From extreme to the mean and mean to the extreme, the pendulum of Pakistan and India political clash has indeed made a twisting situation around the globe particularly since July 2016, after the killing of Burhan Wani in IHK. The playfulness of thoughts, the dramatic counterarguments and apparent hot war front, all seems to be the pendulum oscillating from one point to the other but still coming back to its center.  The anticipation is somewhat hypnotic and in-toxic for the audience of both sides as the political figures are playing their “antagonistic roles” at best.

Rakoshi, an orthodox communist leader in 1940 coined a term “Salami Slice Strategy” and claimed that he extirpated “Non-Communist Parties” by astutely applying this strategy. This strategy prescribes, without being frantically aggressive to foe, one can blow serious limited damage to opposition slice by slice i-e; politically, militarily, diplomatically – and hence can succeed in dismantling the strongholds of foe. Seven decades later in August 2016, India chalked exactly the same strategy on the board of Indo-Pak relations. Jumping into the brawl this time, India craftily applied the “Salami-Slice Strategy” to drag Pakistan into the nook of regional politics. From the incident of Uri to postponement of SAARC conference; and BCCI plea to ungroup Pakistan and India in Champions Trophy; not allowing Pakistan in Kabadi World Cup 2016 might be the clauses of this strategy. The grave threats pounded by Hindu right wings to Pakistani Artists were not a new episode of sequel yet are more sharpened. Moreover, from Indus Water Treaty suspension, speculations to the “Cold Start” doctrines’ revival by India’s new Army Chief Bipin Rawat, all these are the prospects of planned “Salami Slice Strategy”.

The Asian Trump “Narendra Modi” intends to do all in all for what he has scored votes from Indian nationalists. Basking in the sunshine of Right Wing Faction of India, Modi has overtly hurled the rhetoric of “Pakistan – a terrorist state”. Paying no heed to international community and by perforating UN’s imperative decisions, Modi orchestrates “The Greater India” music in Asia. India’s “Act East” diplomatic strategy has solely become Pakistan centric in which it considers Iran and Afghanistan as vital partners to damage Pakistan. This is the kind of game India is playing right now. The admired “Isolate Pakistan” rhetoric has added flavor to Modi’s jingoism and it has drifted ahead by making arms deal of 200 billion INR in last two three months. With every passing year, the defense budget of India escalates and it has reached up to $40 billion (as compared to Pakistan’s $8.2 billion). This makes India 6th among those countries having highest defense budget.

The symptoms of war-mania are metastasizing on both sides of border. The arrival of new COAS, General Bajwa, and General Raheel Shareef’s departure was a peaceful process. General Bajwa, has before him the cold days to breathe particularly in the case of Indian constant belligerence on LOC. Proclamations are and have been launching to give each other a befitting reply, if conflict escalates. In this frenzy situation, military top-notch generals from both the sides are adequately aware of the fact that what would be the fate of both countries, if any forlorn advancement takes place. This is not 1965 or 1971. This is 21st century. Nuclear missiles may possibly annihilate the human race in India and Pakistan. There is no win-lose game on the scoreboard. There would only be lose-lose tie for both countries. If 1 million die on the other side of the border; 1.5 million may die on this side as well. The South Asian arch rivals ought to understand that the war pendulum swings from one extreme to the other.

The geo-political scenario of South Asia has changed to politico-economic priorities. It is said that, “In the 21st century, economy is taken as a religion”. Alliances are being made on the grounds of trade and transport. In the wake of economic corridors that can bring Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, China and India closer, Pakistan and India must not let this silver hope of prosperity and peace be eclipsed away. There are instances of nations that despite being weaker ones with no aid receiving from world powers, excelled their economy and attained prosperity by enjoying affable relations with immediate neighbors. Time calls for sensible shrewd strategy now. To re-shape the foreign policy is in the self-interest of both Pakistan and India. Both countries can turn their truculent terms into peaceful relations by encouraging trades and initiate economic and educational projects. Students, through exchange programs, can certainly mop the blots of hatred and aversion between two nations. U.S practiced the same exercise of exchange programs after 9/11 to allow students from all over the world to witness America through their own eyes. Moreover, cross-border arts and cultural conferences and competitions can produce wonders in re-defining India-Pakistan ties. To recommence bilateral dialogues, electronic media of both countries have to halt hate speech, contentious talk shows and controversial statements on all accounts. On state level, the officials of both states ought to think about developmental projects that can mitigate poverty, hunger and illiteracy. The dream of hegemonic Asia is worthless unless Pakistan and India do not normalize their relations.


About Author

He is currently an M.Phil researcher in University of Lahore in the field of Pharmacology. He has been national English declaimer and a member of Standing Committee on National Security and Foreign Affairs in Youth Parliament Pakistan. He is the former president of Young Development Corps (a policy making project of Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms). He is currently writing articles for The Nation. He can be reached at

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