Nearly 20 years after India and Pakistan clashed in the heights of Kargil — only the second time in history nuclear-armed rivals fought a hot war — the two South Asian rivals have once again found themselves careening toward conflict over Kashmir.
Last Thursday, an explosive-laden SUV rammed into a bus carrying Indian paramilitary forces along the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway in India-administered Kashmir, killing more than 40 troops. Videos and images began to circulate of the driver, Adil Ahmad Dar, declaring himself part of the Pakistan-based terrorist organization Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM). Predictably, India quickly condemned Pakistan for orchestrating the attack, demanded a dismantlement of terrorist infrastructure and a stop to Pakistan’s support for terrorism, and began contemplating retaliatory action. Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that he has “given security forces full freedom to respond” to the attack, prompting a televised response from Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan a few days later.
Image: Ole Holbech