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Factors In Indian And Pakistan Relations History Essay

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

1. India and Pakistan emerged on the world map as independent countries in 1947 when the partition of Indian subcontinent took place, after a bloody separation. Even after a common history of thousand years of Hindu- Muslim coexistence, the two communities could not act united for attaining independence. People of the sub-continent, due to emotional, religious & political factors, discarded their shared past and common heritage to become two estranged neighbours, continuously adversarial to each other. Few factors, as mentioned below, including the burden of history can be identified as sources of differences resulting in enduring enmity between the two countries [1] :-

(a) Clash of opposing ideologies in the conflict between the diametrically opposed philosophical systems of Islam and Hinduism.

(b) Pakistan’s fear of India’s sheer size and the economic and strategic asymmetry between the two countries.

(c) Legacy of misperceptions and culture of mistrust spawned by the trauma of partition. Brinkmanship and a rhetorical style of leadership in both nations reinforce the existing trust deficit.

(d) The unresolved issue of Kashmir. Pakistan’s perception is that it is an incomplete state without Kashmir being incorporated in it. [2] India perceives Kashmir’s accession and integration as an essential element of its secular and federal democratic structure.

(e) Total absence of or strong resistance to mutual interdependence between the two states in spite of numerous agreements to enhance commercial, cultural and social interaction between the two countries.

(f) Leadership that set up Pakistan were not home-grown. Leaders such as LA Khan and MA Jinnah belonged to Haryana and Gujarat respectively, hence did not identify with the region.

(g) Relentless comparison with India and its quest for parity, instead of sovereign equality with India has led Pakistan to its problems.

(h) Crisis for identity for Pakistan, for what it stands for. Although formed on the basis of religion, one third of Muslims of India remained back in Indian Republic. [3] It thus emphasised on Islamic identity for its creation.

2. By identifying the roots of Pakistan’s gradual evolution since its birth, our understanding of the policy decisions taken by the government and the factors influencing them would be better. Such an analysis could form the basis of a more robust policy response to mitigate the threat posed by a nuclear-armed Pakistan. Also few other historical factors as mentioned below have had a telling effect on Indo-Pak relations-

(a) Indo-Pak Wars, including the Kargil conflict. Both 1947-48 and 1965 wars were a result of Pakistan’s effort to annexe the state of J&K. [4] This act of aggression had met with a restrained response from India. Although having a clear military superiority, & greater ability to sustain a long drawn battle, yet India chose to agree to the termination of the war at the earliest. The 1971 war was thrust upon India due to the violence spilling over into India. The war led to the creation of Bangladesh, and a complete defeat of Pakistan. The 1999 Kargil conflict emerged when Pak-supported jihadis and Pakistan Army regulars moved across the LOC in J&K. The crisis was defused between the two nuclear states after the insurgents were retreated and the heights recaptured by the Indians. Three other crises had global implications, namely Indian ‘Brasstacks’ military manoeuvres (1987), Kashmir turmoil (1990) & Border confrontation (2001-2002). Various regional conflicts between India and Pakistan are summarised as Appendix A [5] .

(b) Two nation theory. Religion formed the basis of Pakistan, and a secular democracy with a federal structure to cater to linguistic, regional and ethnic aspirations, with equal rights to all in a socialist pattern, the basis of India. Pakistan was born after an offensive jihad, led by Muslim Party League on the rationale of homeland for Muslims. It stated that a democracy where majority of non-muslims to decide the fate of Muslims can’t be advocated. [6] Also the Muslim majority of Punjab, Sindh and NWFP which formed the demography of Pakistan did not support partition.

(c) India focussed on building infrastructure & high quality education. Pakistan gave prominence to religious scholarships and less to fields of science and tech. This gave the clerics unmatched control and authority over communities. It also chose to ignore opportunities for development.

