War-Weary Pakistan Is Ready for Peace

Rafia Zakaria in The Nation:

As irony would have it, Pakistan and India’s latest squabble began on Valentine’s Day when an explosive-laden truck, commandeered by a young Kashmiri Indian man, slammed into an Indian military convoy, killing 40 Indian soldiers. Even before the funerals were over, India blamed Pakistan, claiming its neighbor was sponsoring the terrorist group, Jaish-e-Muhammad, responsible for the attack. Ten days later, India carried out strikes in Pakistan—though it’s unclear what, if anything, it hit. The following day, Pakistan shot down two Indian planes that had crossed into its territory and captured an Indian pilot. The Pakistani government then closed its airspace and imposed blackouts in the Northern Areas so that Indian aircraft could not detect its cities. In an instant, it seemed, the two countries stood daggers drawn, teetering on the edge of nuclear cataclysm.

Yet peace, or the desire for it, caught on in Pakistan. On Thursday, the day after Pakistan captured the Indian pilot, peace rallies were held all over Pakistan, and the hashtag #SayNoToWar trended on Twitter. Groups of Pakistani women photographed themselves holding placards asking women across the border to #SayNoToWar.

More here.