It took some time but it looks like the rest of the world is waking up to the heightened anti-Pakistan sentiment that has floured the majority of India. While relations between Pakistan and India had been hostile for some time, the Pulwama attack, which India alleges with little evidence that Pakistan is responsible for, exacerbated tensions to an alarming degree- so much so that calls for war were echoed in Indian media the past few days, Kashmiri citizens were out rightly discriminated and threatened violence against, and just yesterday a Pakistani national in Jaipur jail was beaten to death just for his nationality. Such heightened tensions between two nuclear powers in South Asia should have raised alarm bells in the rest of the world- thankfully there has finally some response from international organisations after three days of chaos.

The United Nations, for example, expressed deep concern “at the increase in tensions between India and Pakistan. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres stressed the importance for both sides to “exercise maximum restraint and take immediate steps to de-escalate tensions” and offered his “good offices” to ease the crisis. It was important for the UN to comment on this matter considering Indian officials and media had threatened of military consequences against Pakistan. Since the two countries’ independence, the UN and likewise international organisations like the World Bank have been a part of brokering peace in conflicts between India and Pakistan. While it is unlikely that the Secretary General’s offer will be taken up, since India has been reluctant in the past to involve the world body, such a statement by the UN was necessary in this time.

Similarly, even the United States, which has been closer to India than Pakistan in recent times, has voiced unease at the deescalating situation. President Trump has encouraged the two countries to “get along” rather than being confrontational. Despite US’s differences with Pakistan on its part in combating terrorism, even the US is concerned at the violent rhetoric being espoused against Pakistan and Kashmiris by India in the Pulwama aftermath. Amnesty International has also taken notice of the situation and released a statement appealing the Indian government to ensure that ordinary Kashmiri women and men do not face targeted attacks or harassment.

These international reactions must wake India up to the fact that it cannot espouse violence or unchecked nationalism against Pakistan with impunity. Pakistan has extended its hand for peace- will India?