Last two days saw a flurry of military activity between nuclear-armed arch rivals and neighbours, India and Pakistan.
On Wednesday, Pakistan claimed to have downed two Indian fighter jets and captured an
Indian air force pilot but India has confirmed that one fighter jet was shot down in an “aerial engagement” with Pakistani forces.
The spiralling crisis between the two neighbours has evoked a varied response from the American and international media.
From political pressures to the possibility of war, here’s a round-up of some of the opinions posted by international media outlets amid
Pakistan Facing The Most Scrutiny India and Pakistan may not go to war. But the crisis is escalating (Feb 27) The Washington Post: by Ishaan Tharoor
"... as tensions rise, it’s Pakistan that is facing the most scrutiny. As the world woke up to news of an Indian transgression of Pakistani sovereignty, few governments rushed to Islamabad’s defense ... Even China, a supposedly firm ally of Pakistan, mustered only an appeal for “restraint."
Situation Could Yet Be Defused After India’s Strike on Pakistan, Both Sides Leave Room for De-escalation (Feb 26) The New York Times: by Maria Abi-Habib
"With India claiming to have avenged the Kashmir attack, and with Pakistan claiming that India had done no real damage, it seemed possible that the situation could yet be defused. Still, analysts cautioned that the crisis could erupt into something more serious if restraint failed on either side."
Cycle Of Escalation India-Pakistan clashes risk dangerous escalation (Feb 28) The Financial Times: by the editorial board
"Indian air strikes were aimed at alleged terrorist bases inside Pakistan. Now Pakistan has shot down and captured an Indian pilot. The clear danger is that the two sides will get locked into a cycle of escalation. The risk of unplanned incidents and miscalculation, leading to further confrontation, is evident."
Strike Hard Who will pull India and Pakistan back from the edge this time? (Feb 27) The Guardian: by Patrick Wintour
"With an army more than twice as large, backed by superior weaponry and with an economy 8.5 times the size of Pakistan’s, India can strike hard. But military analysts say this imbalance means Pakistan’s threshold for the use of nuclear weapons is relatively low; a direct attack by India could have incalculable consequences."
Hope For Peace Airstrikes Won’t Fix India’s Pakistan Problem (Feb 26) Bloomberg: by Nisid Hajari
"One hopes cooler heads quickly prevail. But, even if the two sides somehow prevent hostilities from escalating further, it’s hard to see the Indian airstrikes as anything but a temporary victory."
Elections vs Embarrassment Is war coming to South Asia? (Feb 27) Opinion piece Al Jazeera: by Happymon Jacob
"While India's reasons to attack may have been partly influenced by the upcoming national elections in the country, with its counterstrike, Pakistan seeks to avoid embarrassment and to ensure that such attacks do not become routine in future. One side wants to create a new military normal, and the other side wants to desperately avoid that."
Tit-For-Tat India and Pakistan in 'uncharted waters' (Feb 27) BBC: by Soutik Biswas
"Many believe that the Pakistani strike could be seen as a tit-for-tat - it, like India, feels the need to placate its domestic constituency. But the challenge now is to contain the escalation of hostilities before things get completely out of control."
A Nuclear Surprise Absent US diplomacy, India and Pakistan stand at the precipice of war (Feb 27) CNN: by Rafia Zakaria
"A nuclear surprise would be a world-ending surprise, and yet, as the minutes and hours and days pass, it seems like an even greater possibility. "
London-based"The shoot-down of IAF fighter jets and the capture of Indian pilots has intensified pressure on the Indian government to demonstrate a robust response, thus increasing the likelihood of further retaliatory IAF airstrikes in Pakistan-administered Kashmir."
, which tracks the defence industry: Shooting down of Indian and Pakistani fighter jets raises the likelihood of localised military conflict in Kashmir (Feb 27) Jane’s Information Group by Asad Ali and Deepa Kumar