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Kashmir – a “nuclear flashpoint”?

Kashmir a nuclear flashpoint: Pakistan army spokesman Asif Ghafoor https://www.livemint.com/politics/news/kashmir-a-nuclear-flashpoint-pakistan-army-spokesman-asif-ghafoor-1566058203618.html

  • Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said India could review its nuclear no first use policy
  • The UN Security Council on Friday said India and Pakistan should sort out their differences bilaterallyNew Delhi: Pakistan army spokesman Asif Ghafoor on Saturday described Kashmir as a “nuclear flashpoint”, a day after defence minister Rajnath Singh said India could review its nuclear no first use policy.

    Ghafoor’s comment, quoted by news reports, could be seen as another attempt by Pakistan to internationalise the Kashmir dispute between the two countries and invite offers of mediation. Western nations have always been wary of tensions flaring up between the two countries that have nuclear weapons.

    Ghafoor’s comments also come after the UN Security Council on Friday said India and Pakistan should sort out their differences bilaterally after closed-door consultations. This came after China sought the meeting on Pakistan’s behalf after India revoked a provision in its constitution giving special status to Kashmir.

    In his remarks on Saturday, Ghafoor also said Pakistan was ready to repulse any Indian attack, the news reports said.

    On Friday, during a visit to Pokhran, defence minister Rajnath Singh said, “Till today, our nuclear policy is ‘No First Use’. What happens in future depends on the circumstances,” media reports said quoting the minister who was at an event in Pokhran, the site of India’s nuclear tests in 1998.

    The comments followed heightened tensions between India and Pakistan after the Indian government revoked Article 370that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan had condemned the move.

    In a tweet, Rajnath Singh added, “Pokhran is the area which witnessed Atal Ji’s firm resolve to make India a nuclear power and yet remain firmly committed to the doctrine of ‘No First Use’. India has strictly adhered to this doctrine. What happens in future depends on the circumstances.”

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August 19, 2019 Posted by | India, Pakistan, politics international | Leave a comment

India and Pakistan on Hair-Trigger Nuclear Alert Over Kashmir

Hair-Trigger Nuclear Alert Over Kashmir, Common DreamsIndia and Pakistan, where people starve in the streets, waste billions on military spending because of the Kashmir dispute. Now some of India’s extreme Hindu nationalists warn they want to reabsorb Pakistan, Bangladesh, and even Sri Lanka into Mother India.  by Eric Margolis  11 Aug 19

Two of the world’s most important powers, India and Pakistan, are locked into an extremely dangerous confrontation over the bitterly disputed Himalayan mountain state of Kashmir. Both are nuclear armed.

Kashmir has been a flashpoint since Imperial Britain divided India in 1947. India and Pakistan have fought numerous wars and conflicts over majority Muslim Kashmir. China controls a big chunk of northern Kashmir known as Aksai Chin.

In 1949, the UN mandated a referendum to determine if Kashmiris wanted to join Pakistan or India. Not surprisingly, India refused to hold the vote. But there are some Kashmiris who want an independent state, though a majority seek to join Pakistan……

What makes this confrontation so dangerous is that both sides have important tactical and nuclear forces arrayed against one another. These are mostly short/medium-ranged nuclear tipped missiles, and air-delivered nuclear bombs. Strategic nuclear weapons back up these tactical forces. A nuclear exchange, even a limited one, could kill millions, pollute much of Asia’s ground water, and spread radioactive dust around the globe – including to North America. ….https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/08/11/hair-trigger-nuclear-alert-over-kashmir

August 12, 2019 Posted by | India, Pakistan, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Pakistan on the brink again, as India abolishes self-rule for Kashmir

Kashmir crisis: Will nuclear-armed Pakistan go to war with India again?  Telegraph UK    

India’s announcement that it will abolish self-rule for Kashmir has been denounced as illegal in Islamabad, with the country’s military warning it will  “go to any extent” to support Kashmiris.

What options does Pakistan have?

Why is there pressure on Pakistan to act?

