Well this isn’t good. Today, a member of the Indian government came out accusing Pakistan of playing a pivotal role in the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai. This may not seem like much to westerners unaware of the circumstances surrounding the current situation but allow me to elaborate a little.
After the end of the colonial era, India was partitioned into Pakistan in the north and India taking up the south. Ever since the drawing up of borders there has been conflict between the two countries over who has jurisdiction in the territory of Kashmir. Many bloody battles have been fought over that area through the decades but fortunately things have calmed down in recent years though the dispute remains. The major issue here however, is that during the intervening years of clam since the last traditional arms engagement, the two countries have each developed their own nuclear missile stockpiles. To an extent, these nuclear weapons have contributed to the relative calm between the two nations, acting as deterrents to conflict. Still, what we have here is a very delicate situation, two nuclear powers, one accusing another of participating in a terrorist attack within its borders.
I don’t really think much will come of this in the end, but it remains disconcerting none the less. One small misstep by either side would be all it takes. The last thing we need in this dire global economy is some nuclear brinkmanship in central Asia. Let’s hope those in charge will have a steady hand and a calm mind to be able to deal with these allegations.