India-Pakistan in War and Peace

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Ever since , when India helped create Bangladesh and dealt a major blow to Pakistan, the Pakistani state has employed terrorism as a foreign-policy tool against India, sponsoring or training jihadi groups and helping them cross the border into Punjab or Kashmir.

It is now well documented that the attackers came to Mumbai from Pakistan. But patience is now wearing thin: A Pew Research survey found that 76 percent of Indians saw Pakistan as a threat , with 63 percent calling it a very serious threat. Several polls support the theory that being tough on Pakistan works well with Indian voters. Later that year, 19 Indian army personnel died in a terrorist attack in the Kashmiri town of Uri. New Delhi responded with a cross-border raid across the so-called Line of Control between the two countries.

Later, a national poll showed 86 percent of Indians endorsed the military action —despite the clear risk of escalation.

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The latest terrorist attack on the Indian military took place in February, in the Kashmiri town of Pulwama. In response, Indian fighter pilots crossed into Pakistani airspace to launch strikes across the border. Months later, in May, despite rising unemployment, voters endorsed Modi for a second term in power—being seen as tough and decisive had worked once again, no matter the risk of war. Surveys show a growing appetite for military confrontation in Pakistan as well. A Pew poll found that 61 percent of Pakistanis rated India as a very serious threat —more than the 55 percent who gave the Taliban that designation.

The same poll showed only a third of Pakistanis had unfavorable views of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the militant group blamed for the Mumbai attacks. The most recent tensions between India and Pakistan have been sparked once again over the disputed territory of Kashmir.

India-Pakistan in War and Peace

On Aug. An entire generation of Indians has grown up with no consciousness of the wars of or , but only of terrorism coming from or through Kashmir.

Attack India? Khan devoted a considerable portion of his Times article explaining the Hindu nationalist roots behind Modi and his party, as well as documenting crimes against Muslims, Christians, and Dalits in India. But Pakistan can scarcely afford a war as it deals with the fallout of the failed Afghan peace talks, as well as its own considerable economic woes and debt, and so it has focused its narrative on how India has put 8 million Kashmiris under lockdown.

Irrespective of who is responsible for the next attack—it is a question of when and not if—the ensuing finger pointing could lead tensions to boil over on both sides of the border. News headlines in India are already preparing people for another war. One Hindi news channel advised its viewers how to deal with a nuclear attack: Take off your clothes and get inside a bath in a basement, it advised, since clothes could get infected by radioactive material.

India–Pakistan Relations

The media takes much of the blame for warmongering. And the people seem to want war. The media in both countries are all too happy to follow the government line on the conflict. But this also allows both governments to use the media to claim their respective victories and ratchet down tensions.

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And in a mood of jingoism, the TV channels get higher ratings, no matter the facts. Social media is making it harder for the governments to control the narrative. Ultimately, that could prove to be a tipping point in an increasingly war-hungry climate.

No War, No Peace: India's Pakistan problem?

Shivam Vij is a journalist and political commentator based in Delhi. Trending Now Sponsored Links by Taboola. Residents of the restive area of Pulwama are under lockdown for a third week.

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From politicians to activists to children, India is running out of space for its prisoners. Sign up for free access to 1 article per month and weekly email updates from expert policy analysts. Conflict between the rivals erupted last month following a suicide bomb attack claimed by a Pakistan-based militant group in the Indian party of the disputed and divided Kashmir region that killed 40 paramilitary police. Pakistani warplanes engaged in a dogfight with Indian aircraft over Kashmir on Feb. In their first such clash since their last war, in , Pakistan downed an Indian plane and captured its pilot after he ejected over Pakistan-controlled Kashmir.

The president, who largely holds ceremonial duties, said India had blamed Pakistan for the suicide-bomb attack without evidence, which he said was irresponsible.

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One of the aircraft shot down the Indian plane last month. Khan said on Twitter earlier that he had received a message from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his best wishes for Republic Day and calling for peace and regional cooperation. The dispute over the former princely state of Kashmir sparked the first two of three wars between India and Pakistan after independence in