Kashmir has poisoned relations between India and Pakistan since Independence. Both claim the territory, which is now divided between them by a fortified line of control. They have fought three wars over it….. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/08/08/kashmir-crisis-will-nuclear-armed-pakistan-go-war-india/

August 10, 2019 Posted by | India, Pakistan, politics international | Leave a comment

Kashmir, nexus of conflict between nuclear antagonists India and Pakistan, faces crackdown, plunges into fear,

Kashmir, nexus of conflict between nuclear antagonists India and Pakistan, faces crackdown, plunges into fear, By India and Pakistan have fought two wars and engaged in countless cross-border military skirmishes over Kashmir.

Now India has plunged the mountainous region into fear by revoking Kashmir’s constitutionally mandated “special privileges.” The federal government in Delhi sent in thousands of troops over the weekend, and Kashmiri political leaders have been put under house arrest. Internet service to the area has been cut off or restricted…..

The crackdown did not come as a surprise: The Delhi government ordered tourists out of the Himalayan region last week, warning of a possible terrorist attack.

Kashmir has been claimed by both Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan — and administered by India — since the two countries won their independence shortly after World War II. Great Britain partitioned its colony on the Indian subcontinent in 1947 before pulling out, sparking widespread violence. “Under the partition plan provided by the Indian Independence Act,” the BBC notes, “Kashmir was free to accede to India or Pakistan” — and the region’s maharaja at the time chose India, even though the population is predominantly Muslim. This led to a two-year war between India and Pakistan, with another one erupting in 1965.

In the 1990s, both India and Pakistan successfully tested nuclear weapons and began stockpiling warheads. Various armed separatist outfits have been operating in Kashmir for decades…….. https://www.oregonlive.com/news/2019/08/kashmir-nexus-of-conflict-between-nuclear-antagonists-india-and-pakistan-faces-crackdown-plunges-into-fear.html

August 6, 2019 Posted by | India, Pakistan, politics international | Leave a comment

Pakistan Tests Nuclear-Capable Ballistic Missile 

May 25, 2019 Posted by | Pakistan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

How to avoid nuclear confrontation between India and Pakistan

WILL INDIA AND PAKISTAN BE ABLE TO STEP BACK FROM NUCLEAR DANGER? Arms Control Wonk, by Michael Krepon | May 13, 2019    Dark clouds are gathering. The Trump administration seems headed toward pre-emptive strikes against Iran. This progression began when Donald Trump walked away from the deal struck by President Obama, the European Union, Russia and China freezing advances in Iran’s nuclear weapon-related activities. Next, not unexpectedly, was Tehran’s threat to get back in the business of serious uranium enrichment in response to the U.S. walk out and Europe’s likely inability to circumvent Washington’s secondary sanctions. If Tehran follows through or if there is another prompt, the following step in this progression would be to set back Iran’s nuclear program several years by bombing the hell out of it. Conciliators be damned: Cue to the mission accomplished banners and drop the confetti.

If India’s new government has the wisdom to try once more to move away from confrontation, there is no shortage of confidence-building and nuclear risk-reduction measures to pursue. Every Indian and Pakistani diplomat worth his or her salt can quickly identify a half-dozen worthwhile measures that would not diminish security while helping to place time and space before another clash. If enough time and space are added, there may not be another clash.

May 14, 2019 Posted by | India, Pakistan, politics international | Leave a comment

Constant military posturing from both Pakistan and India

India and Pakistan Will ‘Never Be Friends’ as U.S. Sits Out Aggressive Nuclear Threats  https://www.ccn.com/india-pakistan-never-friends-nuclear-threats-us-sidelines

India’s minister of state for external affairs V.K Singh said this weekend that India and Pakistan will never be friends:

“A country which has been triggering proxy wars against India besides being a terrorist hub can never be treated as a friend. Treating Pakistan as a friend will be the biggest weakness of India.”

INDIA AND PAKISTAN: MONTHS OF NUCLEAR TENSION

The statement comes after months of tension between the two nuclear neighbors. The military posturing reached a peak last week when India’s prime minister Narendra Modi threatened Pakistan with the “mother of nuclear bombs.”

The military aggression first flared in February when Pakistan-based terrorist group JeM killed 40 Indians. India responded with airstrikes over the border and a series of aggressive military action followed on both sides.

PAKISTAN’S F-16 FIGHTER JET AGGRESSION: A VIOLATION OF US TERMS?

The United States has also been dragged into the ongoing conflict between India and Pakistan, but the Trump administration remains firmly on the sidelines. The US has refused to comment on Pakistan’s possible violation of US terms.

