India’s doctrine of “strategic restraint” toward Pakistan was tested again Wednesday, after the Indian Army responded to a Sept. 18 attack against an Indian base that killed 19 soldiers by conducting raids against terrorist facilities just inside Pakistan-controlled Kashmir. Islamabad has addressed the incidents with its usual mix of bluster and denial, but if it means to prevent an escalation of violence it needs to shut down the terrorist groups it continues to support.
That should start with Jaish-e-Mohammad (Army of Mohammed) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (Army of the Pure), two major jihadist groups that operate openly in Pakistan and are prime suspects in these attacks. Both groups are supported by its military despite being on United Nations lists of terrorist organizations. Last month the U.S. Defense Department blocked $300 million in reimbursements to Pakistan because of its continuing tolerance of the Haqqani Network that operates in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The Pakistani government insists it had nothing to do with the attack on Uri, as well as with a similar attack in Pathankot in January that killed another seven Indian soldiers. Pakistan’s military goes so far as to deny the raids took place and blamed India for an unprovoked artillery attack across the Line of Control that killed two Pakistani soldiers. Defense Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif even accused India of staging the Uri attack and repeated past threats to use tactical nuclear weapons.
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Image courtesy of Reuters
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