Pakistan troops fired 81-mm mortar shells and directed automatic and small arms fire at Indian posts along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Poonch sector, a day after the Indian Defense Minister Arun Jailtey’s first visit to Jammu and Kashmir. The Indians responded in kind, but there was no loss of life. Omar Abdullah the Chief Minister of J&K has expressed ire at the fact that this happened just a day after Jaitley’s visit and tweeted, “Significant ceasefire violation in Rajouri and Poonch with reports of some shells having landed in civilian areas. Some livestock loss.” In Pakistan, Abdullah is often called an Indian puppet and he has been critical of Pakistan in the past. Jaitley has stated that Pakistan must completely stop violations of ceasefire along the LoC for any real peace effort.

While top-level diplomacy between India and Pakistan has been a happy exchange of letters and saris, the Indian and Pakistan Army continue to fight on the borders and the insecurity between the nations continues. Russia has been displaced by the US as India’s biggest arms supplier and is reportedly negotiating the sale of the Mi-35 Hind gunship (heavily armed helicopters) with Pakistan. According to reports, India is very unhappy with the development and feels that Russia has crossed the line. The Indian government has said that they are happy with Russia selling us non-lethal equipment like Mi-17 helicopters, and even counter-terrorism equipment, but not the Mi-35s. The sad fact is that Russia might not sell us the helicopters, and it seems India is quite confident of this. Russian Deputy PM Dmitry Rogozin will visit India next week and he is also the chair of the India-Russia Inter-governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation.

The strategic relationships between Russia, China and India are one of the most significant developments in the current world order. Russia with its arms and China with its trade are avoiding putting all their eggs in one basket. Pakistan has to secure maximum leverage to manipulate the situation in such a way that it does not become isolated. Thus we have seen recent efforts by Pakistan to cooperate with China, and China for its part is trying to create a friendly image for itself in Pakistan. The LoC ceasefire violations have helped deteriorate our image in Indian media. While the Indian media says Pakistan violated the ceasefire, Pakistani reports suggest otherwise. These minor violations will keep happening, a ceasefire is not enough, and a peace treaty is what is really needed.