The Pakistani violation of the Line of Control in Poonch on Tuesday, and the incursion of its soldiers 600 metres inside Indian territory, where they killed and beheaded two jawans, raises serious questions. Not least, it raises the spectre of the Pakistani ingress in Kargil in 1999. Kargil touches a raw nerve here, although it saw the abject retreat of Pakistan’s forces and its disgracing in world forums.
The Tuesday violation follows border skirmishes in the Uri sector in the Kashmir Valley. Such episodes are bound to make us ask how serious is Pakistan about pushing the bilateral peace programme, which has had a halting start in the past year. Thanks to India walking the extra mile in spite of Islamabad’s obstructionist attitude on 26/11, a positive rhythm has been imparted to bilateral ties of late. Does Pakistan now wish to impair the state of play? India must make an assessment and take suitable action on the military and diplomatic fronts.
A Wednesday press release of the Pakistan high commission suggests that the Poonch incident be investigated by the UN Military Observer Group for India and Pakistan. This is propagandistic and provocative. The body in question exists only on paper. It was created decades ago to needle India on Kashmir at the behest of Pakistan’s Western bloc supporters. A reference to it speaks of Pakistan’s continued mischief-making in Kashmir.