The past few years have seen an enormous change in the geopolitics of the region—this is a fact that India has apparently failed to grasp. Indeed, judging from statements by Indian officials and security chiefs, it appears as if the Indian state still thinks it is living in the early 2000s, where it could get away with bullying tactics and increasing escalation. Despite being one of the countries worst-hit by the pandemic, India still occasionally indulges in threats of war against its neighbours. Recently, the Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria made the outlandish claim that India is prepared to fight a two-front war, if needed.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office has rightly slammed this ridiculous statement, calling it “irresponsible” and stating that the Air Chief Marshal should keep in mind his country’s “defence limitations”. Not only is this statement a needless escalation of conflict but it is also embarrassingly untrue for India. As the current situation holds, India is largely unequipped to deal with a war at any front. It has found itself completely unable to deal with the pandemic—and has also broken down any potential alliances it could have made by unnecessarily starting aggression with all its neighbours. Meanwhile, Pakistan is no longer in the vulnerable position it was a decade ago—it has largely dealt with the threat of terrorism has handled the pandemic relatively well, and thus can turn its full attention on India. The porous border on the western side has also been controlled to a degree with fencing and improving relations with the Afghanistan government and negotiating parties. Pakistan and China’s alliance has also grown much stronger as CPEC enters its second phase—the two countries now have strong regional interests. War on one would entail a war on the other.

India seems to be doing everything it can to land itself into trouble—the only saving grace it has so far is that its neighbours are exercising restraint. These outlandish bluffs by its leaders do the country no favours.