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India and Pakistan relationship after Balakot tension

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Relations between India and Pakistan has always been hostile throughout the history. Following the Pulwama attack, where 44 CRPF jawans were killed, the Indian government blamed Pakistan's support for Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) which claimed the responsibility for the attack. In the early hours of February 26, India conducts air attacks against Pakistan-based rebel group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM)'s biggest training camp' in Balakot, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. The situation began to escalate when the Indian pilot was caught by Pakistan Military. But suprisingly Pakistan returned the Indian pilot in a peace gesture aimed at offering the willingness to de-escalate the conflict.

The hostile history

Relations between India and Pakistan have been complex and largely hostile due several historical and political events. Bitter relations originated between the two countries after the partition of British in 1947. The Kashmir conflict and the numerous military conflicts fought between the two countries with the exception of the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971 and Bangladesh Liberation War are examples of the bitter relationship between the two nuclear powers.

Focus on diplomatic sphere

With Pakistan returning the Indian pilot, there is a positive sense among the world that India and Pakistan have decided to de-escalate post-Balakot tensions. But the focus has moved to the diplomatic environment. One of the positive effects of India's air strikes is that no country expressed displeasure over the attack. Diplomatic manoeuvres from External ministry also provided enough material to force the entire world condemn the Pakistan. For the first time in the history, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was able to pursue India's stand before the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. Accepting India's air strike as a justification to act against a terror threat from the Jaish-e-Mohammad, several countries including U.S., the U.K. and France moved swiftly to support India's case. Besides, the nations began to move to enlisting the group's founder, Masood Azhar in the list of terrorists, during the UN Security Council's committee for terror designations. Diplomatic experts believe there is a reasonable fact that China will not block the proposal this time. It is wise to mention that China in the past had blocked such proposals.

Is Pakistan in the back foot ?

When the Pakistan's Prime Minister, Imran Khan, announced the release of Indian Pilot in parliament calling it a 'peace gesture', Indian media was surprised and happy. Since Pakistan in its past, had always spoken about its abilities with nuclear weapons, whenever there was an escalation of tension between the two powers. But there was no large military mobilisation after India's air strikes. Pakistan responded with non-nuclear option, where Pakistan Air Force bombed some place in Kashmir. But finally after the severe pressure from International community, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced the release of the Indian pilot.

How India should proceed ?

India must study and assess what it has actually achieved after Balakot airstrike and the resultant release of the Indian pilot. In spite of conducting air strikes on the terror camps of JeM, it is not clear whether the terror group lost its power to conduct terror attacks. Indian government should track the financial channels of the JeM inside Jammu and Kashmir. Besides, they must study the intelligence and security protocol failures in order to prevent dangerous attacks in the future.

Conclusion

Despite the fact that Pakistan sending back Indian pilot, nothing will be changed. Earlier Pakistan had announced it would study the dossier given by Indian Government on Masood Azhar and the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), it is widely believed that no action will be taken. Since, Pakistan has not taken any action in the past, like 2001 Indian Parliament attack, 2008 Mumbai attacks and 2016 Pathankot attack. It is wasn't shocking or surprising from the words spoken by Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi who defended the JeM. Besides, he also claimed that Azhar was ill.



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