- In the deadliest attack on the Army in Jammu & Kashmir, heavily armed militants stormed a battalion headquarters of the Army in North Kashmir’s Uri town on September 18, 2016, killing 18 jawans.
- India has charged that Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) is behind the attacks. It has accused the Pakistan’s Army for supporting their infiltration
- JeM has a special significance as China has put a technical hold over India’s efforts to bring about a UN ban on the JeM leader Masood Azhar for his involvement in Pathankot attack.
Options with India?
The Government of India has various options to give a fitting reply to the Uri attacks. A brief analysis of these steps is given here:
- Diplomatic –
- Issue demarche to Pakistan, demanding a thorough investigation with specific outcomes.
- Downgrade relations with Pakistan, recall Indian High Commissioner to Islamabad.
- Send envoys to major world capitals, to gather support for an action against Pakistan for sheltering JeM and LeT among other terrorist groups.
- Use the ongoing United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session to introduce a resolution condemning cross border terrorism.
- Raise support to Balochistan freedom movement, raise human rights violations by Pakistan.
- Diplomatic pressure can work only when there is an ongoing progressive dialogue process between the two countries. Bu at present, talks have been called off between India and Pakistan.
- Appealing to the international community will amount to internationalizing the Kashmir dispute which India wants to resolve internally and bilaterally.
- The Balochistan option can bring international censure as the U.S. maintains that it supports Pakistan’s claim on Balochistan.
- Break all trade relations with Pakistan, suspending transactions across Wagah and Uri.
- Ban imports of all Pakistani products to India.
- Appeal to other countries to reduce economic activities with Pakistan.
- Ask U.N. to impose sanctions against Pakistan.
- India and Pakistan have a small direct formal trade $2.3 billion.
- Breaking off trade relations will affect the Kashmiris the most as the use the Line of Control (LoC) for fruit trade.
- The sanctions process will require a UNSC resolution, and that will surely be blocked by China.
- Increase patrolling and scale of fire at LoC.
- Surgical strikes on terrorist camps in PoK.
- Selected targeting of terror chiefs like Hafiz Saeed (LeT) and Masood Azhar (JeM).
- Target Pakistan Army posts permitting infiltration.
- A military operation of any kind will no doubt lead to counter strikes from Pakistan, whose military is already under pressure.
- India will need to be clear about having clear targets and coordinates of terror camps and their chiefs to prevent any civilian casualties.
A thorough investigation of all the security lapses that led to the Uri attack, infiltration routes, as well as defence preparedness would need to be studied in order to secure against future strikes.
- According to the agreement, control over three eastern tributaries – the Beas, the Ravi and the Sutlej was given to India, while control over the three western tributaries – the Indus, the Chenab and the Jhelum – to Pakistan.
- India can use only 20% of the total water carried out by the Indus river.
- Analysis: If India were to cut off supply to Pakistan, it could cause a huge crisis in that country as a majority of its areas are dependent on Indus water.
- The government is looking into ways of making maximum use of three of the rivers that are governed by Pakistan under the treaty – Indus, Chenab and Jhelum.
- It is an international agreement, which means India alone cannot withdraw from it, and violating a legally enforceable treaty can invite international condemnation.
Aftermath of attacks
- Pakistan International Airlines cancelled flights to certain parts of Kashmir on 21 September.
- In the wake of the attack, India cancelled its participation in the 19th SAARC summit to be held in November in Islamabad, Pakistan.
- Home Minister Rajnath Singh incriminated Pakistan of what he called its “continued and direct support to terrorism and terrorist groups,” calling Pakistan a “terrorist state” that should be “isolated.”
- On 26th September, 2016 Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs of India gave a speech in UN stating key points about terrorism and Pakistan.
Main points of her speech regarding terrorism were: –
- That we who suffered Uri understand and feel the pain of attacks of New York on 15th annivaersary of 9/11. There have been many attacks on innocent in many countries and these forces are yet to be defeated.
- Everybody must acknowledge that terrorism is undoubtedly the biggest violation of human rights.
- We all must join hands together to provide a peaceful and better world to our present and coming generations and if any nation refuses to join this global strategy, then we must isolate it.
- In our midst, there are nations that still speak the language of terrorism, that nurture it, peddle it, and export it. We must identify these nations and hold them to account. Such countries should have no place in the comity of nations.
- Pakistan before raising concerns over Kashmir should introspect and see what they are doing in Balochistan. The brutality against the Baloch people represents the worst form of State oppression.
- She denied that India places some pre-conditions for holding talks with Pakistan over Kashmir issue. She also said that every time we extended and amiable hand to our neighbor it cursed us with attacks such as Pathankhot and Uri.
- Pakistan should now stop its day dreaming for Kashmir because J&K was, is and always will be an integral part of India.
And the Surgical Strikes
- On 29th September, 2016 Indian Army accepted that it carried out surgical strikes along the Line of Control in PoK.
- Sources said that army travelled a distance of 1-3 km destroying seven terror launch pads along with killing of terrorist.
- Pakistan had responded by denying that the surgical strikes took place although its Army said that two of its soldiers had been killed along with nine injured in firing “on the LoC in Bhimber, Hotspring, Kel and Lipa sectors”.
- Pakistan infuriated by the strikes warned India of retaliation in the form of a military operation.
- The CPEC has long been seen as symbolic of Sino-Pakistan economic cooperation.
- China is concerned over the fallout of the Uri attack on the $ 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) being laid through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
- As India mulls scrapping of Indus Water Treaty with Pakistan, China blocks tributary of Brahmaputra in Tibet to build dam.