- TV and print media is awash with images of beleaguered civilians on the Indo Pak border grieving the loss of life and property or facing the rigors of having to flee their homes just to save their lives. Since the beginning of this month, about 80 Indian villages have come under shelling and firing, more than 30,000 people have been displaced, 8 have lost their lives while 80 have sustained injuries. As many as 60 Indian border outposts have been targeted in this time. (Source – India Today)
- Entire villages along the border have been abandoned and bear the aspect of ghost towns and people who have taken refuge in shelters have no idea when they will be able to return home. Home Minister Rajnath Singh was quoted as having said that such acts of border violations by Pakistan would not be tolerated. (Source – BBC)
- This time around, Pakistan’s ceasefire violations have been met with a forceful reply from the Indian side; something that many commentators have welcomed. This unprecedented response from the Indian side has sent Pak complaining to the UN, claiming “deliberate and unprovoked violations of the ceasefire agreement and cross-border firing” (Source – Indian Express).
- While border skirmishes along the line of control are far from unusual, this set of conflicts have been unusually fierce. Both sides having inflicted heavy damage; both sides blaming the other; claiming not to understand the reason for such belligerence from the other side. At least one commentator has opined that this is due to the “suicidal logic” of the Pakistani Army. This is why, even strong retaliation from the Indian side has been unable to defuse the aggression from the Pak side.
- Even more inexplicably, there have been reports of the Pak army preventing humanitarian aid reaching civilians in the flood hit region. There were reports earlier this month, of the Pak authorities having barred activists from taking relief goods intended for flood victims across the border in the Chakothi area and that movement of even close relatives was tightly restricted. (Source – Yahoo News)
- Meanwhile an ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) angle has also been added to the volatile mix of circumstances in the state of Jammu & Kashmir. Banners and flags supporting the Sunni Jihadist organisation have appeared at 3 different rallies in the state in the last two months. Intelligene agencies are not yet sure how these have found their way into the state. (Source – Rising Kashmir)
- Kashmir has seen anti-India protests and one protestor was found to be waving and ISIS flat from the top of one of the largest mosques in the state after the Friday in Srinagar. According to Lt. General Subrata Saha, this is something that “merits the highest concern of all security agencies”. (Source – Times)
- With the infiltrations from across the border proceeding unceasingly, the source of such anti-India propaganda cannot be far to find. As arms, ammunition, terrorists and infiltrators sponsored by Pak authorities find their way into India, it is hardly inconceivable that ISIS flags and banners find their way into the country via the same route.
- According to former Army chief and Arunachal Pradesh governor, Gen JJ Singh, until the time that the Army and the ISI continue to call the shots in Islamabad, there is little chance that Pakistan’s hostile Indian policy will change. He also said that ‘terrorist brinkmanship’ will not work against today’s India. India has taken a firm stand and sent out an unambiguous message that a befitting reply shall be meted out. (Source – Zee News)
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