This piece was sourced from the Asahi Shimbun/Reuters, 17 March.
The verbal attacks between India and Pakistan last month was on a razor edge as interventions by US officials, including National Security Advisor John Bolton, prevented this situation from escalating according to five sources.
As the discussions turned into heated debates, at one point, the Indian side threatened to fire at least six missiles at Pakistan, with Islamabad saying that it would return fire “three times over” as Western diplomats and in New Delhi, Islamabad and Washington confirmed. This most recent war of words has de-escalated for now.
Both nuclear-based countries lay claim to the Kashmir region as they have continued to fire threats at each other with the US standing between them. The ongoing battle between these two nations resulted in a air combat incident with an Indian pilot being captured by Pakistan. He was apparently treated well and returned to his country as a conciliatory gesture.
While the threat of firing missiles has triggered concern throughout Asia, the Indian and Pakistani intelligence agencies “were communicating with each other during the fight, and even now they are communicating with each other,” according to one minister.
Clearly several countries are involved to ensure cool heads win over, as some Asian counterparts, ministers, were able to confirm the threats of firing missiles. India flew in airstrikes last month that were targeting bases in Pakistan but Islamabad said that such a base did not exist as claimed by New Delhi.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo , called both sides and asked for both sides to seek a way out from the hostile situation. Remember that in 2001 and 2002 the US was forced to send officials to both India and Pakistan as the two countries amassed over 200,000 battle-ready troops on the border, in what seemed to be the start of a war. Also, in the late 90s, these two nuclear powers threatened each other by detonating weapons in what turned out to be an open show of strength.