After Killings in Kashmir, India-Pakistan Relations are Back on the Rocks

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Ajit Solanki / AP

Student activists of India’s main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party burn Pakistani flags during a protest in Ahmadabad, Aug. 8, 2013.

With the rain coming down in steamy sheets, the aptly named ‘Monsoon Session’ of parliament convened for its fourth day this morning in the Indian capital New Delhi. And in the eye of the darkening storm was Defense Minister AK Antony, defending his response to the shooting on August 6 of five Indian soldiers near the border with Pakistan.

Indian media and politicians have been in an uproar over the government’s response to the killings, the latest in a series of deadly skirmishes at the Line of Control (LoC) that divides the Kashmir region between Pakistani and Indian controlled halves. Though both countries agreed to a ceasefire in 2003, there have been regular outbreaks of shooting at the LoC over the past decade. In January, several clashes at the border brought neighborly relations to an unusually edgy low, and diplomats on both sides have been trying to undo the damage ever since. Their efforts may well go to waste.

(MORE: India-Pakistan Tensions Find Deadly Echo in Afghanistan)

On Tuesday, the Indian military announced that its troops were killed by the Pakistan military on the Indian side of the LoC, but shortly after Antony seemed to let Islamabad off the hook by suggesting that the ambush was carried out by well armed militants wearing Pakistani uniforms.

The fallout over the differing version of events has been fast and furious. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), India’s main opposition party, cited the contradictory accounts as another example of the Congress-led government’s toothless foreign policy. Antony tried to defend his statement, explaining it was made using the intelligence he had at the time. But rather than accept that the Defense Minister was reluctant to lob accusations at a nuclear-armed neighbor, the media and opposition have framed his choice of words as an attempt to withhold the facts.

(MORE: Border Crossing — Why Attempts to Ease Trade Between India and Pakistan Won’t be an Easy Road)

And so this morning Antony made an about-face. “It is now clear that specialist troops of Pakistan Army were involved in the attack when a group from the Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir side crossed the LoC and killed our brave jawans [privates],” he said in a new statement before parliament. “Naturally this incident will have consequences on our behavior on the Line of Control and our relations with Pakistan.”

It is certain that Pakistan will be affronted by Antony’s new position. Islamabad quickly denied any involvement in the attack and reaffirmed its commitment to the ceasefire, even though fighting on the troubled border has continued in the wake of Tuesday’s killings. On Wednesday, both sides accused the other of unprovoked attacks, while protests erupted across India. After demonstrators clashed with police outside Pakistan’s High Commission in New Delhi, Islamabad asked the Indian government to step up security for its diplomatic staff.

The extremists bent on staging these acts of violence — whether they are state or non-state actors or a combination of both — seem to be prevailing once again, sabotaging the fragile conversation that has been building between the long-time rivals. Earlier in the week, both sides were working the back channels to keep things from spiraling, with Pakistani and Indian military officials reportedly in contact via a “hotline” to prevent the incident from escalating further. What happens next, however, is unclear. On Thursday, a spokesman for the Ministry of External Affairs said the government had “been in touch with Pakistan until recently through diplomatic channels to work dates out for possible secretary level talks. However, since the recent incident there have not been any discussions on the subject.” Opposition leaders have demanded a proposed meeting next month between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Nawaz Sharif be called off. If things keep moving in the current direction, they may very well get their way.

MORE: The Hanging of Afzal Guru — How an Execution is Roiling Kashmir

79 comments
cpofpakistan
cpofpakistan

@TIME @TIMEWorld CPP wants peace with India but the way Indians leadership & its people r agitating against PAK we have to review our policy

khawar.nehal
khawar.nehal

The meeting should be held to reduce tensions. Some people want to have war just to cause losses, tension and hurt to innocent people on both sides.
If there is a war started by these small incidents, then a lot of poor people shall die of hunger. First in India then in Pakistan.
The people who have enough to eat do not care if the poor people die.


sharadsngh067
sharadsngh067

this will get worse if indian PM keeps his ass shut!!!! either he opens it orelse pakistani millitants vl do it for him....@TIME @TIMEWorld

kashmiriwomen
kashmiriwomen

@fifiharoon @TIME Fanatics in India are trying to make it isreal of south Asia ,kashmir stands choked and suppressed. Fascists rising.

venomm99
venomm99

@fifiharoon they were never on smooth track...... Dirty politics going on both side...

Mike007
Mike007

Well, it seems India has almost made it a habit to jeopardize peace process everytime it is proposed by Pakistan. Check Samjhota Express blasts for instance. Initially, these blasts were blamed on Pakistan's ISI, however, later on Hindutva terrorists were caught in India, who confessed on carrying out the bombing to derail the peace between the two nations. 

I'd suggest India to not make any new accusations right now. It must thoroughly investigate the only surviving soldier from the LoC accident, and determine what exactly happened. No wonders, after two years the same soldier confesses to killing his mates, over petty issue.

