As India looks for options, including diplomatic and military action, to avenge the killing of 18 soldiers in Uri, Pakistan is making all efforts to counter India’s strategy on all fronts. But with most countries giving it a cold shoulder, Pakistan is keeping its forces ready for forthcoming challenges. And with Indian forces foiling infiltration bids in separate operations at the LoC on Tuesday, Pakistan looks a little nervous.
According to intelligence inputs, Pakistan Rangers has cancelled the leave of its personnel deployed along the Indo-Pak border in J&K and Punjab in apprehension of a retaliation from Indian forces. The number of Pakistan Rangers deployed along the border have also been increased and the gaps which existed in their deployment due to shortage of manpower have also been filled, according to sources.
Also Pakistan’s national flag carrier cancelled flights to northern Pakistani cities including Gilgit due to “air space restrictions”. Without disclosing any reason, the spokesperson of the Pakistan International Airlines tweeted “As per directives of CAA (Civil Aviation Authority), the air space over Northern areas will remain closed on Wednesday. Inconvenience regretted.” However, officials said Pakistani warplanes might be in the air to keep vigil due to Indo-Pak tensions after the Uri attack.
There are reasons for Pakistan to be in a frenzy. After Russia and France, the United States also aksed Pakistan to prevent itself from being used as a safe heaven for terrorists. According to reports, US President Barack Obama refused to meet Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif before his UN address. In the meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry, Sharif raised the issue of alleged human rights violations and killings in Kashmir and sought American help to resolve the Kashmir issue, but was told to restrict terror activity.
A bipartisan group of two powerful American lawmakers introduced a bill in the US House of Representatives to designate Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism. Senator John Cornyn, Co-Chair of the Senate India Caucus tweeted a story which said the Indian Army had suffered its biggest stack in a decade.
The snubbing by the US has toned down Sharif’s rhetoric to reduce tensions with India. He was expected to forcefully highlight the Kashmir violence during his UN speech, but the scenario changed after Uri terrorist attack which spotlighted the issue of cross-border militancy. “The prime minister might strike a balance in his speech. He would talk about the Indian atrocities in Kashmir, but also would be conciliatory to end tension,” said an official from the Prime Minister’s Office. Sharif held a telephonic conversation with Army Chief General Raheel Sharif, the first after the Uri attack, but no statement was issued after the talks.