India and Pakistan stoke chauvinism, exchange threats


Days after coming to the brink of all-out war

India and Pakistan stoke chauvinism, exchange threats

Deepal Jayasekera

6 March 2019

Cross-border shelling across the Line of Control (LOC) that separates Indian- and Pakistan-held Kashmir has reportedly declined over the past 48 hours. However, tensions between South Asia’s rival nuclear-armed powers remain extremely high, leaving the region teetering on the brink of a catastrophic war.

Both sides continue to exchange bellicose threats and to accuse each other of preparing further military strikes, including “terrorist” attacks and covert operations.

Yesterday, Indian Prime Minster Narendra Modi threatened further military action against Pakistan if Islamabad does not cut off all logistical support from its territory for the anti-Indian insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir. “We have told [Pakistan],” said Modi, “if they don’t improve, they know what will happen to them.”

Earlier Tuesday, Pakistan military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor told the country’s leading English-language newspaper, Dawn, that India’s apparent “strategic restraint over the past 24 hours” is no reason for Islamabad to reduce its threat level. “[W]e cannot lower our state of vigilance and readiness. We have to stay prepared against any misadventure.”

Ghafoor added that Islamabad has seen nothing to convince it that New Delhi wants to ease tensions. India at this point is “emotionally” “not prepared” to de-escalate, charged Ghafoor. Indian forces, he claimed, spent the weekend “luring” and “provoking” Pakistan.

Later yesterday, Islamabad claimed its forces had chased off an Indian submarine when it tried to enter Pakistani waters. New Delhi rejected the claim, saying the video footage Pakistan had released…

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