Indian Planes in Pakistani Airspace: Pressure Tactics?

Posted on December 13, 2008
Filed Under >Owais Mughal, Foreign Relations, Politics
58 Comments
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Owais Mughal

I hope that sanity returns soon to the sub-continent and hawkish talk (and now action) of war mongering does not get out of hand. It is all too easy for things to escalate. It is never easy for them to be brought back into control once they have done so.

In what seems to be a case of military provocation and pressure tactics against Pakistan, Indian planes violated Pakistani airspace yesterday. Even though the violations have been officially termed as ‘inadvertent’, two border violations on the same day are a little too much. It will be interesting to see whether international community says anything against these violations or remains silent spectator.

According to latest Dawn update:

ISLAMABAD, Dec 13: Indian planes violated Pakistan’s airspace on Saturday, but fighters of the Pakistan Air Force chased them away, military as well as civilian officials confirmed late in the night.

Air Commodre Humayun Viqar Zephyr, a PAF spokesman, told Dawn that the Indian planes intruded into Pakistan’s airspace in Azad Kashmir and Lahore sectors, but left as soon as they sighted the PAF jets.

He said there was no cause for concern as the PAF was “fully alive to the situation and capable of giving a befitting reply in case of a misadventure”.

Official sources said President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani were immediately informed about the incident and the matter was taken up with the Indian authorities.

Information Minister Sherry Rehman confirmed that Islamabad had got in touch with authorities in New Delhi, implicitly conceding that the violation did take place. But she hastened to add that Indians had done it inadvertently

From Pakistani side, I am heartened to read the messages of unity where both Government and opposition leaders have put aside their petty differences and unequivocally condemned this act of aggression.

Lets see what effects such violations will have. Will Pakistan now move its armed forces towards Indian border leaving the western border less guarded? With the Pakistani border on both the West and the East being violated routinely, something will have to give? But what? Who will win in such situation? How will such acts effect the democratic government in Pakistan?

Will good sense prevail and will diplomacy prevail over aggression? I certainly hope it does.

58 responses to “Indian Planes in Pakistani Airspace: Pressure Tactics?”

  1. Babar says:

    Abscence of Hindus in Pakistani scene is not an issue because of their small population ( Bhagwandas still managed to be CJ). Absence of christians is. Though I know that in Army untill very recent past there used to be christian officer right upto general level. Extreme descrimination against christians in Pakistan is actually also a dalit issue as I understand many of them are converts from scheduled cast.

  2. Nusrat says:

    Aqil – That makes sense. Many thanks for the explanation.
    I will pass it on to my friend, and other inquiring Indian minds.

  3. Ali Dada says:

    we should have shot down the invading planes.
    There wouldn’t have been any war and India would have realized that their idiotic moves won’t be tolerated.

    Once again our so-called ‘jawans’ proved they are bunch of cowards.

    Does anybody remember what happened when our Navy patrol aircraft ‘accidentally’ strayed to the Indian border around 8-9 years ago? They shot it down on the premises of self-defence.

    We should have returned the kind favor.

  4. Aqil Sajjad says:

    Nusrat:

    To respond to your question about the absence of Hindus in prominent places in Pakistan, I believe we can find some explanations by looking at demographics.

    1. In Pakistan, about 97% or so people are Muslims (someone please correct me if this is wrong). Of the remaining non-Muslim population, slightly less than 50% are Hindus. So overall, there are only somewhere around 1-1.5% Hindus in Pakistan. Whereas in India, there are about 13.4% or so Muslims. Naturally, that makes it much more likely that once in a while, a Muslim will make it to a prominent position in India.

    2. There was a sizeable middle class Hindu population which migrated to India at the time of partition. Today, most of Pakistan’s Hindus are from rural Sindh. That part of Pakistan is not very developed and educational opportunities there are limited for both Muslims and Hindus.

    I think comparing India’s Muslims with Pakistan’s Hindus by looking for people in prominent positions is like comparing apples and oranges due to the huge difference in their population size.

  5. Umar Shah says:

    Just finished reading all the comments. My favorite quote that still has me cracking up is:

    “India should realize the threat of monkey business”.

    I think all parties involved in this fiasco should calm down, no one really wants war and no one is better than the other, Indians or Pakistanis. Peace.

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