Calling for war is easy to do when a conflict is freshly brewing. When push comes to shove, however, and the human cost is assessed do we realise that war is almost never worth it. This is a lesson which Indian journalists and politicians were to learn yesterday when the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) shut down two Indian Air Force (IAF) Jets which had crossed the Line of Control (LoC).

This escalation- of India first violating the LoC and Pakistan’s shoot-down- is the closest the two countries have come to war in a decade and the possibility of two populous nations with nuclear weapons coming to arms should alarm the world. India’s antics in the past few days, where its media persons and administration openly called for war, certainly drew concern among the citizens of Pakistan, and thankfully this incident seems to have finally alerted India as well. Indian journalists who were previously calling for blood appear to be shaken after the IAF plane was targeted and are now calling for de-escalation of the crisis and for establishment of peace between the countries. It is hoped that this new resolve for peace will not waver in the next few days.

While it is tragic that this pointless conflict has escalated to this point, it must be said that so far Pakistan has handled this crisis and warmongering on part of India with grace, diplomacy and maturity. The government officials reacted to the escalation tactically- in his public address to the nation yesterday, Prime Minister Imran Khan explained why Pakistan’s retaliation was necessary for self-defence against India’s violating the LoC but reiterated Pakistan’s commitment towards peace and offered cooperation to India. Similarly the ISPR’s conference addressing the plane incident was on the mark: self-defence in the face of India’s warmongering rhetoric is a right of Pakistan for which our administration should make no apologies; yet our priority should always be achieving peace and de-escalation of this conflict. Pakistan should exemplify this by treating the captured Indian pilot with all the protections of the Geneva Convention.

Although this tussle between Pakistan and India has so far not seen any loss of lives thankfully, yesterday we glimpsed a little of the danger that can come with escalation of violence. It is hoped the events of yesterday reminded the Indian government of how easily this conflict can escalate and how the disastrous consequences of an Indo-Pak war could be unbridled.