It seemed that India and Pakistan would start negotiations devoted to the settlement of their conflict after the summit in Alma-Ata. Indian and Pakistani leaders released several statements that gave the impression and hope that the situation could be improved soon. However, a couple of days passed and the threat of war became real again.
The British newspaper Daily Telegraph reported that the Indian army might enter the Pakistan-ruled Kashmir in the middle of June with the goal to destroying the separatists’ camps. The military is currently waiting for the order to invade. The planned operation will look like the American army’s operation in Afghanistan: air raids and then a targeted landing operation. Bombs and other other weapons are now being loaded onto Indian planes.
It should be mentioned that the Indian army's command expresses its certainty that neither India nor Pakistan are going to exchange nuclear strikes. This certainty is reportedly proved by the unofficial fact that Delhi and Islamabad agreed not to use their nuclear weapons in case of a military conflict. However, there is no guarantee that this was true.
The situation was again aggravated after Pakistan rejected India’s offer regarding the joint patrolling of the borderline. Islamabad claimed that there was no need for this, and the refusal did nothing to promote dialogue between the two countries.
It is quite possible that Islamabad’s position is affected by the discrepancies within the Pakistani administration. Pakistani Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar sent in his resignation, complaining of his state of health. President Musharraf has not accepted Sattar’s resignation yet, having said that he could not afford to do this. However, on the other hand, the Pakistani mass media have repeatedly stated that the head of the Pakistani foreign ministry maintained close links with the Taliban movement. It is no secret that President Musharraf has supported the Americans since the beginning of the anti-terrorist operation against the Taliban and Al-Qaida.
It is quite possible that the fact that Pakistan rejected India’s offer to jointly patrol the border can be explained by the pressure placed on Musharraf by senior army officials and Muslim radicals. The conflict between India and Pakistan has been given a new incentive. It is very hard to make a prediction, but it can now be said that, if Delhi has already decided to attack the separatists’ camps, then a war between India and Pakistan will be inevitable.
Oleg Artyukov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
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