Military Brass Credits Modi for Deafening Silence at LoC
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s peace moves vis-a-vis Islamabad appear to have started showing results. In the past 50 days, not a single incident of ceasefire violation by the Pakistan army has been reported along the Line of Control. Leaders of India and Pakistan have met on four occasions in the past one month. In fact, Modi has met his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif twice in less than a month, and this seems to have contributed to ensuring peace along the LoC.
Military sources say such a long pause on the border is “surprising” and “unusual”. A military assessment suggests that this peace could be due to resumption of talks between leaders of the two nations. Though the overall number of ceasefire violations is high this year, the year-end lull is significant.
The LoC has witnessed 152 ceasefire violations till October-end this year compared to 146, same period last year. The last violation occurred on November 2 in Poonch, in which two jawans were killed in firing by Pakistani troops at Indian posts.
July and August witnessed a maximum of 70 violations, almost half the total violations this year. Aggression from across the border was met with equal use of firepower. Union Home Minister Rajnath singh at the time warned, “India will stop counting the bullets it fires in response if Pakistan provokes.” This fiery rhetoric has now changed as External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj remarked after the PM’s successful visit to Lahore on Friday, “That’s like a statesman. Padosi se aise hi rishte hone chahiyen (this is the kind of relation one should have with neighbours).
Resumption of the peace process with Pakistan began with Modi meeting Sharif on the sidelines of the Paris climate summit on November 30. Though a short meeting, it laid the foundation for restart of peace talks, derailed after New Delhi called off NSA-level talks on August 22 following Pakistan’s insistence on including Kashmir on the agenda. On December 6, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval met his Pakistani counterpart Naseer Khan Janjua in Bangkok, following which Sushma attended the Heart of Asia Conference in Islamabad. On December 9, Sushma held talks with Nawaz Sharif’s foreign affairs advisor Sartaz Aziz in Islamabad, in which both sides agreed to launch comprehensive dialogue stalled since 2012. The latest diplomatic move was by Modi when he paid Sharif a surprise visit on the occasion of the latter’s birthday on December 25.