Apart from official statements emanating from the Pakistan Foreign Office and the military, Islamabad’s reaction to the latest ceasefire violation along the Line of Control (LoC) has remained muted with even the media not giving it too much attention.
Even after Wednesday’s developments, when statements came out of both the capitals, the Pakistani media did not ratchet up the anti-India rhetoric. Barring one channel, the ceasefire violations were not a topic of discussion on any of the various news talk shows at 8 p.m. And this was evidently the first such discussion on the issue, since this chapter of ceasefire violations began on Sunday. But given the Indian “media hype,” a senior journalist, recalling the post-Mumbai attacks scenario, lamented that the Pakistani media response may not remain muted for long.
As always, the Indian media’s response has resurrected the oft-repeated analysis that on issues related to Pakistan, every media house in India speaks with one voice, toe the official line, and try to outdo the other in being jingoistic. This is juxtaposed with the self-appraisal of Pakistani media that is seen as more diverse in its views and critical of foreign policy.
The official response after Pakistan accused India of raiding its check post on Sunday was also muted. Though the Indian High Commissioner was in town, the Foreign Office registered protest with the Deputy High Commissioner. As per the official statement, the Deputy High Commissioner was “called to” the Foreign Office, instead of being “summoned.” This sent across the message that the scale of protest was kept decidedly low.
Elsewhere, the turn of events left many wondering. While the hostile constituency has never been out of business, the focus of late has been more on the peace process. What has surprised many is that this should have happened just a few days after the Pakistan Army admitted to a recalibration in its Army Doctrine, wherein terrorists have replaced India as Pakistan’s biggest threat.
Meanwhile, there has been an effort by jihadi outfits to crank up the Kashmir issue, which had dropped off the radar of mainstream discourse — primarily due to Pakistan’s own internal struggles.