India/Pakistan 2019

Written by  //  March 6, 2019  //  India, Pakistan  //  No comments

India-Pakistan Relations – Terrorism, Kashmir, and Recent Issues
World Bank reveals Pakistan, India potential trade stands at $37 billion
About Kashmir

Be worried, very worried, about what just happened in India and Pakistan
By Adil Najam, professor of international relations and the founding dean of the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University
(The Hill) It has been a tense time for nuke-watchers in Asia. Just as the phantom hopes of a denuclearization agreement on the Korean Peninsula were being dashed in Vietnam, a very real escalation was taking place in South Asia between nuclear rivals — and neighbors — India and Pakistan.
After getting as close to a real nuclear conflagration as we probably have since the Cuban missile crisis, the good news is that tensions in South Asia now seem to be in de-escalation mode. This, of course, is a good thing. But this conflict most certainly will leave the world less safe than it was before. If the Doomsday Clock has not been reset yet, it should.
Pakistan mobilises additional troops, weaponry along LoC; Army issues warning: Officials

2 March
C Uday Bhaskar: No turning of the tide
It is unlikely that the Balakot air strike will prove to be an effective deterrent
The post-Pulwama-Balakot sequence of events has acquired a complex contour and is playing out on many tracks, including the most visible in the collective Indian consciousness — the status of the IAF pilot, Wg Cdr Abhinandan Varthaman, and his return to India.
The more abiding challenge to India is the Balakot punctuation in reference to the proxy war being waged against the country, wherein terrorism, as represented by the Pulwama tragedy, is the manifestation.
Will Balakot and the resolve now being demonstrated by PM Modi make a tangible difference to prevent another attack? The answer is probably not.
… The deeper threat to India is the certitude in the GHQ Rawalpindi that Pakistan can continue to selectively nurture terror groups and that the impunity accorded to Islamabad by the global community will continue.
Thus, the Pakistani response after the Balakot strike is a familiar denial with little or no reference (forget acknowledgement) to the JeM and its leader Masood Azhar. In case Pakistan follows the Mumbai 26/11 path, where even after a decade there has been no tangible progress on identifying and bringing to book the perpetrators, and disparages the Pulwama dossier handed over to it — the prognosis is bleak.
28 February
India welcomes Pakistan’s return of captured pilot, as powers urge de-escalation
(Reuters) – Indian military officials said on Thursday they welcomed Pakistan’s planned return of a captured pilot, but refused to confirm they would de-escalate a conflict between the two nuclear powers. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan said the pilot would be released on Friday, to the relief of many Indians, even as his military reported that four Pakistani civilians had been killed by India firing across the disputed border in Kashmir.

Pakistan Claims Kashmir’s ‘Moral High Ground’
The president of Pakistani Kashmir explains why his country deserves far more credit for its role in the disputed region.
(Foreign Policy) I think we have the moral high ground—the people of Jammu and Kashmir. And Pakistan also. For the past 71 years, the people of Jammu and Kashmir have been making sacrifices to win their right to self-determination. India believes in coercion or state terrorism to subjugate the Kashmiri people. It has tried coercion, brute force, investing in economic development projects. But the hard fact is that even after these efforts, it has not been able to win the hearts and minds of the Kashmiris. Contrast that to Pakistan’s stance. We say that it is a political issue. This must be resolved through political and diplomatic means. War or militaristic means would not help us to solve this issue. That’s why we have the moral high ground.
“This attention should not be like a flash in the pan. The U.N. and international community should try to avert a war between the two countries, but at the same time they must realize that the core issue is the nonresolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. They should activate multilateral diplomacy for the implementation of the U.N. Security Council resolution on the dispute or find new ways to explore common ground for a win-win solution. As far as the people of Jammu and Kashmir are concerned, they want their aspirations to be respected and to be given a choice in determining their own political future.”
“The resolutions are already there, and they have described the methodologies for assessing the will of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The other scenarios—joint administration, soft borders, and so on—these have to be fleshed out. So, while on the one hand we have our solid solution for the resolution of the dispute, the buck doesn’t stop there. We have many options. Some people say we should experiment with some out-of-the-box solutions. My answer to that is that inside the box are the Kashmiris. Without their participation, any solution would not work. The crux of the matter must be respecting the right of self-determination.”

