The biggest threat in recent times to peace and security in the South Asian region was averted by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's unexpected air dash across the Atlantic to make Uncle Sam a promise: that he would ask the militants fighting the Indian army from Pakistan's side of line of control (LoC) to withdraw. With that promise ended the over two months of fierce fighting at the LoC, fighting that had taken a heavy toll on lives and finances, and which had threatened to spill over onto other fronts, with possibly the worst scenario of all, an all-out nuclear war.

For some, the whole scenario had been like watching a game of 'chicken' being played by two horned billy goats facing each other head-on atop a narrow mountain path, gnashing their teeth and pawing the earth with their hooves before beginning to gallop towards each other. A collision would mean certain disaster as they would both be knocked off the mountain path and be dashed to pieces in the ravine below. Which goat then would stop first? In this case, it was Pakistan. But it is chilling to think how close both came to hurtling down that ravine.

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Himal Southasian