(d) In 1956, Pakistan became an Islamic Republic, after adaptation of its constitution. In 1962, the Pakistani government established Council of Islamic Ideology to ensure that the laws enacted were in conformance with sharia. Embracing modern education and equitable tax revenue system were discouraged. With the rich and wealthy not paying taxes, Pakistan has descended to an economic stagnation.

(e) Feudal system was abolished very early after independence in India, but no such land reforms were affected in Pakistan.

External Factors

3. Sino-Pak strategic alliance. China’s nuclear warhead and missile technology nexus with Pakistan has been a cause of major strategic concern. By giving Pakistan nuclear warhead technology and highly enriched uranium, by gifting fully assembled M-9 and M-11 nuclear capable ballistic missiles to Pakistan and by facilitating North Korea’s transfer of No Dong and Taepo Dong missiles to Pakistan, China has irreversibly changed the geo-strategic equation in South Asia by propping up Pakistan as a challenger to India. It could be argued that a Chinese missile program is running in Pakistan, rather than the other way.

4. China and Pakistan’s “all-weather” friendship is reflected in Chinese President Hu Jintao’s words, “higher than the mountains and deeper than the oceans”. Under a treaty of “Friendship, Cooperation and Good Neighbourly Relations”, signed during Premier Wen Jiabao’s 2005 tour, China has guaranteed Pakistan’s territorial integrity. Had it not been for the cover provided by its nuclear shield, an internally unstable and economically failing Pakistan would have been in no position to wage a proxy war against India in Jammu and Kashmir through its mercenaries.

5. The collusive nuclear-missile-military hardware nexus between China and Pakistan poses a great challenge to India. China is known to have provided direct assistance to Pakistan for its nuclear weapons programme, [7] including nuclear warhead designs and enough highly enriched uranium (HEU) for at least two nuclear bombs. China transferred dual-use technology and materials for the development of nuclear weapons to Pakistan. China has also helped Pakistan to build a secret reactor to produce weapons-grade plutonium at the Chashma nuclear facility. China and Pakistan have jointly developed a fighter aircraft – JF-17 Thunder/ FC-1 Fierce – and a MBT- Al Khalid, besides other military hardware like anti-tank missiles. Pakistan’s collusion with China has been of an unnerving factor for India, specially the ‘string of pearls’ effort of China to encircle India.

6. Pakistan is hence an extension of China’s emergence of power in the region [8] . Out of 13 million aids it received from the US, 9 billion was used to buy platforms and missiles from China. There is also a new emerging balance of power situation, including Pakistan, China, Iran and Turkey.

Internal and external factors affecting Pakistan

7. Sovereignty. The concept of sovereignty is in jeopardy in the nation-state of Pakistan. One is led to such an inference due to the chain of events since the loss of Tora Bora. The gradual fading away of sovereignty in Pakistan commenced once the US-led NATO forces failed to apprehend Osama, who was believed to have crossed over to Pakistan, allegedly still residing there, in either Quetta, North Waziristan or in Karachi. The concept of sovereignty lying with the people can hardly be affirmed in these circumstances.

8. US-Pakistan alliance. This relationship has been a ‘fair weather’ one. Pakistan has had to go through a series of dictates by its dominant partner in the ‘war on terror’ which, it has unenthusiastically joined. US pressures on Pak to expand its war, or allow US to directly attack Afghan Taliban leaders in Baluchistan has led to severe resentment amongst the Pakistani Army and people. Well-coordinated Taliban attacks on supply convoys has been a successful ploy employed by the ISI to extract its compensation from the US, both in terms of military and financial aid for Pakistan’s assistance in the US’ war on terror. US policymakers acknowledge that Pakistanis a greater problem than Afghanistan [9] . The frequent incursions of the US-NATO forces and drones inside Pakistani territory in search of insurgents and the killing of some Pakistani forces in the process raises serious doubts on the level of legitimacy of the present civil dispensation in Pakistan. The strategic alliance formed after 1954 is showing signs of strain.

