Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Wednesday, March 27, 2019 03:22:54 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter
BREAKING NEWS:

No sign of peace between India and Pakistan

By
10th-Mar-2019       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Ajai Shukla :
The military escalation between India and Pakistan appears to be winding down for now. Islamabad recently has handed over Indian pilot Abhinandan Varthaman, whose plane the Pakistan Air Force had shot down earlier. New Delhi declared it is committed to "maintaining peace and stability in the region", suggesting it is not planning any more air attacks deep in Pakistan's territory.
Meanwhile, crossfire on the Line of Control (LoC), which divides Indian- from Pakistan-administered Kashmir, has also decreased. However, this might be a temporary lull, as the situation remains tense with India still reeling after the February 14 suicide bombing in Pulwama claimed by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), a UN-designated terrorist group.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who faces a difficult general election next month, has taken this opportunity to reinforce his strongman image and to prove he can deter Pakistan from "fomenting terrorism" in India.
The February 26 air raids against a suspected JeM camp by the Indian Air Force (IAF) marked the first time Indian fighter jets crossed deep into Pakistan since the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war. Riding on a wave of public anger, Modi sent a message to Pakistan that India had abandoned its unstated policy of "strategic restraint" and adopted what analysts call the "new normal" - that it would retaliate for any terror attack perceived to be linked to Pakistan.
Going by Pakistan's sustained efforts to de-escalate the crisis, including several conciliatory statements by Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Indian air raids clearly shook Islamabad's decision-makers. Yet, all through the crisis, clumsy Indian information management diluted the message Modi sought to send. By contrast, Pakistan's media managers successfully controlled messaging, allowing Islamabad to appear responsible and wedded to peace.
This was apparent from the morning of the Indian attacks. Instead of the announcement coming from New Delhi, the Pakistani military's media wing - the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) directorate - announced on social media a failed Indian attempt to bomb Pakistani targets, supported by photographs of what appeared to be explosion craters in an otherwise empty forest glade.
By the time New Delhi announced that its combat aircraft had struck a JeM camp deep inside Pakistan, public attention was no longer on the IAF's considerable military feat of having overcome Pakistani air defences to reach a target 80km across the LoC. Instead, people were questioning whether Indian bombs had completely missed their targets and whether 300 terrorists had actually been killed, as Indian officials had whispered to the media in Delhi.
Without wasting time, the ISPR facilitated local as well as international media access to an area that was purportedly the IAF's target. Very soon, credible global media organisations like Reuters, the New York Times and Al Jazeera put out reports supporting Pakistan's contention that there were no signs of any casualties in the so-called terrorist camp.
Lost in the claims and counter-claims was the primary Indian message: that it was demonstrating its ability and intent to hit militant groups in Pakistan, by crossing not just the LoC in Kashmir, but also the international border into Pakistan. By failing to put out any evidence that the IAF actually struck the camps it targeted, New Delhi failed to prove its capability, even if it had successfully demonstrated a new resolve.
Pakistan's success in controlling the message was visible again the next day when the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) staged a retaliatory incursion into India. The IAF quickly drove out the Pakistani fighter aircraft, but one of its MiG-21 fighters was shot down across the LoC and Pakistani troops captured its pilot. All through the day, the ISPR put forward claims that two to three Indian aircraft had been shot down and, by afternoon, the captured Indian pilot was paraded on Pakistani television channels, declaring that he was being treated well.
Prime Minister Khan made a video appeal for peace, urging India to join Pakistan in de-escalating the crisis. That evening, far too late, New Delhi put out a statement admitting the loss of one aircraft while claiming the IAF had shot down a Pakistani F-16. But the day clearly belonged to Pakistan.
On day three, international mediation, especially by the United States, led to a deal for the release of the IAF pilot in exchange for New Delhi's commitment to restraint and a de-escalation of the crisis. Here, again, Pakistan grabbed the credit with Khan dramatically announcing that Pakistan would release the pilot the next day, again playing the statesman by urging peace with India.
Hours later, in a wooden press conference in New Delhi, senior Indian military officers grudgingly welcomed the pilot's release. Pakistan's public relations victory was complete the next day when, on primetime television news, every Indian and Pakistani news channel broadcast live the pilot being handed back to India.
Forgotten by now is the strategic message against cross-border terrorism that India sought to send to Pakistan. Across India, this is now a purely domestic political issue as Modi, already campaigning across India, talks up the air attacks as a demonstration of his strong leadership. In a public speech, he has referenced the pilot's release in an unsophisticated pun to threaten Pakistan with more to come: "This was just a pilot project. We were just practising. Now we will carry out the real thing."
Ultimately, New Delhi will measure the success or failure of these air attacks by whether they induce Islamabad to take visible and verifiable steps to rein in militant groups like the JeM and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which India accuses Pakistan of nurturing as "sub-conventional assets".
Pakistan has already signalled it would not crack down, with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi telling international media that the Pakistani government needs to see more "evidence" that JeM indeed carried out the attack.
At the same time, there is growing international concern that Pakistan's failure to control militant groups operating from its territory could create another major crisis with India, even a full-blown armed exchange that tests the nuclear threshold.
The US, UK and France have proposed that the UN Security Council blacklist Azhar Masood, the JeM chief. For the past three years, New Delhi's efforts to get the UN to designate Masood as a global terrorist have been blocked by China, on "technical grounds".
So far, Beijing has not heeded New Delhi's appeal to drop its objection. But that could change, given China's ongoing security operations in Xinjiang province, which borders Pakistan.
Although Pakistan won the perception war in the recent crisis, it is losing ground internationally to a rising India. Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj has addressed the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting in Abu Dhabi as a guest of honour. The OIC invited Swaraj over the objections of Pakistan, which downgraded its own participation in the meeting in protest.
Fifty years earlier, Pakistani objections had resulted in India being disinvited from the OIC's inaugural summit. But things have moved on.
(Ajai Shukla, Al Jazeera News. )

