India and Pakistan army is once again staring into each other’s face on the frontier along the Jammu region. From the past few days around two dozen people including several army men, para military troopers, militants and civilians have been killed on both sides of the divide. So much so that the perilous state of relations between the two countries ought to be a matter of urgent concern for both state and society in the two countries.
The escalation on the border has touched a new high, with almost every day armies from the two nations not only targeting each other but in many cases even civilian areas have been bearing the brunt of the anger these two warring armies have been pouring on each other.
The resultant-many a families have lost several members and thousands had to flee to safer areas, leaving all that they have back on the mercy of the shelling that has already made these people shiver down the spine.
The situation that is reflected on the borders and the Line of Control (LoC) tells us that the leadership in both the countries have failed to the extent that they are not able to see or witness the pain and sufferings the people of these areas have to face.
Every now and then people have to move out of their residential areas with bare hands and come to safeguard themselves from the wrath of the roaring guns. These people are jumbled in many camps and have to live a life of destitutes till the borders become calmer and they come back to pick up the threads once again that they had left while fleeing to save their lives.
The situation is the same on both sides, however, the egoistic mindset of those who are at the helm of affairs in both the countries fail to see the reality. Anything done to nudge open a door to dialogue or prevent a further deterioration in relations is not seen among the ruling class.
With both the countries turning a deaf ear to the plight of the people, any intervention to turn the situation back to normal mode may take months together. But the moot question is that, can the two nations afford the situation?
India and Pakistan have been witnessing the worse phase in their relations during the past two decades. Political ineptness though does not invalidate the likely idea behind initiating any dialogue immediately. Every government has come to understand and embrace the benefit of back channels in the Pakistan-India relationship.
Even a former president and army chief Pervez Musharraf used back-channel negotiations to open a dialogue on a possible permanent settlement of the Kashmir dispute. His then foreign minister, Khurshid Mohammad Kasuri, publicly reiterated the value of back channels in many of his revelations later.
However, in the present context the leadership is failing and-failing miserably to deliver what is needed very badly. The leadership needs to devise a mechanism of keeping doors open for a fresh start and to find a way to not only re-establish dialogue but to put it on a sustainable path.
That will be the biggest service the leadership will be doing to the people who have to bear the pain and loss owing to animosity between the two countries.