04:45 GMT +322 March 2019
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    Indo-Pak Crisis: Initial Assessment

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    Andrew Korybko
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    It’s been a little over a week since India and Pakistan first traded blows, and while the situation is still evolving and has yet to be resolved; it’s still possible to give an initial assessment thus far.

    Hostilities between the two broke out after India claimed to have bombed one of Jaish-e-Mohammed's bases in Pakistan in retaliation for the group's involvement in the Pulwama attack, which India also says that Pakistani state institutions were involved in planning, though it didn't publicly provide any proof to back up either of these two claims.

    Nevertheless, Pakistan says that India violated the Line of Control (LoC) for the first time since their 1971 war, which is why it shot down one of its jets and even captured the pilot before swiftly releasing him as a goodwill gesture that Prime Minister Khan said was to show his country's peaceful intentions. Wing Commander Abhinandan quickly became the human face of this conflict and tensions seemed to abate after he returned home, though heavy shelling still persisted along the LoC. Even so, the Indian Ambassador to Russia told Sputnik over the weekend that his country wasn't considering any more strikes against Pakistan at the moment.

    In the same interview, however, he also outright rejected any possible mediation efforts that might be formally proposed, emphasizing that none have officially been made thus far. His comments came two days after Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said during a press conference that Russia could theoretically host peace talks between India and Pakistan if both sides wanted it to in response to a journalist's question about that possibility. Pakistan, for its part, formally welcomed this move, with its Foreign Minister praising Russia for this peacemaking gesture during a call with Lavrov.

    Elsewhere across the world, India was shocked after the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) — a sprawling bloc of 57 countries spread all across the world — sharply criticized it for its actions in Kashmir just one day after Minister of External Affairs Swaraj gave a speech at the gathering as the group's official guest of honor. This surprise turn of events came after the Pakistani Foreign Minister boycotted the event after the OIC refused to rescind its guest of honor invitation to his Indian counterpart, proving that Islamabad isn't anywhere near as "isolated" as New Delhi claims.

    Andrew Korybko is joined by Feroze Mithiborwala, Founder and National General Secretary of the India Palestine Solidarity Forum and Raja Faisal, Islamabad-based journalist.

    Want to sound off and share what you think about this? Send us an email at radio@sputniknews.com or find us on Facebook!

    Tags:
    Imran Khan, India, Kashmir, Pakistan
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