The Global Peace Index (GPI), 2016 identifies South Asia as one of the least peaceful regions in the world. Out of the nine regions (in the world) South Asia positions at eighth. Globally, India ranks at 141 and 5 in South Asia. According to GPI, 2016 “India’s scores for ongoing domestic and international conflict and militarization have deteriorated as the country remains vulnerable to acts of terror and security threats at its shared border with Pakistan”.
The proxy war from Pakistan poses serious implications for India’s internal security stability. The data compiled by South Asia Terrorism Portal till September 11, 2016 shows that there have been 165 casualties in terrorist related violence…
The terror attack on the army base in Uri (closely located near Line of Control) in Kashmir that killed 17 Indian security forces, made it clear that peace is still a distant prospect for South Asia’s most volatile frontier –Kashmir. The Uri attack was carried out by Fidayeen militants and is considered to be the deadliest attack on security forces in Kashmir in two decades. The attack reflects that prospects for peace and an improved or stable security situation continue to deteriorate.
Over the years, the number of deaths caused by externally organized terror strikes has risen indicative of the fact that South Asia’s most volatile frontier –Kashmir does not reflect any signs of peace which is durable and lasting. And such incident (Uri attack) has nothing but pushed India – Pakistan relation which is already under a strain due to previous attacks on Indian side.
The attack in Uri has occurred as Pakistan Prime Minister has headed for the annual meeting of the heads of governments at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). It is also expected that both India and Pakistan are likely to counter each other on the issue of terrorism. Earlier, India had accused Pakistan of being the “global epicenter of terrorism” at the 33rd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). The proxy war from Pakistan poses serious implications for India’s internal security stability. The data compiled by South Asia Terrorism Portal till September 11, 2016 shows that there have been 165 casualties in terrorist related violence that includes 111 terrorists, 46 Security Force Personnel and 8 Civilians in the state of J&K. Such casualties underline the continuing threat that India has been experiencing from time to time. Besides, there have been regular infiltration attempts across LoC.
According to the Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir, “there is an increase in infiltration bids by terrorists from across Indo-Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir in 2016 as there had been 90 infiltration attempts till June 30 in comparison to 29 attempts in the corresponding period in 2015”.
…report by Vivek Chadha from IDSA mentions that “the Indian army, in its security assessment, sees a rise in terrorist violence in the coming years, given the availability of trained and willing terrorist cadres in Pakistan…”
The public opinion at large reveals that Pakistan is still perceived as a greatest threat for Indian security in the next ten years. In a detailed report by Vivek Chadha from Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) mentions that “the Indian army, in its security assessment, sees a rise in terrorist violence in the coming years, given the availability of trained and willing terrorist cadres in Pakistan, who are more over likely to increasingly turn their attention towards India after the de-induction of US-led forces in Afghanistan”.
In September 2014, Al Qaeda made the announcement of a new ‘branch’ in Indian Subcontinent which has become a major concern for India’s security environment. Also, the rise of a probable South Asia dimension of Islamic State and the current strained relation with Pakistan has caused India to focus more on its neighbor for its internal stability.
Rising Concerns over Kashmir
Instead of becoming a dividend in on-going unrests in Kashmir, peace has become a casualty. Following the killing of a militant leader Burhan Wani, curfew has been imposed in the region, disrupting the normal life that followed civilian protests against India. As the agitation continues, the death toll of civilians reaches 86 on day 71 including 13000 injured.
While a peaceful solution to the problem is what needed at the earliest, the attack has again given rise to the fact that we are situated on a nuclear flashpoint perhaps it is again another audacious step of Pakistan to create a war like situation and constraint India on the ground of its nuclear capabilities.
…the J&K CM have argued that the attack is a designed provocation to further violence to the on-going civil unrests in the region.
Further, the attack might be Pakistan’s attempt to internationalise the Kashmir issue, but this shows a peril of any peace prospect in Kashmir. However, there is no denying fact that it is high time to resolve the present issue.
Some of the observers and commentators on the Uri terror attack including the Jammu and Kashmir’s Chief Minister have argued that the attack is a designed provocation to further violence to the on-going civil unrests in the region.
Kashmir is a political issue and considering the present deteriorating prospect for peace and security, the government of India could consider a mix of diplomatic and multilateral response for restoring normalcy and peace. However, a diplomatic solution to Kashmir’s decades old conflict seems a distant prospect for now.