Soft Borders and Cooperative Frontiers: India's Changing Territorial Diplomacy Towards Pakistan and China

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  • January 2007

    For decades, the dominant sense in the foreign policy establishment of India was that neither the Kashmir question nor the boundary dispute with China was ripe for resolution. Yet, in defiance of this received wisdom, two very different political coalitions have opened and sustained substantive negotiations on Jammu and Kashmir and the boundary dispute with China. Forward movement in both negotiations has also been premised on opening the closed frontiers with China and Pakistan. This development in India's foreign and national security policy is consequential since the resolution of either of these disputes or both could alter the territorial map of India. If the new arrangements work, they would also significantly alter the nature of India's frontiers with two of its long-standing rivals, Pakistan and China. In the strategic realm, success on either front has the potential to transform India's security condition.