India’s retaliation against “cowardly attacks” from across the border was so strong that Pakistan’s army pleaded with the neighbour to halt its response, Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Friday. This was after Pakistani authorities said on Wednesday that 11 civilians and three soldiers were killed in shelling by Indian forces. Then, on Friday, in a bid to woo Punjab’s farmers ahead of state elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that water that belongs to India couldn’t be allowed to go to Pakistan.
Such open hostility, even if it is just for Indian leaders to get more votes for the state elections, keeps worsening the conflict. India is on the brink of becoming a fascist state, and the BJP has been able to package fascism to the Indian people in a shiny veneer of economic growth and international recognition, something that is doing nothing to resolve terrible poverty, inequality or the lack of alterative choices for conflict resolution.
The Indian media is perpetuating the BJP’s designs, with headlines full of such hate and vitriol that the common Indian will soon be unable to see the Kashmiri or Pakistani as anything but a “terrorist”. A headline in the Times of India called General Raheel Sarif a “lame duck”, rattling his sabre one last time, in what was a news report and not an opinion piece. The hate promoted by the BJP is so effective, that it has killed any change of accountability of the government by media or public pressure.
Pakistan’s response to such hostility has been restrained- almost too restrained.
According to the Advisor to the PM on foreign affairs, Pakistan would not respond in kind to Indian aggression, however, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said Mr Asif said that India would face dire consequences if it went to war. “We will kill three Indian soldiers for every Pakistani soldier they kill,” he said, though this is a rhetorical statement. At least statements are being made days after the shelling in Neelum valley, though our diplomatic game is still a few moves behind India.
Jammu and Kashmir’s former Chief Minister and opposition National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Friday dared Narendra Modi to reclaim Pakistan administered Kashmir from Pakistan saying India does not have the power to take it back. The statement is the truth, a truth held by the Kashmiris, and not a Pakistani fabrication. And, it is a globally accepted fact. However, there are a fair number of cases in international history, where, regardless of international and humanitarian law, territory has been wrested from the bloody hands of indigenous people. India conforms to the archetype of a power with imperial designs and a colonial attitude towards internal and external dissent.