axios: It’s just after 3 a.m. in Kashmir, where fresh escalations in the 70-year conflict between Pakistan and India have the two nuclear powers on the brink of war.
Do you remember the existential concerns from the Cold War? This is like that, on a subcontinent with more than a billion people.
The latest crisis dates to Feb. 14, when a suicide bomb from a Pakistani militant group killed 40 Indian military personnel in the Indian-administered part of Kashmir.
Early yesterday, India entered Pakistan’s airspace to attack militant camps it said are linked to the group. India says they killed 300. Pakistan says they attacked an empty forest.
Early today, Pakistan shot down an Indian jet, capturing the pilot. Video on Pakistani TV featured the pilot bloody and blindfolded, the WashPost reports.
Airspaces were closed today in northern Pakistan and in parts of India, the New York Times reports.
As of early 2017, India had 130 nuclear warheads, while Pakistan had 140, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. (WashPost)
Both Pakistan’s and India’s leaders have incentives to act tough instead of cooling things down, GZERO Media’s Gabe Lipton writes.
In India, Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi is about to set a date for the country’s next election.
In Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan has only been in office since August 2018.
The bottom line:
“With the weapons you have and the weapons we have, can we really afford such a miscalculation?”