“Let’s go to war, it’s fun!” That exactly is the sentiment, these days, on both sides of the Line of Control, with the half-literate urban middle class and anchorpersons experiencing the highest levels of adrenaline. Anchorpersons are painting such a rosy picture of war that one is forced to yearn for it. Some of them go a step even further – melting every city on both sides of the border with nuclear weapons, even if mother earth may be unable to sustain through those nuclear explosions.

However, the actual war is being fought on social media. Youth from both sides of the border is duelling with that of the other side from the comfort of their homes using their keyboards. Miseries, the lack of amenities, illiteracy, poverty, intolerance, and mob violence on each side is being frequently highlighted. Each side is trying to prove that the other is weaker and poorer. Scientific evidence is being presented in attempts to prove that no human would survive on the other side of the border. It truly feels like a ‘war festival’!

This ‘war festival’ began with an attack on the Uri checkpost of Indian-held Kashmir by unidentified gunmen. The hyperactive Indian media, in haste for standing first in the race of ‘Breaking the News’, immediately pronounced Pakistan as the culprit. The jingoist analyists on Indian media declared it an act of war. The fanatics in Indian Prime Minister Modi’s government who want to cement their positions by playing the religion card, started singing the war mantra. The war cry was quickly responded by anchorpersons and self-proclaimed analysts on our side, in order to boost their ratings.

War is too serious a matter to leave to TV anchors, analysts, and the urban middle class youth. Both India and Pakistan cannot sustain a war for more than a few days. Either of the two sides are in possession of nuclear weapons. While the Indian youth and media persons are celebrating the USD 8.8 billion purchase of Raffle fighter jets, the other side of the border is proudly sharing videos of fighter jets landing on the Motorway.

People have urged the Indian government, via social media, to dispel Pakistani film actors working in India, from the country. Jubilant youth and anchorpersons on both sides are upset with their respective governments for delaying the beginning of the actual war – they can’t wait to prove their claims on social media, true. Unfortunately this ‘war festival’ is going to decide the fate of one-third of the population of planet Earth.

The launch of nuclear weapons is being discussed like the firing of crackers on a festival, even among the so-called educated, elitist, circles on both sides; while those who suggest that wars bring death and destruction are conveniently labeled as traitors. Governments and societies on both sides of the border have become hostages to the imaginary pressure of immature people and fanatics. Both sides have been unable to devise a common forum, consistent of saner elements, to negotiate their disputes in the more than sixty years of their better co-existence.

While it is accurate to say that half of the Indian population do not have toilets, around two-thirds of Pakistan’s population does not have access to clean drinking water. According to statistics for 2016, both India and Pakistan have an identical ratio of 30% poverty. India has over 120 billionaires with net assets of over five billion rupees. Similarly, affluent Pakistanis have parked an estimated amount of USD 200 billion in their Swiss accounts.

Both states have a shameful record of spending on education. Healthcare systems on both sides of the border are in a shambles. Unemployed youth from both sides of the border is desperate to flee their respective motherland to find odd jobs in the developed world. Expatriates from both nations experience the same humiliation overseas – Indians are referred to as ‘Curry Boys’, and Pakistanis as ‘Cabbies’.

Latest surveys suggest that 48% of Karachi’s youth wants to leave the country despite the prospect of facing humiliation and suffering overseas, where they would live life as second class citizens. The situation in India is not very different. If given the chance, each of the keyboard warriors partaking in this 'war festival' would love to leave their country and settle down in the developed world. They would give up the pride of being a citizen of a poor and underdeveloped country for which they want to kill millions.

Every year thousands are killed in terrorists attacks on both sides of borders. Poverty, floods, epidemics, and lack of nutrition kill millions every year in India and Pakistan. Farmers commit suicides in India, and children are put on sale by Pakistan’s starving poor in Pakistan, as a daily occurance. While lawlessness has earned India the title of ‘Rape-istan’ – Pakistan has earned a name in ‘honor killing’.

Social and economic oppression, intolerance and fanaticism are deeply rooted in both societies. Mobs’ lynching of Muslims and Dalits in India to ‘protect the cow’, and fanatics’ torching of minorities’ housing areas in Pakistan on charges of ‘blasphemy’ – regularly make headlines in the international media. The immature and fanatic people celebrating war on social media try to shame each other using these facts. They conveniently ignore the idea that things may be in worse shape on their own side. What are they trying to engage in these pride-wars for?

The actual war needs to be against poverty, illiteracy, extremism, a lack of basic needs and exploitation by the elites, in both India and in Pakistan. One-third of the population of the world that lives on both sides of the Indo-Pak border deserves something better than the inhuman life they are forced to spend. That goal cannot be achieved without peace in the region. The days of taking pride in belonging to a ‘martial race’ and living in abject poverty and disgusting misery, need to be bid adieu.

People from both India and Pakistan need to understand that there is no other way to live life other than in peaceful co-existence. The saner elements on both sides of the border need to come forward and put an end to this ongoing ‘war festival’. The masses on both sides need peace, development and prosperity, not wars and destruction. They have the right to live honorably – but that honor would be earned through achieving peace and prosperity in the region. War between two poor nations would leave them poorer and more miserable and would not confer any pride upon anyone – not even upon you, the keyboard jihadis and war mongering analysts.