For the last seventy years, the world’s superpowers and their subservient institutions such as the United Nations have failed to grant the Kashmiri masses any respite. In a startling confession, the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres publicly washed his hands of any responsibility to promote a dialogue between India and Pakistan that would pave the way for the resolution of the Kashmir conflict. On January 18th he said: “I’ve been offering my good offices in relation to the dialogue between the two countries that, until now, had no conditions of success.” It’s only mass uprisings by the Kashmiri people that have shaken the occupation forces. The militant movement that started in 2016 defied India’s 750,000 troops and even won support from Indian students, workers, academics and left political activists. Most world powers have their economic and diplomatic interests aligned to a larger India, in terms of markets and potential for exploitation. Even Pakistan’s dearest friend China has partially supported the Indian narrative. On 27th February, without referring to the Indian Air Force’s cross-border strikes in Balakot on the previous day, China’s foreign minister Wang Yi said that it was “especially important to eradicate the breeding grounds of terrorism and extremism”. Arundhati Roy wrote onthe recent escalation of the conflict: “The country might be poised on the edge of a war with Pakistan or more likely against the people of Kashmir…the Modi government was making moves to push the country into a war-like situation to make the people forget the myriad oppressions the current regime had inflicted on them. The Modi government had promised to create two crore jobs every year. But unemployment was skyrocketing. One per cent of rich Indians had wealth equivalent to the combined wealth of 71% of the population.” By exacerbating the economic and social onslaught by India’s coercive capitalism upon the masses, the Modi regime has aggravated a greater mass resentment. The world’s so-called “largest democracy” has the largest concentration of poverty in the world. Wars and conflicts are systematically used to obscure the working people’s revulsion and their growing revolt against the system. In such frenzied periods of aggravated hostility, the bosses inflict further attacks on the living standards of the working class. Despite his Hindutva chauvinist hysteria, Modi might still end up losing the election If the rulers of India have exploitedthe tension of this military confrontation to attack the ordinary people, so too their Pakistani counterparts have also not been lagging. Just during these two weeks of these sharpened hostilities, they have drastically increased the prices of petroleum products, gas and electricity. The inflation rate has shot up to a record 8.2 percent. Once again, the economic costs of this war hysteria will be laid upon the shoulders of the ordinary people of the two countries. Despite his Hindutva chauvinist hysteria, Modi might still end up losing the election. But the threat of war and devastation for the almost two billion inhabitants of south Asia will linger on. Without this state of enmity and hatred, the rule of the elites would be precarious. There would be no justification for the massive military arsenals and expenditures of both sides. Hence the region’s elite and the top brass have a vital stake in maintaining this mutual hostility. At the same time, the imperialists and their military-industrial complexes extort huge profits from their arms sales to India and Pakistan. However, their heavy investments in these countries that extract billions from the sweat and blood of the region’s workers and resources are also put at risk by the threat of an actual all-out war. It’s one thing to start a war, but something totally different to contain once it unravels. History is witness to the fact that from the wombs of wars often arise revolutions. The First World War was brought to an end by a chain of mutinies and uprisings culminating in the Russian revolution. The aftermath of the Second World War saw the revolutionary uprisings throughout Asia, Europe and beyond. The Chinese revolution of 1949 was perhaps the second greatest event in history. In the united India of that time, the revolution of 1946 spearheaded by the sailors of the Royal Indian Navy could easily have changed the course of world history. The Indo-Pak war of 1965 was followed by the eruption of the 1968-69 revolution in Pakistan, and even after her victory in the 1971 war Indira Gandhi was later overthrown by an upsurge of the Indian masses. Serious experts of the ruling classes are worried at the prospect of such outcomes; hence they try to avoid wars. But the social and economic turbulence that arises from the crisis of their rotting capitalist system forces the ruling class to maintain warlike conditions to divert the class struggle and forestall the danger of revolution. This dilemma of the ruling classes is an inevitable outcome of their obsolete system. Hence, to expect any profound or lasting peace within the confines of the present systemwould be a delusion and its propagation a deception. Lenin wrote on May 14, 1917: “All wars are inseparable from the political systems that engender them. The policy which a given state, a given class within that state, pursued for a long time before the war is inevitably continued by that same class during the war, the form of action alone being changed… Nothing but a workers’ revolution in several countries can defeat this war. The war is not a game, it is an appalling thing taking toll of millions of lives, and it is not to be ended easily.” The current hysteria can backfire sooner rather than later. The misery, deprivation, bloodshed and poverty perpetuated by this system after seventy years of so-called independence has left the masses in agony and rage. There is a seething revolt against this system below the surface. The ruling classes cannot crush the working classes under this millstone of bigoted frenzy, loathing and wars. Paradoxically these could boomerang intothe eruption of a mass movement with the class war coming to the forefront throughout the subcontinent. In such conditions the nationalistic and religious hatreds will be swept asunder once the masses arise in revolt on the basis of class unity. A victorious socialist revolution will not only change the socio-economic system and the character of the state; it will also transform geographical impositionsand the course of history- uniting the oppressed of the whole region into a socialist federation of South Asia. The writer is the editor of Asian Marxist Review and International Secretary of Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign Published in Daily Times, March 6th 2019.