The recent attacks on Kashmir, a disputed territory between India and Pakistan, have prompted a reevaluation of India-Pakistan relations. The two nations have been on ill terms since their split in 1947 after winning independence from the British.
In case you haven't heard, there have been a series of threats and physical attacks from each side over the Kashmiri border. What started this recent round of disputes was a Pakistani militant group bomb attack on Indian troops at the border, several Indian soldiers killed. An Indian airstrike followed attacking the militant group's headquarters. Pakistan's military responded with two more airstrikes and shot down an Indian plane. The rising conflict continued with the capture of an Indian pilot and a shot down Pakistani plane.
Tense Indian-Pakistani relations is nothing new, in fact, it's the norm. During the struggle for independence, a once unified colony split into a sea of burning villages and riots as the British isolated Muslims and Hindus from one another. While there was no perfect harmony between the two communities prior, there had been a peaceful enough coexistence. Since 1947, however, the two nations (though once the same people) have been in four wars and are currently inching towards one more.
What makes this so sad is not just the fact that it is essentially the same people fighting one another, but it's also the cause of a former Western power. Failing to look back on history, India and Pakistan have spent years believing in a viewpoint given by the British. Kashmir has been caught in between these two countries as a disputed territory, and in turn, have lost 47,000 people since. How many lives would be lost if India and Pakistan went to war this time?
Though they both seem to be unwilling to surrender, both countries would gain nothing in fighting a war. Pakistan would be challenging the world's fourth biggest army and the world's second best economy. India would likely be fighting a country backed by much of the middle east and even American weapon suppliers. To top it off, both India and Pakistan have nuclear weapons which could only mean mutually assured destruction, especially given the proximity to one another and the Kashmiri border. India's nuclear weapons were given by the Russians, whose indirect involvement might even instigate American involvement, given its unstable leader. Both nations need to take a moment and think about the consequences of their actions on world order and peace.
War is costly, both in lives and in money, so would it be worthy to enter a war over years of unfounded hatred? Just like Israel and Palestine, India and Pakistan should acknowledge their own faults and should not claim religion as the basis for their actions as a state. The global community is comprised of many leaders who are wavering in their opinions, but the public can pressure them to do their job and take action. Everyone must speak out. Now is the time before it's too late.