Indo-Pak relations: Time to draw the line?
- October 17, 2016
- Posted by: admin
- Category: General Knowledge
The tension between India and Pakistan is nothing new- no matter how many bilateral meetings may be held or smiles exchanged, there are undercurrents of rivalry in the relations between the two neighbours. This time, however, things have taken a rather ugly turn and the freeze in relations lasted longer than usual, with things not likely to improve anytime soon.
While Pakistan’s statements on the Kashmir unrest in India were not appreciated, what really brought things to a boil was the attack in Uri by terrorists in the wee hours of the morning on army men who were sleeping. 18 soldiers were martyred in the attack, carried out by terrorists who were allegedly Pakistani. Some militants were carrying with them items with Pakistani markings.
India immediately got into action and condemned the attacks, sought support against terrorism, especially state-sponsored terrorism (read, terrorism from across the border) through diplomatic channels and even mulled the idea of imposing some penalties on Pakistan through diplomatic channels, such as, taking back its status as a ‘Most Favoured Nation’ accorded to it by India and reviewing the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), originally signed in 1960 between the 2 countries and which has since survived 3 wars as well. The IWT is a water distribution treaty that was brokered by the World Bank (then the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development). According to this agreement, India gets to control the three “eastern” rivers – the Beas, the Ravi and the Sutlej, while control over the three “western” rivers- the Indus, the Chenab and the Jhelum- to Pakistan.
However, apart from these measures, India also initiated military action against terrorism, by conducting ‘surgical strikes’ in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) and wiping out terror holds set along the border. Union minister Rajyavardhan Rathore said that no territorial violations had been committed during the surgical strikes since PoK is very much a part of India. He termed the strikes carried out by the army as a “pre-emptive action” aimed against terrorists and said that they were not a military operation but an anti-terrorist exercise “and LoC will not prevent us from carrying out an anti-terror operation”. Things spun out of control when Pakistan denied any such surgical strikes and instead, tried to suppress the matter by saying that there had merely been some ceasefire violations across the LoC, and to add to that, some Opposition leaders in India started questioning the veracity of claims regarding the surgical strikes, asking for proof that they actually happened.
Another issue on the fringes was the 48-hour ultimatum issued by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) to Pakistani artistes, asking them to leave India within that time. The industry, in fact, the whole of India had a divided opinion on whether the ongoing tiff between India and Pakistan should spill over into the realm of entertainment and culture at all. While some were vehemently opposed to Pakistani artists being given lucrative opportunities in India while their home country was indulging in such acts, others supported the Pakistani artists, saying that a distinction had to be made between terrorists and those who were in the country on a legally valid visa.
The conflict between India and Pakistan does not seem to be abating anytime soon, and the situation seems dire especially for Pakistan, which is experiencing an isolation of sorts at the international stage- for example, the SAARC summit that was scheduled to be held there later this year, had to be cancelled with several countries pulling out, citing concerns about “cross-border” terrorism. Also, it is time for India to chock out a more well-defined strategy to respond to such situations instigated from across the border.