No one wins in wars. There can be no medal that does justice to the loss of life it seeks to celebrate. No guard of honors can take away the grief that comes with losing the opportunities to express love and attachment. No sense of pride can replace the regret of not having the times that could have had. No one can really win in wars.

Armies are a necessity for survival for some countries. The realities of such security risks cannot be denied. However, when the said armies become killing machinery, it is then that they become instruments of pain. Their role should strictly be on acting as a defensive strategy and nothing more. In a utopian world where all the countries with armies would act as defensively, there can be no armed conflict. Subsequently, there would be no need for an army. It is strange how this seems an obtuse dream.

Many interesting writings were published in numerous publications this defense day and shared profusely across many media segments. There were write-ups by historians and retired officers critiquing the events behind the day and then, on there were write-ups that spent a lot of time reiterating the story we have all read in our state-sponsored books. For someone who can and has the will to read, this was a confusing story. The truth seemed as unstable as the lies it sought to do away with. Who knows what really happened and which angle of the tale is the better part of the unsaid history. Time cannot tell that, only our biases can.

No matter what version one believes in it is important to understand that wars are simply futile. In our most recent times, we have seen wars create much bigger problems out of mere skirmishes that could have been solved by other means. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were major blunders and fell short of achieving anything remotely similar to their objective. The Syrian war today is an endless tale of pain and grief. The brutality of Israel on the hapless population of Gaza remains the single most harrowing battle in recent times. Wars have simply failed to gain anything.

There are lessons to be learnt from the Cold War. The Cold War era gave the population an example of how the future wars were to be fought. There was the ideological warfare, which was healthy till it remain strictly political. Economic welfare was often blended into strategic warfare in an almost aggressive manner. The space race is one example where the said ‘Cold War’ was in fact helpful and brought about hordes of opportunities for the two super powers to both compete and coordinate with each other. And then there was the actual invasion of Afghanistan, a military war that eventually brought the mammoth USSR down.

Countries that remain obsessed with military warfare are living in the past. North Korea, only a few days ago, claims to have spearheaded its 5th nuclear explosion, the biggest of its attempts. The authorities in the said Korea would undoubtedly have had some pats on their shoulders. However, as they rejoice, they fail to see how South Korea, their arch enemy, uses its time and resources better and remains a country with a decent degree of life standards and much recognised economic prosperity. In the long run, and there would indeed be one, South Korea will have much to celebrate. In those times, hopefully there would be a democratic government in the north, regretting the woes of its past.

India and Pakistan are the same as the Koreas. Pakistan is the northern part in this metaphor, directing its valuable resources onto an army that is simply both over and under qualified to do its job. The warfare to be of concern for the Pakistan army is local based however it has been trained obsessively so to prepare for a war from the exterior; a war that would just not come about as has been envisioned. India on the other hand has been taking advantage of its economic prosperity and while foolhardily investing into war machinery, has succeeded to keep its expense at a very small portion of its budget. However, the expense at both sides continue to go up. Ironically, the living standards of people from both of these countries continue getting worse.

The two would gain much if they put an end to a war that both continue to prepare for but never fight because it simply cannot be fought. They need to understand that other countries do not remain an audience in their conflict but have now become forceful referees. The war would be over even before it starts and all these preparations would be in vain. Sane minds would tread off such ridiculous pursuits. Here is to hoping some sanity prevails between these two too.