In February 2019, Pakistan shot down an Indian jet and captured its pilot. India claims this aggressive action was carried out by a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet, sold to Islamabad by the United States.

If India’s claims are true, it may be a violation of international terms. According to the US arms agreement, Pakistan is only permitted to use the F-16 fighter jets defensively.

Pakistan maintains it did not use the F-16 in the dogfight and, despite India’s claim that it shot down a Pakistani F-16 in the clash, a US count found that all jets were present and correct. India, however, submitted some evidence in the form of call-signs and weaponry used which are associated with Pakistani F-16s.

US STAYS ON THE SIDELINES

This weekend, the US refused to share any information with India about the possible violation of terms. Speaking to the Indian Express, an unnamed official said it was a matter solely for the US and Pakistan:

“Soon after we were informed by the Indian side about Pakistan using F-16 aircraft on Feb 27, we informed the Indians that we will not be sharing any information on the subject as it is a bilateral matter between the US and Pakistan.” 

Pakistan maintains it did not use the F-16 in the dogfight and, despite India’s claim that it shot down a Pakistani F-16 in the clash, a US count found that all jets were present and correct. India, however, submitted some evidence in the form of call-signs and weaponry used which are associated with Pakistani F-16s.

The official said it was a strictly unbiased position and it would do the same if the tables were turned:

“If a third country tomorrow wants information about the C130 or C17 or Apaches that the IAF [Indian Air Force] uses, our answer would be the same. It is a bilateral matter between India and the US.”

PEACE IN THE INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT?Pakistan is on a mission to dispel fears of conflict, but not everyone is convinced. The country invited a handful of journalists to learn about Islamabad’s desire for peace, summed up by this Reuters commentary:

“Pakistan says it is tired of conflict, opposed to extremism, open for peace talks and clamping down on corruption. It also insists it is run by politicians, with the military partnering rather than dominating.”

But with constant military posturing from both Pakistan and India, the peaceful rhetoric doesn’t quite match the nuclear grandstanding.

April 30, 2019 Posted by | India, Pakistan, politics international | Leave a comment

Pakistan warns India against mentioning its nuclear power lightly

‘Don’t test our resolve’: Pakistan warns India against mentioning its nuclear power lightly  https://scroll.in/latest/921739/dont-test-our-resolve-pakistan-warns-india-against-mentioning-its-nuclear-power-lightly 29 Apr 19, Pakistan’s military spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor reiterated Pakistan’s denial of India’s claim that it was responsible for the attack in Pulwama. Pakistan on Monday warned India against testing its military’s resolve and said that it was capable of protecting its citizens. Pakistan’s military spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor accused India of relying on false claims about the Pulwama attack in India and the Indian Air Force’s air strike in Balakot.The military spokesperson urged India to be a more responsible nuclear power. “In your [Indian] rhetoric, you keep using nuclear power as a threat,” Ghafoor said. “Nuclear powers are not a threat, they are a weapon of deterrence that should not be mentioned lightly…Do not test our resolve.”

Ghafoor was referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark earlier this month that India’s nuclear weapons are “not meant for Diwali”. Modi had received criticism from several quarters for that statement.

Ghafoor denied that it was responsible for the attack in Pulwama that killed 40 Indian security personnel. “We told them we were not involved,” Ghafoor told reporters at a press conference. “India then violated our airspace, we then gave the ultimatum that we will respond when we see fit. Two months have passed since and India has told countless lies on the matter. We have not responded to the lies, not because we can’t, but because we don’t want to retaliate.”

Ghafoor reiterated that Pakistan had incurred no damage from India’s air strike in Balakot. He said hiding the downing of a plane is impossible in today’s day and age.

“International media came to Pakistan, we told them that they should go to the place and see for themselves what had happened. India had said that 300 people had died in their attack [in Balakot]. Then they said that they had used a small-scale missile that bore a tiny hole in the ceiling of the building and then exploded inside. We again offered to show your own [Indian] media the site,” he said.

