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India & Pakistan Tensions Are Flaring Up Again

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#1 LFC

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 10:33 AM

India just executed air strikes in Pakistan. A combination of a terrorist attack in Kashmir and rising nationalism in India is turning up the heat.


For the first time in five decades, Indian warplanes crossed into Pakistan and conducted airstrikes on Tuesday. But in the jarring escalation of hostilities, the leadership of each nuclear-armed country also appeared to leave itself a way out of pushing the conflict into war.

In India, where election-year nationalism is fueling waves of anger over the militant attack in Kashmir that killed dozens of soldiers this month, the story line was of righteous vengeance accomplished.

“We won’t let this country bow down!” Prime Minister Narendra Modi told a charged rally in New Delhi, speaking in front of a backdrop with the photos of the Indian soldiers killed by a suicide bomber.

In a statement, Indian’s foreign ministry claimed that airstrikes near Balakot in northern Pakistan had struck “the biggest training camp” of Jaish-e-Mohammad, the group that claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing, killing a “very large number” of militants as they were planning another attack.

But in Pakistan, where the domestic tone has been one of fatigue over enduring economic crisis and political ennui, the country’s military command insisted that India’s air incursion had achieved nothing.

In a sign of escalating tensions, Mr. Khan summoned the National Command Authority — the body that oversees the deployment and management of Pakistan’s nuclear arms — for a special session on Wednesday. The prime minister also called for Parliament to meet on Wednesday to discuss a response.

With India claiming to have avenged the Kashmir attack, and with Pakistan claiming that India had done no real damage, it seemed possible that the situation could yet be defused. Still, analysts cautioned that the crisis could erupt into something more serious if restraint failed on either side.

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