Indian Army’s aggressive stance at the LoC, as part of a renewed approach towards counter-insurgency operations in Kashmir, appears to have rattled the Pakistani army. After the famous Uri terror attack in 2016, and India’s surgical strikes, the frequency, intensity and volume of ceasefire violations have reached pre-2003 levels. Meanwhile, according to a report in Pakistani newspaper Dawn, ministers in the neighbouring country are not able to reveal the number of troops who got killed recently. The report quoted Pakistan’s Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali as saying, “We do not want our enemy to know how many soldiers laid down their lives.” This comes after India has been carrying out punitive fire assaults against Pakistani posts which are known to provide cover fire to militants who try to sneak into Jammu and Kashmir.
The massive exchange of firing along the LoC in recent months has been characterised by India’s departure from the past, as the Army itself has officially said it is proactively targeting Pakistani posts at the border. Meanwhile, before the recent acts, Indian Army usually asserted that its firing was only in response to Pakistani violations of the ceasefire. Interestingly, the Indian Army had released a video of a Pakistani post being targeted, to which the Pakistanis had responded with a few videos of their own, but denied by India. While this game will probably continue for the foreseeable future, it won’t be a far cry to say that the Pakistan government is rattled by the actions taken by India.
Both India and Pakistan have exchanged heavy fire in recent weeks. Ceasefire violations along the LoC usually go up during the summer because the snow melts and mountain passes open, making it easier for militants to enter. Additionally, Pakistani troops give cover fire to infiltrators. Meanwhile, the reason Pak ministers do not want to share the information regarding the death of its soldier are being cited as ‘security measure’, but it has also been stressed that such data cannot be withheld from the Senate.
Following the change in the stance of India at the LoC, a lot of Pakistani soldiers have been killed and being proactive on the LoC, the Army seeks to not only prevent infiltration but to also claim moral ascendancy over Pakistan. This seems not to go down well with our neighbours. Also, such an aggressive behaviour also builds in a certain unpredictability about India’s intentions along the LoC, which has kept the Pakistani side guessing.
All in all, it is clear that channels of communication between India and Pakistan appear to be shut, and the situation in Kashmir showing no signs of change, the LoC will continue to see several strikes and the temperature will not come down soon. To add to it, both the sides have released videos and made claims which add fuel to the fire. Yet, given India’s prowess, and Pakistani Army’s discomfort, chances of peace on the LoC look remote for now.