Cross-border firing by India on Wednesday has killed at least 11 civilians and three soldiers in Neelam Valley, and the most appropriate response that the Prime Minister could muster in these times of escalated violence and tensions, is calling a high level meeting condemning the atrocities. The military on the other hand, claimed retaliatory fire by Pakistani troops has also killed at least seven Indian soldiers; a claim the Indian side is yet to confirm.

Residents of Neelam Valley were forced to flee and take refuge in bunkers around their villages shortly after the early morning clashes erupted. Civilian transport and ambulances have been targeted by Indian fire and Pakistan has shown maximum restraint. But these flagrant violations must become known to the international media, and our foreign office and diplomats seem to be silent. Here we have clear Indian aggression, and no public official calling it out as such.

The latest skirmishes came a day after the Indian Army vowed retribution for killing three of its soldiers by Pakistani troops across the de facto Kashmir border. The Indian army and the Modi government has taken up every PR opportunity to tarnish Pakistan’s image in international media, even going as far as alleging that one of the Indian soldier’s body was mutilated, charges Pakistani military officials rejected as a fabrication. The Modi government certainly has a flair for drama and it is visible in the way it manipulates the media to spin the rhetoric the way it wants. Pakistan leaders on the other hand sit complacently out of naiveté or vested self-interest.

Indian aggression and provocations have reached unabashed levels, rendering the 2003 mutual ceasefire understanding ineffective. India has maintained direct military pressure on Pakistan through deployment of advanced weapons systems and offensive troops positioning to refine the Indian capacity of a surprise attack against Pakistan. India has increased ceasefire violations on the LoC and kept Kashmir under a complete lockdown to constrain Pakistan both militarily and diplomatically. It is unfortunate that the PM and his advisors have not been able to successfully voice these facts to the global community.