This article, batting for peace and human improvement in the South Asian region, was published in Scroll.in on Oct 2 2016. Here is the link.
Below is an excerpt:
When one looks at such data, one realizes how hollow the self-congratulatory attitudes of Indian and Pakistani citizens are. It is amazing to see how a politician or journalist abusing the “other” nation takes them to some fantastical (and fanatical) wonderland, making them forget all the extensive and embarrassing mess in their immediate vicinity.
Let alone war, even military aggression is not a viable option in South Asia, especially for India and Pakistan, which rank 130 and 147 in the Human Development Index respectively, If there has to be a war it must be to destroy, for example, the public health and medical problems that are killing our infants and our youth in the millions. Through the obsession with forever being militarily hostile, we have been wasting resources which could be utilized in better ways; we spend disproportionate millions on protecting our borders and peanuts on protecting the health of our children.
In the final tally of things, no military “victory” is going to be of solace to a woman, whether Indian or Pakistani, who loses her baby because her health centre neither had the facilities to resuscitate it, nor had transportation available to take it to a better facility. With neonatal mortality rates in India and Pakistan at 29 and 38 deaths per 1000 live births respectively, when nations like Canada and Australia have it below 3, there’s indeed a lot at stake for us.