Indo-Pakistani relations

Indo-Pakistani relations

Indo-Pakistani relations are grounded in the politcal, geographic and economic links between the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, two of the largest and fastest-developing countries in South Asia. The two countries share much of their common geographic location, and religious demographics (most notably Sikhism, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism); yet diplomatic relations between the two are defined by numerous military conflicts and territorial disputes.

Much of South Asia came under direct control of Great Britain in the late 18th century. The British Raj over the Indian subcontinent lasted for almost two centuries. 95% of the people living in South Asia practised either Hinduism or Islam. The Muslim League, headed by Jinnah, proposed the Two Nation Theory in the early 20th century. According to the theory, the North western areas of the subcontinent are culturally and historically shared little in common and British India should be divided into countries, one for the Muslims and the other for the Hindu majority, which he feared would supress the Muslim minority. The campaign gained momentum in early 1940s and by the end of World War II, British India's partition looked inevitable. The Partition of India created two countries, India and Pakistan. Pakistan received independence from Britain on August 14, 1947, and India achieved independence on August 15, 1947. Soon after Independence, India and Pakistan established diplomatic relations. However, the friendly atmosphere between the two countries was short-lived. There has been a marked improvement in bilateral relations between the two neighbours since the mid-2000s.

eeds of conflict

Millions of Hindus and Muslims were killed in communal riots following the partition of the British Empire. Millions of Muslims living in India and Hindus and Sikhs living in Pakistan emigrated in one of the most colossal transfers of population in the modern age. Both countries accused each other of not providing adequate security to the minorities emigrating through their territory. This served to increase tensions between the newly-born countries.

According to the British plan for the partition of British India, all the 680 princely states were allowed to decide which of the two countries to join. With the exception of a few, most of the Hindu-majority princely-states acceded to the Union of India while most of the Muslim-majority princely states joined Pakistan. However, the decisions of some of the princely-states would shape the Indo-Pakistani relationship for years to come.

Junagadh dispute

Junagadh was a state on the southwestern end of Gujarat, with the principalities of Manavadar, Mangrol and Babriawad. The Arabian Sea stood between it and Pakistan. The state had an overwhelming Hindu population which constituted more than 80% of its citizens, while the ruler of the state was a Muslim. On August 15 1947, the ruler of the state, Nawab of Junagadh Mahabat Khan acceded to Pakistan. Pakistan confirmed the acceptance of the accession in September 1947. India did not accept the accession as legitimate.

The Indian point of view was that since Junagadh was a state with a predominantly Hindu population it should be a part of India. Additionally, since the state was encircled by Indian territory it should have been a part of India. Indian politicians also stated that by giving Pakistan a predominantly Hindu region to govern the basis of the two nation theory was contradicted.

The Pakistani point of view was that since Junagadh had a ruler who chose to accede to Pakistan he should be allowed to do so. Junagadh, having a coastline could have maintained maritime links with Pakistan. Additionally, Pakistani politicians stated that the two nation theory did not necessarily mean a clear division of land and absolute transfer of populations as the sheer magnitude of such a proceeding would wreck havoc upon countless millions.

Neither of the two states were able to resolve this issue amicably and it only added fuel to an already charged environment.

Sardar Patel, India's then Defence Minister, felt that if Junagadh was permitted to go to Pakistan, it would create communal unrest across Gujarat. The government of India gave Pakistan time to void the accession and hold a plebiscite in Junagadh to pre empt any violence in Gujarat. Samaldas Gandhi formed a government-in-exile, the "Arzi Hukumat" (in Urdu: "Arzi": Transitional, "Hukumat": Government) of the people of Junagadh. Patel ordered the annexation of Junagadh's three principalities. Junagadh, facing financial collapse, first invited the "Arzi Hukumat", and later the Government of India to accept the reins of power.

Kashmir dispute

Kashmir was Muslim-majority princely state, ruled by a Hindu, Hari Singh. The Maharaja of Kashmir was equally hesitant to join either Indiandash he felt his mostly Muslim subjects would not like joining a Hindu-majority nationndash or Pakistanndash which as a Hindu he was personally averse to. Pakistan coveted the Himalayan kingdom, while Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi and Indian PM Jawaharlal Nehru hoped that the kingdom would join India. Hari Singh signed a "Standstill Agreement" (preserving status quo) with Pakistan, but did not make his decision by August 15 1947.

