The firing on the India-Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir has intensified, and it has started to raise the political heat in the state as well as in national capitals in both the countries. Pakistan is using the border firing as a strategic tool to escalate the matter internationally, and also to prove that Modi government does not have the gumption to go beyond announcements made in public. This firing has now gone beyond being a nuisance, and is badly affecting the lives of the border residents on both sides. Border firing has been used as a strategic tool by Pakistan to raise the temperature as and when it wants, and it has always remained a chink in the Indian armour. Till last several years, the government has not been able to deal with the issue, and find a permanent solution. Pakistan has become even more confident to fire on Indian side after it became a nuclear state in 1998, which ensured that it would be difficult for India to go on a limited scale war with the neighbour. Now the problem for India is that it is difficult to raise the pitch of the military reply with Pakistan as this could escalate into a war, and might lead to nuclear fallout in south Asia, a specter which would be unacceptable to the larger world. The rising of tension between two adversaries which are armed with a nuclear bomb could also involve the United Nations and the international community, and there is going to be pressure to resolve the issues peacefully.
But all this leaves India with limited options, and despite PM Modi being head of a strong government he will have to take into account the strategic, and tactical concerns while ordering Indian troops to caliberate the action. Rhetoric in public, and statements to media are one side of the coin but the PM and his security advisors will have to take into account the concerns which have a larger national and international implication. While Pakistan knows that it would not be able to win a war with Indian but it keeps on needling India with the hope that one wrong step by the Indian government, and would be in an advantageous position vis-a vis Jammu and Kashmir or otherwise in the larger context. India does have the strength and the ability to crush Pakistan but there is a clear and present danger that a minor battle could end in a nuclear war, and the nation which is on the path of growth, development, and transformation into a developed country would be pushed back by decades if god forbid a nuclear scenario confronts us.
In such a scenario, the BJP government under Modi has to come up with a strategic plan to send a message to our neighbour that the cost of provoking India would be heavy, and prohibitive. It is good that security forces have been given a free hand to retaliate on the border, and sources reveal that Indian response has caused heavy destruction on the other side with large of people getting injured, and damage to property is much more higher. It is also this reason that Pakistan army, and civil officials are now asking to smoke the peace pipe, and want talks to happen about the border issue. But the stand taken by India is quite clear that there would be no more talks till the firing stops as it was Pakistan which started to badger the Indian posts, and villages with rocket, and small arm fire in Jammu sector. In fact senior Pakistani leaders, and politicians have even raised the matter with the government in Islamabad, and there is consternation over the strong Indian response. While it is likely that this matter will be resolved soon as predicted by PM Modi but ceasefire vilations will not end till the cost is made prohibitive for Pakistan both politically and militarily.
PIC: File Photo