LoC tensions: Understanding Indian aggression against Pakistan

Published: February 1, 2013

An Indian watch tower (front L) and a Pakistani observation post (back R) at the India-Pakistan border near Jammu. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: 

Eminent political and defence analysts are of the view that the rising tensions between Pakistan and India should be viewed in the context of the planned withdrawal of US-led foreign forces from Afghanistan next year.

Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, former interior minister and chief of the Qaumi Watan Party, Dr Hassan Askari Rizvi, Lt Gen (retd) Talat Masood and Air Vice-Marshal (retd) Shahzad Chaudhry believe that the recent improvement in Pakistan-US relations on Afghan affairs has particularly disturbed the Indians.

According to some senior officials in the ministry of foreign affairs, the tension on the country’s eastern borders reflects India’s keenness to create military problems for Pakistan when US forces are preparing to get out of Afghanistan. “The key role that Pakistan has attained in international efforts to restore peace and stability in Afghanistan is one of the main causes of India’s annoyance with Pakistan,” a senior official said, requesting anonymity.

However, Zafar Hilaly, a former ambassador, rejected the idea and said that such tensions have nothing to do with Afghanistan or the scheduled pull-out of US troops from that country. “The domestic political situation in India is the real cause of the tension between the two countries. The Congress-led government in India is trying to make Indian people believe that it is not less than the BJP in its anti-Pakistan attitude,” he asserted. He also rejected speculations that the US was behind Indian aggression to pressure Pakistan to come to Washington’s terms on regional peace. “The US is not at all involved in any such move,” he said.

Sherpao has been playing a role in the efforts to normalise Islamabad-Kabul ties for regional peace and stability. He told The Express Tribune that the recent tension in Pakistan-India relations is linked to the US/Nato troop withdrawal strategy from Afghanistan in 2014.

Meanwhile, Dr Hassan Askari was of the opinion that New Delhi wanted to embarrass Pakistan as it was trying to make Washington believe that Islamabad was not a reliable partner in the peace process.

Talat Masood, on the other hand, agreed that Indian frustration towards Islamabad was building up over improving Pakistan-US ties. “Domestic political expediency is another cause of such behaviour by the Indians,” he said. “Congress versus the BJP, in terms of anti-Pakistan policies, is also one of the factors in the situation. But the Indian role in Afghanistan is also important and a reality which should not be ignored by any players in the future scenario.”

Another former ambassador, Shahzad Chaudhry, said that the US plans to pull out its forces from Afghanistan in 2014, after recognising Pakistan’s importance in the region and in the future set-up, has destroyed Indian plans against Pakistan.

“Washington’s initiatives to engage Islamabad in the peace process as a major player is not acceptable to New Delhi. Such an initiative, on the part of Washington, is one of the causes for the tension, if not the only reason.”

Published in The Express Tribune, January 29th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (16)

  • Clear Black Bag
    Feb 1, 2013 - 1:49PM

    I would like to write here only these words about/for India,that are,if you have dual-faced,double-standard and hypocitical friend like India then you don’t need to have enemies and foes around you because India is good enough and sufficient for your ant types of needs’ requirements doesn’t matter rightful or wrongful…….

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  • Ravi
    Feb 1, 2013 - 2:11PM

    Who has lost 40,000 people in so called War on terror. Which country has been embarrased when OBL was killed.

    India has nothing to do with Pak-afghan problem.

    India is only worried about Afghanistan going back to medieval ages due to taliban supported by pakistan

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  • Syed Danish Zameer
    Feb 1, 2013 - 4:08PM

    Mrs. Clinton’s advice to India to look at East is further reinforce the belief that India’s feeling hurted.

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  • Cosmo
    Feb 1, 2013 - 5:10PM

    Wow this article should be titled as the “summary o conspiracy theories by deluded pak army men” or “blame it on india contest” !!!

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  • AK
    Feb 1, 2013 - 7:35PM

    Read like a fantasy. Another theory is that the border incident was to counter the changes in military doctrine that India is not the no 1 enemy and many Pakistani generals are unhappy with this. Just trying to prove a point.Recommend

  • John B
    Feb 1, 2013 - 10:16PM

    Reads like all delusionalists party discussion here. Never heard US backing Indian aggression before and these guys are delusional that India is coming from Afghanistan to destabilize PAK.

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  • Behari Kebab
    Feb 1, 2013 - 10:40PM

    The analysis is correct, and this is not the first time India has played this card. During the early stages of NATO occupation of Afghanistan, India raised tensions on the border with Pakistan so that Pakistan could not prevent Taliban escaping the NATO attacks from slipping into Pakistan. It is high time Pakistani peacenuks woke up and smelled the coffee.

