Response to surgical strikes
The immediate response to surgical strikes by the Indian armed forces across the Line of Control from the international community has remained largely muted. Only Bangladesh has come out in full support of India’s position. "India has got all legal, internationally accepted right to make a response to any attack on her sovereignty and her soil," Iqbal Chowdhury, Advisor to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said. As argued in these columns, Bangladesh has also suffered at the hands of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. Besides Bangladesh and Afghanistan, no other nation understands the cost of the terrorism sponsored by the Pakistani military establishment. The White House, meanwhile, has not directly responded to these surgical strikes. But reports indicate that Indian national security adviser Ajit Doval received a telephone call from his US counterpart, Susan Rice, soon after the surgical strikes. Although the media is not privy to the conversation that took place, the subsequent US statement seems to indicate it is on India’s side. It condemned the Uri attack and stressed the need for Pakistan to take effective action against UN-designated “terrorist individuals and entities, including Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad, and their affiliates.” Following the Uri attack, some had argued that Washington had once again left India hung out to dry by not censuring Pakistan. There are indications Washington may not criticise India’s actions and that it may up the pressure on Islamabad to act. Moreover, it is Pakistan’s inaction that has caused India to strike. Meanwhile, China on Thursday signalled that it was actively engaged in defusing tensions between India and Pakistan. China has so far persisted with its position that India and Pakistan need to engage directly to resolve their differences. Its involvement in diffusing tensions is a clear attempt to protect its economic interests in the region. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor runs through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. But the region also houses terror camps in inimical to India's security. Ever since Beijing decided to block UN sanctions against Pathankot attack mastermind Masood Azhar, there has been a growing feeling in New Delhi that Beijing's policies are driven by a malicious desire to undermine India’s security. India must find a way to drag China away from its foreign policy misadventure in Pakistan.