Millennium Post

India-Pakistan military heads’ meeting put on hold

The decision for the two senior army officials to meet for easing tension at the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border (IB), was taken by the two prime ministers, Manmohan Singh and Nawaz Sharif, when they met in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session, more than a month ago.

Now that the guns have fallen silent on the LoC and the IB, the decisions of the PMs seem to have undergone a change. A former senior army officer, who has extensive experience in Jammu and Kashmir, says, ‘Nawaz Sharif is trying to show that he is under control. And there is no meaning for the DGMOs to meet now.’

An officer posted with the 15 Corps in Ladakh tasked to look at the infringements on the LoC says, ‘While there is quiet in terms of the two forces exchanging fire, there is a window of about 20-25 days when they could try to push in terrorists.’ After that the mountain trails and passes will get snowed under, thus getting blocked, even while snowing has begun the upper reaches.

The former army officer, who has served in the area says that the intermittent firing by the troops of Pakistan and India will continue, but that will not take any serious proportions with negative consequences just for the people residing in the villages on the edge of the LoC and the IB.

He however cautions, that for the first time, the people of Kashmir are getting totally alienated because of this hard-edged policy of treating the region as an ‘occupied area.’ In other words, he is seeking a less aggressive policy of policing the troubled state, especially in the valley areas.
He recalls how the local population used to approach the security forces earlier with information about infiltrators. This appears to have abated. And this is the first sign of trouble.

He holds that this is not just a failure of the security forces, but of the political class that have failed to stop intrusive checking by the forces, The current attitude of the troops that every Kashmiri is a ‘threat’ has seen the return of the atmosphere of mistrust to the valley. And that clearly is the cause of them feeling disconnected from the mainstream.
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