“Not even a quadcopter will be allowed to cross the LoC.” The warning from Pakistan Army, coming in the wake of the downing of an Indian drone which was trying to cross the Line of Control, is pretty loud and clear. It also refers to the absurd claim made by the Indian government more than two years ago that their army commandos had carried out surgical strikes in Azad Kashmir on September 28, 2016 — days after a militant attack on the Indian army base in Uri sector of occupied Kashmir left 20 troops dead.
The Indian government still harps on the bogus claim, solely meant to achieve political mileage by evoking the sentiments of its people. The same claim reverberated in the Indian media on the New Year when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during an interview, boasted of the so-called “big risk” he had taken by ordering a “cross-border operation”. With the next Indian national elections just round the corner — in April and May to be exact — the logic behind recollecting the “feat” is quite understandable.
The claim had even failed to find takers in India when it had been first raised, with the opposition readily calling it a political stunt, and even the media struggling to stomach the government’s assertions that “the surgical strikes showed the might of the Indian armed forces”. While Modi, during his New Year day interview, blamed the opposition for playing politics on the issue, it is rather his own government that is doing so just for the sake of winning votes. It’s as simple as that. That’s why Federal Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad had only last week warned that the Modi government could come up with another surgical strike drama to distract people and get political gains ahead of the general elections in India.
Internal politics is at works in India. Instead of saying yes to repeated peace talks offers from Pakistan, the Indian PM has rather stepped up the political rhetoric, in sheer ignorance of the repercussions it may have for the whole region.