Narendra Modi’s hopeful journey towards normalcy with Pakistan has now collapsed tragically into blood and recrimination. Like that of his predecessors, Modi’s outreach too was rewarded by state-supported violence that stymied his rapprochement agenda.
The recent Indian reprisals against terrorist launch pads were deliberately modest in their aims and execution, intended primarily to signal to domestic, Pakistani, and international audiences that New Delhi’s traditional restraint could not be taken for granted forever.
The prospect of stronger Indian responses to future Pakistani terrorism, however, naturally exacerbates international fears of war—even nuclear war—in the subcontinent. But the prophylactic to further conflict has always been clear, even if seemingly beyond reach: The Pakistan army must stop supporting terrorist groups as part of its confrontation with India.