No option but to talk

Srinagar, Publish Date: Mar 18 2018 11:20PM | Updated Date: Mar 18 2018 11:20PM

In yet another indication that it was futile to expect any improvement in Indo-Pak relations in near future, the home minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday once again threatened that the Indian forces can cross the border to protect country. Speaking at a function organised by a television channel, Singh praised Indian Army for its valour to secure the country. The home minister's remarks have come in the backdrop of the heightened tension along the border. Five members of a family were killed and   and two others were injured in a ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops along the Line of Control (LoC) in Balakote sector. Since January, soldiers and civilians have died on both sides of the border and the people have been displaced. Pakistan has reported killings of civilians by Indian firing.  Both countries have sworn revenge after every killing and then gone on to carry it out. The cycle has gone on and there seems no end to it. What is more, the killings are being pursued for their own sake. It is difficult to see a political or a strategic objective for the recurrent clashes. Their tactical value is also moot. In the existing scenario, only value of the border clashes is in the way they set off the agendas of some political and ideological groups and help them reap electoral benefits.  As for the contention that scaling up the assault on Pakistani troops along the border will stop infiltration, the past shows that it is just not going to happen. Instead there's every risk that the situation might go out of hand. And the escalation beyond a certain point would be unmanageable for the two countries. Also in that case, the world will not sit by and watch as both are nuclear armed. It is thus important for them to step back from the brink and take steps to engage and work to build mutual confidence for a sustainable dialogue. There's no other way.

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