Rumours spread in Pakistan that Hari Singh was trying to accede Kashmir to India. Alarmed by this threat, a group of Pakistan rushed into Kashmir, fearing an Indian invasion of the region. Backed by Pakistani paramilitary forces, Pashtun tribal warlords invaded Kashmir in September 1947. Kashmir's security forces were ill-equipped to fight against Pakistan. Troubled by the deteriorating law and order situation in Kashmir, the Maharaja Hari Singh asked for India's help. However, the Constitution of India barred the Indian Armed Forces intervention since Kashmir did not come under India's jurisdiction. Desperate to get India's help, the Maharaja acceded Kashmir to India and signed the Instrument of Accession. [ [,001300430003.htm Instrument of Accession] ] By this time the raiders were close to the capital, Srinagar. On October 27 1947, the Indian Air Force airlifted Indian troops into Srinagar. Indian troops secured Jammu, Srinagar and the Kashmir valley itself, but the intense fighting flagged with the onset of winter, which made much of the state impassable. After weeks of intense fighting between India and Pakistan, Indian Prime Minister Nehru declared a ceasefire and sought U.N. arbitration with the promise of a plebiscite. Sardar Patel had argued against both, describing Kashmir as a bilateral dispute and its accession as justified by international law.In 1957, Kashmir was fully integrated into the Union of India and the state of Jammu and Kashmir (Indian-administered Kashmir) was created. The northwestern portion that remained under control of the Pakistan army is today Pakistan-administered Kashmir. In 1962, China occupied Aksai Chin, the northeastern region bordering Ladakh. In 1984, India launched Operation Meghdoot and captured more than 80% of the Siachen Glacier.

India maintains that the Maharaja's decision, which was the norm for every other princely state at the time of independence, and subsequent elections, for over 40 years, in Kashmir have made it an integral part of India. Pakistan asserts Kashmiris' rights to self-determination through a plebiscite in accordance with an earlier Indian statement and a UN resolution. Pakistan also maintains that by India's own logic regarding Junagadh (that the Hindu majority state should have gone to India even though it had a Muslim ruler), that Kashmir should rightfully have become part of Pakistan or at the very least the promised plebiscite should be allowed to decide the fate of the Kashmiri people. India however points to Pakistan's failure to comply to the preconditions of the plebiscite including a complete pullout of Pakistani troops from the area first. This dispute triggered wars between the two countries in 1947 and 1965, 1971 and a limited conflict in 1999. The state/province remains divided between the two countries by the Line of Control (LoC), which demarcates the ceasefire line agreed upon in the 1947 conflict.

Other Territorial Disputes

Pakistan is locked in other territorial disputes with India such as the Siachen Glacier and Kori Creek. Pakistan is also currently having dialogue with India regarding the Baglihar Dam being built over the River Chenab in Jammu and Kashmir.

Bengal refugee crisis

In 1949, India recorded close to 1 million Hindu refugees flooded into West Bengal and other states from East Pakistan, owing to communal violence, intimidation and repression from Muslim authorities. The plight of the refugees outraged Hindus and Indian nationalists, and the refugee population drained the resources of Indian states, which were unable to absorb them. While not ruling out war, Prime Minister Nehru and Sardar Patel invited Liaquat Ali Khan for talks in Delhi. Although many Indians termed this appeasement, Nehru signed a pact with Liaquat Ali Khan that pledged both nations to the protection of minorities and creation of minority commissions. Although opposed to the principle, Patel decided to back this Pact for the sake of peace, and played a critical role in garnering support from West Bengal and across India, and enforcing the provisions of the Pact. Khan and Nehru also signed a trade agreement, and committed to resolving bilateral disputes through peaceful means. Steadily, hundreds of thousands of Hindus returned to East Pakistan, but the thaw in relations did not last long, primarily owing to the Kashmir dispute.

1971 War

Pakistan, since independence, was geo-politically divided into two major regions, West Pakistan and East Pakistan. In December 1971, following a political crisis in East Pakistan, the situation soon spiralled out of control in East Pakistan and India intervened in favour of the rebelling Bengali populace. The conflict, though brief, resulted in indepdence of East Pakistan. Backed by the Mukti Bahini, the Indian Military swiftly defeated Pakistan, forcing it to surrender and grant independence to East Pakistan, establishing Bangladesh.The Pakistan millitary, being a thousand miles from it's base and surrounded by enemies, was forced to give in.seealso|Indo-Pakistani War of 1971|Bangladesh Liberation War

imla Agreement

Since the 1971 war, Pakistan and India have made only slow progress towards the normalisation of relations. In July 1972, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Pakistani President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto met in the Indian hill station of Simla. They signed the Simla Agreement, by which India would return all Pakistani personnel (over 90,000) and captured territory in the west, and the two countries would "settle their differences by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations." Diplomatic and trade relations were re-established in 1976.

