JUBAIL, SAUDI ARABIA: Don’t we smell a conspiracy being hatched on either side of the Line of Control (LoC) between Pakistani and Indian-held Kashmirs? It may create a win-win situation for some hawks in both countries but it amounts to a loss for millions praying for peace between these two feuding neighbours. After the conclusion of the recently-held cricket series, there was a new sense of confidence to further proceed with the peace process between these two embattled countries. Then came the Pakistani complaint of an ‘unprovoked’ Indian attack on January 6 on one of its military posts along the LoC, killing at least one Pakistani soldier. The claim was immediately rejected by the Indian side with a counterclaim accusing Pakistani troops of opening fire first. This still-to-be investigated incident was followed by the Indian claim that Pakistani soldiers crossed into Indian territory on January 7 and ambushed an army patrol party, killing two Indian soldiers, one of them was reportedly beheaded. No one can believe that a professional army can perpetrate this kind of brutality; that means there is a possibility of non-state actors taking such steps in an apparent attempt to disrupt the ongoing peace process. The 26/11 attack is a live example of such attempts on the part of terrorists. Every peaceful Pakistani and Indian will try to maintain their distance from such evil-minded people, who are trying their best to keep the borders bleeding all the time. Though such a confrontation will feed to the hawks’ egos, however, remember what former British prime minister Sir Winston Churchill once said: “War is a too serious a business to be left to generals.”
Therefore, instead of swaying with the hawks from the media and opposition parties, the political leadership needs to show courage in the face of terrorists’ schemes. It is unfortunate that after a relatively peaceful decade, this 700-km long border is again becoming a flashpoint. It is high time that both armies stopped exaggerating these tit-for-tat incidents and let the peace process survive as it is too fragile to endure adventurism by quarters with vested interests. Pakistan is making history, wherein a democratically elected government will be completing its tenure without any hindrance from the establishment. It would not like to be distracted by such incidents that may cause delay in the election process. The LoC needs to be respected for the sake of sustainable democracy in the subcontinent.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 11th, 2013.