LoC Auguries

LoC Auguries

 

The skirmishes on the LoC now follow an almost eerily familiar pattern: each side’s hostilities are met by counter hostility, followed by bellicose rhetoric till things settle down and revert to “normal”. In a way, broadly what the Indo Pak relationship and LoC skirmishes also reflect is the quasi “Cold war” and quasi “hot war” between India and Pakistan. Disaggregated, these loose formulations mean that India and Pakistan are in engaged in a weak form of t Cold war at one level and some kind of a hot war at various points along the LoC. Till now, the pattern referred to here has held for an n number of reasons but what is not clear is whether this “ no war, no peace” condition will hold in the future. The major reason why skirmishes (or quasi war) do not escalate beyond a point is because of the nuclear deterrence paradigm that obtains between India and Pakistan and perhaps censure by the international community. But , given the nature of international relations and geopolitics contemporarily and the overall political headwinds and takeover of India by the BJP, this paradigm might increasingly look shaky. While there is a build-up of tension and a climate of hostility develops after LoC skirmishes, this tension can morph into something more insidious and deadly, if there are fatalities or if spectacular attacks follow. If indeed, these scenarios ensue and pan out, techno-nationalisms- that is, nationalisms buttressed by nuclear power and weapons- will take on a life of their own and a full blown hot war might occur between India and Pakistan. This scenario is not as illusory and far- fetched as it sounds. The BJP in India despite its rather poor governance record is not on the back foot; instead , it is ascendant. But this ascendancy is complemented by two developments: a tsunami of expectations from the BJP and a growing incendiary hostility against Pakistan amongst many sections of Indian society. This hostility is gradually acquiring existential overtones and thus brooks no compromises. If the BJP fails to deliver on the governance and the development fronts and if the LoC tension mutates into something more deadly, then the BJP might countenance war with Pakistan as its option. This assessment is in the nature of a scenario but it falls in the realm of plausibility. Given the implications and consequences for South Asia , strenuous efforts should be made to pre-empt this scenario. One good starting point toward this end would be talks on Kashmir.

One Response to "LoC Auguries"

  1. G. Din   March 19, 2017 at 1:14 am

    “This scenario is not as illusory and far- fetched as it sounds. ”
    Oh God, I hope you turn out to be right!

    Reply

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