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Indo-Pak Relations and Peace of the region.

Saif Ullah

Sir Yasir Hayat

Institute of Management sciences,

January 20, 2016

1. Introduction ..................................................................................................... 3
2. History and Mutual Disputes .......................................................................... 4
3. Conclusions/ Recommendations ...................................................................... 7
4. Suggestions...................................................................................................... 8

India -Pakistan Relations and Peace and Prosperity of
the Region

The history of political rivalries and military conflicts between Pakistan and India has put a lot of
economic strain on both of the countries. However, if they apply the principle of co-existence, as
a guiding principle to their relationship, tensions can be elevated and some normalcy could be
achieved in their relationship. Immediately after independence, both the countries indulged in
confrontations and joined different security alliances against each other. This resulted in animosity
of both states towards each other. Only the academic and intellectual exchanges and socio-cultural
coordination can help in bringing peace to the region by settling of disputes and bringing mutual
harmony between the two.

1. Introduction
India and Pakistan, as two neighboring countries and vast resources have not yet attained the
degree of economic development, peace and prosperity. The pull of complex history as also kept
the two countries from establishing cordial relations. The bumpy relationship of both the major
countries of the subcontinent has also contributed to the rise in wars, extremism, devastation,
poverty and instability in the South Asia. One such example is the failure of SAARC in achieving
its goals. SAARC was established in 1985 to develop socio-cultural and economic ties among the
member states but it has made little progress in building solid relations between India and Pakistan.

Both the countries thus need to realize the damage done to whole region because of their action
and understand that peace and prosperity in the region can only be brought through building of
friendly ties instead of becoming a battleground for proxy wars of superpowers. Also, being
members of the lethal arms race, both states cannot afford more wars. Such pursuits can only lead
to complete annihilation of both the countries. A glance at the world history shows us that only
through the adoption of the principal of live and let live, Europe succeeded in solving its issues
and in bringing peace and prosperity among states after the large scale wars of the past 200 years.

South Asia has been one of the most politically-unstable parts of the world and this situation has
paved way for foreign actors and superpowers to fulfill their agenda and use the region for their

proxy wars. The benefits from the political and military rivalry between India and Pakistan have
been gained by others, time and again. Both the countries have remained at loggerheads since
independence of 1947. Throughout the history there have also been many occasions for peaceful
resolution of disputes- whether they be during the cold war era or after the devastating event of
9/11, but somehow mutual hostility continues to date. In the aftermath of the currently concluded
China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) between China and Pakistan, both the neighboring
countries, have opted to oppose the interests of each other and have sided with rival blocks. Due
to this increased animosity both counties have been paying a high price in the form of high defense
budgets rather than on poverty eradication. This trend and mindset is rooted in their post-colonial

The conflict between India and Pakistan has its roots in the bad decisions of the colonial power
especially regarding Kashmir and Radcliffe Award. Lord Mountbatten, the first Governor-General
of independent India (Bharat) assisted them to absorb princely States by hook or crook with which
deep seed of enmity were sown. The deep animosity culminated into conspiracies to destabilize
each other. Bangladesh was created in 1971 as a result of such conspiracies on part of India against
Pakistan. India providing political, financial and military support to the secessionists of Bengal.
On the other hand India too has security issues and puts the blame on Pakistan for any unpleasant
incident inside its western border. She calls it cross border terrorism. No wonder both are living
in a state of fear, terror and backlash from each other which. In the midst of all these conflict,
common man on both sides of the border has been paying the price by facing ignominy, poverty
and unemployment because their countries are allocating more on defense budgets than on health
and education.

2. History and Mutual Disputes

History of conflict between India and Pakistanis starts with the partition of the subcontinent in
1947. Disputes over Kashmir, assets distribution, distribution of water, wars of 1948,1965, 1971,
Indian atomic explosion in 1974 and counter blasts of Pakistan, Siachen, Brasstacks, Kargil war,
and attacks on Indian parliament, and Bombay etc., led the two farther and farther away from each
other. However, the territorial dispute over Kashmir is the major bone of contention between India
and Pakistan. The 3rd June Plan 1947 also termed as the handiwork of Lord Mountbatten by some,
has contributed in leaving the subcontinent in conflicts. It left a legacy of disputes because it

partitioned not only India but also divided Punjab and Bengal which also defined the future of
princely states. The Radcliffe Award provided an opening to India as Lord Mountbatten helped
get a land access to Kashmir to appease Jawaharlal Nehru. The princely States were to decide their
future keeping in view of geographical location and desires of their population. However the
designs of the Hindu Raja Hari Singh allowed the Indian Government to occupy Kashmir by use
of military force. After few months of its creation Pakistan encountered war with India because of
Kashmir Issue and thus a history of wars was initiated.

