India (MNN) – India is trying to prevent the current situation in Kashmir from turning into an international crisis, but Pakistan, a Muslim majority nation, isn’t having it. Since India revoked Article 370, removing the autonomy of the only Muslim majority region in the country, tensions have since increased.
Tensions Rise in Pakistan
Historically, Kashmir is a disputed territory between India and Pakistan. Presently, each country occupies an area of the region. FMI’s Bruce Allen says Pakistan is protective of India occupied Kashmir.
“On Thursday, August 29, Pakistan tested a surface-to-surface ballistic missile that’s capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. We had already mentioned that even think-tanks here in the US are saying ‘it’s getting pretty dicey there. The Kashmir crisis could be the spark to a nuclear war in the region’,” Allen explains.
Pakistan tested Ghaznavi missiles, which are short-range but capable of reaching many parts of India. CNN speculates the missile test was a show of force rather than a threat, but last Friday, Pakistan’s Prime Ministry led the country in a solidarity protest over the Kashmir region. Then, on Monday, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Kham declared that the country would not be the first to use nuclear weapons. Regardless of promises from the podium, the possibility of nuclear war puts the whole world on alert.
“Pakistan is not going to let this just be an India internal affair. They’re going to say this needs international attention,” Allen says.
Hope for the Future?
Will this latest source of tension between India and Pakistan fizzle out on its own? It seems unlikely. Allen notes people are still detained in India-occupied Kashmir without charges. Some landline phone services have been restored, but the majority of cellular and internet services are still out.
“A lot will depend on what we see India doing in this region. Are they going to port in a lot of or allow a lot of Hindus moving into the Muslim majority area so that it’s the Muslim majority of Kashmir actually would become diluted? India in recent years has had a very strong Hindu nationalist movement. And so, it’s very easy to see this as just part of that movement,” Allen says.
Pray Pakistan does not take military action against India. Pray for peace between Pakistan and India and for tensions to de-escalate. Also, pray for wisdom for the current leaders in both India and Pakistan.
And please, do not forget to pray for the churches in both countries and the church leaders. Pray for their perseverance, safety, and encouragement despite their circumstances. Finally, pray that through the evangelistic efforts in this region, the Prince of Peace would become known.
Header photo courtesy of Elle on Unsplash