Conflict Between Pakistan And India

The Conflict Between Pakistan And India Is Leaving Ripples Everywhere We Look

Only time will tell whether efforts made by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan will lead to a sustainable deescalation of tensions between the two feuding superpowers.

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The past several weeks have seen a major uptick in conflict between Pakistan and India, after a devastating suicide attack in Kashmir left 40 soldiers dead and the country in civil discord, the worst incident of its kind in three decades. Soon after the attack, a Pakistan-based terrorist group, Jaish-e-Mohammed, claimed responsibility for the attack, prompting Indian nationalists to call for revenge against Pakistan for what they believed to be a clear link between the terrorists and the state — a premise of thought made more evident by India's Ministry of Foreign Affairs claiming "(They) cannot claim that it is unaware of their presence and their activities. They have not taken any action against these groups despite international demands."

Four days later, nine people, including four Indian soldiers and one policeman, were killed in India-controlled Kashmir, further escalating the tension that has existed between the two nuclear superpowers since Pakistan's inception in 1947.

Despite Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's offers of assistance to the Indian government to help them investigate the suicide bombing, India's government refused to acknowledge Khan's disclaiming of any link between the terrorists and the state of Pakistan, citing previous incidents in Mumbai. On February 27th, Indian jets carried out airstrikes on a militant camp in the Balakot area of Northwestern Pakistan in their first crossing of the border since 1971, and Pakistani fighter planes retaliated by dropping bombs inside Indian-controlled territory (with no casualties) in order to demonstrate their willingness to retaliate. A dogfight soon ensued, with the end result being the capture of Indian pilot Wing Cmdr. Abhinandan Varthaman. Seeking to deescalate the rising tensions, Prime Minister Imran Khan quickly released and returned the pilot safely back to India.

While the conflict between the two nations has come to a brief standstill, the people of Kashmir still live in a state of uncertainty, fully aware of the knowledge that one wrong move by either side could result in a full-blown war that would devastate both Pakistan and India as well as the population of Kashmir at a catastrophic level, driven by decades of hatred fueled by religious extremism on both sides of the territory. Both Pakistan and India have utilized the 460-mile stretch of Kashmir, unofficially known as the Line of Control, as a venting mechanism to air out conflict, which has led to a rising tide of civilian deaths in a modern era Cold War.

In 2018 alone, 50 people were killed on India's side of the line by cross-border firing, while 36 people were killed on Pakistan's side. Only time will tell whether efforts made by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan will lead to a sustainable deescalation of tensions between the two feuding superpowers, but we must hope that the calm judgement of sound minds from both parties will prevail in this ever-changing political landscape, both for the good of Kashmir and for the people of Pakistan and India.

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An Open Letter To Democrats From A Millennial Republican

Why being a Republican doesn't mean I'm inhuman.
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Dear Democrats,

I have a few things to say to you — all of you.

You probably don't know me. But you think you do. Because I am a Republican.

Gasp. Shock. Horror. The usual. I know it all. I hear it every time I come out of the conservative closet here at my liberal arts university.

SEE ALSO: What I Mean When I Say I'm A Young Republican

“You're a Republican?" people ask, saying the word in the same tone that Draco Malfoy says “Mudblood."

I know that not all Democrats feel about Republicans this way. Honestly, I can't even say for certain that most of them do. But in my experience, saying you're a Republican on a liberal college campus has the same effect as telling someone you're a child molester.

You see, in this day and age, with leaders of the Republican Party standing up and spouting unfortunately ridiculous phrases like “build a wall," and standing next to Kim Davis in Kentucky after her release, we Republicans are given an extreme stereotype. If you're a Republican, you're a bigot. You don't believe in marriage equality. You don't believe in racial equality. You don't believe in a woman's right to choose. You're extremely religious and want to impose it on everyone else.

Unfortunately, stereotypes are rooted in truth. There are some people out there who really do think these things and feel this way. And it makes me mad. The far right is so far right that they make the rest of us look bad. They make sure we aren't heard. Plenty of us are fed up with their theatrics and extremism.