Another dispute is about the Siachen Glacier- the largest glacier of world, which India suddenly
and swiftly captured in 1984. It has claimed the lives of thousands of soldiers on both sides because
of frost-bite and other diseases along with mindless killings. Sir Creek, a 60 miles alternating strip
of water channels between Pakistan and India, is another old disputed land. Sir Creek strip has
more economic importance than military.

Non-territorial clashes like water issues including the Wullar Barrage, Kishanganga Hydropower
project are also bones of contention between the two countries. India is constructing a series of
dams in the Indian-occupied Kashmir and thereby seriously violating the Indus Water Treaty
concluded in 1960. Cross-border terrorism has become a major hurdle in peace process as both the
countries put blames on each other for the unpleasant incidents. On one hand India blames Pakistan
for involvement in Indian Parliament incident and Bombay attacks, on the other hand Pakistan also
holds Indian non state actors and secret agencies responsible for uprisings in Baluchistan and
Karachi. The lack of a convincing mechanism to address their issues has hindered the negotiations
process on all fronts.

The Indian atrocities in the occupied Kashmir and the violation of the UN Security Council
resolution-which allowed the right of self-determination to the Kashmiris, has failed to suppress
the Kashmiri people. Indian army employs all resources without caring for level of brutality and
Human Rights violation. Apart from their own mutual conflicts-both territorial and non-territorial,
the unnecessary involvement of both countries in Afghanistan has further hindered any
development towards peace. In fact, post 9/11 period has brought more challenges to the peace
and stability of Pakistan and India has exploited this situation by terming the freedom movement
of Kashmiris as global violence. The Indo-American partnership and Americas promise to India

of help getting her UNSC seat has rung a new bell of alarm for Pakistan and it has immense
reservations about the intentions of US in the region.

India miss no opportunity in blaming Pakistan -be it an attack on Samjhota Express, assault on
Indian parliament, the infamous Mumbai attacks and recent Pathankot attack-regardless of the fact
at many occasions it was proven that its own residents or state authorities were involved in such
deadly incidents.

Failure of all the peace talks between governments of the two countries, have made South Asia
one of the most militarized areas in the world. Their mutual mistrust and attempts to destabilize
each other have ruined the peace process. Every time peace talks begin, some unseen hand and
non-state actors who want to sabotage the efforts play a hand and destroys the stabilization process.
As a result a new blame-game begins between the two accusing one another of responsibility of
past events. Usually it is India who despite of all the international pressure, always use its
diplomatic tricks to abandon negotiation offers made by Pakistan and refuse from two-sided talks.

During the cold war era where Pakistan served as an ally of the US, India exploited both the USSR
and the US to fulfill its own agenda. Although it claimed to be non-aligned, its ties with USSR
were an open secret. The end of cold war era was a harbinger of the US as a superpower and the
world as a uni-polar stage.

Without gaining much of strategic advantages, Pakistan has received a double blow from the war
on terror. On one hand, it has destroyed Pakistans national integration and resulted in violation of
social contract, on the other it has been subjected to cross border terrorism due to Indian
involvement in Baluchistan through Afghanistan- Pakistan borders. After cold war era, the incident
of 9/11 again divided the world on the basis of anti-Islam phobia. Being the neighboring Muslim
country to Afghanistan, Pakistan was left with no choice but to join the war on terrorism or to face
music from the Allied forces and become a victim of their onslaught. India on the other hand,
willfully offered its land and military to suppress Al-Qaeda hideouts in Afghanistan. India used
the opportunity of access into Afghanistan, for materializing its contemptuous designs against

Even though the peace efforts have been of not much success, still since the beginning peace efforts
have been made at three levels-bilateral, multilateral and UN mediation-to bring harmony in the

region especially between India and Pakistan. Some of the efforts are; the Mountbattens personal
efforts, Nehru-Liaqat pact, reference of Kashmir issue to UN etc. Many neutral mediators have
also played a key role in conflict resolution between the two. In this regard one can refer to the
Indus water treaty which was the result of efforts of the UN and the World Bank or to the Tashkent
declaration which was mediated by the USSR. The Simla Accord (1972) between Indra Gandhi
and Z. A. Bhutto (1971-77) is an example of the willingness of leaders of both countries in settling
their disputes through dialogues, but this strategy has not proved fruitful so far. Lahore Declaration
in 1999 is another example of such efforts by the leaders of two countries but again the efforts
were thwarted by Kargil war halted.

