UPDATE: India-Pakistan Conflict-Has India-Pakistan War Begun?
India and Pakistan are again in military conflict in Kashmir. On September 29, 2016, India conducted what the Indian military described as “surgical strikes” on militant bases on the Pakistani side of the Line of Control (LOC). Then on October 1, both sides engaged in cross-border fire as the military situation escalated.
As described in our article on the possibility of a new India-Pakistan War in 2016, the recent pro-Pakistan militant attacks on Indian military facilities in Kashmir almost assured an Indian military response. While official details of the Indian “surgical strikes” are scarce, some reports indicate that Indian forces managed to sneak across the border at night and struck six militant camps about a half-mile inside Pakistani-controlled territory, killing “dozens” of militants along with a small number of Pakistani troops.
While Pakistan denied an Indian incursion actually occurred (since such an admission would demand a strong Pakistani response), the Indian side kept relatively quiet about the details of their attack.
Regardless of the fine details of the military response by India, tensions along the border increased dramatically, and, on October 1, small arms fire occurred along the LOC.
There has been no indication that either India or Pakistan has considered the use of their nuclear weapons in this dispute yet, that is the greatest fear of a major war between the two South Asian foes.
Indian leaders have mentioned possible economic tactics to punish Pakistan, including abrogating, or at least revisiting the The Indus Waters Treaty, which is a water-distribution treaty between India and Pakistan over control and use of several rivers that flow across their shared border. The treaty, signed in 1960, prevents India from damming or otherwise interfering with the flow of water to Pakistan. Were India to seriously interfere with the continued flow of these rivers, Pakistan could suffer from drought and associated economic problems. The prospect of an Indian-Pakistani Water War could be considered an existential threat to Pakistan, and be seen by the government in Islamabad as a justification for use of nuclear weapons on India.
The continued border conflict in Kashmir between India and Pakistan is a very real cause for concern to the world as these tensions continue to rise and continue the long history of wars between India and Pakistan.