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Allama Iqbal
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India-Pakistan War Hysteria: Who Would Gain and Lose?

Sunday, October 02, 2016

The Flashpoint and the Blame Game

The game is on again. Never ceased since 1947. But refreshed and intensified from time to time, sometimes leading to bloody war, heated diplomatic exchanges or dangerous political and military maneuvers. India and Pakistan have been consistently blaming each other for interference, fueling and funding internal conflicts and since 1980s, terrorism. And there have been signs and even "acknowledgements" on both sides, from time to time, of their gruesome involvement and instigation in the affairs of the neighbour.

How Serious is the War Threat?

Though the chance of an all-out war is remote, due to nuclear status of the two nations, the possibility of dangerous political and military adventurism, with undefined consequences cannot be ruled out. Both countries have one of the largest armies in the world, with lethal conventional weapons, including short-range missiles and a history of violent conflicts. And since wars and "missions" are often planned, promoted and executed by lunatics, and none of the sides is short of such "talent" in military, politics and media, it would be foolish, not to take the threat, seriously. The threat is real!

The matter is made far more volatile by 24-hour live news programming by media, fueling the environment with rhetoric, false propaganda, irresponsible reporting, and invocation to pride, anger, fear, mistrust and calling for a "matching" and befitting response.

But is War the Real Threat?

Blame game, security threats, military maneuvers and border clashes have been repeatedly used as a nice, simple and convenient distraction or scapegoat for one's own internal crises and failures.

In addition, within the Indian and Pakistani establishment, there are, and always have been, actors who tend to pull back the strings anytime the two neighbours hint of making meaningful progress in their bilateral relations. As if peace, not war, between India and Pakistan, is the real threat and a dreadful outcome, that must be resisted at all cost.

Unfortunately, these are standard tactics, used not just in the sub-continent, but across the globe.

If the heat of the current conflict persists and does not subside soon we may witness the following consequences of the prevailing crisis. I am not contemplating on the possibility of a war, surgical strike or similar eventuality, as the outcome in that case could be horrendous and extremely unpredictable. I am only focusing on the cost of unchecked war hysteria that persists for a reasonable period of time, only to reoccur at an "opportune" moment.

Consequences and Beneficiaries of the Prevalent Warmongering

The Losers


War hysteria and warmongering is a fairly stable concept in the modern world. It is manufactured to yield the results (benefits) cited above. And due to its effectiveness, the pattern is repeated over and over again. It is therefore critical to understand how the game is played, who benefits from it and how it destroys our prospects as a people.

Stay away from the trap. Don't play the game. The longer the game is played, the higher the price. Stay focused around your priorities, and remain critical of the hawks and warmongers. It's their business but none of yours. Do not serve as fuel to the fire that is lit to torch your own souls. Again, if you can't do anything about it, just stay away!

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