The need for mature reactions

India must acknowledge that such tit-for-tat exchanges only suit war theatres.

Wasif Mahmood January 08, 2013
Skirmishes between troops on the Pakistan-India border in Haji Pir Sector, Azad Kashmir have raised doubts and fears about recently thriving good relations between the two neighbours. They have left peace mongers on both sides vulnerable to harsh criticism.

Interestingly, the Indians have been more hawkish in demanding that their government give a befitting reply to Pakistan’s ‘aggression.’ If one examines comments from the top Indian leadership and media commentators, the anger on the other side of the divide becomes very easy to gauge.
The leader of the Indian opposition in the Rajya Sabha said, “The brutal killing of Indian personnel was intended to sour the environment…Pakistan should be named and shamed”.

India’s Minister for Information and Broadcasting Manish Tiwari said, “Pakistan must respect rules of engagement … Red lines must be drawn”.

Hardline Shiv Sena’s Executive President Uddhav Thackeray stated, “The sacrifice of these martyrs will not go in vain if we push our forces into Pakistan and avenge for this heinous deed.”

Government officials in Pakistan have been more measured and restrained in their response, made evident from statements by Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and a relatively low-key protest of the killing of a soldier with the Indian deputy high commissioner.

Pakistan has, quite prudently, offered a third party probe into the soldier’s beheading which has been rejected by India. Response from Pakistani opposition parties has also been muted. The so-called Difa-e-Pakistan Council, a conglomerate of right-wingers, seems to have gone into hibernation.

The response from Pakistani commentators over some of the stories published in this very newspaper is heartening to note. Most of them advocate caution, and called for exercising restraint despite the killing of a Pakistani soldier.

It seems that the average person in Pakistan, along with the government, has come of age after going through a decade of internal turmoil. In this way, India must acknowledge that such tit-for-tat exchanges only suit war theatres.

Moreover, politicians should chip in and calm the situation down instead of fanning hatred.

Read more by Wasif here.
Wasif Mahmood Senior Associate Producer who works on the Lahore desk at The Express Tribune
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


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