Crossfire War – Indian Soldier Killed by Firing from Pakistan Across LoC

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Crossfire War – Rapid Fire News=Tehran – Beijing – Islamabad Watch – South Asia Theatre: Tehran – Riyadh – Beijing – Kabul – Tashkent – Katmandu – Dhaka – Islamabad/Srinagar – Arunachal Pradesh – Delhi; Indian Soldier Killed by Firing Across Line of Control from Pakistan – Moscow Accuses Georgian Government of Anti-Russian Policies

Night Watch: NANGI TEKRI POST – NewsBlaze reports one Indian soldier was killed Sunday by what is being described as “hostile fire” from Pakistan across the Line of Control (LoC) at the Nangi Tekri post in the Poonch district of northern Kashmir. This is just 50 miles east of the Pakistan capital Islamabad and there has yet to be return fire from India which is conducting an investigation to determine the nature of the fire, if it came from Islamic infiltrators or from Pakistani troops. If it came from Pakistani troops it would be a direct violation of the ceasefire that was signed four years ago to the day, November 25-26, 2003 between Pakistan/India. Though Islamic infiltrators are constantly active in the area they are not noted for firing from across the LoC. Both governments have maintained more than half a million troops facing each other across the LoC for five years. [NewsBlaze]

Abhijit Guha of India’s Brigadier General Staff (BGS) of Information and Warfare Northern Command responded guardedly, “All we can say at the moment is that it was hostile fire that killed the soldier, and investigations have been ordered to find out what sort of fire it was.” However an anonymous officer with the 16 Corps in Nagrota near Jammu was more definite, “It seems a violation of ceasefire between India and Pakistan as the fire had come from across the LoC and it is almost confirmed that it was fired by Pakistani troops.” Delhi may be using its investigation to determine an appropriate response and I doubt if India will limit itself to just a diplomatic protest, especially since this incident-attack has occured right after three cities in northern India have been hit by explosions caused by the Islamic militant network Tehran-Islamabad have activated inside India. Firing from across the LoC may be part of Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf’s “Action Plan” that he presented to Tehran last February, designed to provoke an armed response from Delhi.

Tbilisi – Moscow continues to add to its list of reasons to attack the Georgian government in Tbilisi. The latest example has been Georgia President Mikhail Saakashvili accusing Moscow of being behind the massive ongoing opposition demonstrations in the capital and frankly there is probably quite a bit of truth to that. RIA reports excerpts from an interview given by Russia Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to Itogi magazine, “What the Georgian leadership is doing cannot be described as friendly. I would not even call their actions neutral or restrained. This is a clear anti-Russian line. Georgia’s leadership needs this line to justify its failure in both domestic and foreign policy. The fact that certain circles in Tbilisi are preparing for conflict is beyond doubt, considering the number of weapons Georgia has been purchasing both secretly and openly. And considering the number of provocations staged in the region, including against Russian peacekeepers.” [RIA]

The “provocations” have caused many exchanges of fire between Russian/Georgian troops and penetrations of Georgia’s airspace by Russia’s air force. Moscow is acting in direct military support of two territories that seceded from Georgia at the end of the Cold War in 1990, South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Both territories are involved in a military standoff facing Georgian troops and it is for this reason Tbilisi has been enaging in weapons purchasing with the support of Ankara-Tehran who hope Moscow can again be defeated, this time in the South Caucasus as Russia was defeated during the first Chechen war from 1994-96 against Islamic groups supported by Turkey-Iran.

This region is a crossroads of energy pipelines and that is why the main purchaser of Russia’s raw materials, Germany, had Vladimir Putin replace Boris Yeltsin as head of state in 1999 in order to lead the reforms that have made Russia’s economy more reliable and improved the performance of Russia’s military, which is why the war is about to extend further south toward Turkey-Iran. The industrialized world cannot afford to lose access to raw materials from here which is why former U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger arrived in Moscow late April to co-chair the Strategic Working Group with former Russia Premier Yevgeny Primakov.

Lavrov indicated he has made Russia’s position clear to Georgia Foreign Minister Gela Bezhuashvili. He may also have intimated to her Moscow will also target Turkey and Iran in the name of restoring stability, the very same reasons Russia engaged Islamic groups in the north. This is the decisive theatre in World War III. Only when Tehran sees Moscow being successful against Tbilisi will Iran then enter into serious negotiations to end the war. Since Tehran does not see Moscow as much of a problem as the West or as an important economic objective as India, Tehran’s method of opposing Moscow is to continue to send economic-military support to groups and governments -Tbilisi – opposed to Moscow. If Russia responds effectively enough, then before 2008 is over negotiations between Moscow-Tehran will begin.

Willard Payne is an international affairs analyst who specializes in International Relations. A graduate of Western Illinois University with a concentration in East-West Trade and East-West Industrial Cooperation, he has been providing incisive analysis to NewsBlaze. He is the author of Imagery: The Day Before.