As a result of the recent Uri incident that resulted in 18 of our soldiers being killed in an ambush attack originating from across the LOC from Pakistan occupied Kashmir, relations between India and Pakistan are at an all time low. Tensions have escalated, military preparedness has intensified in India and there have been many other consequences as well.
18 Indian Air Force bases along or close to the India Pakistan border / LOC have been put on high alert following the Uri attacks and the subsequent incidents in Mumbai and Pathankot where possible militants/ insurgents were spotted. There is a state of readiness along the 778 km LOC. The forward movement of troops, ammunition and fuel dumps has been initiated in several places.
WAC chief Air Marshal S B Deo and Western Command chief Lt-General Surinder Singh as well as other senior commanders have been visiting the areas under their respective commands to check preparedness. Area commanders have been asked to "maintain a high order of operational preparedness and alertness".
Currently major air exercises are ongoing at all 18 air bases and other installations along the border and the LOC from Bikaner to Srinagar in order to increase defence preparedness. Exercise Talon is a 4 day exercise principally defensive in nature and consisting mainly of ground defence and passive air defence; however the fact that this is the second time this month that these maneuvers are being carried out is significant.
Air bases along the Pak border / LOC are also put under UAV surveillance to enhance security in the region. The Indian Army and the Indian Air Force are working together to improve air-land fighting machinery as well.
India will not be attending the SAARC summit to be held in Pakistan, it has been announced. This came in the wake of the second demarche issued by India to the Pak high commission along with proof of the Uri attack's cross border origins.
Since India's pullout, three other counties, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan have also pulled out of SAARC. Bangladesh cited growing interference, Afghanistan said there was increased violence because of imposed terrorism and Bhutan also cited “recent escalation of terrorism in the region” as a reason not to attend. With just Sri Lanka, Maldives, Nepal and Pakistan left, this could mean a collapse of the SAARC summit.
India had granted Most Favoured Nation status to Pakistan, which authorities are considering to withdraw. The Indus Water Treaty, the 56 year old agreement that permits water to flow from India to Pakistan is another pressure tactic being considered currently.
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