During Musharrafs regime, in 2004, peace talks were restored through the 12th SAARC summit
held in Islamabad in which president Musharraf extended a red-carpet welcome to Indian Prime
Minister, Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee. This time talks suffered a blow from various incidents in India
including the explosion on Samjhuta express train in 2007 and the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Recently
the Pathankot attack and Uri attacks in 2016 have resulted in a new wave of tension at the eastern
border and the LOC. They have also resulted in diplomatic tension between the two countries.
Pakistans Prime Minister, Mr. Nawaz Sharif last year in his speech at the UNGA also made it
clear that without discussion on Kashmir issue no talks will be entertained by Pakistan. Also the
boycott of SAARC conference to be held on 15-16 November 2016, in Islamabad and the Indian
efforts to sabotage the CPEC project of Pakistan and China have further intensified the situation.

All the above discussion make one thing clear that both the countries have failed in developing
confidence on the sincere intentions of the other side, despite a number of positive confidence
building measures (CBM).

3. Conclusions/ Recommendations
It is a known and time proven fact that nothing has beats the power of people. Whenever people
have united for a common cause they have accomplished it. Same goes for the self-determination.
Although the time period for the struggle varies, the ultimate result is same. No oppression can
keep the people from achieving their goal. The Kashmir issue is another such example of the
strength of people where decades of Indian atrocities could not stop the Kashmiris from their
struggle. For a peaceful coexistence of Pakistan and India, Kashmir issue must be resolved before
it resulted in a bigger bloodbath. The resolution of Kashmir issue according to the will of Kashmiri

people can not only make India a strong and popular candidate for the membership of Security
Council but India and Pakistan can truly come closer. Besides, water issues are also connected
with the Kashmir Issue. Hence when the major issue of Kashmir is solved other small disputes
will most likely be automatically solved as well.

The U-turn policies of US in support of India against China will never allow the region to get
stability and prosperity. US open support of India in nuclear arms race, the sudden friendly ties
with Iran and stationing of some units of the US troops in Afghanistan after the NATO forces
evacuation of Afghanistan are all efforts on part of the US to prevent China from becoming a
superpower. Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is called a game-changer because it is
considered to bring economic prosperity in Pakistan, but is wrongly felt by India that it may alter
the balance of power in the region and may be in the world. India has failed to see the importance
of the project for the whole region. All the efforts of the US to make India stronger and the
construction of Chahbahar port will only disrupt the balance of power in the region and also further
strain the Pak-India relations.

4. Suggestions
Following are some of the suggestions that could help in development of working relationship
between the two states.

It is important that the two parties look beyond any negative incident(s), which wont stop anyway,
to gain prosperity. The negotiations should be resumed with the aim to not stop even at the
occurrence of an unpleasant event. Only negotiations with such commitment can result in long-
term positive relations otherwise if contacts are terminated at every negative incident then no
power on earth can make these two countries good neighbors benefitting their population.

Following recommendations can prove helpful for a peaceful coexistence of the two countries:

1. Both the countries should abandon the colonial and postcolonial legacies which are hindrances
in moving forward towards closer relations.

2. As Kashmir issue has already caused three wars between the two countries, the issue is the bone
of contention between the two countries and needs to be given priority among other disputes. Once
solved, this issue can lead to the solution of many other territorial and water disputes.

3. History of the world and also the world wars have proved to the world that the best way to solve
disputes is through the process of negotiations. And that all disputes are eventually solved through
negotiations and not on the battleground.

4. Non-interference should be the cardinal principle between the two. Both should accept the
sovereign rights of the other and respect each others sovereignty to end hostility, destruction,
slavery to foreign powers and poverty trap. It is better to solve ones own problems rather than
continuously causing troubles for each other, which are not going to solve anything anyway, rather
intensifying them.

5. Third party mediation, UN Security Council resolution must be respected if bilateral dialogues
prove unfruitful in bringing the desired positive results.

6. Multilateral dialogues should also be considered and started.

7. Bilateral socio-cultural and trade links between both the countries can bring a lot of gains to

8. Both sides must respect the Indus Water Treaty and also efficiently deal with the water crises.
More people to people contact across the LoC in Kashmir can also help in bridging the gap between
the two countries.

9. It must be understood that in such an age of nuclear arms, there might be no concept of restricted
war left. Any war between the two nuclear countries can only lead to mass destruction. Thus no
support should be provided to the ideas of restricted war, surgical airstrikes or Cold Start.

10. Dialogues or backdoor diplomacy must be active.

All the above points and suggestions if considered and adopted during their intercourse with one
another can set the two countries on tracks of prosperity. They can lay the foundation for secure,
stable and peaceful conditions in the Subcontinent, which can lead to a more tranquil world.
Although the current scenario shows us a gloomy picture of the relationships of India and Pakistan,
the hope for a friendly and peaceful future cannot be ignored. The task may be very challenging at
the present, but, there is still optimism for better future of South Asia if above-mentioned principles
of coexistence are accepted and incorporated in letter and spirit.