The atmosphere is heating up in the South Asian region between India and Pakistan with a volley of heated words following the Pulwama terror attacks on February 14 that killed over 40 soldiers. But two developing nations, that too nuclear powered, should not even think about war. While the Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan says he is open for dialogue to resolve the situation amicably, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the time for talks has passed.
Experts say leaders of both nations are trying to keep the tense situation under control. It is the ‘other war-mongering actors’ that are pressuring them to take swift and drastic action. In the event of war, this will only take India and Pakistan back to the dark ages. The innocent civilians will suffer. Both nations will not be able to recover from the collateral damage.
India and Pakistan last came to a confrontation in the 1999 Kargil War. Pakistan has denounced the recent terror attacks, with its Ministry of Foreign Affairs saying “the country has always condemned heightened acts of violence in Kashmir and that it will strongly reject insinuation by elements in the Indian government and media circles that seek to line the attack to the State of Pakistan without investigations.”
Islamabad maintains that its government or the Pakistani had no role in the Pulwama attack. The Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said “if you have any actionable evidence, share it with us and we will take action.” Khan further said that they are ready to cooperate with India in the investigations. Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), a pakistan-based militant group, had taken responsibility for the February 14 terror attack.
Meanwhile, China has called on both nations to exercise restraint and conduct dialogue to achieve resolution of outstanding issues as soon as possible. The Chinese Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Geng Shuang said “Pakistan and India are both important countries in South Asia. The stability of bilateral relations is crucial to regional peace, stability and development.”
Shuang said that China has been in communication with both the countries and has urged them to exercise restraint, enhance communication and properly resolve their differences.
The Kashmir issue took an ugly turn with the encounter of Burhan Wani in 2016. Since then, civilian protests, hard handedness by the armed forces, human rights violations and ongoing encounters have rocked the Valley. Early January this year, two world leaders, the Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had offered to help India and Pakistan hold ‘peaceful talks’ over the Kashmir issue, but New Delhi declined saying Kashmir is an ‘internal matter’.