Activist and Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai on the Wednesday called for Pakistan and India’s prime ministers to sit down, shake hands and settle current conflict.
Author Fatima Bhutto, the grand daughter of former Pakistan Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, asked the Imran Khan government to release the Indian Air Force pilot captured after an air combat.
In a Twitter post hashtagged #SayNoToWar, Yousafzai said she was “alarmed” by the escalating tensions between the two countries.
“Everyone aware of the horrors of war would agree that retaliation and revenge is never the right response — once started, it rarely end,” she wrote.
The Indian pilot was captured on Wednesday after he ejected safely from his MiG 21 Bison aircraft but landed across the Line of Control.
India has demanded immediate and safe return of the Wing Commander, who was taken into custody by Pakistani army following a fierce engagement between air forces of the two sides along the Line of Control.
“I and many other young Pakistanis have called upon our country to release the captured Indian pilot as a gesture of our commitment to peace, humanity and dignity,” Bhutto, 36, wrote in an op-ed in the New York Times.
“We have spent a lifetime at war. I do not want to see Pakistani soldiers die. I do not want to see Indian soldiers die. We cannot be a subcontinent of orphans,” said Bhutto, a writer who is also niece of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
“My generation of Pakistanis have fought for the right to speak, and we are not afraid to lend our voices to that most righteous cause: peace,” said daughter of Murtaza Bhutto, son of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.
She said Pakistan’s recent history was bloody and no one has suffered more violence than its own citizens.
“But our long history with military dictatorships and experience of terrorism and uncertainty means that my generation of Pakistanis have no tolerance, no appetite, for jingoism or war,” she said.
Bhutto said like her, a large section of the population was against the escalation of tensions.
“I have never seen my country at peace with its neighbour. But never before have I seen a war played out between two nuclear-armed states with Twitter accounts,” Bhutto said.
In the afternoon on Wednesday, #saynotowar hashtag began to trend in Pakistan, before hitting the worldwide number 1 spot on Twitter.
Tensions between India and Pakistan rose following the 14 February terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district in which 40 CRPF soldiers were killed. Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror group claimed responsibility for the attack.
Following the incident, India bombed and destroyed JeM’s biggest training camp in Pakistan’s Balakot early Tuesday, killing a “very large number” of terrorists, trainers and senior commanders.
On Wednesday, Pakistan claimed it shot down two Indian fighter jets over Pakistani air space and arrested the pilot.
(With PTI inputs)