Nidaa
Nidaa

Fearing Saffron in his Daal Curry Defense Minister AK Antony Changed his statement.

sridhar.sid
sridhar.sid

If it is any consolation,the US and UK has withdrawn staff from its Embassies in Pakistan. India cannot escape terrorism that has now become the main export from Pakistan

powerandprivilege
powerandprivilege

Citizens of Pakistan and India must ask one question:  Who stands to gain from war?  Arms suppliers, arms dealers, ISI, military leaders seeking glory, lame duck elected leaders afraid of losing their power hold.  Average citizens in both countries must realize that they have a lot more common than foreigners giving "AID" which often comes with a hidden agenda.  Let us all pray for wisdom to prevail.  The economic cost of lost peace in a global economy is $7.2 trillion /year.  The world can ill afford such catastrophe. 

truthteat
truthteat

Its unbelievable that India cannot see beyond its nose when it comes to Pakistan. I am no expert but even I can tell that this is a deliberate attempt by some group to create an artificial crises between Pakistan and India.

My bets are on the Taliban, as they have the most to gain, they are on the back foot getting pounded by the Pakistani military, especially since Nawaz Sharif got elected, and with the US possibly leaving, they would love for Pakistan and India to go to war, thereby leaving entire Afghanistan and the Western Pakistan regions safely in the hands of the Taliban.

But alas as usual in India, the public, the media and some opposition politicians cant wait to blame the ISI for every small or big occurrence. They don't realize, Pakistan is the only and the last line of defense between them and a hoarde of suicide packing bombers, millions of them just waiting to unleash on a Hindu kafir populace, but if Indians want to escalate the situation, they might get a nasty surprise, because Pakistan can loosen its grip on the LOC, allowing all these jihadees to enter Indian occupied Kashmir, right now they are being held back by Pakistan since the days of Musharaf detente'.


vaishnavjagdip
vaishnavjagdip

Right after Ghastly terror attack on Mumbai, there were subsequent terror strikes in various parts of India,

shameless incident was beheading of Indian soldier ,even  Indian prisoners in pakistani jail are being ill treated

so what appears to be fair, let Pakistan show an result , displaying , proving that pakistan govt is against terrorists

shuklaeelc
shuklaeelc

@TIME @TIMEWorld This is disgusting to hear this . They are regularly killing our jawans and our politicians are shaking hads with them

khawar.nehal
khawar.nehal

@sharadsngh067 @TIME @TIMEWorld  

You are not helping the situation.

Looks like you are trying to escalate it. Why ?


khawar.nehal
khawar.nehal

@fayyaz52 @TIME @TIMEWorld 

Just ignore it. If you worry about who killed who for a few people, thousands to millions shall die due to the discussions and potential war which shall be fought.
Both sides have nukes. 


khawar.nehal
khawar.nehal

@AwaazAzad @Jaishrey @TIME @TIMEWorld 

They are safe as long as they have a visa. After that the MEA people may have to return to face nukes.
Wake up to reality sheeple. Some people wants a lot of God fearing people dead.


khawar.nehal
khawar.nehal

@venomm99@fifiharoon

Kill the dirty politicians on both sides before they get your relatives killed.


khawar.nehal
khawar.nehal

@Mike007  

If India wants to take over Pakistan they need to be made aware that we could see Zardari as the next president of the Indian subcontinent. That would teach the Indians to play politics with the likes of PK politicians.

 

khawar.nehal
khawar.nehal

@Nidaa  

Indians please fire your Defence minister from duty. He wants a larger defence budget to spend and is justifying it with a false flag war.

 

khawar.nehal
khawar.nehal

@powerandprivilege The largest exporter of arms. USA. Plain and simple.
War starts. Millions of God fearing people dead not fighting in the way of God. Satanic group US/Al Quaida/UN/NATO makes billions of Dollars or Ameros. And at least 2 billion subcontinentals shall not have enough resources to even afford 1 meal of daal and chawal per day for the next 3 to 5 years.
Shaitan shall be having the last laugh if the war gets started. 

A few nukes shall look better in front of billions of hungry people fighting in the streets. Robbing each other.
People of India and PK please get on the internet and start your own talks. Like those in favor of peace and unlike and unfriend those who are for war. Do as much as you can to explain why the Indian defence minister wants to increase his defence budget via war which poor people shall pay with their death by hunger.

