News Analysis

Published:  12:00 AM, 24 September 2016

India-Pakistan tension and role of Bangladesh


After the Uri Attack by the infiltrators based in Pakistan, the people across the sub-continent and the world leaders as well felt that a large scale war, perhaps, is imminent.  On 18 September, a 4-men-group of militants attacked an Indian army Brigade headquarters near the Indian town Uri, close to the Line of Control, in a pre-down ambush. In a six-hour shootout, 18 Indian soldiers and all four infiltrators have been killed. Later, on 20 September, Indian army killed 10 militants who were allegedly trying to cross its border with Pakistan. Ultimately, India claimed that Pakistani troops had let off a cross border artillery barrage and violated the ceasefire across the Line of Control, well-known as LoC. The incidents made a situation that both the countries are now fully prepared for a large-scale war.

This incident of infiltration has taken place at a time when India facing a surge of unrest in Indian administered Kashmir, and Pakistan manning and suppressing Baloch people by killing hundreds of Baloch nationalists that resembling the Pakistan army's killing before and during our independence struggle (that is why the people of Baluchistan like to say their homeland 'The second Bangladesh'). It is now obvious that the Pakistan's batty military force has taken the opportunity in fermenting the Kashmir unrest in believing that the national and international eyes from Baloch killing would be moved to Indian administered Kashmir.

national and international eyes from Baloch killing would be moved to Indian administered Kashmir.This has not been the first provocation that the Pakistan's officials perpetrated into the Indian land. India have been saying for years that deadly assaults in their country, planned by Pakistan-based militant groups, are part of an attempt to derail efforts to normalize relations between the two neighboring countries. The First Secretary, Permanent Mission of India at the UN, Ms Enam Gambhir Said, "What we see in Pakistan, Mr. President, is a terrorist state, which channelizes billions of dollars, much of it diverted from international aid, to training, financing and supporting terrorist groups as militant proxies against its neighbors." 

The hostility between democratic India and in generally military-ruled Pakistan began right after partition in 1947. They have fought three major wars since gaining independence and suffered many skirmishes including medium range war like Kargil War. Both the countries suffered heavy lose of soldiers and civilians.  Noticeably, provocation approached each time when the politicians, especially from Indian side, have taken initiatives to minimize the hostility and making neighborly relations. Indian Prime Minister Norendra Modi paid a short surprise visit to his Pakistani counterpart, Newaz Sharif on his birth day on 25 December 2015. The visit made an emotional outlook among the optimistic people of India and Pakistan. Two leaders hugged each other and stood holding hands longer than normal time of handshaking that gestured an unprecedented relation to come.

 Within a week of this atmosphere, a group of gunmen attacked an Indian air base 50 km from the border with Pakistan. The attacker hijacked a police officer's car and driven it into the heavily guarded base. Then Indian Prime Minister and famous poet and Newaz Sharif tried to create a history, in 1999, by opening the gates of friendship at the Wagah border to demolish the walls of hatred. Vajpayee arrived at the border check-point by using a Delhi-Lahore bus. Both the leaders shook hands and embraced huge crowd on both sides of the border. In his address, Sri Atal Bihari Vajpayee said, "I bring the good wishes and hopes of my fellow Indians who seek abiding by peace and harmony with Pakistan. I am looking forward to a substantive program and talk with Sharif." After this gesture of relations, Pakistani Army forced Mr. Sharif couple of month later, in May-July 1999,into a war. Pakistani army and militants infiltrated into the positions on the Indian side. Consequently the Kargil War started. Later Mr Sharif was ousted by the military dictator General Parvez Musharraf.

Interestingly, India had never thought to attack eastern part of Pakistan which is now our Bangladesh. Neither in 1947 during first Kashmir war, nor in India-Pakistan war in 1965. Rather, she helped Bangladesh in all respect in getting independence from military ruled Pakistan. India had always a brotherly feelings to the people of Bangladesh due to historic,social and cultural relations that both the countries hold. However, the strong tie between the two had been hindered, at intervals, by the influence of Pakistan's intelligent agencies.

During the BNP-Jamaat tenures, Pakistan was privileged infiltrating into India by using massive India-Bangladesh border, which was almost open. It was indeed a harrowing condition for Indian security. With the help of the then Bangladeshi government, the land of this tiny country turned a haven for Indian separatist groups like ULFA of Assam and UNLF of Manipur. However, the current government of Bangladesh under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, earnestly tried to wipe out the elements from the land and has become almost successful. Nobody should consider it fawning to help a neighbor to become an evil force-free secured nation. It is a duty of a good neighbor to do so. Due to this friendly approach to India, Pakistan is highly outraged and showing all kinds of non-cooperation with Bangladesh.

After the Uri attack, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in her condolence letter writes, "I'm deeply saddened to learn about the dastardly terrorist attack on the army base at Uri, Kashmir killing 17 and injuring many on 18 September,2016."  She said, "As a close friend and neighbor we would continue to work together in our common endeavor to eradicate the menace of cross-border terrorism from this region and beyond. In line with its zero tolerance policy against terrorism and violent extremism, Bangladesh firmly stands beside India at this difficult hour." The Bangladesh envoy to India Syed Muazzem Ali stated, "As a freedom fighter of 1971, we fought alongside the Indians during our War of Liberation. I want the spirit of 71 to remain our relations."

So the position of Bangladesh is crystal clear. However, neither Bangladesh nor India should ignore the invisible evil forces remaining in both the countries, those are bias by the Pakistan's political and military ideologues, those hold Wahabi doctrine in mind and practice. Once, the people of Kashmir were highly influenced by the Sufi culture, a tolerant version of Islam. However, Kashmir, the heaven of earth, is now horribly contaminated by the Wahabism that taking the domestic political disagreement far away from table to blood-letting fields. This Wahabi doctrine, exported by Pakistan, produced many militants like Sartaz ahmed, Parvez Laskari or Burhan Wani. It is unfortunate to hear that the lovely Kashmiri People are now trapped in both political suppression and attacks from outside the country.

The analyst is Executive Editor at The Daily Asian Age

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