As Pakistan and India celebrate the 66th year of their Independence, the two warring neighbours have upped the ante against each other as both countries have taken a hardline stand against each other, says Renu Mittal.
Retaliating against the Pakistan resolution passed in the assembly against India, both the houses of Parliament passed a unanimous resolution rejecting and deploring the resolutions passed by the Pakistan’s National Assembly and the provincial assembly of Punjab ‘which make absolutely baseless and unfounded allegations against the Indian Army and the people of India’.
The strongly-worded resolution reiterates that it was the Pakistan army which was involved in the unprovoked attack on an Indian army patrol on August 6. The resolution says it is unfortunate that such an attack happened when efforts were being made to establish a long lasting framework of peaceful, friendly and co-operative ties.
While asserting that India is a not a threat to Pakistan or its people, the resolution says it is the terrorist groups that have been nurtured by Pakistan to target India, which have become the biggest threat to peace in the region.
Even as the two houses condemned the action of the Pakistan army, it was reiterated forcibly that Jammu and Kashmir, including the territory forcibly and illegally occupied by Pakistan is an integral part of India and will always remain so.
The resolution says India upholds the sanctity of the line of control, and calls upon the government of Pakistan to abide by the ceasefire commitment of 2003 along the international border and line of control both in letter and spirit.
Issuing a strong warning, amounting to almost a threat, the resolution ended by saying, “Our restraint should not be taken for granted nor should the capacity of our armed forces to ensure the territorial integrity of our nation.”
Interestingly, almost the same very strong words were used by President Pranab Mukherjee in his address to the nation on the 66th anniversary eve of the Independence Day. During his speech, he said that “Our commitment to peace is unfailing but our patience has limits.” He said all necessary steps will be taken to ensure internal security and protect the territorial integrity.
The issue of Pakistan and the ongoing clashes in Kishtwar came up for discussion in the meeting of the Union Cabinet held on Tuesday. Both Union Minister Farooq Abdullah and Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad raised the issue and explained the situation in Kishtwar, and what is happening there.
Abdullah was apparently not in favour of the Parliament passing such a resolution as a retaliation to what has been passed by the Pakistan National Assembly. He said that such a resolution would not serve any purpose or help the situation along the line of control. The senior Kashmiri leader also said that talks with Pakistan should continue.
A number of Union ministers, say sources, are also of the view that India should have ignored Pakistan’s resolution on the grounds that it is if not failed a failing state and the Pakistan parliament does not represent the will of the people of the country as there is no clear line of leadership in Pakistan.
Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif,while sending his greetings to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the Independence Day has said he hoped the two would meet and talk in New York during the United Nations General Assembly.
The prime minister has also sent a message to Sharif, stating that “India is committed to pursue peace and co-operation between India and Pakistan.”
At time of filing of this story, for reasons best known to them, the Prime Minister’s Office has not released the PM’s greetings to his Pakistani counterpart, maybe, because it is on the same day that India has taken a tough line on Pakistan warning it to stay within limits.