India continues to escalate aggression along the Line of Control, by another violation this Eid weekend, which led to an exchange of artillery fire in several areas of the Sialkot sector, continuing till Monday. A man was killed and his sister wounded. It was almost as if this was in fulfillment of what Information Minister Pervez Rashid on Sunday said about Indian guns being trained on Pakistan. He said that India had not done well by doing so, in an interview to Nawa-i-Waqt, and emphasized that Pakistan’s restraint did not mean any compromise would be made over delivering a befitting response should our patience be tried further. He also said that the attitude of the Indian government made it seem that it was suffering some internal difficulties of its own.

This is a perceptive thumbnail analysis, for it brings to mind how Indian governments, facing difficulties at home, have tried to unite the nation behind them. Probably the most noteworthy example was the 1971 War, which then Indian Prime Minister Indra Gandhi used as a campaign tool for the next Indian election. Because this is a political hot-button issue, and because the ruling Congress claims the nationalist territory that the opposition BJP regards as peculiarly its own, the latter has already called for the withdrawal of the Indian Ambassador from Islamabad. Pakistan is considering moving forces from the western border, where it is engaged in the war on terror.

India’s attitude towards starting peace talks has become increasingly neurotic over the past few days, with each political party trying to outdo each other with unnecessary allegations hurled on Pakistan and every effort made to crush even the possibility of the premieres of the two countries meeting in September on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. India continues to exert itself, crying “Wolf!”; but, as Senator Rashid rightly said, Pakistan has remained steadfast in its demonstration that it is only willing to engage in serious, issue-oriented talks – not in trading barbs. That must mean that India is willing to discuss issues, with the intent to lead to a just and permanent settlement of long-standing conflicts, not just to a temporary cooling of hostilities it has itself initiated.