India bans Kashmiri Islamist party amid conflict with Pakistan
(Reuters) – India banned a Kashmir-based Islamist political party called Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) for five years on Thursday, accusing it of supporting militancy in the disputed region that is at the heart of an escalating conflict with rival Pakistan.
A police officer said Indian authorities arrested about 300 JeI leaders and activists in recent days in a crackdown on militancy in the state after a suicide bomber killed 40 paramilitary police on Feb. 14 in Indian-controlled Kashmir.
The attack was claimed by a Pakistan-based militant group, leading to strikes and counter strikes by the air forces of the two nuclear-armed countries.
Credit: Nations Online Project
27 February
Bloomberg analysis:
India and Pakistan have skirmished for decades over a disputed border in the restive region of Kashmir. But tensions between the nuclear powers have taken a sudden, nasty turn, marking increasingly tricky terrain for leaders Imran Khan and Narendra Modi.
The action has moved from the ground to the air after a suicide bomber killed 40 Indian soldiers earlier this month. Pakistan said today it shot down two Indian aircraft and arrested the pilots. India confirmed the loss of one plane and the capture of one pilot, and said it shot down a Pakistani fighter.
It’s one of the worst escalations since a war in 1971, hitting markets and leading to the suspension of commercial flights in the area.
Neither side wants a full-blown conflict. Equally, it’s risky for either Khan or Modi to be seen to be backing down entirely.
Sounding tough helps Khan at home as the economy struggles and Pakistan’s military continues to doubt the former cricketer’s bona fides. Modi is just weeks from a tough election, and nationalist fervor in India is high.
Both leaders may now claim a moral victory and attempt to leave it at that, with Khan warning India can’t be “the judge, jury and executioner,” while also saying that he’s ready to talk.
But it wouldn’t take much to turn the long-simmering problem into something far more dangerous.
– Rosalind Mathieson and Iain Marlow

26 February
US urges India, Pakistan to ‘avoid escalation at any cost’
Mike Pompeo speaks separately with top diplomats of India and Pakistan, urges neighbours to ‘exercise restraint’.
His comments on Tuesday came a day after Pakistan said it reserved the right to respond to Indian air raids that struck near the northern Pakistani village of Jaba, located about 10km west of the border with Pakistan-administered Kashmir, and 60km from the Line of Control that divides Indian and Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
Separately, four people, including two children, were killed and seven others wounded on Tuesday in an exchange of fire between Indian and Pakistani troops in Pakistan-administered Kashmir’s district of Kotli, according to officials.

India launches airstrike inside Pakistan; Islamabad denies militant camp hit
(Reuters) The airstrike near the town of Balakot, some 50 kilometres (31 miles) from the frontier was the deepest cross-border raid launched by India since the last of its three wars with Pakistan in 1971.
Pakistan condemned the Indian action and said it would respond at a time and place of its choice.
The airstrikes, according to the Indian government, hit a training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), the group that claimed credit for a suicide car bomb attack killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary police in Kashmir on Feb. 14. The action was ordered as India said it had intelligence that Jaish was planning more attacks.
A senior Indian government source said that 300 militants had been killed in the strikes and that the warplanes had ventured as far as 80 km (50 miles) inside Pakistan. But no evidence was immediately provided to back up the claims of militant casualties.

16 February
Pulwama attack: Need for a radical review of internal security, foreign policy
At the end of the day, the long term solution to the tangled Kashmir issue lies in the socio-political domain – within J&K ; between Delhi and Srinagar ; and between India-Pakistan and China. The stance adopted by Beijing in shielding the Pakistani ‘deep state’ (read military and security establishment) in its support to both terror groups and the ideology that nurtures it has been a major obstacle and this will be an abiding challenge for Delhi irrespective of who is the next Prime Minister of India, writes C Uday Bhaskar for South Asia Monitor

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