WHILE tension between the nuclear-armed rivals remains quite high, some new developments have occurred that may well shape the trajectory of the conflict. This emerging scenario, which is anything but alarming, is two-faceted and a lot depends on how things go from here. On the one hand there is a group of politicians that is very much pragmatic on both sides of the border, predominantly in Pakistan, that do not wish to up the ante any further. They know how severe the consequences of war could be and that it is an option neither of the two countries can face. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, who was in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh, said that Pakistan was a civilised nation that was not in favour of war, urging the international body to do its best to defuse the tension. The Indians need to heed what he is saying, as he is absolutely right in observing that if India lets loose the dogs of war, it would mean victory for the terrorists. There should be little doubt that what the terrorists want is a war between India and Pakistan, and subsequent chaos. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, while making it loud and clear to New Delhi not to commit the mistake of surgical strikes, highlighted the need to de-escalate the prevailing tension. That our Prime Minister and Foreign Minister are speaking in such categorical terms proves that we as a nation stand for peace and reconciliation. It was likewise heartening to see President's spokesman Farhatullah Babar ask India not to derail the peace process. Moreover, the Indian government is also under pressure from some of the saner elements in the government, and notably the public, that intend to lessen the hostility. One wishes them Godspeed. Unfortunately this picture, however rosy as it appears, doesn't correspond to the ground realities. The Indian troop build-up along the border has also forced Pakistan to mobilise its armed forces. Our jet fighters, that were earlier in the tribal areas, are now patrolling the skies on the eastern front. Across the border the Indian Air Force is in a state of high alert and its earlier violation of Pakistani air space seems deliberate. Add to it the meeting of the Nuclear Command Authority headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Under the circumstances, the leaderships of both India and Pakistan must act more decisively to avert the stand-off. Making calls for peace developments of the sort could in itself easily become a cause of the flare up.