Indo-Pakistan Relations

Indo-Pakistan Relations – International Relations Notes

Tackling Tensions: Examining the India-Pakistan Border Disputes and Security Concerns

The India-Pakistan border is a direct result of the partition that took place in 1947 and was established through the Radcliffe Award. This boundary starts in the marshy Rann of Kutch in Gujarat and runs through the sandy deserts of Rajasthan, the fertile plains of Punjab, the mountainous terrain of Jammu and Kashmir, and finally reaches the Karakoram range.

Unfortunately, this artificially created boundary has caused numerous conflicts between the two nations.

The Kashmir Dispute: A Brief Overview of its History:

At the time of the partition of the Indian subcontinent, the rulers of the princely states, including Jammu and Kashmir, were given the choice to join either India or Pakistan.

The Maharaja of Kashmir, Hari Singh, found himself in a complicated situation, surrounded by events such as a revolution among his Muslim subjects in the western borders of the state and the involvement of Pashtun tribesmen.

In October 1947, he signed the Instrument of Accession, making Kashmir a part of the Indian union.

This decision led to involvement from both Pakistan, which saw Kashmir as a natural extension of its territory, and India, which aimed to legitimize the act of accession.

Three Wars and the Establishment of the Line of Control:

Since 1947, India and Pakistan have fought three major wars over the issue of Kashmir.

  • The first war, the Indo-Pakistan War of 1947, was a result of the Maharaja of Kashmir signing the Instrument of Accession to India. By December 1948, the conflict had come to an end and the Line of Control (LOC) was established to separate the different administrative regions of Kashmir. However, the dispute over the international border was left unresolved.
  • The 1965 war resulted in a heavy toll on both countries, with thousands of lives lost. The intervention of the United States and the former USSR was required to end the conflict. India emerged as the victor, but both nations suffered greatly.
  • In 1999, the Kargil War reignited old tensions. Pakistani troops crossed the LOC into the Kargil district and provided support to insurgents in the area. India retaliated and the conflict that followed resulted in the Indian army regaining control of the Tiger Hills and other strategic peaks in the Batalik region.

The Origin of the Siachen Clashes:

The dispute over Siachen stems from the fact that both the Karachi Agreement of 1949 and the Shimla Agreement of 1972 have left the status of the Indo-Pakistan border in the north of Point NJ 9842 undefined. While the Karachi Agreement states that the ceasefire line will run northward to the glaciers starting from Point NJ 9842, the Shimla Agreement does not mention it at all.

Pakistan’s perspective: If the alignment of the Line of Control prior to Point NJ 9842 is extended, it would run in a north-easterly direction to the Karakoram Pass. India has altered the status of the Line of Control by occupying the Saltoro Ridge.

India’s perspective: Since the alignment of the Line of Control prior to Point NJ 9842 was altered by Pakistan through its occupation of the Gyong Glacier in 1984, Pakistan’s argument that the Line of Control extends north-eastwards to the Karakoram Pass is untenable. Additionally, since the Line of Control does not extend beyond Point NJ 9842, India’s occupation of the Saltoro Ridge does not alter its status, and therefore, Pakistan’s argument is not valid.

The Ceasefire Agreements: Implementation and Implications

In February 2021, India and Pakistan announced that their armed forces would cease firing across their shared border, marking the first such step since 2003. This move was seen as a potential step towards reducing tensions between the two nations.

The 2003 ceasefire was an unwritten agreement that brought peace along the Line of Control for nearly three years until 2006. This agreement had the potential to significantly reduce tensions and bring stability to the region.

Events that Triggered the Ceasefire

  • In February 2021, the Chief of Pakistan’s army called for a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue, signaling a shift towards reducing tensions between the two nations. This was followed by Pakistan’s support for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s five proposals for collaboration in South Asia aimed at containing the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Another notable event was India’s decision to allow a clear passage to an aircraft carrying Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to Sri Lanka, in comparison to the airspace denial that both countries had imposed on each other after the Pulwama terror attack. These events paved the way for the ceasefire announcement and brought hope for a more peaceful relationship between India and Pakistan.

Possible reasons for the recent ceasefire between India and Pakistan include:

  • India’s desire to focus its attention on other issues, such as changing the demography of Kashmir or dealing with a border dispute with China, and to avoid engaging in multiple conflicts at once.
  • India’s need to find a way out of the situation in Kashmir and to engage with Pakistan in order to resolve the issue.
  • Pakistan’s weakening economy and the need to redirect its resources towards spurring growth.
  • India’s opportunity to reinforce its security measures and improve its infrastructure along the Line of Control.
  • The inconsistent approach that has long characterized India’s policy towards Pakistan. The Pakistanis believe that India will eventually return to the negotiating table, as it has been unable to maintain a hostile posture for an extended period of time.

