Indo-Pakistani tensions have been heightening over the last several months, but Sunday’s attack on an Indian Army base in Kashmir that left 17 soldiers dead has put the region in crisis mode.
The attack took place near the Line of Control (LoC) that divides Indian and Pakistani Kashmir and marks the most deadly attack against Indian security forces in over two decades. In 2002, a terrorist attack on an Indian army base in Jammu, Kashmir that killed over 30 (mostly family members of Indian Army officials), nearly led to war between Pakistan and India.
Most of the casualties in Sunday’s attack were the result of fires that consumed temporary army shelters in the early morning hours during the grenade and gun attack. The four terrorists involved in the attack were killed in a gunfight that lasted three hours.
India is placing blame for the attack squarely on Pakistan, with Home Minister Rajnath Singh calling Pakistan a “terrorist state.” Following the attack, Singh cancelled planned trips to Russia and the U.S. and called for an emergency meeting to study the situation.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the attack perpetrators “would not go unpunished,” while Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) General Secretary Ram Madhav said India should take a “complete jaw for one tooth” and that “the days of strategic restraint are over.”
A military response by India could include targeted strikes on terrorist training camps inside Pakistani territory, but such strikes would almost certainly lead to military escalation and potential all-out war. India would have to weigh the consequences of allowing the region to devolve into India-Pakistani conflict for India’s quest to be viewed as a rising and responsible global power.
Full article: Major Attack on Indian Army in Kashmir Puts South Asia on Crisis Footing (The Daily Signal)