Move over, Comical Ali
Hot pursuit won’t be allowed, the lady sternly warned. It is highly irresponsible, she declared, for unidentified media reports to be contemplating it, for why, “do they want a nuclear war in this region, a holocaust?”
Leave alone the fact that ‘hot pursuit’ was not even mentioned by anyone in the Indian government (not even by those anonymous senior officials). What the Indian government is passing off as ‘punitive action’ involves engaging politicians other than Gen Musharraf, and dropping dark but vague hints of exploiting Pakistan’s numerous internal rifts.
It is an old, and outmoded trick, that Pakistani officials continue to use—a rapid verbal escalation to the nuclear level. Old, because throwing about phrases like nuclear war and holocaust were sure ways to attract the attention of the world’s tch-tch’ers. Outmoded, because crying wolf has diminishing returns. “Nuclear holocaust” ranks way up there, along with “baseless allegations”, as among the favourite phrases in the Pakistani foreign office media briefing room.
If it all it takes to start a nuclear war is one group of armed men crossing the Line of Control, that war should have started a long ago. Regardless of the direction of the movement, the result, as far as nuclear war is concerned, will be no different.