India and Pakistan escalate tensions in the highly disputed Kashmir region:
“(Bloomberg) — It’s the biggest escalation between South Asia’s nuclear-armed rivals in decades and with a bitterly contested national election in India just weeks away, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was quick to exploit his military’s air strikes on a terrorist camp inside Pakistan Tuesday.
Speaking to a huge, cheering crowd at an election rally in the state of Rajasthan, Modi twice stated that India was “in safe hands” and declared it a “glorious day,” without explicitly mentioning the attack.
India’s fighter jets destroyed a major terrorist camp in Pakistan early Tuesday “in the face of imminent danger,” Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said in New Delhi. More than 300 people were killed in the air strikes on militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed, according to an Indian official speaking on condition of anonymity.”
Both nations are nuclear-armed.
Here is a map of the area:
Pakistan had its own version of events. After scrambling its jets in response to India’s early-morning incursion across the border, it released photographs of missile remnants it said had fallen on unoccupied territory. Prime Minister Imran Khan’s office said Pakistan would respond “at the time and place of its choosing,” rejecting India’s claim that it had hit a terror camp or inflicted heavy casualties. “Once again the Indian government has resorted to a self-serving, reckless and fictitious claim,” a statement from Khan’s office said.
Facing the first major geopolitical challenge of his term, Khan directed the country’s armed forces and the public to “remain prepared for all eventualities.”
Relations between the two countries have been tense since a Feb. 14 suicide car bombing in Kashmir, claimed by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed, killed 40 members of India’s security forces.”
The question now is how will Pakistan respond.
“There will be some form of escalation,” Kamran Bokhari, the director of Strategy and Programs at Center for Global Policy with the University of Ottawa, said by phone. “Pakistan will have to strike back — I am not saying this will lead to an all out war, but I don’t see that it’s over.”
Today’s strikes represent the worst escalation since 2001, when Pakistan and India moved ballistic missiles and troops to their border following an attack on parliament in New Delhi that was also blamed on Jaish-e-Mohammad. India and Pakistan have fought three major wars since partition and independence in 1947.
“The last time the Indian Air Force crossed the line of control intentionally and publicly to conduct air strikes was 1971,” said Vipin Narang, an associate professor of political science at MIT, referring to the Indo-Pakistan war over Bangladesh.”
“While details of the attack remain murky, we are already seeing India claiming a massive success while Pakistan is downplaying the true extent of the damages,” said Uzair Younus, a South Asia director at Washington-based consultancy Albright Stonebridge Group LLC. “The upside is that it’s likely that neither side will go up the escalation ladder following this attack.”
The airstrike may well have been a political move by Modi to appear tough on Pakistan, but that does not mean it is insignificant.
The bottom line is, if India and Pakistan go to war and nuke each other, the whole planet is fucked. 90% of all people will starve to death due to a giant smoke cloud covering the whole planet:
Wake up. pic.twitter.com/Z8oFa4qKJV
— Sikander F. Bhadera (@SikanderFayyaz) February 21, 2019
This war would plunge us into nuclear winter.
Even though it does not appear to be a serious situation on the verge of escalating beyond control, we cannot take this lightly.