Knock-Knock: Risk of India-Pakistan War May Hang on the Fate of Downed Pilot

As Asia’s most acrimonious rivals face off, the fate of a captured Indian Air Force pilot may hold the key to whether -- and how -- each side is able to step back from broader conflict. India and Pakistan, which have fought three major wars since the bloody partition of 1947, regularly exchange artillery and small-weapons fire across a disputed border. But the situation which flared up earlier this month escalated dramatically into Wednesday, with the loss of an Indian MiG 21 fighter jet and the pilot later paraded on Pakistani television. While the U.S., Russia and China are all calling for calm, domestic political factors make it far from easy for either side in the conflict to back down. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi must contest a general election within weeks, while his counterpart, Imran Khan, faces a military that is seeking to assert its dominance at a time when Pakistan is in the eye of a financial and economic storm.
The full political fallout of the exchanges remains unclear, but it is evident that the capture of a pilot “complicates matters and will heighten tensions,” said Sandeep Shastri, a political scientist and Pro Vice Chancellor at Jain University in Bangalore. Neither country can afford a full-blown conflict, yet neither leader can afford to look weak -- all the more so with their respective publics whipped into a nationalist frenzy. Still, in an address to the nation, according to Bloomberg, Khan called for India-Pakistan talks to resolve the situation, saying that “better sense should prevail.”

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 2 nuclear armed countries getting into a conflict can't be good.

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Just now, Pavel said:

 2 nuclear armed countries getting into a conflict can't be good.

Good reason to ban nuclear weapons.

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They says they're the peacemaker but not... In less than 24 hours Modi lost the higher pedestal vs Khan. Pakistan invaded Indian air space first time in 24 yrs, brought down 2 their planes, captured the pilot.. I suppose, answer will not be peaceful...

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India and Pakistan are going to war ... China calls countries to hold dialogue with rising tensions

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Potentially good for oil prices.  

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Funny thing about 2 sides having nukes, it tends to prevent them from really going to war. MAD sort of works.

My last flight in the USAF I flew a F-4 to the bone yard. The plane next to me was brand new F-16, less than 15 hours on the clock. It had a Pakistani tail flash and was being stored until some resolution over the nukes was done. 

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