It have been more than a few weeks since the infamous Pulwama Attack in IOK, and the ensuing tension. I have come across the numerous news clips, memes and videos that have aggravated the cries of war on both sides of the border, and I am baffled by the absolute lack of empathy shown, not only by common people like me, but also responsible public office holders on either side. When there was an intrusion by Indian jets into Pakistani airspace, the trend continued; news sources mocked the militaries, memes ridiculing each other were posted, and posts were shared by people who wanted forces of their country to either ‘follow suit’ or ‘take immediate action’. I am not really sure if these people understand the horrors of a war. India and Pakistan are both nuclear armed countries with weapons and military might at their disposal that can reduce cities to rubble in a matter of minute. It’s a shame that I am compelled to remind this to the people who are in favour of war on both sides: that there is no honour in war, just disgrace. There are no heroes, only fatalities.

Maybe our generation has been so detached from realities that we do not only fully grasp the gravity of the situation. This is where I believe our education system has betrayed us. Maybe if we had really been taught what wars in the past were like - how the ego and hate of a dozen people (and subsequent blind following of their countrymen) cost 70 million lives just at the cusp of our independence, how long it took the first world countries to get out of the wars they so eagerly wanted to start - we wouldn’t be glorifying this. I don’t care who benefits from this, who is using the hate for their own agendas, who started, who retaliated and who will stop; but bringing two powerful countries to the brink of a war is shameful at best, and a crime against humanity at worst. Maybe if you want to have a war so bad, you should pick a gun and go fight at the border.

There is nothing heroic about death; bravery lies in living. Ask how it feels to be a refugee, to lose a loved one, or to live in constant fear of death; ask this from a Syrian, Yemeni, Afghani, Burmese, Iraqi, Ukrainian and the countless other people experiencing the atrocities of a full blown war. Imagine the life of a person from one of these countries, whose cities have been annihilated by countries who are not even using half of their military might, and then compare it to what Pakistan and India can do to each other. Read about what life was like during the first half of the 20th century, how ridiculously cheap human life was, and how aggressive the entire planet was during that time. And maybe then, this won’t feel like a joke. Because the truth is, it’s not only the lives of 1.6 billion people at stake, but the entire world is going to suffer - for years to come. Therefore, we must raise our voice for peace and fraternity, because there is no beauty in war, but only destruction of nations.

NAVEED ABBAS MAITLO,

Islamabad, March 2.