April 30, 2019 Posted by | India, Pakistan, politics international | Leave a comment

Report on Modi’s remark on nuclear weapons sent to EC, says election official in Barmer

April 30, 2019 Posted by | India, Pakistan, politics international | Leave a comment

PAKISTAN’S Prime Minister Imran Khan issues warning on conflict with India, the nuclear danger

Pakistan PM Khan: Kashmir issue ‘cannot keep boiling’ – BBC News

India Pakistan CONFLICT: Imran Khan issues India nuclear WARNING – ‘no one can predict’   

PAKISTAN’S Prime Minister Imran Khan issued a dire warning to his neighbouring country as he branded India’s attack on his “nuclear-armed” country as “irresponsible” and warned Pakistan “would have no choice” but to strike back in the future.

By ALESSANDRA SCOTTO DI SANTOLO, Express UK , Wed, Apr 10, 2019   Speaking to the BBC, Imran Khan called on his Indian counterpart to come to a peaceful dialogue over the “oppression of Kashmir” and claimed the number one priority for the two nations should be tackling poverty. He said: “Surely the number one task of the two governments should be: how are we going to reduce poverty? And the way we reduce poverty is by settling our differences through dialogue.

“And there is only one difference, which is Kashmir. It has to be settled.

“The Kashmir issue cannot keep on boiling like it is because anything happening in Kashmir – through a reaction to the oppression which is taking place in Kashmir – it would be palmed off n Pakistan.

“We would be blamed and tensions would rise as they have risen in the past.

“So if we can settle Kashmir, the benefits of peace are tremendous in the subcontinent.”

But speaking about the dangers of confrontation escalating between the two countries, Mr Khan warned: “Once you respond, no-one can predict where it can go from there.”……. https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1112264/India-Pakistan-news-Kashmir-Imran-Khan-nuclear-weapons-india-election

April 11, 2019 Posted by | Pakistan, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The risk of nuclear war between India and Pakistan: it’s been a close call

South Asia’s nuclear-armed neighbors pull back from the abyss…barely

India and Pakistan have created the most perilous place on Earth. Salon DILIP HIRO, APRIL 7, 2019 This piece originally appeared on TomDispatch.

It’s still the most dangerous border on Earth. Yet compared to the recent tweets of President Donald Trump, it remains a marginal news story.  That doesn’t for a moment diminish the chance that the globe’s first (and possibly ultimate) nuclear conflagration could break out along that 480-mile border known as the Line of Control (and, given the history that surrounds it, that phrase should indeed be capitalized). The casus belli would undoubtedly be the more than seven-decades-old clash between India and Pakistan over the contested territory of Kashmir. Like a volcano, this unresolved dispute rumbles periodically — as it did only weeks ago — threatening to spew its white-hot lava to devastating effect not just in the region but potentially globally as well.

The trigger for renewed rumbling is always a sensational terrorist attack by a Pakistani militant group on an Indian target. That propels the India’s leadership to a moral high ground. From there, bitter condemnations of Pakistan are coupled with the promise of airstrikes on the training camps of the culprit terrorist organizations operating from the Pakistan-controlled part of Kashmir.  As a result, the already simmering relations between the two nuclear-armed neighbors are quickly raised to a boiling point. This, in turn, prompts the United States to intervene and pressure Pakistan to shut down those violent jihadist groups. To placate Washington, the Pakistani government goes through the ritual of issuing banning orders on those groups, but in practice, any change is minimal.

And in the background always lurks the possibility that a war between the two neighbors could lead to a devastating nuclear exchange.  Which means that it’s time to examine how and why, by arraying hundreds of thousands of troops along that Line of Control, India and Pakistan have created the most perilous place on Earth.

How It All Began Continue reading

April 8, 2019 Posted by | India, Pakistan, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

India and Pakistan may have just narrowly avoided a nuclear confrontation

South Asia’s Overlooked Nuclear Crisis, While few were watching, India and Pakistan may have just narrowly avoided a nuclear confrontation. The Nation, By Dilip Hiro 5 Apr 19, It’s still the most dangerous border on Earth. Yet compared to the recent tweets of President Donald Trump, it remains a marginal news story. That doesn’t for a moment diminish the chance that the globe’s first (and possibly ultimate) nuclear conflagration could break out along that 480-mile border known as the Line of Control (and, given the history that surrounds it, that phrase should indeed be capitalized). The casus belli would undoubtedly be the more than seven-decades-old clash between India and Pakistan over the contested territory of Kashmir. Like a volcano, this unresolved dispute rumbles periodically—as it did only weeks ago—threatening to spew its white-hot lava to devastating effect not just in the region but potentially globally as well.

