(ANTIMEDIA) — As the Senate Chairman of Pakistan warns that an emerging “nexus” of the United States, Israel, and India poses a danger to the Muslim world, things are once again heating up between Pakistan and regional rival India along the Line of Control in Kashmir.
From the Associated Press:
“Tensions have soared along the volatile frontier between India and Pakistan in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, as rival troops shelled villages and border posts for a third day Friday.
“Three civilians and two soldiers were killed on both sides in the latest clash, officials in the two countries said, as each blamed the other for initiating the violence.
“Indian officials said two civilians, an army soldier and a paramilitary soldier died and at least 24 civilians and two soldiers were injured in Indian-controlled Kashmir. According to Pakistani officials, Indian fire on Friday killed a civilian and wounded nine others in Sialkot in Pakistan’s eastern Punjab province.”
India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars over the Himalayan territory of Kashmir, which both countries claim in its entirety. Skirmishes at the Line of Control, the border separating the two military forces, are common and often result in casualties on both sides.
But this most recent spike in tensions comes as India and Pakistan are making moves on the geopolitical stage. Most notably, India, which has moved considerably closer to the U.S. under the Trump administration, is now tightening relations with Israel, as well.
The White House recently drew international criticism for its decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and its announcement that the U.S. embassy will be moved to the city sometime in the near future.
Pakistan views all this with a suspicious eye, as expressed by Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani in a press release on Thursday:
“There is a changing world scenario in which a nexus among the US, Israel and India is emerging and the Ummah (Muslim world) needs unity to deal with this because today it is Pakistan and Iran tomorrow it can be any other country.”
Rabbani is referring to what he calls the Trump administration’s unwarranted interference in the peace process between Israel and Palestine. The Senate Chairman also said the White House’s action is a perfect example of bullying tactics used by powerful nations:
“This move not only defies the rule of law and international norms but also reinforces the hegemonic and belligerent ‘might is right’ policies in international politics.”
On Thursday, during his historic six-day visit to India, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu coyly expressed his support of India’s right to take combative action across the Line of Control in the name of fighting terrorism.
“Well, let’s say this, we have some understanding and I don’t think I have to add beyond that,” Netanyahu said while adding that Israelis “are not enemies of Pakistan and Pakistan should not be our enemy either.”
The Trump administration, however, has been pushing the narrative that Pakistan acts as a safe haven for terrorist groups. The president himself said as much in his South Asia policy speech back in August — the same speech in which he declared the U.S. would grow closer to India — and it was the reason cited for the White House’s recent decision to cut off a significant portion of U.S. aid to Pakistan.
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