By Zaib Un Nisa
The strife between Pakistan and India that has long roots begins with the result of misunderstanding, misperception, mistrust, and the dispute over Kashmir, but after the nuclearization of South Asia, war seems impossible.
The ongoing rivalry between India and Pakistan can be traced as a product of their history of alienation that took place in 1947. Following their separation, both the nations fought four major wars.
Among those wars, the war of 1971 was very severe, it was owing to the geographucal separation of East Pakistan from the West, and India’s launching of air strikes against Pakistan.
Besides, after the nuclearization of South Asia in 1998, India and Pakistan have been prohibiting the escalation of conventional wars. For instance, Kargil war is one of the witnesses, which could not escalate due to the availability of lethal weapons from both the sides.
Nevertheless, different conventional and political rhetoric have been taking place, but causing nothing to go for a major war. Additionally, the recent set-backs following the event of Pulwama attack caused serious indications for the major war.
It is because both the nations have nuclear arsenals with no first use (from India) and first use (from Pakistan) policies. India has doctrinal policy of its nuclear weapons, yet Pakistan does not have, rather declared the use of it in possible circumstances.
Following these assumptions, it can be assumed that in the wake of mutual assured destructions (MAD), major wars have no more room in South Asia, and both the nations have calculations of cost and benefit in terms of waging conventional war and using of lethal weapons, that is too high and risky.
Despite all this, yet there is the fear of a nuclear war between India and Pakistan, that also seems alarming for the West. The arrogant attitudes of India’s leadership and its bogus-spreading media, for sure, are the major signs of the escalation of a rhetoric to nuclear war.
Similarly, India on the one hand, has deployed its nuclear-capable delivery, and on the other hand, it has gained the conventional superiority against Pakistan, are also leading the further fear of escalation.
So, in terms of conventional superiority, Pakistan does not have any option to challenge India at the battle field, rather has tactical nuclear weapons (the short range weapons), which would surely be a welcome to the escalation.
Yet, in spite of this, Pakistan and India, with the lens of scholarly debates would not choose the war that might destroy both the countries, rather would be threatening each other’s with antagonist words and some offenses at borders.
Thus, in the age of nuclear weapons and the massive fear of MAD, it is to say, major wars between both of these South Asian countries is less likely to occur, and what will remain is the use of antagonistic words, propaganda’s and so on against each other’s.
(The writer is pursuing an MPhil degree at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad).