Political Economy of War and Nuclear Madness – Where Do India-Pakistan Relations Stand

A common dilemma of democratically-elected regimes in the developing countries is rooted in their attitude to contravene their constitutional limits and go against the will of their people. To this attitude, India is not an exception. Being the world’s largest democracy, the democracy in India should‘ve ideally functioned in the better interest of and according to the will of its people, if it claims to be one of the most successfully functioning democracies of the world.

In the wake of Pulwama attack, the growing war sentiments of Modi’s government seem to lack true will of the Indian people. Other than some extremist groups in India, a vast Indian majority don’t see war as a solution to Kashmir Issue. If we see the overall war-related emotions of people in both the countries, most of the people, if not all, consider war as lose-lose situation at both ends. Moreover, given the nuclear capabilities of the two countries, war hysteria will have disastrous direct consequences on both including their immediate neighbors, with indirect effects on roughly 50% of the world population.

Irrespective of the blame-gaming and stance of the previous governments in India and Pakistan on Kashmir issue and their peace efforts, it’s a high time that political leadership in India realized the delicacy of the issue, in particular refraining from the military and nuclear showoff. Needless to say, Pakistan outguns India in nuclear capabilities, yet Pakistan’s Political and Military leadership, being on same page, believe in dialogue & peace efforts as the only solutions to the problem. Pakistan’s role in the recent LoC situation was also lauded by UN member countries and international community at large. As a responsible nuclear nation, Pakistan proved its sincere peace efforts by not initiating any military intrusion that first emerged at the line of Control (LoC) after the self-imposed Pulwama attack.

People of Pakistan, however, should give a fair share of appreciation to the sensible segment of Indian media, civil society, their defence strategists and intellects who believe that Pulwama attack was a politically-motivated move by Modi government, aimed at gaining votes in the upcoming Indian Lok Sabha elections. Given his past ruling mindset as the Chief Minister of Indian Gujarat, Modi’s politics revolves around hatred and racial extremism.

India is considered one of the smartest nations in the world. Indian diaspora is in every nook and corner of the world. What comes as a surprise is – how could a talented nation elect such an unwise person as their Prime Minister who can’t even feel the pulse of his own people and believes in waging war, being naive of its repercussions. Indian people indeed deserve a better political leader as their Prime Minister, as opposed to Modi. To this end, the people of Pakistan have taken a lead this time in rightly electing their leader in the form of IMRAN KHAN, who is busy transforming nation to the path of progress and glory as envisioned in his NAYA Pakistan (New Pakistan) slogan.

In the wake of modi-masterminded Pulwama attack that worsened border situation at LoC, Pakistan shot down two Indian jets that intruded its territory with one of their pilot arrested in Pakistan. However, as a goodwill gesture, Imran Khan ordered release of the captive pilot, ABHINANDAN. Had there been any other political party in power, Pakistani government stance on the Abhinandan’s release would have been different. In this entire war episode, Pakistan has conveyed two messages behind the shoot down of two Indian Aircrafts by Pakistan Air Force and release of the arrested pilot.

  • First, Pakistan is fully equipped with defensive capabilities to respond destructively and sustain war situations.
  • Secondly, Pakistan wants peace with India and release of the pilot is the first practical step taken in its peace efforts and setting-up friendly relationships with India.

Nevertheless, it is surprising to take down that some media segments in India still think that Abhinandan’s release was made on Indian pressure. If this was the case, why has the Indian Military Spy, Kulbushan Yadav, who is in custody of Pakistan, not been released for the last 3 years despite immense pressure from India.

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In fact, it was Imran Khan who first talked about setting cordial relationships with India in his maiden speech as the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Also in his effort to bury the hatchet, he wrote a letter to Modi offering him to formally initiate dialogue process between the two countries.

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On the other hand, Indian Prime Minister Modi, because of his myopic approach, is still unable to realize the intricacy of matter and the repercussions associated with his nuclear madness. Right through the war episode, it was the irresponsible reporting of the BJP-influenced segment of Indian media that fueled-up war sentiments in its people as was evident during the war crises wherein the fact were distorted, manipulated and irresponsibly reported to the public. One such misreporting by Pro-BJP segment of Indian media was on the shot down of Pakistani JF-16 fighter jet by Indian navy. However, the situation was on the contrary, none of the JF-16 fighter series of Pakistan Air Force participated in this recent war engagement.

While Modi is still busy counting on his newly-added votes in the wake of self-inflicted Pulwama attack, people of India now have to seriously rethink on their electoral choices in the upcoming elections. Since people of Pakistan bestow their full confidence upon the leadership of Imran Khan, it’s now a test case for people of India whether this time they sensibly elect their political leadership (who could sincerely engage in a dialogue process with Pakistani leadership) or the Indian people still choose to be perpetually fooled by the existing political parties as was the case previously with people of Pakistan.

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Putting aside government-government, media-media and military-military nexus between the two countries, People of Pakistan and India enjoy a natural chemistry of the relationships owing to their almost similar culture, norms and value system. This is, in particular, evident from an ever-increasing collaboration in the field of education, health, scientific research, music, showbiz, performing arts, including the mobility of professionals between the two countries. Moreover, the way people of two countries make friendship, live and work together in other countries of the world, this demonstrates their mutual peace-loving and anti-war sentiments.

Overall, in an effort to initiate bilateral dialogue and peace, Pakistan has again played its part and the ball is now in India’s court. It’s again up to the Modi-led Indian leadership to return the ball either with the same gesture of peace or continue to sow the seed of hatred and encash war sentiments in the upcoming election.

The writer is a former Assistant Director at Higher Education Commission, Pakistan and presently PhD Scholar at University of Technology, Sydney, Australia. He can be reached at junaidshaikh14686@gmail.com.

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