General Awareness

April 04, 2017 @ 01:15 PM

April 04, 2017 @ 01:15 PM

K. J. Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research, Mumbai

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Indo-Pak Relations

India and Pakistan are the end products of the two nation theory. The bilateral relationship between India and Pakistan has always been marred with violence and constant disbelief of each other’s intention to bring an ever lasting solution for Kashmir conflict. Of late Kashmir has been regarded as an area buzzing with terrorist activity, loosing thousands of innocent lives to such barbaric acts year after year.

The root cause of tension between India and Pakistan goes deep beneath. The conflict started when the King of Kashmir decided to join the Indian union, regardless of the fact Kashmir is predominantly a Muslim populated region. This was totally unacceptable to Pakistan and they still fail to accept Kashmir as an integral part of Indian Territory. By the time Indian Troops entered Kashmir to safeguard its boundary; Pakistani troops entered in and occupied a significant area of Kashmir that is today called as Pak Occupied Kashmir. In order to create a democratically unstable region so as to turn the people of Kashmir against the Indian government, a lot of terrorist camps have mushroomed in and around Pakistan occupied Kashmir with funding from Pakistan. Jammu and Kashmir development have been hindered by cross border terrorism since independence.
Soon after their independence, India and Pakistan established diplomatic relations but the violent partition and numerous territorial disputes overshadowed their relationship. Since their independence, the two countries have fought three major wars, and have been involved in numerous armed skirmishes and military standoffs. 
The culmination of skirmishes was Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 that took place between April 1965 and September 1965. War was fought by India and Pakistan over the disputed region of Kashmir. The war began following Pakistan's Operation Gibraltar, which was designed to infiltrate forces into Jammu and Kashmir to precipitate an insurgency against rule by India. The five-week war caused thousands of casualties on both sides. It ended in a United Nations (UN) mandated ceasefire and the subsequent issuance of the Tashkent Declaration.
The Kashmir dispute is the main center-point of all the conflicts with the exception of the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971, which resulted in the secession of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). Since the early 1980s, relations between the two nations soured particularly after the Siachen conflict, the intensification of Kashmir insurgency in 1989, Indian and Pakistani nuclear tests in 1998 and the 1999 Kargil war.
There have been numerous attempts to improve the relationship notably, the Shimla summit, the Agra summit and the Lahore summit. Certain confidence building measures such as the 2003 ceasefire agreement and the Delhi–Lahore Bus service were quite successful in deescalating tensions. However, these efforts have been impeded by periodic terrorist attacks.
The 2001 Indian Parliament attack almost brought the two nations on the brink of a nuclear war. On 13 December 2001, five gunmen infiltrated the Parliament House. This terrorist attack was considered as an attack on the sovereignty and pride of India. This led to a military standoff between India and Pakistan that resulted in the massing of troops on either side of the International Border (IB) and along the Line of Control (LoC) in the region of Kashmir. Tensions de-escalated following international diplomatic mediation which resulted in the October 2002 withdrawal of Indian and Pakistani troops from the International Border. Since then there had been lot of diplomatic practices in order to put a halt on terrorist activities. 
The 2008 Mumbai attacks carried out by Pakistani militants resulted in a severe blow to the ongoing India-Pakistan peace talks. The sole surviving gunman Ajmal Kasab who was arrested during the attacks was found to be a Pakistani national. This fact was acknowledged by Pakistani authorities. Indian officials demanded Pakistan extradite suspects for trial. They also said that, given the sophistication of the attacks, the perpetrators "must have had the support of some official agencies in Pakistan". A deadlock was put on the diplomatic practices between India and Pakistan.
Later it was realized that by stopping diplomatic practices no solution to the question of terrorism can be arrived at. The deadlock was however broken by “Cricket Diplomacy”. Launching cricket diplomacy to give a fresh impetus to bilateral ties, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh invited Pakistan President and Prime Minister to watch the final match of cricket World cup between Indo-Pak in Mohali on 30 March along with him. 
Despite the fact that people of India and Pakistan have witnessed very rigorous diplomatic and political relations, the cross cultural relation and the love for each other is immense between the people of both the countries. There are many Pakistani artists who are given huge respect by the people of India and are more famous in India rather than Pakistan. People such as Nusrat Fateh ali Khan, Adnan Sami, Ali Zafar, comedian Shakil Ahmed and many more are treated as Celebrities without any biasing on the basis on their nationality. Same is evident with respect to Pakistan Cricket Team players. And people from India also feel the same when they visit Pakistan. Unfortunately the politicians on both the sides seem to be unaware of these facts.
Despite so many tries to promote good relations with Pakistan the appealing reality is known to everyone. The menace of terrorism has to be wiped out at any cost which is not possible unless India and Pakistan develop good relations with an essence of mutual trust and loyalty. 
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