There is rarely any right side in a war- but Pakistan’s restraint and grace in this conflict that has escalated between the country and India is surely an exception. Only a day after Indian Air Force (IAF) planes crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and were shut down by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), resulting in the capturing of an IAF pilot, the Prime Minister of Pakistan stood on the floor of the Parliament and announced that the captured Indian pilot would be released on Friday as a gesture of peace and goodwill. The gesture was greeted with near unanimous support in the parliament and had the approval of even the opposition bench which had previously been fierce rivals with the governing party PTI. The coming together of Pakistan’s parliament and the sane and sensible reporting by our media reflects the commitment to peace on part of Pakistan.

Unfortunately the goodwill demonstrated by Pakistan is in sharp contrast to the hate and war-mongering that is still being perpetuated by Indian administration and media. Quite a lot of Indian media tried to misinterpret Pakistan’s clear gesture of goodwill and portray it as an act of succumbing to pressure. Not only is this statement factually incorrect since there has been no international statement calling for release of the pilot, and Pakistan was not obligated for early release since the conflict is not defined as a war under the Geneva Convention but morally as well, it would indeed be a tragic day for international relations if an act of chivalry and diplomacy should be treated as weakness.

Unfortunate and irresponsible too has been Indian Prime Minister Modi’s behaviour. Imran Khan in the joint session of parliament stated that he had reached out to Narendra Modi but to no avail. In response to the news of release, Modi said that the one plane shot down had only been practice and there were more to come- which shows that Pakistan is showing more dignity to India’s captured pilot than Modi himself, who views his pilots as collateral.

Nevertheless, despite the Indian administration’s immature ways, we need to practice restraint and to the best of our abilities try to de-escalate this crisis. Who is on the right side of this conflict will be debated upon by the world for years to come but judging by the conduct of both states, it can be surely said that India will come off far worse.