India - Pakistan Relations Russian Notes | EduRev

Russian: India - Pakistan Relations Russian Notes | EduRev

The document India - Pakistan Relations Russian Notes | EduRev is a part of the Russian Course International Relations for UPSC 2022 (Pre & Mains).
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 Page 1


 
India-Pakistan 
Sources of Con?ict 
1. Mutually exclusive identities: India espoused a secular identity embracing its diverse religious and 
other social groups. Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who led the movement for the creation of Pakistan, sought 
political space for Muslims rather than an Islamic state 
?These identities were by no means ?rmly established and both were conscious of their 
vulnerabilities  
?In fact the very identity of Pakistan was built as an anti-thesis of secular India, its identity based on 
the opposition of what India  
?Pakistan’s identity crisis faced a hit with the separation of Bangladesh from Pakistan.   
2. In?uence of domestic politics: An individual’s sense of af?nity with a group is de?ned essentially by the 
group’s separateness from other groups and internally by a sense of belongingness arising from 
meaningful participation in the life of the group. At level of society and the state, this means that a voice 
in and therefore a positive contribution to social and political life is an essential prerequisite for the 
development of a strong sense of national identity. If the external component of identity is not 
adequately balanced by the internal, there is an inbuilt tendency to reinforce identity in opposition to a 
collective external ‘other’ . 
?The internal weaknesses of both countries made them prone to consolidate their identities with 
regard to other states. Indian post-colonial state sought to protect itself from the West, especially 
US, while Pakistan did likewise with India  
?Apparent dominance of Nehru’s Congress Party was subject to severe pressure under Indira 
Gandhi’s effort to personalise the political system culminated in the declaration of an Emergency 
?Numerous secessionist movements made it vulnerable to the possibility of at least partial 
disintegration and from this standpoint, sensitive about the potential loss of Kashmir 
Pakistan 
•
Pakistan had its own share of dif?culties. Grafting a ‘fundamentally non-territorial vision of nationality’ 
on to a physically bounded space without the bene?t of a history was hard enough 
•
T o attempt it in an ethically divided society demanded a Herculean effort and neither the leadership nor 
the institutional framework was available —> country came to be dominated by military 
•
Army and mainstream political parties failed to bring enduring stability, their tensions instead providing 
political space for Islamic extremism and a ‘culture of jihad’ 
•Pakistan’s inner turbulence and its determination to complete the task of Partition, as it were, by 
obtaining control over Kashmir thus became the centerpiece of Islamabad’s strategy. India, itself 
wracked by substantial problems of internal rift, economic stagnation, and external threat (from 
Pakistan as well as China), sought to respond by means of a combination of approaches 
www.YouTube.com/SleepyClasses 
www.SleepyClasses.com 
!
Page 2


 
India-Pakistan 
Sources of Con?ict 
1. Mutually exclusive identities: India espoused a secular identity embracing its diverse religious and 
other social groups. Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who led the movement for the creation of Pakistan, sought 
political space for Muslims rather than an Islamic state 
?These identities were by no means ?rmly established and both were conscious of their 
vulnerabilities  
?In fact the very identity of Pakistan was built as an anti-thesis of secular India, its identity based on 
the opposition of what India  
?Pakistan’s identity crisis faced a hit with the separation of Bangladesh from Pakistan.   
2. In?uence of domestic politics: An individual’s sense of af?nity with a group is de?ned essentially by the 
group’s separateness from other groups and internally by a sense of belongingness arising from 
meaningful participation in the life of the group. At level of society and the state, this means that a voice 
in and therefore a positive contribution to social and political life is an essential prerequisite for the 
development of a strong sense of national identity. If the external component of identity is not 
adequately balanced by the internal, there is an inbuilt tendency to reinforce identity in opposition to a 
collective external ‘other’ . 
?The internal weaknesses of both countries made them prone to consolidate their identities with 
regard to other states. Indian post-colonial state sought to protect itself from the West, especially 
US, while Pakistan did likewise with India  
?Apparent dominance of Nehru’s Congress Party was subject to severe pressure under Indira 
Gandhi’s effort to personalise the political system culminated in the declaration of an Emergency 
?Numerous secessionist movements made it vulnerable to the possibility of at least partial 
disintegration and from this standpoint, sensitive about the potential loss of Kashmir 
Pakistan 
•
Pakistan had its own share of dif?culties. Grafting a ‘fundamentally non-territorial vision of nationality’ 
on to a physically bounded space without the bene?t of a history was hard enough 
•
T o attempt it in an ethically divided society demanded a Herculean effort and neither the leadership nor 
the institutional framework was available —> country came to be dominated by military 
•
Army and mainstream political parties failed to bring enduring stability, their tensions instead providing 
political space for Islamic extremism and a ‘culture of jihad’ 
•Pakistan’s inner turbulence and its determination to complete the task of Partition, as it were, by 
obtaining control over Kashmir thus became the centerpiece of Islamabad’s strategy. India, itself 
wracked by substantial problems of internal rift, economic stagnation, and external threat (from 
Pakistan as well as China), sought to respond by means of a combination of approaches 
www.YouTube.com/SleepyClasses 
www.SleepyClasses.com 
! 
India’s Polity Efforts 
Options available to India in responding to Pakistan’s revisionist policy are 
1. Defeat 
2. Contain 
3. Negotiate 
4. Concede (Not acceptable) 
Defeat 
From the beginning, Pakistan was driven by a strong desire for parity of status, which in turn strengthened its 
resolve to challenge what it saw as Indian hegemony. India’s resort to war was both reactive and proactive. 
Pakistan, though the weaker state, took the initiative immediately after independence in 1947 and again in 
1965. India’s relative weakness was revealed by its failure to win a decisive victory on both occasions. 
In 1971, though the origins of war lay in an internal crisis of Pakistan’s own making, India was proactive in 
aiding the breakaway movement in East Pakistan and followed up with a military victory that helped create 
Bangladesh. The defeat made Pakistan cautious, but also led to an accelerated effort on Islamabad’s part to 
develop nuclear weapons, with painful consequences for India. By the mid-1980s, Pakistan had acquired 
nuclear capability, thereby nullifying the war option for India. 
Contain 
Policy of containment has two main facets:  
1. direct military deterrence and  
2. indirect power balancing with the support of other powers 
In both respects, Indian policy was hamstrung by signi?cant limitations.  
•
As a military power, post-colonial India remained relatively weak for the initial decades: evident not only 
from its lackluster performance against Pakistan, but also its decisive loss to China in 1962. As a result, 
Pakistan was not deterred until 1971 
•
Besides, while India consciously tried to avoid alliances, Pakistan was quick to bolster its position by 
means of alliances with the United States and China 
•
In addition, it was able to exploit India’s failure to set its own house in order. In the 1980s, Islamabad 
began exercising the ‘asymmetric option’ by providing support for a militant secessionist movement in 
the Indian province of Punjab.  
•
From the mid-1980s, Pakistan’s acquisition of the atomic bomb enabled it to raise the stakes, especially 
after the rise of a militant independence movement in Jammu and Kashmir  
•
The Kargil crisis, or ‘war’ as it is sometimes known, and a series of major jihadi attacks on Indian targets 
clearly showed that Pakistan could not be deterred 
www.YouTube.com/SleepyClasses 
www.SleepyClasses.com 
!
Page 3


