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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/24/16

Indian army denies cross-border raid on Pakistan controlled Kashmir

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Indian Army sources have denied crossing over the line of control to avenge the killing of its soldiers.
Indian Army sources have denied crossing over the line of control to avenge the killing of its soldiers.
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Indian Army sources have denied reports in a web magazine that Indian forces had crossed over the Line of Control near Uri to avenge the killing of 18 of its soldiers killed in Uri last week. The Times of India quoted the Indian Army sources as saying that no such action had been undertaken and the account was incorrect.

In the early morning on Sept 18, armed militants entered an Indian army base in the garrison town of Uri killing 18 soldiers. Several hours later, four militants were killed in a shootout with the Indian army.

The attack, which took place near the de facto border between India and Pakistan in the disputed region, was one of the deadliest on an army base in Kashmir since militant attacks began in 1989, according to CNN.

The attack in Uri follows an assault in January against India's Pathankot air base, which was also blamed on cross-border militants from Pakistan.

A report in TheQuint.com published Wednesday claimed that two units of the army's elite 2 Paras conducted the operation in the Uri sector and attacked three militant camps in Pakistan controlled Kashmir.

"Two units of the elite 2 Paras comprising 18-20 soldiers flew across the LoC in the Uri sector in military helicopters and carried out an operation that killed at least 20 suspected terrorists across three terror camps in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK)."

The operation happened during the intervening hours of 20 September and 21 September, according to The Quint.

A war of words erupted on India television and social media, and carried over to print and online Indian publications. The thrust of the babble was revenge or the need to 'teach a lesson' to Pakistan.

However, the official Indian response to the Uri terrorist attack was a more measured one.

After Pakistan's high commissioner to India Abdul Basit was called in by the Indian foreign secretary S Jaishankar, the Indian foreign affairs ministry issued a statement that ended with: "If the Government of Pakistan wishes to investigate these cross-border attacks, India is ready to provide fingerprints and DNA samples of terrorists killed in the Uri and Poonch incidents. We now expect a response from the Government of Pakistan."

A military response from India towards Pakistan raises the specter of escalating tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals, who have fought three conflicts since the partition of the sub-continent in August 1947.

Pakistan has said it "categorically rejects" any involvement in the raid, calling Indian statements of its complicity "vitriolic and unsubstantiated." On Monday, Pakistan's army chief said the armed forces were closely watching the region and were prepared to respond to any threats from India.

India's options are limited, though. Airstrikes on Jaish-e-Mohammed camps, for example, are likely unfeasible given Pakistan's air defenses and the possibility they might prompt further escalation, Ramani Hariharan, a former Indian army intelligence officer, was quoted as saying by Bloomberg.

There is also the risk Beijing -- which is pursuing a $45-billion strategic project called the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor that traverses Pakistan-controlled Kashmir -- might get involved, Sinha said. China might begin agitating on its own contested border with India in the Himalayas near Ladakh, he added. China and India fought a border war in 1962.

The Uri incident has overshadowed the issue of Indian Army's brutal operation in the Indian controlled Kashmir, particularly the recent uprising triggered by the killing of Kashmiri leader, Burhan Wani on July 8.

On Wednesday, Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif handed over a dossier containing details of Indian atrocities against civilians in India-held Kashmir to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and briefed him on gross human rights violations being committed in the region by Indian forces.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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