The Indian army’s brief foray this week into Myanmar to hunt militants set alarm bells ringing in far-away Pakistan, Delhi’s arch-rival whom it blames for stoking a rebellion in the disputed region of Kashmir. By suggesting the Myanmar incident could set a precedent for more cross-border raids, including into Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, a junior Indian minister took the row one step further.
Bellicose language is nothing new between the nuclear-armed neighbours, but Pakistanis say recent events have further hurt relations already strained since India’s nationalist leader Narendra Modi came to power. And as long as the talk is of threats and retaliation, hopes of finding a way out of decades of war and suspicion look slim. It is also not without its risks. “Very bad news often follows when adversaries give up on improved relations,” Michael Krepon, co-founder of the Stimson Center in Washington, wrote in a blogpost on the Arms Control Wonk. “We’re at this juncture now on the Subcontinent,” added Krepon, an authority on nuclear security in South Asia.
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