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February 28th, 2019

Praying for peace

Praying for good sense.

Praying for cool, clear heads.

Praying for an end to the ugly jingoism that has been on display these last few days.

The 70-year old bitter enmity between India and her neighbour Pakistan reached new lows these last few days, as these 2 volatile, nuclear nations seemed to be inching ever closer to conflict.

Last week a suicide bomber with alleged links to Pakistan killed more than 40 policemen in India, in Kashmir.

India attacked an alleged terrorist camp over the border in Pakistan.

Pakistan retaliated.

An Indian fighter pilot is now in Pakistani hands, a POW.

The reactions here in India left me shocked to the core.

Fatima Bhutto hit the nail on the head:

How can anyone in their right mind cheer at the thought of war?

The endless so-called “patriotic” forwards on WhatsApp were a scary revelation.

Inaccuracies, irresponsible hearsay and downright panic-mongering.

Lots of flags & clenched fists and BLOCK CAPITALS AS WE SHOUT OUT OUR JOY AT THE PAKISTANIS GETTING CLOBBERED.

“Here is a photo of a female Indian fighter pilot, along with the name of the school she supposedly went to.”

…oh no, wait, that’s not correct…but someone sent it to me…so I forwarded it…

Detailed descriptions of how the Indian attack took place, as recounted to someone who knew someone who is a pilot.

Deatiled lists of things we all should do, such as filling up the car with petrol and buying food & meds.

Alarmist, irresponsible.

And all of these messages were deeply worrying, due to the underlying sense of excitement at the idea of Something Happening. Even if that something might be war and death.

There have been far too many deaths already.

Breaking news tells us that Imran Khan, the Pakistani PM, has announced that the Indian pilot will be released tomorrow, in which case this is excellent news, and well done!

I am praying for peace and for wise counsel to prevail.

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