The Line of Control: Travelling with Indian and Pakistani Armies, by Happymon Jacob

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  • July-September 2019
    Book Review

    India–Pakistan relations have become more complicated in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack that took place in February 2019, on the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in the most volatile territory of India, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). That the diplomatic ties between the two countries are arguably decided by what happens in the state has never been understated—precisely why Kashmir has remained the focus of study for experts on the topic. However, Happymon Jacob’s book, The Line of Control: Travelling with the Indian and Pakistani Armies, has a different approach to understanding the situation in Kashmir in general, and on the Line of Control (LoC) in particular. It showcases the uncertainty of peace, and of life, at the LoC and the acceptance of this as a given by all those affected. It brings out the very dangers, with real-time emotions involved, to the likes of a probable feeling the CRPF jawans were put through when a car packed with explosives ramped into the envoy on 14 February, killing 40 of them instantly. A similar attack at Pampore in 2016 took place days after the author travelled through the same roads.

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