What is more valuable— the victories of war or the victories of peace?

If we do not end war, war will end us—H.G Wells. In the backdrop of recent conflict between two rivals of subcontinent, it is indeed a paradox when the warmongers say that they are fighting a war in order that peace may prevail. This has ever been the claim of all wars. However, somehow, in spite of all pious intentions the war clouds still hover over the horizons in this part of the world or that and permanent peace seems just a dream worthy to be fulfilled but not fully fulfilled. Particularly this fits more to the conflict between Pakistan and India who recently are at the verge of war. Both the countries need to learn that when there is a war and when it ends, one power is the victor and the other the vanquished. The victor revels in glory and the vanquished wreaths in pain, even the victors have hundreds and thousands of homes destroyed; women rendered widows, children rendered orphans and the vanquished have still many more calamitous after effects to suffer. It is only some territories and lands that are won and lost and that alone are the gains that war achieves. The other gain of war which on factual grounds seems to be more followed by the Indian establishment by considering Pakistan a potential threat to its ends–if that could be called a gain at all, is that the victor gets regarded as a great power, feared and awed by others. India is following this pursuit to become a regional military power ever since its inception, which has resulted in regional destabilization checking human growth in subcontinent. India escapes from dialogues because she is on weak footing and sabotages all efforts of peace process by orchestrating terrorism later to put blame on Pakistan through vague media campaign instead of providing concrete evidence. 

One must remember that Indian election campaigns are at the cost of hate speech against Pakistan, which reflects dirty politics of India. Maharashtra Navnirman Sena President Raj Thackeray on Sunday claimed that the truth about the Pulwama attack would come out if authorities investigate National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. Thackeray described the slain CRPF personnel as “political victims.” He claimed that while every government manufactured such things, but it is taking place more frequently under Modi’s rule. The Pulwama drama is being called a ‘gift’ by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to the Modi-led government while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had to face defeat in the state elections. In this regard, the attack is being considered vital for the BJP for securing victory in the upcoming general elections in India. On the other hand, thousands of Muslims, particularly Kashmiri people living in India, have been facing backlash. Rioters stormed into several shops owned by Kashmiri people and threatened them to leave India.

The case is crystal-clear: First; well-planned work of spy-agencies for Pulwama attack-show through remote control blasting like, 9/11-drama. Second; Adil Ahmad Dar, claimed this suicidal attack in response to his parent’s persecution by Indian security forces. Both cases are going against terrorist-Modi’s government, legally and logically!

If Pulwama attack is a terrorist act, then, what about raping of 8-70yrs+ mothers, daily martyring, maiming, pellet-gun for blinding and tying-up with vehicles to innocent Kashmiris? Is it a piety or, a service to humanity? Therefore, rather looking at terrorist Modi’s threats, International Community should take notice of the India’s aggression on IOK  Kashmir and its infiltration into Pakistan’s territory. It is also noteworthy that the former, Indian Home Minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde, said on 20 January 2013 that training camps working under RSS and BJP were promoting Hindu-terrorism around the world. He also explained that these parties were behind blasts of “SamjhautaExpress, Maccca Masjid and Malegaon”. A serving Navel Commander, Kulbhushan Jadhav’s terrorism in Pakistan and creation of differences between Iran-Afghanistan-and-Pakistan is well proved. Furthermore, Ex-Indian Army Chief, Gen. V.K. Sing has confessed that he founded ‘Technical Services Division’ to operate terrorism inside Pakistan and IoK. An ex-Investigating Officer, Satish Verma, disclosed that the terrorist attacks on Indian Parliament in 2001 and Mumbai in 2008 were carried out by Indian spy agencies. So, it is appropriate time for world to declare once-again, Modi as “Global Terrorists Planner” instead of wasting time into Pulwama-drama-show, because it is only forty versus lacs of well-proved-graves of Kashmiri freedom fighters!!   

Apart from the propaganda campaign, the truth is that Pakistani army shot down at least one Indian military jet overnight from February 26-27 establishing its supremacy by capturing one pilot, escalating tensions between the two nuclear powers. Pakistan and India have long fought over Kashmir, a region between the two countries to which both lay claim. But this latest twist in the conflict was accompanied by a battle of fake images – and people on social media, politicians and media on both sides shared many of the false images in an attempt to celebrate their armies and discredit the opposite side. As a matter of fact, the pulwama episode has brought death to peace journalism in India. 