April 6, 2019 Posted by | India, Pakistan, politics international | Leave a comment

Indian military confirms deployment of nuclear subs amid rising tensions with Pakistan

AMN By News Desk2019-03-17  Tensions between the two nuclear-armed Asian powers escalated last month, after an incursion into Pakistani territory in Kashmir by Indian Air Force warplanes to strike at Jihadist militants led to skirmishes in the air and small arms and artillery fire along the shaky Line of Control border.

Major combat units of the Indian Navy including the INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier-led battle group, nuclear submarines “and scores of other ships, submarines and aircraft” were quickly shifted from exercises to operational deployment as tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad escalated, India’s Ministry of Defence revealed in a statement Sunday……..

Earlier Sunday, sources speaking to Reuters reportedly said that India and Pakistan had threatened to lob nuclear missiles at each other during the crisis and that only US officials’ intervention helped to defuse what may have well turned into a much deadlier conflict. ……

Tensions continue to smolder, with regular reports of airspace violations, military drills held in the sensitive border area, and back and forth allegations of ceasefire violations amid small arms and artillery fire along the Line of Control in Kashmir. https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/indian-military-confirms-deployment-of-nuclear-subs-amid-rising-tensions-with-pakistan/

March 18, 2019 Posted by | India, Pakistan, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

A nuclear nightmare is brewing between India and Pakistan

March 12, 2019 Posted by | India, Pakistan, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

People of Kashmir – stuck in a dangerous, potentially nuclear, conflict

In Kashmir, we’re stuck in the middle of a potentially nuclear conflict but the world looks away, ABC News, By Umar Lateef Misgar   9 Mar 19, When Adil Dar rammed a car stuffed with explosives into a paramilitary convoy in Indian-administered Kashmir last month, I didn’t make much of the news.

I was travelling across northern India at the time. Having been born and brought up amid a conflict that has defined the life of every young Kashmiri for the past three decades it just seemed more of the same: military cordons, gunfights, curfews, blown-up houses, maiming and the death of our friends and acquaintances.

But the magnitude of this attack by Dar, a 22-year-old Kashmiri, crept up on me through numbers and images. It was the worst attack against Indian forces since the armed insurgency erupted in Kashmir in the late 1980s.

At least 40 Indian paramilitary personnel had been killed, setting off a chain of events that almost brought South Asia to the brink of an all-out nuclear war.

I felt heartbroken by the loss of life that had occurred.

The Indian media instantly began to whip up a frenzy against the Kashmiris, doubling down on efforts to demonise an entire people.

The Indian population’s anger was focused against Kashmiri civilians, students and migrant businessmen, who were attacked by mobs. As many as 2000 of them were forced to flee from different Indian cities…….

I have lived in India as a student and travelled across the country throughout my life, but I have never felt as threatened as during this recent visit.

Constantly dehumanised in the Indian media as well as politics, Kashmiris have been undermined and permanently relegated as dispensable other in the Indian consciousness. Even the India’s parliamentary opposition, led by the Indian National Congress party that finds its roots in the anti-colonial struggles of the subcontinent, didn’t even dare to speak a word against this wave of anti-Kashmiri hate-crimes………

Amid rising tensions, both the countries mobilised their armed forces, leading to the worst tension in 20 years. Diplomats succeeded in persuading the two nuclear-armed nations to back-off. For now.

It is local Kashmiris whose lives were disrupted by this military posturing and brinkmanship. Civilians across the de-facto border that divides Indian and Pakistani-administered Kashmir, suffered the stress of warplanes hovering above and the impending threat of war………

Deadliest decade

The confrontation between India and Pakistan has slowly de-escalated but people continue to be killed, and while last year was the deadliest in a decade the coming year looks catastrophically bleak.

In the past week 15 people including eight Kashmiri civilians died in shelling and gunfights on the border.

As world attention shifts elsewhere the plight of Kashmiri people remains constant. Our land, our air and our bodies will remain the sites of violent confrontation and electoral bargaining.

Will anyone bat an eye before the next nuclear showdown? https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-09/kashmir-is-stuck-in-the-middle-of-nuclear-tension/10878950

March 9, 2019 Posted by | India, Pakistan, weapons and war | Leave a comment