.


hemsphere
hemsphere

@truthteat Coming from the countrymen of a country that took multiple billion$ in American aid in the 'war against terror' and harbored bin laden for nearly a decade, not very convincing.

anjan288
anjan288

@truthteat  

You are totally mistaken ........ Pakistani army waged a proxy war on India since 1989 ........ as far as India is concerned, there is no distinction between Taliban, LeT and the Pakistani army ........ in fact Pakistani army and ISI are the real Taliban ........

truthteat
truthteat

@vaishnavjagdip your memory is very selective, it was India who first killed Pakistani soldiers without any provocations, what happened afterwards, is afterwards.

truthteat
truthteat

@shuklaeelc @TIME @TIMEWorld yeah and India is backing Baloch rebels openly who are killing dozens of Pakistanis daily, you are lucky Pakistan has not decided to declare an open jihad in every city and town in india, and allow million plus suicide bombers to instead target India, instead of Pakistan.....it would be easy to divert the focus from Pakistan to India, instead Pakistan is a decent nation which is trying to stamp out militancy and terrorism completely, I dont think you Indians appreciate the sacrifice Pakistan is giving, if it fails, then the same people are headed for your cities, and no, you cannot scare them or cajole them or force them, these are killing machines, they are terminators in the truest sense, they will not discuss, feel compassion or give you another chance, they will enter your cities, your neighborhoods and wreck havoc, take a look at Pakistan currently, this can be you in an instant.

khawar.nehal
khawar.nehal

@gauravagarwals @TIME @TIMEWorld So lets resolve to stop the fighting at all costs. Not escalate it like a talk show.

truthteat
truthteat

@gauravagarwals @TIME @TIMEWorld trust me you dont have the genetic makup to fight this menace of Taliban, you know I dont wish ill for anyone, even you hateful Indians who always attack Pakistan, but sometimes I wish your wish of war and fighting Pakistan comes true, you would really regret the peaceful existence you have today.

You Indians have no idea, you are one heartbeat away from a fanatical overpowering of your entire nation by hordes of Mongol like creatures who thirst for your blood, your women and your destruction, and it is so strange that without your knowledge and your deep rooted hated for Pakistan and the ISI, that it is just these two organizations alongwith others in Pakistan, that are directly or indirectly keeping you Indians safe by acting as some sort of buffer. The day the buffer is removed or even lifted by Pakistan, you will rue this day you wanted war.

khawar.nehal
khawar.nehal

@kashi_boy @FasihaFarrukh @TIMEWorld Totally false. You are jumping to the conclusion that the people want the war. 

We the people do not want a war. If you want to escalate the situation with your hatred comments, then you shall be known for escalating the situation.


khawar.nehal
khawar.nehal

@anjan288 @truthteat Who cares who died.

When babri masjid started I told people that only a few people are dead. If it escalates more shall die. Nobody cared then, and thousands have died for a useless cause.
Muslims go to hell if they commit suicide. Dying for political reasons or political parties is not dying for God but suicide.


Nidaa
Nidaa

@anjan288@truthteat. Correct your self please in 1971 Pakistan was attacked and dismembered by an aggressor neighbor who ran over a weaker nation in spite the whole world advised not to do so. At the end of the day Bengalis slapped Indra Gandhi by not joining Indian Union. Indra’s effort to drown the 2-nation theory by force drowned, leaving a note in the history, Muslims will never let India turn in to Ram Raj (Maha Bharata).

khawar.nehal
khawar.nehal

@truthteat @TIME @TIMEWorld Why cannot the people who are going to be the losers talk among themselves to stop this war ?
They shall lose their relatives if it starts. This is not a TV talk show people. wake up. You are accountable for your actions.


anjan288
anjan288

@truthteat

If the situation goes bad to the extent you are portraying ...... then there will indeed be a nuclear exchange ..... and if you, or any Paki thinks it will remain confined between Pakistan and India, then you are mistaken ...... the entire Sunni region within India's reach would vapourize ....... no Mecca , no Medina ...... the nerve center of Sunni Islam will be gone .......

H
H

@Nidaa @anjan288 @truthteat  Haha  that is perfect example of taqiyya , please google operation chengiz khan 1971. You can lie you know but you will get caught

hemsphere
hemsphere

@Nidaa @anjan288 @truthteat There are more Muslims in India than there is in Pakistan and unlike there, there is no major violence between Muslims and different communities nor within the different sects of the Muslim community.

anjan288
anjan288

@BabrikSwati 

Yes ...... any nuke attack by Pakistan on the Hindus of India will bring down hell for the entire Sunni population within India's reach.  Pakistan will be responsible for their destruction.

So, instead of speculating about India's existence , you better think about existence of the Sunni world and Pakistan's responsibility .......

BabrikSwati
BabrikSwati

@anjan288

Mecca and Medina are the centre of all of Islam, idiot. You are deliberately excluding Iran. You would have to bomb every Muslim nation within your reach, which is not much, to be honest. If these two cities are bombed, you will turn every moderate Muslim against you. Then you can bid your existence goodbye. Your cities will already be gone in case of a nuclear war, and what little would remain would come to an effective end at some point in the future after hoards of Muslims would descend upon you from land and sea, coming from distant lands, horn of Africa, South-east Asia etc, helped by Muslims in your midst. Trust me, you don't want to be thinking of bombing these two holy cities.