Officials at India’s two main ports warned Thur., that Pakistan-trained commandos are in the vicinity of those ports and are preparing terrorist attacks against vessels, Reuters reported.
The Mundra Port, the largest private port of India located on the north shores of the Gulf of Kutch near Mundra, in the Kutch district, and the state-owned Kandla Port, also located on the Gulf of Kutch, have had government advisories posted at both facilities warning employees and ship operators to be extra vigilant in the weeks ahead for Pakistani terrorists.
We have reported for most of the year about the rising tensions between India and Pakistan on the Line of Control (LoC) in the Himalayan region of Kashmir.
Earlier this month, India revoked the special status of its portion of Kashmir and moved to shut down communications and bring the area to a standstill.
Pakistan responded with cutting trade and transport routes into India and even ejected India’s ambassador.
Both countries almost sparked a massive regional conflict near Kashmir in February/March after Indian aggression led to Pakistan shooting down two Indian Air Force jets.
On Thursday, Pakistan tested new surface-to-surface ballistic missiles, which was viewed as hostile by India.
India has spent the last month moving troops and heavy artillery pieces to the LoC, in preparation for a full out conflict with Pakistan.
In recent weeks, both countries have been involved in cross-border skirmishes along the LoC. If the conflict picks up steam, this could be one of the most dangerous nuclear flashpoints for 2020.
Venu Gopal, secretary of a trust that runs Kandla Port, confirmed the threat to Reuters.
“We’ve reviewed the situation and instructed our security personnel to beef up security at vital installations and vulnerable areas,” he said.
A vessel advisory issued by the Mundra Port told all vessels to “take utmost security measures and maintain a vigilant watch.”
A spokesman for Pakistan’s military told Reuters that “India is trying to divert the attention of the world from Kashmir. There has been no such movement.”
The threat of war between India and Pakistan comes at a time when India’s economy is imploding. The country’s automobile market accounts for more than 50% of the country’s manufacturing output, just had its steepest decline in auto sales since December 2000. Automobile companies, directly and indirectly, employ more than 35 million people, which already, hundreds of thousands of people have been laid off.
The current manufacturing slowdown in India is cyclical and isn’t expected to trough for the next few years. This could mean India would be willing to respond with a shooting war with Pakistan if vessels were blown up at its ports. War is the best fiscal stimulus, and it might be the right prescription to revive India’s crashing manufacturing sector.