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Nishant Turan asked: What is the "strategic significance" of Pakistan for India in the 21st century?

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  • Sushant Sareen replies: The strategic significance depends on the state of relations between the two countries. If Pakistan is a friendly country, then it is not only a buffer between India and Central Asia and West Asia but also a bridge between India and these areas. If Pakistan remains a hostile country, then it threatens India's security and stability, insidiously as well as openly. As a hostile country, it acts as a barrier and obstacle to everything India is aspiring for. Take for instance, India's quest for a UNSC seat. Pakistan is one of the most virulent opponents of India's claims. Pakistan also becomes a threat when it functions in conjunction and as a client of countries like China to catch India in a pincer. The export of Islamic terrorism and radical Islamist ideology is a very big destabilising factor in India. India's dilemma is that while it finds a hostile Pakistan a big drag and danger, there is no certainty that if Pakistan was to cease to exist, India's strategic outlook would improve dramatically.