Are India and Pakistan at the verge of war? What is happening between the two neighboring countries?
Yes, no or maybe. Many believe that the tussle will end soon yet others are of the view that they might end up in a war. But what happened all of the sudden is an important question. So let’s just dig into the recent events and then look up at the current situation.
Why did the threat of war start?
Since the independence of Pakistan, the two states have not been sharing very good relationships. They are always threatening each other. This August will mark 72 years of separation of the two, yet they have not been able to resolve the Kashmir issue.
So the ties between the two unfriendly neighbors, who are involved in the cold war, got worse when the Pulwama attack took place on 14th of February, 2019. The attack was on the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) personals of India that have been deployed in Pulwama district, Jammu and Kashmir, India.
How much Got injured?
The attack took lives of 40 CRPF personals and 35 citizens were reported injured. The attack was suicidal in nature whose responsibility was taken by a terrorist group named Jaish-e-Mohammad.
We have already covered the aftermaths of the attack in our article “the media war between India and Pakistan after Pulwama attack”. Yet, the tension between the two states started to experience new waves and hypes. The attack took place just 3 days before the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman visit to Asia, which of course challenged the security risks.
How India initiated the air raids?
However, the question on war raised when on Tuesday, 26th February 2019, India violated the line of Control and dropped payloads in Pakistan. Even though, Indian media claimed that they had entered Pakistani territory and dropped a bomb on Jaish-e-Mohammad camp killing around 350 terrorists. Yet, Islamabad denied it and opened up the media with the briefing that payloads were dropped into Pakistani territory.
Maj- Gen Asif Ghafoor – Pakistan Army Official spokesman said in Tweet
The media was opened to visit the place where the Indian Air-force dropped payloads. The area showed that few trees were destroyed and no blood was there. All houses that were a few miles apart were intact and all citizens were safe.
Brutal cross border firing that killed 4 Pakistani civilians
On this, there was an emergency held in Pakistan. The Armed Forces, Parliament and the PM came head-to-head upon deciding. On this, the Army released a statement that this time India hasn’t surprised them yet it is their turn to get surprised while the PM addressed that Pakistan will not think of retaliation yet shall retaliate.
DG ISPR’s news conference
“Today, the prime minister has asked everyone to get ready for every eventuality. We are all ready. Now it is time for India to wait for our response,” he asserted.
“The response will come at a point and time of our choosing where our civil-military leadership decides, and as a matter of fact, has decided,” he added, reiterating the statement issued after the National Security Committee (NSC) meeting convened by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“We have already exposed India and will do it again so the world knows what exactly India wants. “
How did Pakistan retaliate?
On Wednesday morning, Pakistan finally gave the world a surprise. It was able to take down two of the Indian Aircraft which fell in Kashmir. Pakistan also held in custody one of the pilots. Even though Indian media first claimed that the Aircraft have fallen due to poor-performance, later it claimed that India said it had lost one MiG-21 fighter and demanded the immediate and safe return of its pilot.
Two Indian air force jets then responded, crossing the de facto border that divides Kashmir. “Our jets were ready and we shot both of them down,” Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said.
He said that one Indian pilot was in the custody of the Pakistani army. Officials had previously said two pilots had been captured and one had been taken to the hospital.
No explanation has been given as to why the numbers have changed.
Indian Wing Commander in Pakistan
Maj Gen Ghafoor said the captured Indian pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan, was being “treated as per norms of military ethics”.
His video of having tea was on social media making rounds. He also said that “I would like to put this on record and I will not change my statement if I go back to my country also,” Abhinandan said in a recorded video. “The officers of the Pakistan Army have looked after me very well and they are thorough gentlemen.”
Progress after Indian Pilot got arrested on Thursday
Wednesday night and Thursday were hustle free days for Indian and Pakistan. Even though there was a demand from India to release their pilot, there was no response from Pakistan. Pakistan, however, said that it was looking forward to peace that wars are always miscalculated. He asked the Indian Prime Minister to hold peace talks.
Later the Foreign Minister Pakistan Shah Mehmood Qureshi told local media that Pakistan is prepared to return the captured Indian pilot if it helps reduce tensions.
“I am sending a message to India: if the return of this pilot allows for a de-escalation, then Pakistan is ready to consider it,” Qureshi said.
“If you have any concerns, share them. If you have any evidence, give it to us. Today, [India] has sent a dossier … we have received it, we will examine it, and now come and speak to us on the basis of this dossier.”
“Pakistan is ready for any positive step,” he added. “Pakistan is ready to de-escalate the situation.”
Pakistan to release Indian pilot tomorrow (Friday, 28th February)
Prime Minister Imran Khan says Pakistan will release the Indian pilot on Friday.
In the Parliament, the PM said, “We have an Indian pilot. As a peace gesture, we will release him tomorrow,”.
Khan also said he had unsuccessfully tried to make telephone contact with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on Wednesday night.
Shall we foresee a War?
As I said in the beginning, Yes, no or maybe. The thing is that Pakistan has already made multiple attempts and calls for peace. The Pakistani media is also calling for peace. Be it Army or the PM, everyone in Pakistan is asking for peace and not war. They want to hold talks and settle down the matter.
The Indian government has, however, not reacted to any calls. The Indian, in general, are calling for peace as the twitter trend in India was #SayNoToWar. Yet, the Indian media is provoking people for war. It seems as irresponsible journalism is being carried out there. They even claim that returning the Wing Commander is not a peace gesture, but a global pressure on Pakistan.