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Millennium Post

Non-violence is not weakness

Peace talks between Indian and Pakistan and the decade-long ceasefire along the LoC were both made void on Tuesday when Pakistani troops crossed the Line of Control and brutally killed two Indian jawans. While small skirmishes along the border are not rare, Tuesday’s shoot out is serious violation of  the ceasefire and has invited international attention. The two armies had declared ceasefire along the LoC in November 2003. But according to some estimates there were more than 80 ceasefire violations in 2012. While an enraged India has summoned the Pak High Commissioner over Tuesday’s attack, the Pakistan authorities have denied responsibility for the same.  

Cross-border tension and unprovoked attacks by a neighbouring troop on the soldiers of one country are disturbing at any time. But the timing of this particular attack is even more disappointing given the background of trust-building exercise that the two countries have recently been involved in. Not only were the militaries of the two nations involved in augmenting confidence building measures, but other areas of ties, such as trade, had also been in focus. The Pakistan cricket team has also just ended a tournament in India. It is common knowledge that a majority of commoners in both countries wish for peace and friendly relations to flourish between the countries. The two have a lot in common in terms of shared history and culture. But Tuesday’s attack has taken a toll on relationships. It has given those not in favour of ties between the two countries another reason to promote suspicion and hatred, to harp back on the bitter experiences of the wars of 1947, 65, 71 and 99. It has given them a chance to question India’s peace policy and goad the authorities to teach the neighbours a lesson. In the given scenario it is important for India to not lose its cool. It is necessary that we send a strong message to Pakistan. It is necessary that we make them understand that India will not be cowed down. But violence is not the only way to do that. India should join hands with international powers to condemn and boycott Pakistan. Isolation from international trade and diplomatic ties is what is needed for the country to take stock of and address both the issues of militancy and its policy towards India.
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