Pakistan crossing the line

Spike in ceasefire violations exposes Islamabad’s desperation to keep LoC ‘active’ to ensure international attention on the Kashmir issue

AuthorPublished: 24th Oct 2019  12:00 amUpdated: 23rd Oct 2019  8:00 pm

After earning a reprieve from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global watchdog on terror financing, Pakistan is now back to its old ways of stepping up cross-border terrorism. It is trying to push in as many terrorists as possible across the Line of Control (LoC) before the snowfall starts. No wonder that there has been a sharp rise in the number of infiltration attempts across the border, particularly in the Tangdhar sector of Jammu & Kashmir. More ceasefire violations and infiltration bids are expected in this sector, which saw intense artillery firing recently by the Indian Army that targeted terror camps in Neelum Valley of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). Since the scrapping of Article 370 on August 5, there has been an unusual spike in ceasefire violations by Pakistan, which is using every conceivable forum to internationalise the Kashmir issue but with no success. Overall, this year has seen over 2,300 cases of ceasefire violations so far while in September alone, there were 292 such instances, nearly triple the number of violations registered in the same month in the last two years. This only exposes Islamabad’s desperation to keep the LoC ‘active’ to ensure international attention on the Kashmir issue. Besides, increasing shelling and firing was always meant to be a cover for Pakistan to push in terrorists during summer months to foment trouble in India. One had expected Pakistan to realise the futility of pursuing terrorism as an instrument of state policy, particularly after the humiliating exposure at the global level following the country’s grey-listing by the FATF.

However, Islamabad refuses to learn lessons from its past policies of nurturing terror outfits on its soil and presenting to the world a duplicitous policy on terrorism. More disturbingly, after escaping the prospect of getting blacklisted by the anti-terror watchdog, it appears to be backing the anti-India terror outfits with much more vigour. With the United States looking to Pakistan to help extricate it from the Afghan imbroglio, Islamabad could be expecting that Washington would turn a blind eye to terrorism against India. However, Pakistan must realise that it can no longer hoodwink the international community in general and the US in particular on the issue of terrorism. The spectacular failure in enlisting international support over the Kashmir issue is the recent illustration of Islamabad’s dwindling credibility. The entire world knows that Pakistan is the epicentre of global terrorism and its role in fomenting terrorist activities in the Kashmir Valley is undeniable. If it fails to comply with global standards to curb terror financing, it would risk being downgraded by the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, besides facing negative assessments by credit rating agencies.

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