The Uri attack was front page news for most Pakistani newspapers on Monday. The papers devoted considerable space to home minister Rajnath Singh’s declaration that Pakistan was a “terrorist state” and carried Islamabad’s response. Most newspapers squarely blamed the Indian side for blaming Pakistan without any evidence.
An editorial in Monday’s edition of Dawn, one of Pakistan’s leading English dailies, said the attack and India’s accusations against Pakistan, has “plunged Pak-India relations into a dangerous and unstable new phase.”
The editorial goes on to trace what the Uri’s fallout on the upcoming UN General Assembly session, saying that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to not attend it will probably avert an international war of words. But the blame circles back to India again: “India’s automatic blaming of Pakistan for major violence in that country is very much a part of the problem.”
The editorial ends with invoking the Kashmir unrest. “Perhaps conscientious voices in India can help point out a fundamental truth about the Kashmir conflict: irrespective of what the Indian government thinks Pakistan has done or is doing, the Kashmir dispute is rooted in a people’s genuine rejection of control by the state of India. Denying that is a hallmark of generations of Indian leaders, but it is a truth that has not changed.”
The Express Tribune’s front page lead was the Uri attack and Islamabad’s response to it. The article, ‘Islamabad rejects Indian charge as ‘unfounded’, leads with Pakistan’s strong denial of any involvement and what it calls India’s “knee-jerk reaction” as the country’s “civil and military leaders squarely blamed Pakistan with media commentators calling for a military response.” It also says that India’s “aggressive posturing” has compelled Pakistan army to be on high-alert along the Line of Control.
The story goes on to quote a senior Pakistani military official, who says that India’s retired generals and diplomats started pointed fingers at Pakistan even while the attack was still under way. The same source is also quoted as questioning the timings of the attack, saying it diverts attention from the Kashmir issue.
An editorial in The Nation says the “regrettable attack” has worsened tensions between the two countries. “The backlash has already begun, seeing that the Indian side has a knack for behaving as the judge and jury and condemning without the slightest proof of guilt.”
‘Uri is Pathankot-like Indian false flag operation’, claims an analysis piece by Ansar Abbasi in The News International. “Pakistani security officials are confident that the latest attack on the Indian Army base in occupied Kashmir is a Pathankot-like Indian-staged drama to trumpet its terrorism mantra against Pakistan and to counter Islamabad’s diplomatic moves to expose the Indian atrocities in Kashmir at a time when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is all set to expose New Dehli at the UN General Assembly session,” is how the piece begins.
The article goes on to make some bizarre allegations, quoting an unnamed official who says, “it is always the Sikh community selected to suffer by the Hindu-led government in such self-designed attacks.”