Islamabad: The firing exchanges between Pakistan and India, coupled with an attack on Indian troopers in which one attacker has been arrested, has made “things worse” between the two countries, a Pakistani daily said Friday, pointing out that mechanisms set in place to try and limit cross-border incidents are not working.
An editorial in the News International said that just a day after New Delhi proposed to Pakistan that talks between the National Security Advisors of both countries could go ahead before the end of the month, “there has been further demonstration of aggression from India with firing by the BSF across the Sialkot Working Boundary… The Chenab Rangers retaliated, but that comes as little solace…”
There have been other developments too which will do nothing to improve relations.
One out of two men who allegedly attacked a bus carrying BSF personnel along the Jammu-Srinagar highway was arrested Wednesday. The Indian media identifies him as Muhammad Naveed from Faisalabad. His compatriot was killed in the incident.
“All of this makes things worse. There has as yet been no word from Pakistan,” said the daily.
The editorial noted that such skirmishes have continued now for over a year, killing dozens and displacing many more.
“They are a significant factor in the heightening of tensions between the two countries…”
“This raises questions over the wisdom of holding talks at this point – although it should be noted that dialogue is always welcome and remains the only viable way to solve the growing problems which exist between India and Pakistan.”
It went on to say that “what is disturbing, however, is that the mechanisms set in place to try and limit cross-border incidents are not working and nor does New Delhi appear to be abiding by the commitment made by its prime minister during talks with his Pakistani counterpart at Ufa in Russia to work towards an improvement in relations”.
“The loss of life is unacceptable. It is also essential to the region that stability be maintained between India and Pakistan so that they can jointly battle the problems that plague their countries. This includes militancy.”