Afghanistan crisis

After the 1979 Soviet war in Afghanistan, new strains appeared in Indo-Pakistani relations. Pakistan actively supported the Afghan resistance against Soviet Union, a close ally of India. While Pakistan's ISI was involved in anti-Soviet activity in Afghanistan, R&AW, India's premier external intelligence agency, tried to dismantle anti-Soviet forces in the Afghan region and supported the Soviets occupying Afghanistan.Fact|date=June 2007

The Taliban regime in Afghanistan was strongly supported by Pakistan - one of the few countries to do so - before the September 11 attacks. India, on the other hand, firmly opposed Taliban and criticised Pakistan for supporting it.Hatred for the Taliban grew amongst Hindu ultra-nationalists in India after they enforced laws on Afghan Hindus to "wear label" []

ubsequent developments

In the following eight years, India voiced increasing concern over Pakistani arms purchases, U.S. military aid to Pakistan, and a clandestine Pakistan's nuclear weapons programme. In an effort to curtail tensions, the two countries formed a joint commission to examine disputes. In December 1988, Prime Ministers Rajiv Gandhi and Benazir Bhutto concluded a pact not to attack each other's nuclear facilities. Agreements on cultural exchanges and civil aviation were also initiated.

In 1997, high-level Indo-Pakistan talks resumed after a three-year pause. The Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan met twice and the foreign secretaries conducted three rounds of talks. In June 1997, the foreign secretaries identified eight "outstanding issues" around which continuing talks would be focused. The dispute over the status of Kashmir, (referred by India as Jammu and Kashmir), an issue since indepdence, remains the major stumbling block in their dialogue. India maintains that the entire former princely state is an integral part of the Indian union, while Pakistan insists that UN resolutions calling for self-determination of the people of the state/province must be taken into account. It however refuses to abide by the previous part of the resolution, which calls for it to vacate all territories occupied.

In September 1997, the talks broke down over the structure of how to deal with the issues of Kashmir, and peace and security. Pakistan advocated that the issues be treated by separate working groups. India responded that the two issues be taken up along with six others on a simultaneous basis. In May 1998 India, and then Pakistan, conducted nuclear tests.

Kashmiri insurgency

Terrorist acts in Jammu and Kashmir

* Attack on Jammu & Kashmir State Assembly: A car bomb exploded near the Jammu and Kashmir State Assembly on October 1 2001, killing 27 people on an attack that was blamed on Kashmiri separatists. It was one of the most prominent attacks against India apart from on the Indian Parliament in December 2001. No Kashmiri government official was killed or injured during the incident.ref|J&K
* Wandhama Massacre: In January 1998, 24 Kashmiri Pandits living in the city Wandhama were killed by Kashmiri terrorists. According to the testimony of one of the survivors, the terrorists dressed themselves as officers of the Indian Army, entered their houses and then started firing blindly. The incident was significant because it coincided with former US president Bill Clinton's visit to India and New Delhi used the massacre to present a case against the alleged 'Pakistan-supported' terrorism in Kashmir.ref|Wandhama
* Sangrampora Killings: On March 22 1997, 7 Kashmiri Pandits were killed in Sangrampora village in the Budgam district.ref|Sangrampora
* Qasim Nagar Attack: On July 13 2003, armed terrorists believed to be a part of the Lashkar-e-Toiba threw hand grenades at the Qasim Nagar market in Srinagar and then fired on civilians standing nearby killing twenty-seven and injuring many more.ref|hrw
* Assassination of Abdul Ghani Lone: Abdul Ghani Lone, a prominent All Party Hurriyat Conference leader, was assassinated by unidentified gunmen during a memorial rally in Srinagar. The assassination resulted in wide-scale demonstrations against the Indian forces for failing to provide enough security cover for Mr. Lone.ref|hrw
* July 20 2005 Srinagar Bombing: A car bomb exploded near an armoured Indian Army vehicle in the famous Church Lane area in Srinagar killing four Indian Army personnel, one civilian and the suicide bomber. Terrorist group Hizbul Mujahideen, claimed responsibility for the attack.ref|church
* Budshah Chowk attack: A terrorist attack on July 29, 2005 at Srinigar's city centre, Budshah Chowk, killed two and left more than 17 people injured. Most of those injured were media journalists.ref|Bud
* Murder of Ghulam Nabi Lone: On October 18 2005 suspected Kashmiri terrorists killed Jammu and Kashmir's then education minister Ghulam Nabi Lone. Terrorist group Al Mansurin claimed responsibility for the attack. ref|Nabi