9. ISI-Military combine. There is no refuting the fact that the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) – military nexus has always been a powerful coterie in Pakistan. It has in fact held the reins of government, either overtly or covertly. So, has the military-ISI combo been dominated by the Americans? Or is it simply lying latent for the time being and pushing the civilian administration toward the American guillotine? Pakistan has been described as an army which possesses a state, rather than the other way. Gen Kayani firmly believes that US needs him more than he needs the Americans [10] . The General has also stated that he is India-centric and considers India a greater existential threat to Pakistan than Taliban.

10. Ops in Western Pakistan. A year back, South Waziristan saw the Pakistan Army launching a major ground offensive to flush out militancy. It also got entangled in Swat and presently is consolidating its position in those regions. But the US-NATO forces are pressurising them to conduct a major operation in North Waziristan where the kingpins are supposedly hiding. As Pakistan is not exhibiting much resolve to go ahead with offensive operations in the area, citing commitments in South Waziristan and Swat, the Americans have taken up the cudgels,  going ahead with their ‘hot pursuits’ across the Durand Line.

11. Role of ISI. Even after the indictment of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in the ‘war on terror’ & its complicity in Afghanistan, the ISI goes on playing the ‘two timing game’ unabated. This is because any punitive measure against the jihadis infers more fidayeen attacks on its major cities and hence destabilisation. Pakistan is moving on the uncharted path of a ‘failed state’. Thus, it is sheer existential compulsion which has forced the military-led ISI to double-cross the Americans. If ISI’s tactics have to be historically analyzed, its policy in pursuit of deception and evil has accrued some temporary gains. In 2008, after orchestrating the Mumbai terror attacks, as clearly revealed by the Headley investigations and the Wikileaks; the ISI had gone into a silent-cum-planning mode in 2009. This year, the ISI has gone into an overdrive, especially in J&K, and their sinister activities to foment unrest in the Valley found some resonance among the separatists whom they have nurtured and funded for years.

12. Pakistan’s Dual Policy. Pakistan continues with its traditional policy of running with the hares (the Afghani Taliban) and hunting with the hounds (US). It continues to assist the Talibani Pashtuns and the Haqqani network in Afghanistan as part of its eternal “strategic depth” assets in Afghanistan. It has left no stone unturned to oust Afghan President Hamid Karzai from Kabul. However it challenges the Pak-Taliban, challenging the Pakistan state. Similarly, in the Indo-Pak context, it continues to tacitly support the terrorists emanating from its borders, and meanwhile expects India to resume its dialogue in finalizing the Kashmir issue. The CBMs hence loses its relevance.

13. Pakistan at the cross-roads. On one hand, it has an uncomfortable ally: the US. On the other, it will be difficult for it to alienate the Haqqani or the Taliban and consequently the Al Qaeda. Furthermore, the paranoia of an Indian threat is almost pathological with the Pakistani establishment. In such a scenario, it becomes imperative for the civil-military complex to set the house in order. Nonetheless, who wields the real authority in Pakistan? What is the role of Zardari, Gilani, General Ashfaq Kayani and the ISI? India, on its part has to engage with the civilian government, which has a very limited authority & role in the national security of Pakistan.

Pakistan’s strategic Anxieties

14. There are three broad objectives of Pakistan: relevance as a prominent actor in the region, national survival and refusal to be marginalised by India. Its intense rivalry and competition has made Pakistan India-phobic. It interprets the Indian foreign policy as aimed at encircling Pakistan. India’s presence in Afghanistan, air base at Tajikistan and investments in Iranian port of Chabadar [11] is seen as developments hostile to its interests. Moreover, Pakistan has to balance strategically on both its eastern and western sides and deal with the increasing internal strife and instabilities. India’s growing economic power and its quest for inducting new military platforms & hardware worries Pakistan. It fears that US which is a long time ally would turn against it and join forces with India. Indo-US Nuclear deal is felt to be discriminatory against Pakistan by appeasing India which is not a NPT signatory. Added to this is the decreasing international support of Pakistani grievances, related to J&K, terrorism and effects and costs of Afghan wars on it, after its complicity in 26/11 and 9/11.

