India and Pakistan relations have taken another serious hit after the killing of five soldiers on the Indian side of the Line of Control (LoC) this month. The incident has sparked intermittent firing from Indian and Pakistani forces which have injured dozens, heightened panic along the border and potentially derailed efforts made by both sides for rapprochement. This flare up in tensions comes months after two Indian soldiers were beheaded near the LoC. Even as the Pakistan government has denied any hand in both attacks, the Indian government has not cut off diplomatic ties with the nation, despite Pakistan’s unwillingness to investigate the incidents from their side of the border. The Indian army has conducted anti-infiltration operations on the Indian side to flush out militants and recovered a massive cache of arms and ammunition last week bearing markings of the Pakistan army. Yet, Pakistan has continued to remain silent. Ever since the 26/11 attacks and numerous infiltration attempts, India has continued to extend its hand to bolster economic relations with Pakistan, receiving extensive flak from the Opposition and the public for acting soft. As rapprochement with Pakistan starts to cost the government politically, it is quickly losing patience.
If India is to believe Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s intentions to broker peace, then it seems there is a division between the authority of the Executive and the armed forces in the country. On the other hand, if the government is in complete control, then it indicates that Sharif regime is behind the escalation in tensions. While the debates may rage on in newsrooms on both sides of the border, we civilians may never know how our governments truly intend to take relations forward.
Nonetheless, I continue to believe that the prosperity of both nations rest on strong bilateral ties and cultural connections between the citizenry. Yet I know that destiny can only be realized by my generation, the youth of India and Pakistan. Our elders have had the misfortune of being isolated from imagining such a future where we can exist with peace, let alone freely share views the way I am doing through this article. The people of India are angry at Pakistan’s silence and more importantly allegations of the nation’s vilification which bolsters the public position of the jingoistic outfits in the Indian political system. Many people of my age want to believe that the young of Pakistan are committed to peace with India, but they need a sign no matter how miniscule.
I appeal to my brothers and sisters across the border – if you believe that a better future for both our nations is linked to peace between us – write, demonstrate, and express your solidarity with the people of India at this time. Condemn the attacks on our soldiers; condemn the ceasefire violations; demand that your government answer the appeals of the Indian government to investigate the killings from the Pakistan side of the border in an act of good faith. Do not allow silence to exacerbate tensions further.
As normal citizens, let’s do what we can to show that despite the standoff between our armies and governments, a pursuit for peace and brotherhood can prevail between the citizens of both our countries. Aren’t we capable of that?
Ayushman Jamwal is a political journalist based in New Delhi
we must confess that pakistan army denied of killing 5 indian army.Its indian army’s responsibility to investigate and come up with proofs.So the responsibility of pakistan army to investigate and give answer to indian allegation with proof.We all should be analysis nutraly and condemn Indian attacks continually on Pakistan at kotli and sialkot border almost everyday after 5 Indians killings.we see every time when Pakistan makes agree India to come on table to talk,loc gets burn.And we see which side get benefit of it.