War is a failure of diplomacy they say. Recent global tensions and conflicts are mutated manifestations of war where basic principles of diplomacy are being tested. In this context, the case of Pakistan and India is no different. When Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif took over the office, he expressed his desire for peaceful and cooperative ties with India in his response to Prime Minister Modi’s felicitations, but the ties since then have downgraded to more accusations and animosity. While Pakistan for the most part refrains from commenting on India’s bilateral matters, India seemed visibly upset over the US’s F-16 sustenance package to Pakistan. With this, the diplomatic offensive by India has led to a series of statements against Pakistan on international forums like the UN General Assembly sessions and the CICA. The acrimonious comments by India’s external affairs Minister did not go unnoticed by Pakistan either. This exchange of unpleasantries is not conducive to any dialogue. India has tactfully replaced the issue of Kashmir with terrorism as the main bone of contention with Pakistan. But terrorism nor Kashmir is what hinders India from coming to the table with Pakistan. It is India’s hegemonic and anti-Muslim stance under the BJP-led government. India’s extensive use of disinformation against Pakistan to frame it for terrorism in India is an extension of its Pakistan-containment policy where no evidence has ever surfaced for the claims made. India’s extensive use of disinformation against Pakistan to frame it for terrorism in India is an extension of its Pakistan-containment policy. Post Pulwama attack, Pakistan had asked India to share evidence but India chose not to cooperate despite the offer. Later in March, Pakistan averted a possible military escalation with India by restraining itself when a nuclear-capable BrahMos missile crashed inside its territory. The issue was raised by Pakistan with India in a reasonable manner through diplomatic channels where it questioned India’s safety measures regarding its missile systems. Had Pakistan not shown restraint despite its capability to intercept and launch a counterstrike it may have resulted in an escalation with India. Yet again, the new government in Pakistan expressed a hope to resume trade activities with India to meet the country’s needs but the decision was drawn later as India did not show similar interest; shutting down the repeated offer of diplomacy by Pakistan. India has over the years induced its general public against Pakistan and it has become evident by what India projects on its mainstream and social media. All this begs the question if there exists any diplomacy between Pakistan and India in its true meaning. Are both countries restraining or preparing for a possible escalation in the future? The constant cold war-like scenario between Pakistan and India is rather becoming normal for the two immediate neighbours. The political hostility between the two countries can be analysed by the state propaganda currently instilled within the Indian officials but it is also short of open warfare with Pakistan. India, as of now, has refused to share or discuss its concerns with Pakistan. India has instead generalised the context of terrorism in its diplomatic discourse and limited it, without proper context in one frame with Pakistan. Unlike Pakistan which has suffered from terrorism firsthand and delivered evidence of groups’ funding sources from India, India has never investigated those incidents at Pakistan’s request. Hence India’s perspective on terrorism has been different. Its only concern has been the clandestine militant group Jaish-e- Mohammad which it holds responsible for the attacks against Indian troops in occupied Kashmir. The relationship between Pakistan and India at this point has become peculiar and shadowed by accusations. Yet Pakistan and India hold representative offices in each other’s countries. These offices, perhaps remain the only symbolic representation of diplomacy that exists between Pakistan and India. But the commitment to diplomacy is a two-way process in itself. While diplomats are obligated to safeguard their national interest in the host state, they must use dialogue to negotiate a middle ground on policies of bilateral nature. The merits of diplomacy include persistent dialogues but more so sanguinity over shared concerns to reach an end-point to the dialogue. Diplomacy does not end during times of crisis, if it does; like in the case of previous military standoffs between Pakistan and India, it results in prolonged tension and at worst in an actual war. Traditional diplomacy is essential for de-escalation and revolves mostly around the general goodwill done by the states. But what India is practising can be categorised as operational diplomacy thus reflecting the strategic framework, where it has tasked its diplomatic assets to meet its overall foreign policy objections in the region. The hostility that exists by birth between the two countries adds to how India’s current policy toward Pakistan is drafted. The present scenario has made it difficult to even propose new confidence-building measures for the two countries to follow. Indian analysts and scholars stand by the state’s narrative against Pakistan at home and abroad while it is amplified by their media. The use of social media highlights the digitisation of diplomacy, which India uses to build its case of terrorism against Pakistan. But the option of climate diplomacy must be explored by the two counties, which, in return, may open up other CBM options. Pakistan and India may not be in a physical war at the moment, but they are involved in a perpetual cycle of mistrust and animosity, which can only be broken by adhering to diplomatic norms and language. But as the circumstances stand, diplomacy is failing, which may enable a repetition of tense events. The writer is an independent media and foreign policy analyst. She tweets @MsAishaK.