Major Irritants in India-Pakistan Relations

15. The composite dialogue process which started between India and Pakistan in 1998, resumed in 2004. It came to a halt after the Mumbai carnage. Major irritants of worry between the two countries existing in the present are:-

16. Jammu and Kashmir. The continuance of the ceasefire along the LoC augurs well for relations between the two countries, and has led to the return of tourism to the Valley, which has also revived hopes of an economic resurgence in the region. The bus services across the LoC have indicated the willingness of both countries to work on this issue [12] . J&K has become more integrated with the national mainstream. Although no noticeable progress has been made yet, the CBMs have paved the way for reconciliation. In 2006, President Musharraf had made a proposal which included demilitarization of the region, self-governance, and so on. But, India did not agree; it argued that before any such measures are undertaken, there must be a complete stoppage of terrorist activities in the region. Both sides want to resolve the issue, but the resistance comes from hardliners in Pakistan, who feel any cooperation would be a concession to India.

17. Siachen. The demilitarization of Siachen is an issue from 1984, when India occupied the glacier. The genesis of the conflict lies in the formulation of the cease-fire line (CFL) defined in the 29 July 1949 Karachi Agreement following the first India-Pakistan war. In this agreement, the Truce Subcommittee of the UN Commission for India and Pakistan did not explicitly delineate [13] the CFL all the way to the international border with China. The text of this agreement defines the CFL in this area as running, thence north to the glaciers.” Demarcation of the CFL revealed that there was no place or village named Khor from which the CFL could be fixed. This point is commonly referred to as NJ 9842.2 After the 1971 War, India and Pakistan agreed to retain territory captured across the CFL. These changes were recognized in the Simla Agreement of 1972, where the 1949 CFL was replaced with a new ‘LoC’. As in the 1949 and 1965 cease-fire agreements, the LOC was not delineated or demarcated beyond NJ 9842 because there had been no combat in this area and no troops were then deployed there. This ambiguity in the text ultimately led to the current conflict. The Indian interpretation of the statement is that the LOC should run north-easterly from NJ 9842 along the Saltoro Range to the Chinese border. The Pakistani interpretation is that the LOC should run from NJ 9842 straight to the Karakoram Pass (KKP) on the India- China border.

18. PM Manmohan Singh’s public expression of hope of converting world’s highest battlefield, into a ‘mountain of peace’ had generated possible resolution. With failure to reach any agreement on this issue, the issue has reached an impasse. India has urged that any agreement on this issue could only follow recognition of the Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL). Pakistan differs here, for such a position would require it to give up territory, specifically the Saltoro ridge. It would like the position on the ground to revert to the pre-1984 status. Pakistan, objected to Indian Army hosting a civilian trek in 2007, since it considers the area to be an active war zone. Due to these differences there has been no forward movement in talks on Siachen.

19. Terrorism. The issue of state sponsored cross-border terrorism aided by Pakistan is the core Indian issue. Terrorist attack incidents by Pakistan-based elements have continued unabated. After the series of train blasts in Mumbai in July 2006, India suspended the foreign secretary level talks. However, the process resumed after a summit meeting between Manmohan Singh and Musharraf. Subsequently, the creation of the Joint Anti-Terrorism Mechanism (JATM) marked a sea change in India’s position on the issue, moving from consideration of Pakistan from being the perpetrator, to becoming a partner. However after the 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai, India decided to freeze the talks till Pakistan does not take credible steps to stop terror from its side and bring the perpetrators to justice.

