim and cause sabotage. The troops indulge in cover fire so that the infiltrators belonging to terror outfits can cross over into India. The nexus between terror modules and the army is all too clear.

Predictably, heavy shelling and firing by the Pakistanis has been taking place on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch and Rajouri districts for the last fortnight. An Indian army spokesman had no qualms in acknowledging that the Indian Army has been responding “effectively and strongly” and why should it not. The 2003 India-Pakistan ceasefire agreement has virtually become redundant with a whopping 286 incidents of firing and shelling along LoC and IB in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistani troops that resulted in death of 26 people, including 14 security personnel, since the surgical strike on terrorist launch pads in Pak-occupied Kashmir.

A large population was forced out of their homes, harvesting of paddy crops halted and marriage season was badly affected in the border areas due to heavy shelling and firing. There have been 10 ceasefire violations in the past four days alone. Consequently, in escalated terror violence in Kashmir, militants engineered seven grenade attacks and firing incidents in the Valley on Wednesday in which 14 policemen were injured and four rifles snatched by militants from them.

The September 29, 2016 surgical strikes by Indian troops on terror launch pads were an appropriate response to Pakistan’s constant training and infiltrating of terrorists into India and the causing of mayhem in Indian territory. But we should not have stopped at that. More such strikes should have been resorted to which has apparently not been done. Whatever the Salman Khans and the pacifists of India may say, the Pakistan army is not going to give in to peace moves. It wants to keep the pot boiling and it is not open to reason. The Nawaz Sharif government may be marginally better disposed towards peace but it counts for nothing when it comes to Indo-Pak relations. As it is Sharif is fighting for survival in the wake of the judicial process on the Panama papers corruption scandal.

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