As India and Pakistan inch closer to war, the people of the two countries are making clear on social media that they're not on board, with the hashtag #SayNoToWar trending in both countries.
Indians and Pakistanis are urging caution from their leaders as the situation inches closer to war, turning to Twitter to get the message out.
A heartening message from the other side of the border.— Ram Subramanian (@VORdotcom) February 27, 2019
What i don't understand is how come governments of both nations even think about conflict when there is so much love and respect between people of both lands? How? That too in this time and day of internet/ Social Media? https://t.co/J0tAKJQKXT
Those cheering the loudest for war are sitting the farthest from the battlefield #SayNoToWar— Babsé (@roses_for_chae) February 27, 2019
The prevalence of the hashtag in India, said Pakistani actor Farhan Saeed, "clearly shows that even Indian public is not ready to play in hands of [Indian Prime Minister Narendra] Modi who is just trying to run his dirty election campaign at the cost of it's[sic] nation's blood."
#Saynotowar trends no 1 in India, clearly shows that even Indian public is not ready to play in hands of Modi who is just trying to run his dirty election campaign at the cost of it's nation's blood. #peacenotwar— Farhan Saeed (@farhan_saeed) February 27, 2019
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"We are on the brink of a war that nobody in their right mind in either Pakistan or India want," said ESPN India presenter Raunak Kapoor.
We are on the brink of a war that nobody in their right mind in either Pakistan or India want. Imran Khan's words should be welcomed. Encourage dialogue, commit to deescalation. Anyone who thinks otherwise should for a moment swap places with Abhinandan & his family #SayNoToWar— Raunak Kapoor (@RaunakRK) February 27, 2019
Elsewhere, peace advocates asked for calm before it was too late. International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, in a statement, pleaded with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to de-escalate tensions.
"India and Pakistan must end their border clash before it engulfs the world," said the group’s Indian co-president Dr. Arun Mitra. "Leaders from both sides must sit down to finally resolve their issues peacefully at the negotiating table and to take immediate steps to reduce and eliminate the threat that their nuclear weapons pose to all humanity."
Two Indian jets were shot down by Pakistan and one pilot, Abhinandan Varthaman, was taken into custody Wednesday.
He is being treated well here. We assure Abhinandan's wife that his husband is with thorough gentleman right now, as he has stated in his video message too. #AbhinandanVarthaman #Abhinandan #PeaceNotWar #Peace #WeWantPeace #SayNoToWar https://t.co/6g43hXLFc2— Madiha Abid Ali (@MadihaAbidAli) February 27, 2019
The capture came amid weeks of tension between the countries and followed an Indian incursion into Pakistan-controlled Kashmir territory on Tuesday.
But efforts for peace may be having an effect. Pakistani Prime Minister Khan issued a request for dialogue to the Indian people Wednesday and the #SayNoToWar hashtag’s popularity in both countries indicates there may not be much appetite for conflict from the Indian or Pakistani people.