India has one of the longest borders with Pakistan and one of the longest disputes as well. There are number of reasons for the disputes since both countries’ independence from the British in 1947. There border is 3,323 kilometres long; however, at the Jammu and Kashmir (J & K) border is the largest army operational zone in the world. There are many wars between India and Pakistan; however, four major wars are significant, in 1947, 1965, 1971 and 1999 at Kargil (Pariona, 2019). Both countries have nuclear capability, and minor disputes are continuing for the last 27 years. Jammu and Kashmiri land have been a divide in two parts, the local people right have been abolished; therefore, J & K people keep fighting for independent either fully autonomous or as undivided J & K. These are the reasons to ignite the disputes. India has a special relationship with Pakistan, and it is always of high priority in its foreign policy.
East India Company ruled India for almost 200 years (Chandra, 2015). And, ultimately, there were revolts against the British rule and India being independent in 1947, it was right after World War II, while became the independent then there was a dispute between Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Jawaharlal Nehru. An independent warrior Mahatma Gandhi wanted to make the Prime Minister to Jinnah (Bureau, 2018). But Nehru does not agree, and it is being divided in Muslim majority part is Pakistan, and the Hindu majority part is in India. If Nehru agrees to make Jinnah as PM, it was not divided as now. There was no idea and thought about Pakistan until the late 1930s (Bates, 2011).
A state of J & K was a Muslim majority, and Jammu and Kashmir’s king Hari Singh (1925-1949) was a Hindu, and during independent from the British, King Singh had options to join with Pakistan or join with India or become the independent? Singh willing to be independent but Pashtun tribesman invaded Singh’s force. And, Singh request help from India, to get the support he has to sign on the instrument of the association on 26 October 1947, that is the reason Jammu and Kashmir’s 2/3 part being in India and 1/3 part remains in Pakistan. As the above mention, it is Muslim domination Indian part, and Pakistan side is absolute Muslim; therefore, there were challenges for cooperation with border terrorist and the local authority for a substantial time. Hence, the India government revoked Article 370, which was recognised as the special state of J & K. But recently J & K has become Union Territories (UT) since last 31 October 2019 (Report, 2019). Revoking the Article 370 and against the Indian government’s decision’s Pakistan PM warned, and he said to strip Kashmir special status could lead to war and ethnic cleansing (Hadid, 2019). There were worldwide protests, but it seems to have settled now without any violence.
India and Pakistan tried a number of times to resolve the J & K crisis; however, not yet reached any agreement. India had new proposals to Pakistan for peace, former foreign minister Yashwant Sinha said that; the cabinet decided to resume support, and it is a symbolic move (irishtimes, 2003). This was frozen after military clashes in 2000. India has kept requesting to Pakistan; they must stop Muslim separatists entering to India, and cross-border terrorism has to stop and to restore diplomatic relations.
The bus route was started in April 2003; it was a signification step, because in last 14 years there was rebellion for independence or a merger with Pakistan, in that revolution, there were more than 35,000 who were killed (irishtimes, 2003). The government of Pakistan said, Indian peace move plan received, and it was a serious and important matter but withdrew from the serious dialogue is disappointing (arabnews.com, 2003). India wants to solve the J & K problem, but without losing any regions or people, but the majority of the Muslim population are problematic.
Former PM of India Mr Manmohan Singh told the USA delegates in Delhi; India and Pakistan relations had progress prior to February 2007. Unfortunately, President Musharraf’s government was fired by the Supreme Court (Rashid, 2019). Mr Musharraf had a four-point formula to solve the J & K crisis; first, no military from both countries in J & K. Second, full autonomy. Third, no borders, and fourth, joint management for J & K such, as Andorra practice (Sachin, 2011). It was very close to solving the problem, but after three months of Mr Musharraf government thrown, there was the Mumbai attack by Pakistan based Lashkar-e-Taiba which killed 174, which made a big gap in the relationship (D’Souza, 2008). There is another significant incident, which was Pakistan based Jaish-e-Muhammad’s Suicide attack that killed 42 Indian soldiers on 14 February 2019 (Safi, 2019), in retaliation, Indian Jet fighter’s bombed Pakistan. And during a routine patrol, the Indian aircraft was downed by the Pakistani force, and a pilot was captured on 27 February 19 (India-Pakistan tensions: All the latest updates, 2019). The relationship was getting worse; with both countries recalling their diplomats.
SAARC is utterly disabled at this moment because of India and Pakistan’s problematic relationship, but it should be resumed. Pakistan already signs on Belt and Road Initiative project, and that will benefit Pakistan $46 billion (Seth, 2020). Against the Chinese road initiative, India already signs on the Indo-pacific strategy, where $940 billion will be invested by the USA (Hartman, 2019). Both of these projects are affecting the relationship between India and Pakistan. At this moment, Pakistan is working closely with China and India is closely working with the USA, which plays a role to make a significant gap in the relationship.
