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Continued Crisis Management Necessary

The paramount interest for the United States and the world community is that two nuclear powers avoid war. The crisis in South Asia is no conference room simulation. And it is no kabuki theater show. It is a real, live scenario unfolding between two nuclear powers home to over 1.5 billion people.

As Prime Minister Khan warned earlier this week, the path to previous major calamitous wars was paved by miscalculation. India and Pakistan both clearly seek to avoid mutual annihilation, but nonstrategic, political calculuses combined with misreading the behavior, capabilities, and intentions of the other could put the two countries on the brink of the unthinkable.

To defuse the crisis and shift toward resolving the underlying issues, it would be a mistake to reduce it to an issue of counterterrorism.

Jaish-e Muhammad, a UN-proscribed terrorist organization based in Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the February 14 attack. Pakistan should take measures to curb the group’s operations—not only to comply with UN Security Council resolutions but also because the group has been a threat to Pakistan and tarnishes the legitimate Kashmiri struggle for self-determination.

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