Revisionist and status quo are two important terms in the field of international relations. These terms are used to describe states and are often misused in the Western media.

A state’s hegemony, or place in the international community is determined by the amount of influence or power it has over other states. Those that have a great amount of influence over others in the international order are usually considered status quo states, while those that have very little influence over others and are try to gain more power to change their standing in the world order are considered revisionist states.

The United States as the sole world power is considered a status quo state, and Russia is considered the classic example of a revisionist state. Although Russia is powerful and influential in its own right, it is not as powerful or influential as the United States. For that reason, Russia constantly tries to become more powerful in an effort to change the status quo—for this reason, Russia is considered a revisionist state, and the United States a status quo state.

In the context of South Asia, the Western media inappropriately identifies Pakistan purely as revisionist state and India as merely a status quo state.

The fact is that Pakistan can only be considered a revisionist state at the regional level; at the international level it is a status quo state because it has not attempted to change its standing in the global order.

The way the Western media paints Pakistan, as just a revisionist state is absolutely absurd.

The only reason Pakistan is considered a revisionist state at the regional level is because it is trying to change the status quo in the context of Kashmir. As General Raheel Sharif put it, “Kashmir is an unfinished agenda of Indo-Pak partition which needs to be resolved for the sake of peace and stability in the region.”

Pakistan is trying to gain more influence in the region in an effort to force India to implement the United Nations Security Council Resolution of 21 April 1948, which states “the question of the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan should be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite.”

For this reason one can say that Pakistan has been a revisionist state since birth, even though at the international level it is not. The day the people of Kashmir are given a right to determine their own future in an impartial referendum, Pakistan will no longer be considered revisionist, because it has no aspirations for global dominance.

India however is a totally different tale altogether.

Historically since its independence from British rule, India has tried to accumulate territory, expand its military, and develop its economy all in an effort to be recognized as the regional hegemon, to which it has every right.

But it boggles the mind that despite the fact that India, under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi has been trying to exert and expand its influence over smaller countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and others in its neighborhood, the Western media continues to claim that Indians are not revisionist. And even more frustrating is the fact that even though India is rapidly expanding its military capabilities by introducing nuclear powered submarines and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), the Western media continues to claim that India is not revisionist at the regional or international level.

This is because India has been very effective in influencing the Western media through its soft power tactics. People in the West are led to believe that India is only growing its military to address threats posed by the Chinese and no one else. But do these folks living in the West realize that an ICBM like the Agni-V with the range of 10,000 kilometers puts them in India’s crosshairs?

Today with its current military means, India is capable of bombing any capital in the world in mere minutes, from Moscow to Washington DC. The West must quickly realize that this is not a country that is satisfied with its place in the international order, and is doing everything in its power as a revisionist state to change its place in the world order.

India has already started pointing their guns towards their long time ally, the Russians, in the East and South China seas, how long before they begin to point the same guns at the Americans?

Unlike most other countries, considering the size of its population, economy, and military, India not only has the potential of becoming a regional hegemon, but it is also possible for them to challenge the United States in the near future.

It is therefore pertinent that the Western media start accurately portraying India as a revisionist state that poses a great threat to Western interests. By not correctly identifying India’s global ambitions the Western media are dooming the future of their own states. The only reason the United States is supporting India’s rise is because they think that China poses a greater threat to them than India, which is not true at all. America must be warned that it is wishful thinking that India will not one day challenge them for their spot at the top of the world order.

This has been the tale of two revisionist states in South Asia.