Since the horrific attack on Uri in Jammu and Kashmir, Indian people have been debating whether or not to go to war with Pakistan.
People sitting within the comfort of their four walls have been proclaiming that war is the only option and it is the time that India should retaliate. Whether it is the common man or a politician, the sentiments favouring war were loud and clear on the social media and elsewhere.
Pakistan people too weren’t far behind in responding to these ‘threats’ and claiming to be ready and fully equipped to face the Indian army, if need be.
While jingoism is at its peak, asking India to “cripple” Pakistan and “bring them down to their knees,” India is still backing on diplomatic strategies to tackle the issue.
Though it is pretty clear that the attack on Uri was carried out by Pakistani elements and recently the proofs have been submitted to Pakistan, India may still favour to not go to war with Pakistan. It is said that during the Kargil war, the then U.S. President Bill Clinton had pressurized Pakistan to withdraw its troops after the CIA established that Pakistan was ready to conceivably use nuclear weapons.
Although a nuclear state itself, India cannot afford to take such a huge risk.
The fear of nuclear weapons is not the only thing stopping India to retaliate against Pakistan. Let’s take the example of Burhan Wani. Someone raised the following question on Quora:
Burhan Wani’s body was wrapped in Pakistani flag people in thousands came for his funeral making anti-national slogans. A few months ago students from NIT Srinagar were thrashed by locals for raising Indian national flag in college what is (or should be) India’s strategy to counter such anti-nationals?
Pakistan openly glorified the death of Wani, commander of Hizbul Mujahideen by calling him a martyr and declaring the day he died as a black day in time.
Even though this was said in the UN General Assembly, why was it not internationally condemned?
The attack in Uri was preceded by a similar attack in Pathankot, early this year. The Pathankot attack too was carried out by Pakistani elements and considering the fact that it was targeted at an air base, could have proved to be fatal for India had these elements succeeded. This attack was seen as retaliation against the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s visit to meet his counterpart in Pakistan.
Two major attacks in India yet no major reactions.
Furthermore, India’s decision to adopt diplomatic strategies can also be credited to China’s relation with Pakistan. “In case of any (foreign) aggression our country will extend its full support to Pakistan,” Consul General of China in Lahore Yu Boren was quoted as saying in a press release by the Punjab Chief Minister’s Office.
He also said that “We are and will be siding with Pakistan on the Kashmir issue. There is no justification for atrocities on unarmed Kashmiris in (India)-held Kashmir, and the Kashmir dispute should be solved in accordance with aspirations of the Kashmiris.”
Whether it is incompetence, limitations, neighbouring or international pressure or nuclear fear, India’s decision to adopt strategic diplomatic means as in the case of the Indus water treaty have been criticized by some and appreciated by others.
Recently, India called off the SAARC summit to be held in Pakistan, saying that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not travel to Islamabad for the regional SAARC summit in November, and now, four other members – Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal and Bhutan – have also pulled out of the meet, isolating the host Pakistan.
But whether or not it goes to war, if it goes to war is a question we all dread. But whether or not it should put a stop to commerce with the country is a debatable question.
But then again if such a step is taken, who will fend for the cross-border smugglers in Punjab and Rajasthan?
(Disclaimer: This is an opinionated article to reflect a viewpoint on the subject).