20. Tulbul Navigation Project/ Wullar Barrage. This project located on the Jhelum river in J&K has been the cause of disagreement since 1984, when India first proposed building a barrage at the mouth of the Wullar lake, near the town of Sopore in the Valley. The dispute arose when Pakistan alleged that this barrage would critically hinder the flow to Pakistan and violate the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) of 1960. India assured that building the barrage was for making the river navigable in the summer months. Pakistan was unsuccessful in proving its case to the IWT Commission in 1986. India thus, went ahead with the construction on the project. Since then, even after more than ten rounds of talks on the issue, not much has been resolved, with both parties deciding to take the issue further. Another conflict is on the Baglihar project, with Pakistan claiming the construction on the Chenab river to be a clear violation of the IWT. Consequently, when the two sides were unable to resolve their dispute bilaterally, Pakistan chose to take the matter to the World Bank, which, in turn, appointed Raymond Lafitte, a civil engineer, as the adjudicator in the matter. [14] In his verdict in 2007, while a compromise was reached on one of the points of contention (related to the elevation of intakes for the turbines) Lafitte held that India’s designs were compliant with the basic principles of the treaty.

21. Sir Creek. Both sides had resolved to settle this dispute in a speedy manner, given their obligations under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Any delay in the delineation of the maritime boundary, could lead to the continental shelf of both countries coming under the purview of the International Seabed Authority. Thus, in 2005, a joint survey was launched in the horizontal section of the marshy Sir Creek, for both parties to ascertain their particular claims. A follow-up survey took place in January 2007, which also saw the participation of hydrographers and navies of both states, covering the land and the coast areas. There are disagreements on how to proceed towards delineation. Though India contends that the boundary should be in the middle of the creek, Pakistan contends it to be on the south-eastern bank. In the first formal meeting of the issue, in May 2007, both parties exchanged maps marked with their respective claims, and gave explanatory notes. The dispute needs to be resolved soon.

22. Economic and Commercial Cooperation. Pakistan continues to use a ‘positive list’ in its trade with India, contrary to provisions of South Asia Free Trade Area (SAFTA). This list only comprises of 1075 items which have tariff reductions (as on Nov 08). [15] Pakistan also refuses to reciprocate India’s granting it the Most Favoured Nation (MFN). Pakistan claims that India’s non-tariff barriers act as obstacle to trade relations. However, progress in related areas continues, with cargo trucks carrying only perishable goods being allowed for trade through the IB. Steps have also been taken to establish reciprocal banking establishments on both India and Pakistan. Another aspect is the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline. Yet, due to prevalent domestic situation in Pakistan, the international community’s equations with Iran, transit fee disagreements and India’s indecisiveness, not much progress has been made on this proposal. India has also become a part of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan – India (TAPI) gas pipeline project, which is expected to deliver 45 million cubic meters of gas per day to India.

23. Drug Trafficking. The illegal trafficking of narcotics has been a major cause for concern. The procedures for sharing information and cooperation between the two countries were discussed in 2004, culminating in negotiation of a MoU to institutionalize cooperation in this area. However, despite the commitment being reiterated in 2007, the situation has worsened for India since the 2007 report of the International Narcotics Control Bureau reveals that the quantity of heroin trafficked from Pakistan has increased. There have been seizures of increasing consignments that are being smuggled from Pakistan and Afghanistan. However, of greater concern is that, from being the final destination, India is becoming a transit point for drug trafficking to Bangladesh and Southeast Asia. Hence, a regional policy agency was suggested in the 7th SAARC summit, which would go a long way towards addressing concerns in this area.

24. Promotion of Friendly Exchanges. There has been rapid growth in people-to-people interaction between the two countries. The bus services and rail links across the border has provided greater opportunities to citizens on both sides to travel, hence they are vital tools for peace-building. In spite of incidents like the bomb blast on the Samjhauta Express and fears of the ensuing tensions, the links were kept open. As a result, the visits of members of the civil society and social leaders have contributed extremely to the relaxation of tensions on both sides of the border.

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