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  • polwala
    Feb 2, 2013 - 12:00AM

    The problem with these retired gentlemen is that they think the world also thinks like them. They always add up and believe in a zero sum out of every equation. They also air views typical of army men whose vision does not extend far beyond their own noses.
    Could it be that the Indians are frustrated with just Pakistan? That there are no extraneous factors. Going by the history of the conflicts and the lying master class, Indians cannot but feel frustrated especially when the spooks in chiefs decide to entertain a select few individuals well versed in areas of destructive science usually not approved by civilised nations and presenting these individuals as respectable assets.

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  • Anuj
    Feb 2, 2013 - 12:23AM

    Even the journalists in Pakistan love to live in La La land……all rosy and nice….

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  • John B
    Feb 2, 2013 - 12:54AM

    @Syed Danish Zameer:
    Don’t misquote by lady here. Here is her statement: ” Mumbai is an unfinished business”.

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  • Sanjay
    Feb 2, 2013 - 1:28AM

    It am amazed to see the lack of sense in so called “Eminent political and defense analysts”.
    Guys all we want from Pakistan is to stay in its territory peacefully & let us also live peacefully without ‘exporting’ anything.

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  • afzaalkhan
    Feb 2, 2013 - 1:41AM

    @John B

    Fine and what you gonna do? Nothing a big nothing so move on if you can’t plz stop pestering us.

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  • 3rdRockFromTheSun
    Feb 2, 2013 - 3:13AM

    Oh, get off your high horse!! This delusion of grandeur about Pakistan’s “geo-strategic importance and its importance in Afg” OR “Pak being the saviour of the Muslim world” is one of the main reasons why your country is in the state it is in!
    Nobody cares about Pakistan; other than that today is the hotbed of terrorism : any terrorism plot anywhere has some links to Pakistan!

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  • Dr V. C. Bhutani
    Feb 2, 2013 - 4:47AM

    It seems some people in Pakistan are determined to look for an enemy behind every bush. Let me tell you something. If you suspect an enemy behind every bush, sure enough you will find one there. You will have brought the enemy into existence because of your suspicion.
    In my view, Pakistan shall not allow Afghanistan to stabilize or to get on its feet. Pakistan has for long treated Afghanistan as a province of Pakistan which gave territorial depth to Pakistan vis-à-vis India. I believe that continues to be the thinking in Pakistan Army, in spite of what we read in newspapers about Gen Kayani’s recent conversion to other ideas.
    The US may award any kind of a role to Pakistan in the Afghanistan scenario but I expect that Pakistan will make nonsense of USA’s best laid plans. The presence of US bases and some US forces in Afghanistan after December 2014 may be the only means of ensuring that things do not get out of hand.
    My reading is that bringing Afghan Taliban into government in Afghanistan is an error. This will not lead to good results. In any case, having Afghan Taliban installed in the machinery of governance in Afghanistan has been a major plank of Pakistan’s policy so far.
    Besides, there is hardly any doubt that China and Pakistan shall act in unison to acquire a commanding position in Afghanistan after Isaf withdrawal. There is nothing that India can do about it. In the long run, Afghanistan will suffer.
    V. C. Bhutani, Delhi, India, 2 Feb 2013, 0517 IST

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  • John B
    Feb 2, 2013 - 10:15AM

    @afzaalkhan:
    Lot of things can be done and timing is everything. One day pak army has to mount an operation against philanthropic terrorist as in Lal Majid. Pride clouds reasoning like these retired delusionists pontificating on India.

    India may be sensititive to Mumbai and may be taking a calculated step but the US has no such obligation with regard to Mumbai massacre and the US citizens have been killed by the perpetrators from Karachi supported by PAK establishment. They all have to answer one day.

    Do you think KSM, David Coleman aka Gilani and Abottabad trash and treasure are not talking.

    Here are few facts: the government personnel of AFG and the infrastructure of government and the government outlet institutions such as schools, hospitals, and roads, including the satellite band and channel to broadcast programs in AFG are provided by India and the personnel are trained in India and they are the one will be running the country even if Taliban forms a coalition with NA after 2014. PAK may join force for the good of AFG and incidentally for PAK or can cause trouble which may not go well at the end.

    These delusional generals are old school and never brought anything good to PAK, AFG, India or the US.

    PAK has more pressing problem of feeding the internally displaced citizens than attending to AFG.

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  • Behari Kebab
    Feb 2, 2013 - 11:54AM

    @Sanjay: Well you should have thought of that before straying out of your territory to occupy Kashmir, invading East Pakistan, and sneaking into Siachin. Practice what you preach.

    John B: Do you really believe that some years of Indian training of a few Afghan personel, and financing of a few projects match the Pakistani effort of hosting five million Afghan refugees for 30 years? It appears you are the delusional one.

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