Najam Publishes OpEd in The Hill on India-Pakistan Crisis

Dean Adil Najam, Boston Univesity, Pardee School, Islamic Science

Adil Najam, Dean of the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, published a recent Op-Ed on the recent escalation of tension between India and Pakistan. According to Najam, the present tension between the two countries is “as close to a real nuclear conflagration as we probably have since the Cuban missile crisis.”

Najam’s Op-Ed, entitled “Be Worried, Very Worried, About What Just Happened in India and Pakistan,” was published in The Hill on March 6, 2019.

From the text of the article:

It has been a tense time for nuke-watchers in Asia. Just as the phantom hopes of a denuclearization agreement on the Korean Peninsula were being dashed in Vietnam, a very real escalation was taking place in South Asia between nuclear rivals — and neighbors — India and Pakistan.

After getting as close to a real nuclear conflagration as we probably have since the Cuban missile crisis, the good news is that tensions in South Asia now seem to be in de-escalation mode. This, of course, is a good thing. But this conflict most certainly will leave the world less safe than it was before. If the Doomsday Clockhas not been reset yet, it should.

For those who insist on seeing a silver lining, there is one. Both Pakistan and India can, and have, claimed victory: military, diplomatic, moral. Domestic constituencies in both countries fiercely believe it is so. In India, Modi may just have won himself an election. In Pakistan, Khan’s beleaguered government suddenly looks statesmanlike. Neither would like to risk losing this sweet spot with further adventures. Hence, a key condition for de-escalation is fulfilled.

The cloud cover, however, remains ominous. There is, in the first instance, the fog of hyperventilating belligerence and distrust that has been fanned by information technology. In India, mainstream as well as social media have gone berserk in an orgy of hyper-jingoism. In Pakistan, their counterparts seem more docile, but only by comparison. They certainly can match the Indian media’s self-righteousnessblow-by-blow, even as they bask in bouts of gloating.

Adil Najam is the inaugural dean of the Pardee School and a commentator on foreign policy and diplomacy in South Asia. Learn more about him here.