Trail Of A Clash
- India alleges that on January 8, a army patrol along the LoC in Poonch was ambushed by Pakistani soldiers, who killed two jawans. One was beheaded, the other mutilated.
- As outrage mounts in India, Pakistan denies any involvement
- The incident is the latest in a series of skirmishes along the LoC in recent months—reportedlyoriginating from a villager’s crossing over to PoK, and the Indian army’s building observation bunkers
- Incidents of brutality from both sides in India-Pakistan skirmishes are known to happen occasionally
Like most other things in India-Pakistan relations, its disputes too tend to get shrouded in a complex grey, making an objective analysis difficult. It gets worse when overzealous ‘experts’ and a nationalist media calls for retaliatory measures to teach the recalcitrant neighbour a lesson for their apparent act of brutality—in this case, the reported beheading of an Indian soldier and the killing of another along the Line of Control on January 8 by members of the Pakistani army. The reported presence of LeT chief Hafiz Saeed in the area added a certain edge to proceedings. A serious concern is that if the current eruption of malevolence spirals, with denials and calls for revenge, it could not only rupture the fragile peace process, but trigger a whole spell of hostility.