Tensions between India and Pakistan reached its most dangerous height as Indians expel a Pakistani official citing espionage charges.
But Pakistan quickly retaliated by declaring an Indian diplomat, Surjeet Singh, persona non grata and said he has 48 hours to leave the country.
Tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbors have soared since 18 Indian soldiers were killed as a result of a terrorist attack near the de-facto border dividing Kashmir last month.
It was the worst attack in more than a decade, and ever since then both India and Pakistan have exchanged verbal accusations, while India carried out firings on the border.
Pakistan has plans to attack India?
On Thursday, India said it was expelling a Pakistani official for allegedly spying. The Indian government claims the Pakistani visa official was detained carrying sensitive defense documents.
Indian police says the diplomat, named Mehmood Akhtar, had been recruiting Indians for two and a half years to spy on the Indian government and find weakness in India’s defense system in return for cash.
Delhi police claims the official had documents about Indian troop deployment along the border, suggesting that Pakistan has plans to carry out military attacks against Indian soldiers.
Ravindra Yadav, India’s joint commissioner of police on crime, says the espionage ring was run by “a kingpin working in the Pakistan high commission.” Yadav hasn’t presented any evidence to back the claim.
Spy games rage on: Brink of war?
Akhtar was shortly released by Delhi police. Hours after India accused Pakistan of espionage, Pakistan’s foreign ministry declared Singh persona non grata.
The Indian diplomat now has 48 hours to leave the country. Shortly afterwards, India’s foreign secretary summoned Pakistani high commissioner to explain the decision to expel the Indian diplomat.
If that doesn’t sound like spy games already, then what is it?
The news comes more than half a year since Pakistan made headlines by showing a video of a former RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) Indian spy admitting the Indian foreign intelligence agency killed and maimed Pakistani citizens.
Indian spy confesses killing and maiming Pakistani citizens
The Indian spy, named Kulbhushan Yadav, confessed on video of India’s top intelligence agency’s brutal crimes and barbarism against Pakistani soldiers and civilians.
Yadav was detained in early March. Later that month the Pakistani government released a video showing the Indian navy officer confessing in “killing and maiming of Pakistani citizens” under orders given by RAW.
Yadav claimed he had reported to Anil Kumar Gupta, the joint secretary RAW. India had confirmed Yadav was Indian national, but claimed he had taken early retirement from India’s navy.
The news of RAW carrying out subversive activities in Balochistan and Karachi made headlines in March this year.
Indian soldiers provoke NUCLEAR WAR?
India keeps blaming Pakistan for killing Indian soldiers last month, but its false claims have been repeatedly refuted by Pakistani and international media.
With the goal to provoke Pakistan into responding with military force, India frequently violates ceasefire. Well aware that the conflict might spiral into a nuclear war, Indian soldiers still boldly open fire across the Line of Control.
But Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Thursday that Pakistan keeps its restraint even though India has increased the frequency of its provocations. However, the Prime Minister warns Indians to not misinterpret Pakistan showing restraint as ‘weakness’.
Tensions between the two nuclear-powered countries have been plummeting since on July 8 Indian security forces killed in Kashmir about 100 young protesters and injured thousands more.
Deadly Indian violence also resulted in the death of 22-year old Burhan Wani, a militant leader who advocated a Kashmir free of both Indian and Pakistani rule.
But tensions reached its new peak this week, after India accused Pakistan of espionage.
Kashmir has been the reason of violence between India and Pakistan ever since their independence from Britain in 1947. Both Islamabad and New Delhi claim the region as their own territory and have fought two wars over Kashmir.
Russia fueling war between India and Pakistan
So what stops India and Pakistan to fight the third war and possibly resolve their hot conflict once and for all? Russia may be the answer.
Russia has played a major role in the conflict without actually participating directly. Moscow has been the key supplier of military equipment to India for years, and the two countries are currently negotiating a deal about the purchase of S-400, stealth frigates and even a second nuclear submarine.
Meanwhile, Russia is also flirting with Pakistan. The two countries have recently carried out massive military drills in Pakistan, leaving India puzzled: is Russian trying to flirt with two historical enemies?
But India is currently at a crucial stage of negotiating the purchase of state-of-the-art military hardware from Russia. That might be the answer why India stops short of launching an all-out attack on Pakistan.
When the deal is successfully reached between the two sides, what is the probability of India directly avenging the deaths of its soldiers in September?
Pakistani Prime Minister warns of MILITARY response
But Pakistan is well prepared for such a scenario. In fact, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Thursday the country would give a befitting response if their historical enemy continues hostilities.
Nawaz said Pakistan would respond with force if Indian ceasefire violations at the Line of Control (LoC) and Working Boundary continue. The Prime Minister said his country has been showing restraint to a great extent, but warned to not interpret his attempts to establish peace as weakness.
India keeps violating the ceasefire deal at the LoC and Working Boundary. On Wednesday and Thursday alone, at least 13 civilians were injured while two civilians were martyred.
Despite Nawaz’s warnings to give a befitting response, Indian army seems to be pushing it. But for how long Pakistan will remain peaceful and cool-headed?
Is India vs Pakistan nuclear war in the cards?
The Prime Minister openly denounces India’s slaughtering of Pakistani civilians with complete impunity. He is also well aware of India’s gruesome crime against humanity in Kashmir…
Looking back at previous such conflicts in the world, it’s only a matter of time before the side that is defending itself responds militarily.
But let’s not forget that both India and Pakistan are nuclear-powered countries, and there are hot-headed officials in the governments of both countries. So any possible military confrontation between the two countries should be prevented, or humanity will end up counting hours until its demise…
…because nuclear missiles don’t ask questions or issue warnings. They hit large areas within seconds.