It’s been a rocky 24 hours for diplomatic relations between India and Pakistan. Since the Modi government backtracked on an intended meeting between Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and India’s Sushma Swaraj on the sidelines of the upcoming United Nations General Assembly, things let’s just say have been like a brewing storm.

Imran Khan responded to India’s statement in the following tweet:

People are lauding this response to the cancellation of talks as quite brave. And sure India has based their reasons for cancellation in some ill-timed reasons such as postage stamps related to Kashmir, which were issued in July. India has raised the issue at a rather crucial time when the international arena will turn a key eye towards the two nuclear powers in hopes that the two will work towards peace through positive dialogue. We just hope that this tweet doesn’t flare up irrational patriots who will go all out with their hate speech against fellow citizens who dare to comment on the latter sentence of Khan’s tweet. Commenting on ‘small men occupying big offices’ really wasn’t necessary at this time to hint towards an internal rift. Keep your focus, Mr. Khan.

And of course, because the head of the civil government has spoken, why should armed forces stay back. 

Following Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat’s downright unacceptable comments on Pakistan, DG ISPR said that “We[Pakistan] are ready for war but choose to walk the path of peace in the interest of the people of Pakistan, the neighbors, and the region”

Here is what’s problematic, however. Every time the military comments on an issue between civil governments, there is a risk of creating an unnecessary ruckus, which brings out in full force jingoists who feel it is time to use nuclear might to show India we are no less. A diplomatic spat should never be grounds for the glorification of war, which the world also knows in India Pakistan’s case will be annihilistic in nature not just for the two countries involved. While DG ISPR’s prompt response being lauded is understandable, we also have to personally take it upon ourselves to call out any elements on social media that urge the need to show nuclear and military capabilities to India in full force. No civilian on either side of the border can afford that, to be honest.

Lastly, the internal partisan politics has also taken an ugly face in the last 24 hours. 

PTI’s major opposition parties, the PPP and PML-N have held the ruling party accountable for the debacle. They term the very letter of intent to meet for the resumption of talks by PM Khan as a ‘misstep’. PML-N MNA from Sialkot Khawaja Mohammad Asif has lamented that the letter shows too much keenness on Pakistan’s part, which may be misconstrued as weakness. Opposition parties also feel that the current government is grossly underestimating the issue. Shahbaz Sharif has also inadvertently backed the DG ISPR’s statement by saying that Pakistan is more than capable of responding to aggression by New Delhi. All we can say here is, this is not the time guys. Two words for you: United Front. Whether the world considers an extended hand of peace as ‘weak’ is doubtful. However, Pakistan becomes weak affirmatively if we let such partisan politics take force at this crucial time.

In times of such grave crisis that rocks both sides of the border, let’s remember the wisdom of this level-headed tweet. 

Stay calm, people!


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