Two weeks after nearly teetering on the edge of war, the dust is starting to settle between India and Pakistan. Both countries have strayed back to normal- Pakistan has maintained its position of commitment to peace and has been praised internationally for successful de-escalation, while Indian leaders are claiming victory because of the return of the Indian pilot and trying to stoke anti-Pakistani prejudices of their population win their upcoming elections.

However, that does not mean that the stressful series of aggression ought to be forgotten. Pakistan may have effectively de-escalated India’s hostility for the time being, but these acts of aggression have long-lasting consequences. Both countries may be congratulating themselves for not letting the conflict divulging into war, but unless concrete efforts for conciliation are made, one day these far-too-often border aggressions will slip into a nuclear attack if we are not careful.

The aftermath to Pulwama has shed light on the urgent need to bring about a solution for the bitterness between India and Pakistan, and at the heart of the core dispute lies Kashmir. As a New York Times article pointed out recently, peace between India and Pakistan will never be possible until the future of Kashmir is not amicably negotiated between the two South Asian countries. Kashmir is South Asia’s Palestine- it is a small strip of land which has become the underlying reason for seventy years of conflict; a land so significant that until its question of statehood is resolved, peace in the region cannot be.

With Pakistan’s diplomatic efforts receiving world-wide praise, now is the time to turn pressure on India to find a negotiated solution on Kashmir. The recent violation of airspaces alerted the world of the very likely possibility of the South Asian conflict escalating into nuclear war and internationally, almost all countries stand with us on the need for resolving Indo-Pak’s longstanding issues. The Chinese Foreign Minister told media that Beijing played a constructive role in deflating tensions and stressed the need to exercise calm and restrain; a thought echoed by the council of the European Union, which stated that it wanted open and constructive dialogue between Pakistan and India for resolution of their bilateral disputes. Even the United States, which prioritises action against militancy over resolving the Kashmir issue, has been vocal on maintaining de-escalation in order to reach a breakthrough with Afghanistan. Until the Kashmir issue is not negotiated, India-Pakistan hostility will be constantly looming over both countries, as it has been for seven decades.