Terrorist activities elsewhere

The attack on the Indian Parliament was by far the most prominent attack carried out by Kashmiri terrorists outside Kashmir. India blamed Pakistan for carrying out the attacks, an allegation which Pakistan strongly denied and one that brought both nations to the brink of a nuclear confrontation in 2001-02. However, international peace efforts ensured the cooling of tensions between the two nuclear-capable nations.

Apart from this, the most notable was the hijacking of Indian Airlines Flight IC 814 en route New Delhi from Kathmandu, Nepal. The plane was hijacked on December 24, 1999 approximately one hour after take off and was taken to Amritsar airport and then to Lahore in Pakistan. After refueling the plane took off for Dubai and then finally landed in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Under intense media pressure, New Delhi complied with the hijackers' demand and freed Maulana Masood Azhar from its captivity in return for the freedom of the Indian passengers on the flight. The decision, however, cost New Delhi dearly. Maulana, who is believed to be hiding in Karachi, later became the leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed, an organisation which has carried out several terrorist acts against Indian Security Forces in Kashmir.ref|814

On December 22 2000, a group of terrorists belonging to the Lashkar-e-Toiba stormed the famous Red Fort in New Delhi. The Fort houses an Indian military unit and a high-security interrogation cell used both by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Indian Army. The terrorists successfully breached the security cover around the Red Fort and opened fire at the Indian military personnel on duty killing two of them on spot. The attack was significant because it was carried out just two days after the declaration of the cease-fire between India and Pakistan.ref|red

Two Kashmiri terrorists belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammed raided the Swami Narayan temple complex in Ahmedabad, Gujarat killing 30 people, including 18 women and five children. The attack was carried out on September 25 2002, just few days after state elections were held in Jammu and Kashmir. Two identical letters found on both the terrorists claimed that the attack was done in retaliation for the deaths of thousands of Muslims during the Gujarat riots.ref|attack

Two car bombs exploded in south Mumbai on August 25 2003; one near the Gateway of India and the other at the famous Zaveri Bazaar, killing at least 48 and injuring 150 people. Though no terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attacks, Mumbai Police and RAW suspected Lashkar-e-Toiba's hand in the twin blasts.ref|Mumbai

In an unsuccessful attempt, six terrorists belonging to Lashkar-e-Toiba, stormed the Ayodhya Ram Janmbhomi complex on July 5 2005. Before the terrorists could reach the main disputed site, they were shot down by Indian security forces. One Hindu worshipper and two policemen were injured during the incident.ref|ram

Human rights violations

Both sides in the conflict have been accused of human rights violations and have been denied. Pakistan, Kashmiri non-governmental organisations and international human rights groups have blamed Indian Security Forces for occurrences of human rights abuses in the state. India denies the allegations and argues that, except a few incidents, most of the crimes and atrocities against Kashmiris are committed by the insurgents.

A report by the Human Rights Watch, stated two main reasons for the improving human rights condition in the region: First, sincere efforts were made by the new Jammu and Kashmir state government headed by Mufti Muhammad Sayeed to investigate cases of human rights abuses in the state and to punish those guilty including Indian soldiers. More than 15 Indian army soldiers were convicted by the Indian government in 2004 for carrying out human rights abuses in the state. Second, the decrease in cross-border infiltration into India by armed insurgents.ref|HRW

The districts of Baramulla and Anantnag in the Kashmir Valley are the worst affected. The increasing violence in the region has compelled India to deploy more than 250,000 troops in the valley. According to an Indian NGO, every day more than 50 people are abducted by the insurgents in the valley; half of whom are killed.Fact|date=June 2007 Incidents of rape, kidnapping, looting, rioting, and money laundering have increased since the insurgency intensified in the 1980s.Fact|date=June 2007 The Jammu and Kashmir provincial government stated in 2003, that a total of 3,744 people had 'disappeared' since 1989. However, human rights activists put the total figure at more than 8,000. Those who are targeted mainly include women, children and local politicians.ref|Amnesty

Developments since 2004

Violent activities in the region declined in 2004. There are two main reasons for this: warming of relations between New Delhi and Islamabad which consequently lead to a ceasefire between the two countries in 2003 and the fencing of the LOC being carried out by the Indian Army. Moreover, coming under intense international pressure, Islamabad was compelled to take actions against the militant's training camps on its territory. In 2004, the two countries also agreed upon decreasing the number of troops present in the region.

