India-Pakistan Relations

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  • P. Uthamraj asked: Has India's relations with Pakistan worsened since Nawaz Sharif took over as prime minister?

    P.K. Upadhyay replies: The Indo-Pakistani relations usually do not dramatically improve or worsen with the change of regimes in Pakistan. There are some fundamentals that drive Pakistani attitude towards India and those have remained unchanged. The Indo-Pakistani relations during Nawaz Sharif's current term have also neither improved in tune with his pre-election pronouncements, nor have brought the two countries to the brink of an open war despite some periodic tensions on the LoC.

    The seemingly positive statements Nawaz Sharif had been making on Indo-Pakistani relations were the remarks, may be off the cuff, of a politician trying to enlist maximum support for himself from every constituency in the country. Pakistani traders are a constituency who would like a limited improvement in relations with India as it would benefit them, and Nawaz Sharif was hoping to have them onboard by his positive statements on trade with India. However, once in power, like every other Pakistani leader, Nawaz Sharif too is susceptible to various influences and pressures which he cannot ignore and must let them have their way in influencing country's India policy. Even the Pakistani traders do not stand for a comprehensive economic cooperation with India. One can see this phenomenon behind Pakistan going back on its own declaration of intention to grant India the Most Favoured Nation status!

    Neither Peace nor Process: India-Pakistan on Escalation Ladder

    The double-speak of Nawaz Sharif has led many in India to doubt his sincerity on improving relations. Questions are also being raised on whether Sharif is still living in the 1990s when he followed a twin track approach of talks and trade proceeding in parallel with terrorism, something which India finds unacceptable today.

    October 24, 2013

    Pak Army Continuing Proxy War in Kashmir

    Though the Pakistan army denies its involvement in raising violence levels along the LoC, the international boundary and in the hinterland, it is understood well that without the active support of the army and the ISI, no serious attempt can be made by the terrorists to infiltrate.

    October 23, 2013

    Arun Kumar asked: What exactly 'people-to-people’ contact means and what are the related parameters in India-Pakistan relations?

    P.K. Upadhyay replies: 'People-to-people' contact means interaction between the normal citizens of two countries at various levels without any official interference and guidance. For such contacts, they obviously have to obtain proper visas and travel documents, but the state's role would end there and beyond that it is the spirit of their interaction and understanding which would shape up ideas, thoughts and responses. Such contacts could be through professional bodies like the bar councils, traders' chambers and associations, industrialists' groups, educational institutions and artists, musicians, singers, film personalities, sportsmen and women, etc. Even free exchange of books, publications and newspapers and television programmes would also fall in the ambit of people-to-people contacts because of their impact on opinion-making and improving relations.

    In the context of Indo-Pakistani relations, the people-to-people contacts have not been able to attain the heights they could have. While on individual levels relationship between an Indian and a Pakistani living in a third country may be very warm, but the chemistry of these contacts undergo a radical change when they meet as a Pakistani and an Indian. One can see this phenomenon in the TV debates on our news channels in which some Pakistanis participate along with some Indian panellists. Such debates invariably turn into a slanging match, with Pakistani participants generally avoiding logic and reason (I am sure Pakistanis would have the same thing to say for our participants in such Indo-Pakistani TV discussions). This is because of the Pakistani mindset that has been conditioned by their skewed education policies that have created generations of young and old Pakistanis who are guided by dogmas and not logic and reason. Till Pakistan changes this mindset, one fears the future of people-to-people contacts between the two countries would remain bleak, be it trade, culture, sports or any other field, except for medical treatment for Pakistanis in India, which they praise while in India, but go silent once they cross back into Pakistan.

    Peace Process: Pakistan will have to walk the talk

    The New York meeting between the two prime ministers has resulted in some new grounds being broken. Importantly the red lines and ground rules have been drawn thanks to some plain speak by the Indian leaders.

    October 03, 2013

    Locked in LOC: Exploring Cyber Offensive Option for India

    India’s niche military and intelligence technologies in the field of cyber, space, robotics and jamming can have potential deterrence value and a ‘war minus’ option against Pakistan.

    August 20, 2013

    Pakistan Policy reduced to a Single Binary

    Recent events has exposed the absence of any sort of strategic clarity at the political level and sheer lack of options at the diplomatic level on how India should deal with Pakistan.

    August 14, 2013

    Ambush on the LoC: Rethinking the Response

    There have reportedly been 57 ceasefire violations of the LoC this year, which, according to the MoD, are 80 per cent more than the same period last year, and the number of infiltration attempts have doubled.

    August 12, 2013

    Anatomy of India and Pakistan Reconciliation

    Islamabad remains sanguine that as long as it can leverage both cross border terrorism as well as conventional asymmetry by playing the nuclear card, it can easily manage relations with India.

    August 12, 2013

    How will India Respond to Civil War in Pakistan?

    In 1971, India intervened militarily on behalf of Bengalis in the civil war in East Pakistan, dividing the country into two. The prospect of another civil war in Pakistan pitting radical Islamists against the secular but authoritarian military raises questions about the possibility, timing, objective, and nature of another Indian intervention.

    July 2013

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