Israel playing major role in India-Pakistan conflict: UK Analyst

A prominent British columnist has argued that Israel’s warming relations with India has helped escalate tensions between India and Pakistan amid fears of an all-out conflict between the two nuclear-armed rivals.

Robert Fisk, the senior analyst writing for The Independent, said in an article on Thursday that Israel was desperately seeking to capitalize on the anti-Muslim sentiment among the Hindu nationalists in India to sell more arms and weapons to New Delhi.

Fisk said the recent escalation between India and Pakistan is in fact a product of growing Israeli influence in New Delhi, saying Israel’s fingerprints are visible all over the conflict.

India launched airstrikes on Pakistani positions earlier this week after 40 of its troops were killed in a militant attack in the Indian-controlled Kashmir region.

The conflict has enjoyed an extensive coverage by the media in the UK, a country home to some 1.4 million people with Indian origin and a community of 1.2 million British Pakistanis.

Fisk said the Indian army’s use of Israeli-made Rafael Spice-2000 “smart bombs” in its attack on militant positions inside Pakistan was a clear proof that the regime in the occupied Palestinian territories was benefiting from the conflict.

“Well, don’t let the idea fade away. Two thousand five hundred miles separate the Israeli ministry of defense in Tel Aviv from the Indian ministry of defense in New Delhi,” wrote Fisk in his commentary, adding, “but there’s a reason why the usual cliché-stricken agency dispatches sound so similar.”

File photo shows prominent Independent columnist Robert Fisk


Fisk, an award-winning journalist and writer, said that Israel was trying to capitalize on the growing power of the right-wing nationalist government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi by pretending that the two governments are both under attacks by Muslims.

Fisk said India was Israel’s largest arms client in 2017, paying £530m ($700 million) for Israeli air defense. He said Israel ensured the Indian government about the lethal force of its weapons by providing evidences of their use in Palestine and in Syria.

The standoff between the two neighboring countries has escalated dramatically since February 14, when Indian paramilitary forces on the New Delhi-controlled side of Kashmir were hit by a deadly bomb attack orchestrated by Pakistan-based militants.

The tensions reached a peak on Tuesday, when India said it had conducted “preemptive” airstrikes against what it described as a militant training camp in Pakistan’s Balakot.

Both Islamabad and New Delhi have also claimed to have shot down each other’s fighter planes near the disputed border of Kashmir, accusing one another of violating each other’s airspace.

Kashmir has been split between India and Pakistan since partition in 1947. Both countries claim all of Kashmir and have fought three wars over the territory.

Indian troops are in constant clashes with armed groups seeking Kashmir’s independence or its merger with Pakistan.

India regularly accuses Pakistan of arming and training militants and allowing them across the restive frontier in an attempt to launch attacks. Pakistan strongly denies the allegation.

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