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The Big Picture- Uri Attacks: Diplomatic Options and Challenges



The Big Picture- Uri Attacks: Diplomatic Options and Challenges


The attack on army base in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir and the killing of Indian soldiers continues to hold the attention of the entire country. The government faced with the demands of actions against perpetrators has been approaching the issue cautiously. Meanwhile, Pakistan has rejected the role its role in this attack and has criticized India for blaming Pakistan ever prior to conducting a proper investigation. Indian government is preparing to take on Pakistan diplomatically at the international level and expose it for supporting terrorism.

It is quite evident in this attack that there was certain collaboration between Pakistani army and intelligence that supported terrorists with funding, training and other kind of things which cannot be done without the support of leadership of that country. The international community has also observed in last few years that all kinds of terrorist attacks have linkages to Pakistan. There is a support to these acts from organizations like IS, Al-Qaeda and the Chinese.

Though Pakistan is also suffering from terrorist attacks like in Peshawar but this is the result of their own activities of nurturing and encouraging these organizations to flourish in their country which is biting them back now. In the past, Pakistan has put in a lot of money to create unrest in Kashmir, attacks on Mumbai and other parts of India. Uri attack is an act of aggression. It is very difficult to believe that when Prime Minister appoints the army chief in Pakistan and the ISI Chief becomes an army chief, they would be unaware of this attack.

Options for India:

  1. At present whatever decision India takes, it has to first of all ensure that Pakistan moves on it based on a civilized code of conduct and improve relations on the basis of whatever commitments they are making. It has been seen in the past that Pakistan adhered to its commitments for a few months but very soon they lose track of it because the inside consensus in Pakistan gets disrupted like in case of 2004 Joint Statement.
  2. For India, all options exist in sub-conventional, military, political and diplomatic domain. Indian government has to consider the possible fallouts of whatever course it chooses to adopt. In past few months, it has been evident that Pakistani military has taken a major role on the happenings in Kashmir and not the political leadership. We are at the receiving end of what they are doing. Though there is a subterfuge that Pakistan is not involved now but all kinds of information like Wikileaks say that Jihadis are strategic assets for them. So, India does not need to waste its attempt on proving that the people who came to Uri were from Pakistan.


  1. Right now military option is complicated to adopt because if international border is crossed in the heartland, there is a risk of triggering off a bigger conflict which might eventually end in a nuclear war. Military action taken on the Line of Control might not put enough pressure on Pakistanis. India cannot completely crush Pakistan. What it needs to do is to harden itself and mange Pakistan. This hardening has not been seen even after Pathankot attacks.


  1. India has to keep pressurizing Pakistan by making references in terms of Balochistan, Gilgit and PoK, give moral and political support to leaders there and take this issue to international forums as well. For an aggressive diplomacy, India first needs to counter the two linchpins i.e. US and China of the Pakistani support system. Both of them are equally difficult to tackle.


  1. As far as isolating Pakistan is concerned, it is little difficult because there are many other interests which come into play. What goes here in India’s favour is the fact that US, UK, France in recent months have suffered acts of terror with direct links to Pakistan. Financial sanctions can be imposed as a first step if India can convince these countries in UN or other international forums. As a small step, India may ban Pakistani artists or cricketers to come to India for shows or matches as this also generates a lot of money. Russia even cancelled its forthcoming exercise with Pakistani troops in light of the current attack.

Pakistan has somewhere convinced itself that it can keep its low cost proxy war going on against India and India would do nothing about it until a threshold is crossed. This threshold has already been crossed and it is high time now that India does take an action which is carefully calibrated.