Pragmatic | Pakistan shells Afghanistan

What if Iran or India followed suit?

Here is one straight out of Pakistani school of Strategic Depth and Sovereignty of Nations:

Islamabad has made it clear to Washington and Kabul that shelling on the Afghanistan-based militants from Pakistan would continue in the future, as it was necessary to counter terrorists who have been consistently attacking Pakistan’s security forces over the past weeks, Ambassador Mohammad Sadiq told The Express Tribune.

Pakistan took this position at a Core Group Meeting with US special envoy Marc Grossman and Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Javed Ludin in Kabul on Tuesday.

Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir explained during the meeting that the bombardment was not directed at Afghan civilians.

Shelling by Pakistan on Afghan militants during the week has so far claimed several civilian lives besides a large number of miscreants who crossed over to Pakistan to attack its security forces.

Ambassador Sadiq was summoned by the Afghan ministry of foreign affairs last week to receive a demarche over the shelling which, according to the Afghan media, led to the deaths of several civilians, forcing others to flee their houses in Kunar and adjoining areas.

The recent shelling on Afghan villages by Pakistan’s security forces was not an intentional act on the part of its forces, Sadiq told the Afghan foreign minister.[Express Tribune]

Cross-border artillery shelling on militants operating from the territory of a sovereign neighbouring country seems to be acceptable to Pakistan as a matter of principle. That this shelling on villages has lead to the death of numerous innocent civilians does not perturb Pakistan at all.

So how would Pakistan react if either Iran or India were to follow suit and start targeting militants — Jundullah in case of Iran and innumerable jehadi groups in India’s case — who are based on Pakistani soil? Would it suffice for the Indian or Iranian Ambassador to turn up at Pakistan’s foreign office and say that “the recent shelling on Pakistani villages by Iranian/ Indian security forces was not an intentional act on the part of its forces”?

DISCLAIMER: This is an archived post from the Indian National Interest blogroll. Views expressed are those of the blogger's and do not represent The Takshashila Institution’s view.