Rajat Sharma

How Pakistan is instigating protesters to cross LoC

akb0810 India TV in its show ‘Aaj Ki Baat’ on Monday night showed visuals of hundreds of protesters marching towards the Line of Control with the intent of crossing over to Kashmir valley “to express solidarity”. This is nothing but a desperate gambit by the Pakistani establishment in order to cause conflagration on its border with India. Most of the Pakistani politicians, including Prime Minister Imran Khan, have been egging on these ‘jihadi’ protesters to march towards the LoC for the last several days.

After failing to get international support on Kashmir issue at the UN General Assembly, Pakistan has now resorted to fomenting violence and tension near the LoC. Its army has failed in infiltrating terrorists into the valley in the face of utmost vigil by our security forces.

Till now, the Pakistani politicians have managed to gather hardly three to four thousand protesters to march towards the LoC in the last three days. Pakistan PM Imran Khan had earlier given a call to these protesters to march towards LoC, but later realizing the repercussions, he had quickly appealed to them not to move.

It was Imran Khan who had asked the protesters to wait till he returned from the UN General Assembly. After returning empty handed, Imran Khan has now asked supporters to go ahead with their march.

The Pakistani leadership had hoped that millions of people would come out to join the march, but it did not happen. Only a few thousand protesters assembled, began their march from Bhimbher Gali near the LoC, and went up to the POK capital Muzaffarabad, where their number dwindled further. The protesters have now reached Chakothi, near the LoC.

The Pakistani establishment understands the legal position that crossing an international border is a serious offence. To hoodwink the international media, it has therefore put large containers manned by armed policemen to block the protesters.

This is nothing but a charade, because the Pakistani army wants the protest march to swell in numbers, so that violence can be instigated, particularly near those border outposts, where cross border firing has been going on for several months.

The Pakistani establishment has appointed ring leaders to egg on the innocent villagers taking part in the march to walk towards the LoC, but most of the protesters are unwilling to go further. The Pakistani authorities have practically abandoned them to their fate.

India TV showed several protesters denouncing the Pakistani army and political leaders, for pushing them towards death without any food or logistical support. At least two protesters said on India TV that most of the bazaars in the towns of Chakothi, Muzaffarabad and other places were closed down in a hurry, so that they could be deprived of food. One of them complained that the “army has sent us to kabristan (burial sites)”.

Pakistan PM Imran Khan is facing twin challenges: one, how to convince the common Pakistanis to trust his leadership, and two, how to maintain a cordial balance with the all-powerful army.

He has already admitted his failure in garnering international support on the Kashmir issue, and is now hell bent on keeping the issue alive, by instigating his own people. Imran Khan knows that his days will be numbered the moment the Kashmir issue fizzles out.

The despatching of innocent villagers masquerading as protesters towards the LoC is a last ditch attempt by a beleagured Prime Minister, but this is also bound to fail. Imran Khan is now staring at the ominous writing on the wall.

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