There have been no signs of improvement in the rapidly deteriorating Pakistan-India relations, and the situation looks as if one misstep from either side could lead to things spiralling out of control. Neutral experts on either side think that cross-border attacks and being overtly hostile might lead to more aggressive actions, and independent observers, such as US intelligence chiefs have now confirmed as much.

They informed the US Congress of their opinion on this on Tuesday, stating that India might launch more cross-border attacks on the pretext of fighting terrorism. The statement from US intelligence officials at least alludes to the fact that India is only using terrorism as an excuse to launch a campaign against Pakistan, however it does not seem as if the international community will look to do anything about this.

There were no attempts to conceal the overt aggression by the Indian side in the last two attacks — the attack on army check posts on Tuesday and firing on or around United Nations Military Observers Group of India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) representatives by the Indian side are not even refuted properly. While the latter of these is yet to be confirmed, the fact that India does not even allow observers on its side speaks volumes.

The attack on Pakistani check posts was qualified as a pre-emptive strike against ‘terrorists’ looking to infiltrate, but there is absolutely no evidence to support this. With the aggressive rhetoric pouring in from India, it is clear that calling Pakistan a terrorist state has redefined terrorism for the country – all Pakistanis are seemingly fair game. The fact that the Indian side is now openly admitting that it initiates firing on Pakistan means that it no longer fears any censure from the international community – primarily because world powers choose silence over speaking out for what’s right. The reasons for India looking to blame Pakistan are clear – Kashmiris continue to fight Indian rule, and as a means to deflect, India continues to blame us while it gives out commendations to soldiers that deliberately abuse human rights in the restive region.

The problem however, is that the Indian state seems to know what it is doing, and looks committed in following through on its policy of hostility against Pakistan, alongside the diplomatic isolation strategy. With things heating up, Pakistan must man its borders and respond to any aggressive action appropriately, but without going further than what is needed, because while India has allies such as the US to defend its stance, Pakistan finds no support anywhere. The armed forces are more than capable of defending our borders, but while their restraint has been met with nothing but disdain, Pakistan must continue to be patient, defend its borders, continue to reply to India’s bullets and bombs in kind and not give in to the dangerous game India wants us to play.