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India still in aggressive posture


March 18, 2019

ISLAMABAD: India’s armed forces unannounced aggressive positioning and posturing is still intact that it had attained in the wake of Pulwama suicide attack killing more than 40 Indian Army’s personnel on 14th February.

No Indian overture establishes that it has made pull back to the peacetime but reduced the movements. For the reason Pakistan is maintaining its alert and some parts of the airspace haven’t been restored by Islamabad. Likewise, other arrangements are in place. Highly placed sources told The News that Pakistan’s standpoint regarding tension created by India is unchanged.

The sources said that Indian Air Force (IAF) is present on its forward bases alongside Pakistan, while its manoeuverings are also under way, but not in provocative form. Its plans are avoiding to enter the “forbidden” zone, but their presence with full preparation could trigger the situation to dangerous extend anytime. Indian combat army units which were brought to close bordering areas are still present in aggressive posturing. Indian Navy’s presence in the waters adjacent to Pakistan’s maritime borders is also in place, the sources said.

Pakistan has kept vigilance eye on the Indian forces moves. Tensions between Islamabad and New Delhi culminated on 27 February, when the two sides’ warplanes engaged in an air battle over Kashmir just a day after India’s committed aggression by defying international borders and managed to reach over Balakot in KP province, settled areas of Pakistan. Its plans dropped it payload in panic when challenged by Pakistan Air Force (PAF).

Later in the day, India lost two fighter planes of which one pilot was killed who was flying sophisticated plan of IAF and other captured by Pakistan. During bilateral sparring in February, Pakistan and India threatened to launch missiles at each other and only US officials’ interference helped defuse a bigger conflict, international wire reported citing unnamed sources.

According to sources in Islamabad, New Delhi and Washington, the threat emerged after Pakistan downed Indian planes. The 27 February air battle came after a raid by Indian jet fighters on what New Delhi said was a terrorist camp in Pakistan. Islamabad vehemently denied the existence of any such camp in the area and claimed that the Indian bombs had exploded on an empty hillside.

The sources confirmed a specific Indian threat to use six missiles on targets inside Pakistan after the dogfight to support New Delhi’s new campaign of so-called “counter-terrorism”. Pakistan, reportedly, responded by stating that it would counter any Indian missile attacks with "many more launches of its own". “We said if you will fire one missile, we will fire three. Whatever India will do, we will respond three times to that,” the wire report cited an unnamed Pakistani minister as saying at the time.

Another source claimed that US security adviser John Bolton was on the phone with Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval on the night of 27th February and into the early hours of 28th February, in an attempt to defuse the situation. Washington, reportedly, focused on securing the quick release of the Indian pilot and winning New Delhi’s assurance that it would scrap its threat to fire missiles. The pilot was handed over to India on 1st March, in what Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said was a “peace gesture”. “We made a lot of effort to get the international community involved in encouraging the two sides to de-escalate the situation because we fully realised how dangerous it was”, a senior Trump administration official was cited by wire service as saying on condition of anonymity.

Indian will never find Pakistan off guard. And it should measure the situation before committing any blunder because war is a very strange game. The only winning move is not to play. The sources said that as soon India goes for pull back, Pakistan wouldn’t hesitate to return to normalcy, the sources said. The sources further said that Indian high commissioner to Pakistan is having meeting with the high ups in the Foreign Office, and he has been asked to convey Pakistan’s sentiments for peace to his government, but it is prepared for any eventuality since settling the score could be a disastrous game.

Pakistan’s high commissioner to New Delhi Sohail Mahmood, who is expected to return Islamabad early second week of next month, has been tipped to assume new assignment as Foreign Secretary vice Tehmina Janjua in the third week of next month. Sohail Mehmood has also important interaction in South Block in New Delhi in recent days where Indian External Affairs Ministry is housed.