Non-State Actors (NSAs)

It is widely believed that the Kargil War was orchestrated by the Pakistani military and carried out by the NSAs, with the support of the then-government. The involvement of NSAs in the conflict was seen as a violation of the ceasefire and a threat to regional stability.

The role of NSAs in the Indo-Pakistan conflict is a controversial issue, as NSAs are often seen as being beyond the control of the state and capable of destabilizing the peace process. They have been accused of carrying out cross-border terrorism and other acts of violence, which have led to increased tensions between India and Pakistan.

The international community has called upon both India and Pakistan to take strong measures against NSAs operating in the region and to ensure that they do not undermine the peace process. Despite this, NSAs have continued to carry out attacks in the region, and their activities remain a major source of concern for regional stability and security.

Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)

  • LeT is one of the most formidable NSAs, with the capability to carry out attacks in India
  • Draws international attention after the Mumbai attacks
  • Any attack by LeT is considered as an attack by Pakistan

Ansar-ut-Tawheed (AuT)

  • AuT aims to develop a transnational network of jihadists and redirect their focus towards India
  • Has the capacity to stage lethal strikes in India with help from IM members in Pakistan and local knowledge
  • India views AuT attacks as supported by the Pakistani state due to its history of association with ISI

Pakistan’s Approach towards NSAs:

  • Pakistan’s approach towards targeting terror groups has been selective
  • India-centric terror outfits are conveniently overlooked as they do not pose a direct threat to the US and other Western allies
  • NSAs carry out attacks that are not only damaging to India but also detrimental to Pakistan’s national interests.

Steps Pakistan Must Take:

  • Recognize the cost of tolerating NSAs as anti-India proxies
    • Example: Pakistan’s past attempts to rein in these groups were cosmetic
  • Devise a solution to eliminate NSAs
    • Example: The key to success is completely divesting itself of terror protégés
  • Remove, rather than rein in, these threats
  • Ensure global peace is not held ransom by NSAs
    • Example: NSAs’ potential to stoke conflict challenges the legitimacy of states and their authority.

Details of the Indus Waters Treaty:

  • The Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) was brokered by the World Bank in 1960 as a water-distribution agreement between India and Pakistan.
  • It covers the use of the water available in the Indus River and its tributaries.
  • The Treaty gives control over the waters of the three “eastern rivers” (Beas, Ravi, and Sutlej) with a mean annual flow of 33 million acre-feet to India, while control over the waters of the three “western rivers” (Indus, Chenab, and Jhelum) with a mean annual flow of 80 million acre-feet goes to Pakistan.
  • India has a control of 20% of the total water carried by the Indus system, while Pakistan has 80%.

Key Takeaways from the Indus Waters Treaty:

  • The treaty was successful due to the financial support required by both countries from the World Bank and their shared understanding that cooperation was necessary for long-term access to the shared resource.
  • The treaty allows India to build dams for hydroelectricity and irrigate up to 700,000 acres along the Inuds, Jhelun, and Chenab Rivers.
  • The treaty has withstood the test of time, but it was based on the knowledge and technology of the 1960s and may need to be revisited in light of changing perspectives and technologies.
  • The treaty allows India to leverage its position as a responsible upstream riparian, which is important in its dealings with China over water issues.

The Indus Waters Treaty: An Overview

  • Pakistan receives 80% of the water in the 6-river Indus system, which is a much larger volume compared to Mexico’s share under a 1944 agreement with the US.
  • It is the only water treaty in Asia with specific water-sharing formulas for cross-border flows.
  • The Indus basin is divided by a virtual line on the Indian map, with India having sovereignty over the lower rivers and Pakistan over the upper rivers.
  • The treaty is unique as it is the only one that requires an upper riparian state to prioritize the interests of a downstream state.

Disputes have arisen over the Indus Waters Treaty

  • In 2010, Pakistan initiated international arbitration regarding India’s 330MW hydro project on Kishenganga
  • In 2011, India was ordered to halt work on the project
  • In 2013, India was permitted to resume work on the project with stringent conditions.

Indus Waters Treaty – Impact on Jammu & Kashmir

  • In 2011, the government of J&K hired a consultant to assess the economic loss faced by the state due to the treaty.
  • The estimate of the economic loss was found to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

Consequences of Rethinking the Treaty

  • International Condemnation: Rethinking the treaty could result in international criticism and condemnation.
  • Flooding of Cities: Turning off the tap could lead to flooding of cities, which would have severe consequences.
  • Unsettling Neighbors: Bangladesh and other countries with which India has water sharing arrangements may become uneasy if India decides to rethink the treaty.

For Daily Current Affairs Click Here

Join our Official Telegram Channel HERE
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel HERE
Follow our Instagram ID HERE

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *