Even as the entire nation is engulfed in citizenship protests, neighbour Pakistan has complained to the United Nations with some startling claims, which have not been confirmed or denied by Indian officials. In a letter to the President of Security Council and UN Secretary General, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi claimed that India was up to some sort of ‘misadventure’. Accusing India of ‘deliberately’ escalating the tension in the region, Pakistan has alleged that New Delhi has deployed BrahMos missiles along the Line of Control.
“Over 3000 ceasefire violations, targeting over 300 civilians, including women and children since January 2019 alone. Partial removal of fence on the LoC in five sectors. The reason could only be planning for some ‘misadventure’ across the LoC. Deployment of Brahmos Missile regiments, Anti-Tank guided missiles and Spike missiles for use across the LoC. Conduct of numerous missile tests since August 2019,” Qureshi claimed in the letter.
Dec 12: Pakistan claims India removing fences, deploying BrahMos supersonic missiles along LoC— News Nation (@NewsNationTV) December 20, 2019
Dec 17: India test fires 2 BrahMos missiles from air, land platforms
Dec 18: Army chief says situation along LoC can escalate any time
The letter dated December 12 also alleged India of prolonging the shutdown in Kashmir. “The bellicose rhetoric emanating from Indian leadership is further vitiating the atmosphere, threatening inter alia to review their nuclear doctrine…. and “dismember” Pakistan,” Qureshi further said.
Days after Pakistan wrote the letter, India on December 17 successfully conducted two separate trials of supersonic cruise missile BrahMos, one each from land and air platforms, to check its capability to hit targets with precision and accuracy. The trials were carried out jointly by Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), Indian Air Force (IAF) and BrahMos. While a land-attack version of the missile was test-launched from Launch Pad-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur at around in the morning, an air force variant of BrahMos was fired from an IAF fighter jet over Bay of Bengal.
BrahMos is a joint venture between India's DRDO and NPOM of Russia. The missile is operational with the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force. The BrahMos is regarded as the fastest supersonic cruise missile in the world, the sources said. It has established itself as a major force multiplier in modern warfare with its land-attack and anti-ship capabilities with multi-role and multi-platform abilities, they added.
A day later on December 18, outgoing Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat had said that the situation along the Line of Control can escalate any time and the country has to be prepared for escalatory matrix. "The situation along the Line of Control can escalate any time. We have to be prepared for escalatory matrix," Rawat said. Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy had told Lok Sabha last month that "950 incidents of ceasefire violation along the LoC from across the border in Jammu and Kashmir were reported during August 2019 to October 2019".
Meanwhile, the Trump administration has a very clear position on Pakistan and wants Islamabad to take immediate, sustained and irreversible action on reining in terror groups and to ensure that its soil is not used for terrorism, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said, a day after the conclusion of the second India-US 2+2 dialogue. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper hosted Jaishankar and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh for the second 2+2 dialogue in Washington DC on Wednesday. Jaishankar and Singh left US on Thursday.