Should there be a military clash between Pakistan and India it is most likely to culminate into a full-fledged nuclear war. Pakistan has been expressing this apprehension for quite some time, and it was repeated in most categorical terms on Thursday. Addressing his maiden press conference, coincidental with Pakistan's "Swift Retort" to India's air violation last year, the ISPR chief said: "There is no space for war between two nuclear states but if it erupts, the consequences will be uncontrollable and things can spiral out of control. Our capability to respond to any aggression is intact ... and Pakistan has made preparations." India, too, has hinted at such a clash by deciding to withdraw its no-first-use pledge, a move that coincided with its civil and military leaderships' recent statements. No two nuclear adversaries have ever made their intentions to deploy nuclear weapons so openly and bluntly. It is indeed a perilous state of relationship between two nuclear neighbours. Perhaps, both sides, and the international community that remains indifferent to rising tensions between Pakistan and India, would like to figure out the cost of a nuclear war between two states possessing as many as 280 nuclear warheads. Writing in Science Advances, the researchers calculated that should there be a nuclear clash between Pakistan and India as many as 125 million people could perish on both sides of the border. And as for its environmental impact the surface sunlight would decrease by 20% to 40%, causing Nuclear Winter to hit food supplies by 30%. As a nuclear clash between the two in the wake of the Kargil conflict in 1999 looked imminent the then US President, Bill Clinton, was there to help defuse tensions between them. If somebody in Washington or elsewhere has the similar competence, one is not sure. The world must wake up to this apocalypse in the making - another Indian false flag operation and there would be a wider war to be fought with everything including nuclear weapons. On this the ISPR chief Major General Babar Iftikhar couldn't be more explicit.
He also touched upon the ongoing Kashmir lockdown by New Delhi and Afghanistan. On Kashmir, he said its solution is not only in the interest of Pakistan, but "also guarantees the country's national security". His was a befitting response to the Indian army chief's bluster to annex Azad Jammu & Kashmir. It was also aimed at showcasing Pakistan's determination to effectively respond. And then he said: "All options to provide relief to the Kashmiris are on the table and it is Pakistan's leadership to decide how to take forward the Kashmir issue ... everything is possible." Insurgency in Occupied Kashmir has the inbuilt potential to precipitate India's surprise attack and Pakistan has promised to give India a surprise once again. But the time for Limited War and Cold Start is over and a surprise attack is likely to get out of hands of both sides. We in Pakistan had expected that during his Indian odyssey President Trump would take up the violation of human rights in Indian-held Kashmir, but instead he equated the Kashmiris' struggle for self-determination with a situation of foreign-funded terrorism. He should have known that if 200-plus-day lockdown and media blackout did not succeed in sapping Kashmiris' will and determination his consent to Modi's fiendish control will not either.