Pak Aiming To Rake Up Kashmir Issue, Experts Warn

Pak Aiming To Rake Up Kashmir Issue, Experts Warn

6 August 2013
Times of India


New Delhi: Repeated aggressive actions by the Pakistani security establishment and irregulars with its blessings reflects a long-term strategy, and could be aimed at reviving Kashmir issue as South Asia awaits US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan next year. Experts are beginning to see a long-term strategy behind the repeated provocative actions along the Line of Control (LoC), especially in the Jammu sector. 'Going by the ISI's past track record it is certainly planned for the next five-10 years. In 2014, the South Asian scenario is set to see major changes,' said former Navy chief and a leading strategic analyst, Admiral Arun Prakash, even as he warned that Pakistani security establishment could be trying to mount pressure on Kashmir. Prakash said it wasn't impossible to revive militancy in Kashmir, and that is something that the establishment must keep in mind. Once the US pressure on Afghanistan ease, there would be huge amounts of small arms and many Taliban fighters available to be diverted into Kashmir, he said. The bitter political fight for the 2014 national elections and the perception of government not in control are all adding to a perception of New Delhi being indecisive, some observers said. C Uday Bhaskar, a former director of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), said he was concerned by the repeated incidents of Indian troops being ambushed in the region. 'This is the second time such an incident, of a unit getting ambushed, in the last few months. The Army needs to assess why its troops are getting ambushed,' he said. Bhaskar said the Indian Army should have a calibrated response both against the irregulars and the regulars. 'That determination should be conveyed at flag meetings,' he said. 'Concurrently we should reach out to Pakistan's civilian leadership. If India does anything impulsive it would play into the hands of the Pakistani Army, and it will bring it back to some kind of primacy in Pakistan, which is what we do not want. It is a tough call,' he said, taking an unpopular line at a time when several experts are calling for linking bilateral engagements with the attack. Some observers have also suggested that India needs to diplomatically engage the US, China and other global powers so that they could rein in Pakistan. 'Even if presume that they were irregulars, without Pakistani establishment's blessings this was not possible,' said a senior Pakistani expert in the security establishment.