For those of us brave enough to wear the title “Republican" in this day and age, as millennials, it's different. Many of us don't agree with these brash ideas. I'd even go as far as to say that most of us don't feel this way.

For me personally, being a Republican doesn't even mean that I automatically vote red.

When people ask me to describe my political views, I usually put it pretty simply. “Conservative, but with liberal social views."

“Oh," they say, “so you're a libertarian."

“Sure," I say. But that's the thing. I'm not really a libertarian.

Here's what I believe:

I believe in marriage equality. I believe in feminism. I believe in racial equality. I don't want to defund Planned Parenthood. I believe in birth control. I believe in a woman's right to choose. I believe in welfare. I believe more funds should be allocated to the public school system.

Then what's the problem? Obviously, I'm a Democrat then, right?

Wrong. Because I have other beliefs too.

Yes, I believe in the right to choose — but I'd always hope that unless a pregnancy would result in the bodily harm of the woman, that she would choose life. I believe in welfare, but I also believe that our current system is broken — there are people who don't need it receiving it, and others who need it that cannot access it.

I believe in capitalism. I believe in the right to keep and bear arms, because I believe we have a people crisis on our hands, not a gun crisis. Contrary to popular opinion, I do believe in science. I don't believe in charter schools. I believe in privatizing as many things as possible. I don't believe in Obamacare.

Obviously, there are other topics on the table. But, generally speaking, these are the types of things we millennial Republicans get flack for. And while it is OK to disagree on political beliefs, and even healthy, it is NOT OK to make snap judgments about me as a person. Identifying as a Republican does not mean I am the same as Donald Trump.

Just because I am a Republican, does not mean you know everything about me. That does not give you the right to make assumptions about who I am as a person. It is not OK for you to group me with my stereotype or condemn me for what I feel and believe. And for a party that prides itself on being so open-minded, it shocks me that many of you would be so judgmental.

So I ask you to please, please, please reexamine how you view Republicans. Chances are, you're missing some extremely important details. If you only hang out with people who belong to your own party, chances are you're missing out on great people. Because, despite what everyone believes, we are not our stereotype.

Sincerely,

A millennial Republican

Cover Image Credit: NEWSWORK.ORG

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The EU's 'Article 13' Might Mark The End Of Fandoms

Content might end up being censored and taken down from the Internet.

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Today is such a dark day for the Internet — Article 13, a set of broad copyright regulations, has been passed in the EU. For those who are not informed, Article 13 is a copyright law that critics say will lead to European Internet users' content being pre-screened for copyright-protected material. This could affect one of the most dedicated groups of internet users: fandoms. Fandoms are groups of fans who share a strong and passionate interest for an anime, a movie, a TV show, a band, or celebrity, etc.

How does Article 13 truly affect fandoms? It destroys the fandoms' ways of expressing their creativity and love. This includes fan art, fan fiction, fan music covers, and even fan blogs on the Internet. All of this content will end up being censored and taken down from the Internet.

Why should we care? Believe it or not, but fandoms aren't just small groups of fans. They involve numerous people! Also, fandoms not only hold an influence on the success of a particular TV show and certain franchises, but also fandoms have helped improve many people's mental health. By mental health, many people have built many friendships and connections due to a common interest, giving people a sense of belonging and a feeling of home. Considering this, it's such a shame that European users who belong to numerous fandoms will no longer be able to have access to fandoms anymore.

As a fan artist, this truly impacts me. Not only do I lose a European audience, but this also destroys my freedom of creativity and my way of self-expression. Fan art has helped me improve my drawing style and in fact, allows me to show my love and support for a fandom. By contributing fan art, not only do I promote myself but I also show my honesty as an artist in the things I love. And I believe every other fan-artist feels the same way!

For those who want to help save fandoms and even help those living in Europe, one thing you can do to help and save fandoms is to spread the word! Let people know the bad things about Article 13 and tell people how Article 13 affects you. Let people know that a future without fandoms is unacceptable.

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