India is a rising economic power in the world. Both of them are spending so much time effort on the J & K issue. In this Metropolitan globalisation, there is less importance for borders, instead of that sustainable human development is essential. The revocation of article 370 and replace as a Union Territories is a milestone to establish peace in J & K because the union will connect directly to the central government. Also, any states people can buy land and property in J & K from last October, which will make the mixed society in J & K and, will not remain Islamic extremist at present. Dialogue and authority will be in control at the Indian side; therefore, both countries, the problematic relationship will be ended. It is more important to India than Pakistan because sooner, India will be a major power player in the world; therefore, J & K should not be a burden for India.
Suggested reading list as below:
In general, current Indian foreign policies are here;
- Malhotra, A., 2019. Distinguished Lectures Details. [online] Mea.gov.in. Available at: https://www.mea.gov.in/distinguished-lectures-detail.htm?833 [Accessed 15 March 2020].
Current Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government strips Article 370’s outline is here;
- BBC News. 2019. India Strips Disputed Kashmir Of Special Status. [online] Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-49231619 [Accessed 17 March 2020].
Timeline of Pulwama terror attack;
- Gulfnews.com. 2019. Pulwama Terror Attack: Timeline Of Conflict Between India And Pakistan. [online] Available at: https://gulfnews.com/world/asia/pulwama-terror-attack-timeline-of-conflict-between-india-and-pakistan-1.1551170592587 [Accessed 17 March 2020].
Arab News. 2003. Pakistan Will Respond Positively To Indian Movesa. [online] Available at: https://www.arabnews.com/node/239278 [Accessed 15 March 2020].
Aljazeera.com. 2019. India-Pakistan Tensions: All The Latest Updates. [online] Available at: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/02/india-pakistan-tensions-latest-updates-190227063414443.html [Accessed 17 March 2020].
Bates, C., 2011. BBC – History – British History In Depth: The Hidden Story Of Partition And Its Legacies. [online] Bbc.co.uk. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/modern/partition1947_01.shtml [Accessed 13 March 2020].
Bureau, O., 2018. Mahatma Gandhi Wanted Muhammad Ali Jinnah As PM, But Jawaharlal Nehru Refused: Dalai Lama. [online] https://www.outlookindia.com/. Available at: https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/mahatma-gandhi-wanted-muhammad-ali-jinnah-as-pm-but-jawaharlal-nehru-refused-dal/314699 [Accessed 17 March 2020].
Chandra, S., 2015. The Myth Of 200 Years Of British Rule In India. [online] Medium. Available at: https://nationalinterest.in/the-myth-of-200-years-of-british-rule-in-india-db74e183f5fb [Accessed 13 March 2020].
D’Souza, S., 2008. Mumbai Terrorist Attacks Of 2008 | Events, Death Toll, & Facts. [online] Encyclopedia Britannica. Available at: https://www.britannica.com/event/Mumbai-terrorist-attacks-of-2008 [Accessed 12 March 2020].
Hartman, L., 2019. What Is The US Indo-Pacific Strategy? | Shareamerica. [online] ShareAmerica. Available at: https://share.america.gov/what-is-u-s-indo-pacific-strategy/ [Accessed 13 March 2020].
Hadid, D., 2019. NPR Choice Page. [online] Npr.org. Available at: https://www.npr.org/2019/08/07/748957876/pakistan-warns-indias-move-to-end-kashmir-s-special-status-could-lead-to-war?t=1584040895456 [Accessed 13 March 2020].
Pariona, A., 2019. The Indo-Pakistan Wars. [online] WorldAtlas. Available at: https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/indo-pakistan-wars-1947-1965-1971-1999.html [Accessed 16 March 2020].
Parsahar, S., 2011. Manmohan Singh, Musharraf Came Close To Striking Kashmir Deal: Wikileaks | India News – Times Of India. [online] The Times of India. Available at: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Manmohan-Singh-Musharraf-came-close-to-striking-Kashmir-deal-WikiLeaks/articleshow/9841701.cms [Accessed 14 March 2020].
Rashid, A., 2019. Opinion | A Peace Plan For India And Pakistan Already Exists. [online] Nytimes.com. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/07/opinion/india-and-pakistan.html [Accessed 15 March 2020].
Report, S., 2019. New Indian Map Shows Uts Of J&K, Ladakh. [online] The Hindu. Available at: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/centre-releases-political-map-of-new-union-territories-jammu-kashmir-and-ladakh/article29863670.ece [Accessed 13 March 2020].
Safi, M., 2019. Dozens Of Indian Paramilitaries Killed In Kashmir Car Bombing. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/feb/14/indian-paramilitaries-killed-in-suicide-car-bombing-in-kashmir [Accessed 10 March 2020].
Sengupta, S., 2019. Opinion | A Peace Plan For India And Pakistan Already Exists. [online] Nytimes.com. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/07/opinion/india-and-pakistan.html [Accessed 15 March 2020].
SETH, S., 2020. Understanding One Belt One Road (OBOR). [online] Investopedia. Available at: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/o/one-belt-one-road-obor.asp [Accessed 15 March 2020].
The Irish Times. 2003. India Makes New Proposals For Pakistan Peace. [online] Available at: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/india-makes-new-proposals-for-pakistan-peace-1.506066 [Accessed 15 March 2020].
(A Foreign Affairs advisor’s briefing note, for the India and Pakistan key diplomatic incidents to the Head of Government of India)
- 20 March 2020