Indo-Pakistan Tensions Escalate
- Indo-Pakistan Tensions Escalate
by Wasantha Rupasinghe, 8 November 2016, http://www.wsws.org/
Geo-political tensions between India and Pakistan surged over the weekend as cross-border firing continued in both directions along the Line of Control (LoC), the de-facto border between the Indian- and Pakistani-held portions of disputed Kashmir. More than two dozen people, mostly civilians, have been killed in military exchanges over the past two weeks.
According to an Indian defence spokesperson, in the latest incident on Sunday, two Indian soldiers were killed and two more soldiers and three civilians were injured in the Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch district by Pakistani fire. Lt. Col. Manish Mehta boasted: “Indian troops [are] responding befittingly and have caused heavy damage to Pakistani army posts.”
An Indian intelligence sources cited by the media declared, “While Pakistan targeted Victor post of the Indian Army, their Copra post caught fire in retaliatory fire by the Indian troops. Pakistan has also suffered some casualties in retaliatory fire. However, their exact number could not be known.”
The artillery exchange on Sunday took place after a lull of four days. On the previous Sunday, the Indian military said it inflicted “heavy casualties,” destroying four Pakistani army posts in the “Keran sector” of Pakistani-held Kashmir. The “massive fire assault” was supposedly in retaliation for the beheading of an Indian soldier by “terrorist” infiltrators on October 28.
The ongoing clashes along the LoC highlight the dangerous standoff that has brought the nuclear-armed rivals to the brink of war. The Indian government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is waging an aggressive military campaign against Pakistan, blaming it for Islamic separatist attacks on an Indian army base in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir on September 18.
The governments of both India and Pakistan are whipping up reactionary chauvinism and militarism, creating explosive tensions on the subcontinent. Accusations of spying have led to diplomatic expulsions and withdrawals from each other’s capital. The Pakistan Express Tribune reported on November 4 that both countries “may temporarily recall high commissioners.”