Alarming and Dangerous

Alarming and Dangerous
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While city and urban dwellers go about their daily lives on a routine basis, the denizens who live athwart the Line of Control (LoC), on both sides are gripped by fear and insecurity. The insecurity is not notional; it is real and exacts prices in the forms of lives lost. Overlaying this cost in terms of materiel and lives lost is the insouciant and lackadaisical approach adopted by powers that be on both sides of the LoC. Peace along the LoC is not important and critical for intrinsic and inherent reasons but because of the widening and deepening of conflict between arch antagonists, India and Pakistan. The flare ups on and along the LoC which have over time become routine, can potentially escalate beyond a point and may even lead to war. This assumes salience given the fact that the deterrence paradigm between India and Pakistan might break down and lead to a broader break down of relations between the two, including war. If war does, indeed, break out between India and Pakistan, no one will win but there will be losers. These will be the people of both countries and even South Asia at large. Powers that be across the divide must then instead of jingoism take this issue seriously and devise preventative mechanisms to put a stop to the LoC skirmishes. In this day and age, and especially given the deteriorating relational dynamic between India and Pakistan, conflicts might not always remain localized, as appears to be the presumption of India and Pakistan. So, prudence lies in nipping the issue in the bud and preventing these skirmishes. But, in all honesty, the LoC flare ups are actually a manifestation of the conflict in and over Kashmir, whose macro dynamics are competing sovereigntisms and clashes thereof of India and Pakistan. In this sense then, micro techniques, like establishing hot lines, and so on might not suffice. What is required is a holistic push by all parties at and toward conflict resolution. Jammu and Kashmir becomes central in this schema. A broad conflict resolution paradigm which redounds to the benefit of all parties is actually the panacea that will not only pre empt fatal skirmishes along the LoC but will also lead to peace in South Asia, within and without. Delineating the resolution of the issue is the easiest bit but finding resolve, will and determination to actually develop the paradigm in contention the hardest!

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