The India- Pakistan rivalry goes as far back as the creation of both the states in 1947. Its history has been well documented and equally researched by scholars of international history, international relations and strategic studies. The acrimonious relationship has led both states to fight three wars and face several crises. The nuclearization of both states led to a transformation in the conflict by helping curb the potential for a full-blown war, at the same time increasing the recurrence of crises under the nuclear overhang. The PulwamaBalakot and Rajouri-Nowshera skirmish in early 2019 was a continuing manifestation of the same phenomenon, where the Indian politico-military elite tested Pakistan’s resolve by hitting targets in mainland Pakistan, under the flawed assessment of a likely weak Pakistani response and overconfidence that they would be able to control escalation.
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