There are two types of chest beatings. One is for sorrow, proclaiming anger and despair, when a loved one dies, some tend to beat their chest in order to show that fate did them wrong - then there is another kind, one we are witnessing through politicians and news channels in the subcontinent these days.

One terrorist attack resulted in a retaliation attack, which again led to another retaliation, and the result was the loss of at least one fighter jet, one pilot in custody, dozen civilians injured and several civilians killed in cross border firing.

This is a cycle the world experiences every time such incidents happen. There is anger, media is in frenzy, prominent celebrities beat up the war drums and politicians stand alongside men in uniform to flex muscles. There are limits to actions, but as long as one can toy with the risk of full out war, one can set the premise for the media narrative.

The same chest beating prevents the difficult issues of beating the mind. Questions with answers that contradict the official narratives, questions that rock the foundations for populist leaders - the kind that are governing from New Delhi and Islamabad.

Kashmir has no mineral resources the kind Gulf monarchs indulge in, it is a conflict due to the legacy of a tragic partition - and the symbol of Britishers lack of concern when they left the subcontinent after plunder, pillage and piles of human bodies. Thus a symbolic conflict, with real life human beings, real life suffering, nevertheless symbolic political and military statements and actions.

Core issue - as has been for almost seven decades - is the permanency of a temporary border, where possibility of any move is reduced to nil - and hence all what is left is not to accept ground realities and rather fight through proxies and through the TV screen.

This is a huge burden - for Pakistan it is a budgetary menace where trying to match Indian military might, it allocated chunks of the national budget to Army and deployment. For India, the Kashmir issue is a reminder that the biggest democracy in the world also is one that suppresses through heavy hands a population that demands rights.

Pakistan does not need a war, it knows it cannot win a full out confrontation for very long - it is neither in India’s interest to engage battle for a conflict which can drag on, one which can cause much more suffering and mayhem than it experienced in the Pulwama attack. But both have conventional capabilities - both have these weapons that are the products of each other’s enmity - and that’s the main deterrence at play.

So war is a no-go - retaliation for PR and the TV screen is the only option, and so is the element of war by proxy - both of which ignite tension, a need to retaliate and for revenge. When populists and generals are in power, their concern is to look strong - a need to show muscles, and not be caught being cowards.

India’s right wing Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the type of person. Modi has galvanized elite within movie industry and business tycoons who tend to lend him voice for his PR stunts - be it made in India campaign or the ongoing media warmongering. Modi’s government has been a witness to brutal crackdown on freedom of assembly and movement in Kashmir. It has suppressed dissent and engaged paramilitary forces who shoot pellets at civilians. Being blind on one eye has become the new punishment for the people who are born with the sin of being Kashmiris.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan is another one of a kind along the Chief of Army Staff Gen. Bajwa who is always in the display - perhaps too much for the liking of the democracy. So called strategic assets are in fact a liability, despite what the official narrative would suggest the case of Kashmir-oriented militias who at home ground kill religious minorities, and cross border fight with Indian forces. These tactics hurt Pakistan the most, this liability is the crux to Pakistan’s isolation and should be dealt with sincere will, not the cycle of asking for proofs, banning outfits for them to change their names, and then to emerge again after some years.

India knows to concede, it did to China when it signed agreements to respect the line of actual control - Pakistan sure does to when it recognized former East Pakistan as a sovereign state of Bangladesh, or when it ceded Shaksgam valley to - you guessed it - China. Concessions are a necessity, but in this case, concessions are already given - the Line of Control between these two nations is what needs to be a permanent international boundary.

Anti-progressive populists in saffron and green veils beat their chests to show off words that never translate to transactions - they do not want responsibility for failures, but want all the credit for whatever victory comes - this is how serious they take the stability of their populace.

There are two types of chest beatings, one proclaims zealous patriotism and the call to fight, the other one is what follows call to war, when dead bodies are buried and relatives beat their chests in pain and agony.