The growing concern of cross-border terrorism . . .
Four Indian soldiers and two terrorists were killed in an attack in Jammu and Kashmir last Thursday, as terrorists from the Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) tried to cross a fence into an Indian army camp. Meanwhile, on Sunday, Punjab police in India caught a Pakistani ISI-backed terror module. They arrested four people involved in cross-border arms and explosives smuggling, with links back to Canada and Australia-based gangsters. While the two events may seem unrelated, they are connected by the common thread of cross-border terrorism and tensions between India and Pakistan that have been brewing for 75 years and have often led to violent repercussions. Kashmir, in particular, bears the brunt of the clashes as neither side is willing to give up its claim on the region.
Kashmir, a troubled legacy . . .
Despite the Indian government claiming that Kashmir is doing better since the Indian government instituted constitutional changes in 2019 and exercised greater control over the region, militant activities and clashes with security have continued. Kashmir witnesses multiple fatalities yearly, and at least 25 people have died this year due to targeted militant activities. While India stressed that Kashmir was a domestic issue, the Pakistani government, led by former Prime Minister Imran Khan, went to the United Nations as it believed the change in Kashmir’s autonomous status violated international law. The issue remains a crucial part of political rhetoric on both sides of the border. While Indian leaders have recently played up the 1990s exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits, who continue to be persecuted in the Kashmir valley, Pakistan stresses that Kashmir isn’t truly free under the Indian administration.
Healing the partition wounds . . .
In addition to cross-border terrorism, Kashmir’s disputed status, ongoing atrocities against Muslim minorities in India, and border skirmishes, Indo-Pak relations are also shaped by changing global power dynamics and economics. The Pakistan-China and India-U.S. nexus can make it difficult for the two neighbouring nuclear powers to come to the table and break bread. Irrespective of the administrative path forward, social media has been awash with stories of long overdue reunions of families and friends separated by the partition. The stories where strangers come together to track down people bring hope for both sides of the border that there can still be peace after partition.
- The Guardian: India and Pakistan at 75: partition remains an open wound as new friction points arise
- Indian Express: Targeted killing: Kashmiri Pandit shot dead in Valley attack, another injured
- The Print: ‘This is what you call independent’ — Imran Khan praises India resisting US on Russian oil import