Indian people are celebrating on a video showing a missile launched by an Indian Mirage fighter jet on a Jaish-e-Mohammed training base. However, the video clip actually comes from “Arma 2” – a military video game – and was published on YouTube almost four years ago (July 9, 2015). In this part of the game, an American Apache helicopter is seen“attacking” Taliban forces. The video being shared online is an extract from a longer original video. Many Indian journalists and political fell for the fake. Vikas Bhadauria, a journalist at the Indian news channel ABP, retweeted the video to his more than 25,000 followers. A general secretary for India’s ruling party the BJP, Tarun Chugh, also shared the video on his social mediapage. The video quickly went viral: this Twitter account shared it and racked up more than 20,000 views. Pakistan atleast has captured their Pilot whose plane was shot down by Pakistan Air Force. On the other hand Indian government hasn’t provided anything so far.

The morale of the thrilled Inidans evaporated when Pakistan strongly retaliated to the aggression and now many sane voices are enchanting for peace from across the border. The morale of Pakistanis on the other hand is very high which can be reflected through a survey conducted by Gallup Pakistan an year ago, 72% Pakistanis believe that if war erupts between India and Pakistan, India will lose, while 8% say that Pakistan will lose. A nationally representative sample of men and women from across the four provinces was asked, “If war erupts between India and Pakistan, in your opinion what will be the result?” In response to this question, 6% said Pakistan will face difficulty in winning, 72% said India will lose, 8% said Pakistan will lose. 14% did not know or did not wish to respond. India has more to lose than Pakistan if another war between the two countries explodes, said The New York Times in its editorial. “India, which is considerably stronger and more successful than Pakistan, has the most to lose if another war erupts,” the editorial read stressing the need for restraint in the wake of ongoing cross border exchange of fire between the two countries, the American newspaper says the attack could spiral out of control as the Kashmir remains a dangerous flash point.

In such a post nuclear attack scenario, while India would have a slightly higher number of casualties, it will also proportionally wipe out a much larger picture from the Pakistani demographic. Although India enjoys a strong numerical advantage over Pakistan, giving it an edge in its current confrontation but a prominent US expert on South Asia Dennis Kux has warned that the roughly two-to-one military advantage of the Indian armed forces makes it more likely that a cornered Islamabad could lash out with a nuclear strike.

The relation between India and Pakistan has always been a complex one. Since the partition of British India, the Indo-Pak relationship has been plagued by suspicion and hostility. The peace talks, proposals and other noticeable steps taken in order to increase the harmony between the two nations allow us to believe that an Indo-Pak war is highly unlikely. Nevertheless, if the unthinkable happens, the damages will be catastrophic on both the sides. In all three major war between both the countries either of them have never been able to overpower the other. If India were to use its superiority in ground forces to seize a sizeable amount of Pakistani territory, Pakistan could respond with nuclear weapons. In case a war breaks out between the two countries, there is an assured loss of innocent lives and economic stability in both India and Pakistan. India today hasdiverted a very sizeable part of the nation’s budget in defending its frontiers forcing Pakistan to follow its footprints. If the two countries had been at peace all these resources could well have been used and utilized for the people which could have brought a vibrant smile on the faces of so many.

We need to learn that a state of peace puts the mind of the common person at tranquility. It is such a mind, which can think new thoughts, plan new projects, discover the undiscovered, and invent for the welfare of the people. Philosophy, art, literature — these are the permanent treasurers of human civilization — can prosper and flourish only when the mind is without fear when the baser instincts of hatred, jealously, discord stand eliminated from human mind.

What are more valuable and lasting — the victories of war or the victories of peace? — Let the saner minds everywhere on all parts of the globe think, plan and act. Subcontinent can turn into heaven if peace prevails but that should be the general perception — not only perception but action based on that and India being bigger than Pakistan has more responsibility to pacify the conflicts surrounding both the countries by initiating dialogue to settle the issues. Instead of settling the score, both nuclear powers should focus on settling the issues to provide relief to the world most populous region most of which are deprived of basic human necessities.  


The writer Masroor Ahmed is an International Relations’ Scholar and is currently working as Deputy Director in Prime Minister’s Office, Pakistan. His Area of specialization is Regional Conflicts and Security.