Delhi has opened up a fresh chapter with its air strike on the terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed’s stronghold in Pakistan territory. This was in retaliation for the bloodshed at Pulwama. The attacks and counterattacks generally take place in the occupied sections of the two countries within Jammu and Kashmir. India, this time, claimed the attack was carried out on Pakistan’s main territory. This would not be such a matter of concern if this was simply an act of 'retaliation', but India claims to have established a principal this time. India said it failed in every diplomatic measure to compel Pakistan to take stern action against the terrorist groups. This left it with no other option but to attack with a dozen of mirage-2000 warplanes. Though the war strategy is comprehensible, questions arise as to whether the subcontinent is now faced with a long-term cause of anxiety.
Pakistan said it would determine the appropriate place and time for a counter attack. The people of the two countries should now raise their voices for peace. If the issue is not resolved now, national security of all the countries in South Asia will be threatened.
India and Pakistan were formed by the partition of the subcontinent and both of the countries gradually developed nuclear powers, targeting each other. South African political scientist Ali Mazrui predicted the world might witness a nuclear war between India and Pakistan. If that becomes true, the destruction will surpass that of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Some unimaginable changes have taken place in the international politics. Friendship has developed between South Korea and North Korea, although, there were unceasing tensions between the two countries.
The position of India and Pakistan is not the same in international politics. India enjoys a special place for being the largest democratic country. Pakistan, on the other hand, is suffering from existential crisis with long term military rule. The democratic and developed countries have long been eyeing Pakistan as a breeding place for terrorist groups. They know the armed forces there have control over the democratic institutions. Control of nuclear power and of diplomatic policy lies with the armed forces.
The position of the two governments is reflected in Pakistan's Dawn and India's The Hindu. Dawn has advocated the role of self defence after the country’s sovereignty was attacked 'without provocation'. It seems to have forgotten what Islamabad should have done after the Pulwama incident. 'The Hindu' came up with the argument that the whole world except the OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) is with them. It did not say that there are certain limitations to implement any one-sided decision, no matter how urgent it was for India to control terrorism.
We expect highest tolerance from the bureaucracy--political, military and civil-of the two countries. The two countries must seek ways to get rid of the cycle of 'terrorist attack and surgical attack in response'. No side can gain from this. As a former Indian intelligence chief aptly said, war is no picnic.