Asia Minute: India Pakistan Tensions Flare

Feb 20, 2019

At the end of the guard changing ceremony at the Pakistan-India border the respective flags are lowered.
Credit urnes / Flickr

There is renewed tension this week in one of the most volatile parts of the Indo-Pacific region. This follows a terrorist attack last week that has sparked accusations between India and Pakistan.

It’s been nearly a week since more than 40 members of India’s security forces were killed in a suicide bombing in Indian-administered Kashmir. A militant group based in Pakistan claimed responsibility.

Pakistan’s prime minister went on national television to say his country had nothing to do with the attack. Adding that India should “stop blaming Pakistan without any proof or evidence.”

Imran Khan said his country would cooperate with India on an investigation.

India’s Ministry of External Affairs wrote “we demand Pakistan to stop misleading the international community and take credible and visible action against the perpetrators.”

On Tuesday, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister asked the United Nations to help with what he called “the deteriorating security situation in our region resulting from the threat of use of force against Pakistan by India.”

Kashmir is disputed territory. It’s majority Muslim and entirely claimed by both countries – although each administers only a part of it.

It’s a bitter divide going back to the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947.

A somewhat unlikely negotiator has volunteered to help ease regional tensions: Saudi Arabia. The Saudi crown prince is traveling in the region and its Foreign Minister says Saudi Arabia wants to “try to de-escalate tensions between the two countries.”