Indian chopper incursion like a CBM: Pakistani daily

October 25th, 2011 - 12:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Oct 25 (IANS) The lesson to be learnt from the Indian helicopter that entered Pakistani airspace is that “a drama need not be turned into a crisis”, said a Pakistani daily Tuesday.

Pakistan Sunday forced the Indian Army helicopter to land for violating its airspace.

Islamabad later permitted the three officers and a junior commissioned officer and the helicopter to return.

The News International said in an editorial: “If there is a single lesson to be taken from the incident on Sunday in which an Indian helicopter came deep into Pakistani airspace, it is that a drama need not be turned into a crisis.”

It said that the “precise circumstances are not yet revealed, and may not be, but it is clear that four officers aboard a single helicopter are unlikely to have been trying to make trouble on their own”.

“They were not part of any larger aggressive force in the air or on the ground, and they might have strayed to this side of the border as a result of bad weather - in which case one would have to question both the quality of the on-board navigation aids and the wisdom of flying the mission in the first place.”

The Cheetah helicopter of India’s Army Aviation Corps with four officers on board returned to Kargil in Jammu and Kashmir, ending an inadvertent intrusion that immediately triggered urgent talks between the two foreign and military establishments.

Commenting on how Pakistan learnt about the Indian reaction, it said: “It is also of note that the Indian response in the immediate aftermath came via ‘Twitter’. An Indian government foreign affairs spokesman Tweeted that his government was ‘relieved’ that its personnel were returned quickly and safely and that India ‘greatly appreciated’ how Pakistan had worked with it in achieving a resolution.”

It went on to say that under other circumstances “it is possible to see that this incident could have quickly escalated, but both sides seem to be a little less trigger-happy than they have been in the past, and small as this is on the tension-curve, it may be seen as a confidence-building measure for both sides”.

Noting that the mechanism set up to de-escalate matters quickly appears to have worked, it added: “The speedy resolution of minor incidents such as this, accompanied by a steady hand on the tiller on either side, feeds into the trust pool, and a drama in the mountains does not become a crisis between governments.”

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