Under pressure, Kashmiri militant organisations have made an offer for talks and negotiations with New Delhi, which which India has welcomed.

India's Border Security Force blamed the Pakistani military for providing cover-fire for the terrorists whenever they infiltrated into Indian territory from Pakistan.Pakistan has in turn has also blamed India for providing support for terrorist groups inside Pakistan such as the MQM

In 2005, Pakistan's interior minister, Sheikh Rashid, was alleged to have run a terrorist training camp in 1990 in N.W. Frontier, Pakistan. The Pakistani government dismissed the charges against its minister as an attempt to hamper the ongoing peace process between the two neighbours.

Both India and Pakistan have launched several mutual confidence-building measures (CBMs) to ease tensions between the two. These include more high-level talks, easing visa restrictions, restarting of cricket matches between the two. The new bus service between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad has also helped bring the two sides closer. Pakistan and India have also decided to co-operate on economic fronts.

A major clash between Indian Security Forces and militants occurred when a group of insurgents tried to infiltrate into the Indian-administered Kashmir from Pakistan in July 2005. The same month, also saw Kashmiri militant attack on Ayodhya and Srinagar. However, these developments had little impact on the peace process.

Some improvements in the relations are seen with the re-opening of a series of transportation networks near the India-Pakistan border, with the most important being bus routes and railway lines.

An Indian man held in Pakistani prisons since 1975 as an accused spy walked across the border to freedom March 3 2008, an unconditional release that Pakistan said was meant to reduce the deep-rooted enmity between the countries. []

Possible solutions to the Kashmir issue

Many consider that the best way to end present violence in Kashmir is negotiations between various Kashmiri-separatists groups, Pakistan and India. Here are a few possible solutions [] to the Kashmir disputeref|Schofield1 -


The insurgents who initially started their movement as a pro-Kashmiri independence movement, have gone through a lot of change in their ideology. Most of the insurgents portray their struggle as a religious one.

Indian analysts allege that by supporting these insurgents, Pakistan is trying to wage a proxy war against India while Pakistan claims that it regards most of these insurgent groups as "freedom fighters" rather than terrorists

Internationally known to be the most deadly theatre of conflict, nearly 10 million people, including Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists, have been fighting a daily battle for survival. The "cross-border firing" between India and Pakistan, and the terrorist attacks combined have taken its toll on the Kashmiris, who have suffered poor living standards and an erosion of human rights.

Kargil crisis

Attempts to restart dialogue between the two nations were given a major boost by the February 1999 meeting of both Prime Ministers in Lahore and their signing of three agreements.

These efforts have since been stalled by the intrusion of Pakistani forces into Indian territory near Kargil in Jammu and Kashmir in May 1999. This resulted in intense fighting between Indian and Pakistani forces, known as the Kargil conflict. Backed by the Indian Air Force, the Indian Army successfully regained Kargil. A subsequent military coup in Pakistan that overturned the democratically elected Nawaz Sharif government in October of the same year also proved a setback to relations.

In 2001, a summit was called in Agra; Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf turned up to meet Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. The talks fell through.

On June 20, 2004, with a new government in place in India, both countries agreed to extend a nuclear testing ban and to set up a hotline between their foreign secretaries aimed at preventing misunderstandings that might lead to a nuclear war. []

India has granted Pakistan unilateral "most favoured nation" trade status under WTO guidelines, but Pakistan is yet to reciprocate. As of early 2005, both countries are committed to a process of dialogue to solve all outstanding issues. Baglihar Dam issue was a new issue raised by Pakistan in 2005.

ee also

*Foreign relations of India
*History of the Kashmir conflict
*Indo-Pakistani Wars
*Foreign relations of Pakistan
*History of India
*History of Pakistan

External Link

* [ India Pakistan friendship Club]


Budania,Rajpal, "India's Pakistan Policy: A Study in the Context of Security," South Asian Studies, Vol.30:2,1995.Burke,S.M.,"Mainsprings of Indian and Pakistani Foreign Policies", Minneapolis, University of Minnesota, 1974.Brines Russel, "The Indo-Pakistan Conflict", London, Pall Mall Press, 1968.

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