Effect of the Pulwama Attack on International Relations
Dayana Milieva from the American College of Sofia draws our attention to a very important political topic – how the Pulwama attack in Kashmir from February 2019 will affect international relations. See her commentary below.
On 14 February 2019, a suicide bomber drove an automobile packed with explosives and intentionally ran into a bus carrying paramilitary police in Indian-administered Kashmir, and killed all 46 of them. The bomber was reported to be Adil Dar, a high school dropout between the ages of 19 and 21. The attack happened on the Srinagar – Jammu highway, which is about 20 km away from the capital, Srinagar.
Adil Dar was a member of the Pakistan based militant group Jaish-Muhammad that released a video, in which the bomber spoke about what he described as atrocities against Kashmiri Muslims and that after he joined the group in 2018, he was assigned to carry out the attack in Pulwama. He also said that when the video is released he will already be in jannat (heaven). The group, labelled as “terrorist” by the UK, US, and UN was started by Masood Azhar in 2000 and it has been blamed for many attacks ever since. Its creator lives in Pakistan’s Punjab province and India has demanded his extradition on several occasions, but it has been refused due to lack of proof. He was also arrested in Srinagar in 1999, but India released him as a part of a hostage exchange after an airline was hijacked.
The attack happened near the border between Pakistan-administered and India-administered Kashmir called the line of control, which has been always packed with security forces due to the constant conflicts and the fact that despite that, they failed to avoid the attack challenges the diplomatic relations between Pakistan and India. There have been at least 10 suicide attacks in the surrounding regions since 1989, but this is the second one that used a vehicle.
The Indian government claims they have evidence that the Pakistani authorities knew the attack was going to happen and they are directly linked to it, but has not yet provided it. However, the Pakistani government refutes those accusations by calling them “irresponsible” and denies any role in the attack, while offering their sincere help in the investigation. It was reported that the Indian security forces in a region very closely located to where the attack happened knew about the planning of such an assault, but it is still unknown whether or not it was passed to the right people. The Indian Prime minister gave a press conference and said that the attack would not go unpunished and the government will do anything in order to prevent disturbance in the peace and stability of India.
As the investigation continues, the federal minister of India said that they would take all possible diplomatic steps to cut Pakistan off from the international community.
The needed action will be taken because of the threat of the development of a bigger conflict concerning the disagreements between the two countries and the constantly occurring attacks. If the government does not work on resolving the problem, those attacks are surely going to escalate into something bigger, presumably civil war. Such a conflict in today’s modern times would lead to disputes in other closely located regions due to the fact that some countries would support one side and despise the other. Such events could easily lead to a world war, which would take way longer period of time to be put down. There are more than enough reasons why the groups organizing such terroristic attacks need to be severely punished by the authorities, so that the peace is preserved on a larger scale.
“Pulwama Attack: Pakistan Warns India against Military Action.” BBC News, BBC, 19 Feb. 2019, www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-47290107.
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“Pulwama Attack Updates: 37 CRPF Personnel Killed in Suicide Attack in Kashmir, Jaish-e-Mohammed Claims Responsibility.” The Economic Times, Economic Times, economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/pulwama-terror-attack-live-updates/liveblog/67995389.cms.