7 decades since independence, yet India Pakistan not good neighbors

Pakistan once again is in focus. India blames Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency was involved in the February 14 Pulwama terrorist attack in Indian territory of Kashmir that killed forty Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel.

Addressing to press on February 19 the Indian Lt Gen KJS Dhillon GOC 15 Corps said Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) masterminded the latest attack and it was controlled from across the border by Pakistan Army and ISI. India says there is enough proof on what the claims being made.

Pakistan’s novice prime minister Imran Khan retaliated and raised questions on Indian allegations saying his country has stabilized internally after about fifteen years of instability and insecurity and so why it would commit such attack to create a situation that paves way to similar state of instability and threats again.

Khan confirmed if India launches military action against Pakistan, his country too would strike back in response, which means there would be a policy of tit-for-tat.

Meanwhile, India currently is in tremendous anger, even more after the 26/11 Mumbai attack that killed more than 200 people. This could be due to the upcoming general elections or wide use of social media.

Some actions need to be taken, but the Narendra Modi led government should do risk analysis like correct proportionality, international and regional impact, response from Pakistan and the effect on election scene of course before taking action.

However, response has kicked off. India has withdrawn most favored nation status to Pakistan and hiked 200 percent duty on imports originating from Pakistan.

India-Pakistan relationships

Relationships between the two neighboring nations are complex and hostile largely due to several historic and political events. Since their independence in 1947 from British Raj both the states have fought numerous armed conflicts including Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971 and unofficial Kargil War in 1999.

Council of Foreign Relations reported earlier Pakistan military and Pakistan ISI have provided covert support to terror outfits active in Indian state of Kashmir. The groups include Jaish-e-Mohammed and al-Qaeda.

The 1965 war

Following Pakistan’s attempt to infiltrate forces into Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir with the intention of insurgency against the government, code named as Operation Gibraltar, the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965 took place leading to thousands of casualties on both sides in five weeks. The war ended in a UN mandated ceasefire and later issuance of the Tahskent Declaration.

The 1971 war

After 1947 independence Pakistan was divided geo-politically into two regions – West Pakistan and East Pakistan. The East was mostly occupied by Bengali people and following a political crisis in 1971 India intervened favoring the Bengali population. As an aftermath independence of East Pakistan took place after a brief and bloody war. The new nation was named as Bangladesh.

The Kargil war

In the winter of 1998-99 the very high peaks in Kargil sector in Kashmir was vacated by Indian army as it was every year due to severe cold weather and snow. Pakistani Army intruded and occupied the posts. Intense fighting occurred and Indian army managed to regain some of the posts. Later, under international pressure and high casualties Pakistan withdrew from the remaining portion.

Pakistan’s insurgent attacks in India

Seven Kashmiri Pandits were killed by Islamic militants in Budgam district’s Sangrampora village on March 21, 1997. The insurgent attack is called as 1997 Sangrampora massacre.

The Pakistani militants killed 24 Kashmiri Pandits in Wandhama in January 1998. It is called as Wandhama massacre.

Armed men of Pakistan based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba threw grenades and opened fire on civilians at Srinagar’s Qasim Nagar market on 13 July 2003. About 27 people were killed and many injured.

Four Indian Army personnel were killed along with a civilian and the suicide bomber of terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen on 20 July 2005 in Srinagar when a car bomb exploded near an armored army vehicle in Church Lane area.

Two people were killed and seven others, mostly journalists, injured at Srinagar’s city centre in Budshah Chowk by a terrorist attack on 29 July 2005.

The so-called 2016 Uri attack was the deadliest attack on security forces then in Kashmir in two decades. Four armed terrorists killed 18 army men and injured at least twenty others on 18 September 2016 near the town of Uri in Jammu and Kashmir.

On 14 February 2019 a suicide bomber drove a SUV laden with about 200 tons of explosives into a convoy of vehicles carrying security personnel on the Jammu Srinagar National Highway. Forty Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed and Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist group claimed responsibility of the attack.

Indian Parliament attack

Five terrorists from Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba terror outfits attacked Indian Parliament on 13 December 2001. Six police personnel, two Parliament Security Service personnel and a gardener were killed along with all the five attackers.

26/11 Mumbai attack

Ten terrorists from Pakistan, blamed to be members of Lashkar-e-Taiba by India, carried out a series of twelve coordinated shooting and bombing attacks across India’s financial capital Mumbai and it lasted for four days starting 26 November 2008. The attack is also referred to as 26/11. At least 174 people were killed including nine attackers. About 300 others were injured. A sole terrorist Ajmal Kasab was caught alive after physical struggle by police. He was hanged in 2012 following a trial that began on 6 May 2009. On 3 May 2010 he was convicted of 86 charges.

Kasab filed a mercy petition with the president but it was rejected. He was hanged in Pune’s Yerwada jail in secret and the operation was named as operation X. India informed Pakistan government about it through a letter, but Pakistan refused to receive it. The letter was thereafter sent through fax and family of Kasab in Pakistan was intimidated about hanging news via a courier.


Paul Linus