Kashmir: India and Pakistan warn each other over attacks


India and Pakistan have traded warnings over a surge in violence in Kashmir which has killed at least 19 people.
Pakistani Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said his country would “respond befittingly to Indian aggression” but it did not want confrontation.
His Indian counterpart, Arun Jaitley, had earlier said Pakistan would be made to pay an “unaffordable” price if it persisted with “adventurism”.
Each side accuses the other of starting hostilities which broke out a week ago.





“They were sleeping outside here when the shell came down. They died instantly.”

Subarna Devi gestures towards a wooden cot placed in the courtyard of her home.

This is where her brother and his wife were killed after a Pakistani shell landed on their home in the border village of Arnia in Indian administered Kashmir

Across the lush green rice fields, a barbed-wire electrified fence stands out, coils of concertina wire encircling it. This is the border between India and Pakistan.

It’s strangely quiet. There are a few watchtowers with a couple of soldiers in them. But there’s nothing to suggest that this is a frontier which has seen some of the most intense exchange of firing between the two armies in years.

“The firing started at one in the morning and continued through the night,” says Satya Devi.

“We just left with the clothes we had on. Nothing else.”

We are very blessed, here in the United States, to have uncontested borders. In much of he world, this isn’t true.


Let’s pray that cooler heads prevail and no further violence takes place.


Apparently the bloodshed is being driven by an aggressive policy adopted by the newly elected government in India.

[M]ilitary officers in both countries and officials in New Delhi say the violence that has killed nearly 20 civilians escalated because of a more assertive Indian posture under the new government of nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“The message we have been given from the prime minister’s office is very clear and precise,” said a senior Indian Home Ministry official. “The prime minister’s office has instructed us to ensure that Pakistan suffers deep and heavy losses.”

Officials say India’s new policy is being orchestrated by Ajit Doval, the country’s national security adviser, a decorated former intelligence official renowned for his role in dangerous counter-insurgency missions. He has long advocated tough action against Pakistan-based militant groups.

In conversations with Reuters as head of a right-wing think tank in New Delhi before he joined the new government, Doval said India must lay down core security policies, one of which was “zero tolerance” for acts of violence.


From what I gather, India is striking back at Pakistan with much greater force than Pakistan is directing at India. India has superior military strength, and may also be banking on Pakistan’s defense forces being tied down fighting militants in the tribal areas far to the northwest.


My concern is not the occasional shelling or exchange of machine gun fire between Indian and Pakistani forces.

My concern is the increasing radicalisation of Moslem fundamentalists, and quite a bit of that goes back to General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, who set Pakistan on a path towards militant Islamisation.

from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad_Zia-ul-Haq

‘Sharization’ of Pakistan

The Islamic conservatism and the Islamic state became Zia’s primary policy of his military government.[2][2] The secular-socialist orientation and socialist economics process was an attempt to upset to Pakistan’s order of operation on a routine life, as Zia maintained.[2] General Zia rejected Bhutto’s philosophy and was reported to highly hostile of Bhutto’s philosophical rationale, “Food, clothing, and shelter”.[2] General Zia defended his policies in an interview in 1979 given to British journalist Ian Stephens, as he puts it.

The basis of Pakistan was Islam. The basis of Pakistan were Muslims in the subcontinent are a separate culture. It was the Two-Nation Theory that carved out of the Subcontinent as Pakistan.... Mr. [Zulfikar] Bhutto's way of flourishing way of This Society was by eroding its moral fiber. Mr. Bhutto.. eroded the moral fiber of the society by pitching students against teachers, children against their parents, landlord against tenants, workers against mill owners. Pakistan is not incapable of economic production. It is because Pakistanis have been made to believe that one can earn without working.... We are going back to Islam not by choice but by the force of circumstances. It is not I or my [military] government that is imposing Islam. It was the 99 percent of people wanted; the street violence against Bhutto reflected the people's desire of wanting— just as the campaign for Pakistan Movement. I am just giving the people [of Pakistan] what they want.
—General Zia-ul-Haq interview giving in 1979 to Ian Stephens, [2]

On 2 December 1978, on the occasion of the first day of the Hijra to enforce the Islamic system in Pakistan in a nationwide address, Zia accused politicians of exploiting the name of Islam: “Many a ruler did what they pleased in the name of Islam.”[67] After assuming power, the government began a program of public commitment to enforce Nizam-e-Mustafa (Islamic System), a significant turn from Pakistan’s predominantly secular law, inherited from the British. As a preliminary measure to establish an Islamic society in Pakistan, Zia announced the establishment of Sharia Benches.[67] To many secular and communist forces, Zia cynically manipulated Islam for the survival of his own regime.[67] In 1983, Nusrat Bhutto reasoned General Zia’s policies as she puts it:

The (scream) and the horrors of 1971 war..... are (still) alive and vivid in the hearts and the minds of people of [Pakistan]...Therefore, General Zia insanely.... used the "Islam [Card]".... to ensure the survival of his own regime....
—Nusrat Bhutto, former First Lady of Pakistan, [67]  

If Pakistan is taken over by radical Moslems, I could easily see a nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan. In fact, with the new hardline nationalism of India, I’d be surprised if they didn’t launch first, rather than wait to see what the new Moslem fundamentalists of Pakistan decide to do with the nuclear toys which have fallen into their hands.


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