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Nation's supreme sacrifice for independence must not go in vain


THE nation is set to celebrate 49th Independence Day and National Day today. This year, the Independence Day has got special attention following the announcement of United Nations Under-Secretary General and Special Adviser on Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng. The special envoy on Sunday said that UN will raise the ...

Cricket »

Brian Lara hopes to witness an India-Pakistan final in WC 2019


Former West Indies legend Brian Lara predicted India as favorites to claim the World Cup title.While the cricketing interactions between sub continental arch rivals hit an all-time low in barometer following never ending political disarray, Caribean living legend has foreseen a repeat of the 2017 ICC Champions' Trophy final where ...

International »

Venezuela crisis: Russian military planes land near Caracas


Two Russian military planes landed in Venezuela's main airport on Saturday, reportedly carrying dozens of troops and large amounts of equipment.The planes were sent to "fulfil technical military contracts", Russia's Sputnik news agency reported.Javier Mayorca, a Venezuelan journalist, wrote on Twitter that he saw about 100 troops and 35 tonnes ...

International »

New Zealand's Ardern orders top-level inquiry


New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has ordered a top-level inquiry into the Christchurch mosque attacks that left 50 people dead.She said a royal commission would examine whether police and intelligence services could have done more to prevent the 15 March shootings.A royal commission is the highest level of independent ...

Entertainment »

I am a part of a film that will help people see beauty in different light: Deepika


Bollywood’s leading lady Deepika Padukone has time and again exhibited her thirst for challenging roles with her diverse choice of films. Giving testimony of the same yet again, Deepika will be seen slipping into the skin of an acid victim survivor for Chhapaak and is exhilarated to give to the ...

Cricket »

Rumana receives T20 Team of the Year cap from ICC


Bangladesh Women's team star Rumana Ahmed received the 2018 ICC T20 Team of the Year cap from the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Sunday, according to a message sent by Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).Rumana is the first Bangladesh player to have been selected in the ICC squad. The right-arm leg-spinner ...

International »

Maduro vows ‘deep’ change in Venezuela government amid pressure


AP, Venezuela :Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro vowed a major shake-up in his government, a sign he is feeling pressure from U.S. sanctions and an international outcry for him to resign."I will in the coming hours announce new government methods and a profound change in the entire government of Venezuela," Maduro ...

Football »

England, France win big, Portugal held as Euro defense opens


AP, London :Big and slick wins for France and England. Not even a goal for Portugal.Even with Cristiano Ronaldo returning to the Portugal side for the first time since last year's World Cup, the European champions could only begin their title defense with a 0-0 home draw against Ukraine.The goals ...

Sports »

Serena survives scare to advance in Miami


AFP, Miami :Serena Williams survived an "irresponsible" second set lapse on Friday to see off Sweden's Rebecca Peterson 6-3, 1-6, 6-1 in her second-round opener of the WTA and ATP Miami Open."I wasn't really happy with my performance," admitted the 23-time Grand Slam champion, who is playing in just her ...

Entertainment »

I was lucky that it wasn't a dance-off - Alia Bhatt


An Abhishek Varman directorial, Kalank starring Alia Bhatt, Madhuri Dixit, Varun Dhawan, Aditya Roy Kapur, Sonakshi Sinha, and Sanjay Dutt has been making headlines ever since its announcement. It was just yesterday when the makers of the film dropped in the first song, titled Gharore pardesiya, featuring Alia and Madhuri ...

International »

Pope replaces Santiago bishop after abuse cover-up claims


Reuters, Vatican City :Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, the archbishop of Santiago and the highest ranking member of the Catholic Church in Chile, who has been caught up in the country's sex abuse scandal.A Vatican statement on Saturday said the pope had named Bishop Celestino ...

International »

May makes final push for Brexit deal with new timetable


Prime Minister Theresa May returns to Britain on Friday vowing to make "every effort" to win over MPs opposed to her EU divorce deal, hours after securing a delay to Brexit from European leaders in Brussels.The embattled premier faces daunting odds to persuade recalcitrant British lawmakers to back a plan ...

City »

Gonoforum President Dr. Kamal Hossain speaking at a press conference organised by Gonoforum at the Jatiya Press Club on Saturday demanding safe road.


Editorial »

Modernise the railways and make it corruption-free


BANGLADESH Railway has been showing less importance and interest to recover its grabbed lands though thousands of acres of land are now illegally possessed by a section of influential people and some organisations. It has also no visible plan to use many unused lands across the country too. An initiative ...

Editorial »

Save Halda from dying


DEPARTMENT of Environment has revealed that waste from a housing estate and some factories are polluting the Halda river in Chattogram to the extent that it caused dying of fish. Currently, the pollution of the Halda is severely affecting the livelihood of adjacent people, in particular the fishermen. In June ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news