The Latest In The India-Pakistan Tit For Tat Saga
NEW DELHI: Tensions between India and Pakistan continue to simmer as both countries are locked in a tit for tat cycle on a range of provocations. In the last few days, New Delhi and Islamabad have expelled a staffer each from the other country’s High Commission, cross border firing has seen a marked increase with casualties on both sides, and Pakistan’s Electronic Media Regulatory Authority has cracked down on channels and networks airing Indian content in response to a similar move in India, where the Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association declared that Pakistani actors will not be allowed to work in Indian productions.
Here are the latest developments:
PEMRA suspends Nickelodeon channel for airing Hindi content
Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) suspended the license of Nickelodeon channel for airing content dubbed in Hindi. The move follows a strict directive issued October 19, prohibiting Pakistani networks and channels from airing any Indian content.
The move, PEMRA says, is at the request of the Pakistani government. It follows a similar move in India, where the Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association -- a body of filmmakers -- declared that Pakistani actors will not be allowed to work in Indian productions.
New Delhi and Islamabad Expel staffers
Meanwhile, tensions between India and Pakistan continue to simmer. New Delhi and Islamabad expelled a staffer each at their High Commissions last week, declaring them ‘persona non-grata’ as a tit-for-tat measure to the Delhi Police announcing that it had uncovered a spy ring involving an employee of the Pakistani mission.
Pakistan, media reports suggest, is considering pulling out four of its officers posted at its High Commission in New Delhi. Dawn News reports: The names of the officers — commercial counsellor Syed Furrukh Habib and first secretaries Khadim Hussain, Mudassir Cheema and Shahid Iqbal — were made public after Indian officials released to media a recorded statement of a high commission staffer Mehmood Akhtar, who was expelled from India after being declared persona non grata. Mr Akhtar told Dawn that he had given the statement under duress. “They took me to a police station after detaining me where I was forced to read out a written statement provided by them in which the names of the four officers were given and was told to state that they belonged to Pakistan’s intelligence services,” the former high commission official, who returned to Islamabad last week, said.
While India and Pakistan have removed each other’s staffers in the past, the difference this time around is the decision by New Delhi to reveal the identity of the officers -- which Islamabad says is a deliberate move to heighten tensions.
India to approach Pakistan Foreign Minister for release of soldier
In a change of strategy, the Indian government is reportedly diplomatically pursuing the release of Chandu Babulal Chavan , the Indian soldier who 'inadvertently' crossed over into Pakistan Occupied Kashmir on September 29, the same day India carried out “surgical strikes” across the Line of Control.
This marks a change from the strategy thus far, whereby only the Indian army DGMO (Director General of Military Operations), Ranbir Singh, had sought Chavan's release from his Pakistani counterpart.
The Ministry of External Affairs had thus far remained silent on the issue of Chavan’s capture or release, letting the army handle the situation.
Cross border firing continues
India says that an army jawan and a woman were killed while five people, including two jawans, were injured in cross border firing provoked by Pakistan along the Line of Control.
Pakistan, meanwhile, accused India of killing four civilians and wounding six others in cross-border fire.
Cross border violations have increased significantly following India’s “surgical strikes” across the LoC. At least 45 instances of cross border violations have been recorded in the last month, killing four Border Security Forces and several civilians, while injuring dozens of others.