 
India-Pakistan 
Sources of Con?ict 
1. Mutually exclusive identities: India espoused a secular identity embracing its diverse religious and 
other social groups. Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who led the movement for the creation of Pakistan, sought 
political space for Muslims rather than an Islamic state 
?These identities were by no means ?rmly established and both were conscious of their 
vulnerabilities  
?In fact the very identity of Pakistan was built as an anti-thesis of secular India, its identity based on 
the opposition of what India  
?Pakistan’s identity crisis faced a hit with the separation of Bangladesh from Pakistan.   
2. In?uence of domestic politics: An individual’s sense of af?nity with a group is de?ned essentially by the 
group’s separateness from other groups and internally by a sense of belongingness arising from 
meaningful participation in the life of the group. At level of society and the state, this means that a voice 
in and therefore a positive contribution to social and political life is an essential prerequisite for the 
development of a strong sense of national identity. If the external component of identity is not 
adequately balanced by the internal, there is an inbuilt tendency to reinforce identity in opposition to a 
collective external ‘other’ . 
?The internal weaknesses of both countries made them prone to consolidate their identities with 
regard to other states. Indian post-colonial state sought to protect itself from the West, especially 
US, while Pakistan did likewise with India  
?Apparent dominance of Nehru’s Congress Party was subject to severe pressure under Indira 
Gandhi’s effort to personalise the political system culminated in the declaration of an Emergency 
?Numerous secessionist movements made it vulnerable to the possibility of at least partial 
disintegration and from this standpoint, sensitive about the potential loss of Kashmir 
Pakistan 
•
Pakistan had its own share of dif?culties. Grafting a ‘fundamentally non-territorial vision of nationality’ 
on to a physically bounded space without the bene?t of a history was hard enough 
•
T o attempt it in an ethically divided society demanded a Herculean effort and neither the leadership nor 
the institutional framework was available —> country came to be dominated by military 
•
Army and mainstream political parties failed to bring enduring stability, their tensions instead providing 
political space for Islamic extremism and a ‘culture of jihad’ 
•Pakistan’s inner turbulence and its determination to complete the task of Partition, as it were, by 
obtaining control over Kashmir thus became the centerpiece of Islamabad’s strategy. India, itself 
wracked by substantial problems of internal rift, economic stagnation, and external threat (from 
Pakistan as well as China), sought to respond by means of a combination of approaches 
www.YouTube.com/SleepyClasses 
www.SleepyClasses.com 
! 
India’s Polity Efforts 
Options available to India in responding to Pakistan’s revisionist policy are 
1. Defeat 
2. Contain 
3. Negotiate 
4. Concede (Not acceptable) 
Defeat 
From the beginning, Pakistan was driven by a strong desire for parity of status, which in turn strengthened its 
resolve to challenge what it saw as Indian hegemony. India’s resort to war was both reactive and proactive. 
Pakistan, though the weaker state, took the initiative immediately after independence in 1947 and again in 
1965. India’s relative weakness was revealed by its failure to win a decisive victory on both occasions. 
In 1971, though the origins of war lay in an internal crisis of Pakistan’s own making, India was proactive in 
aiding the breakaway movement in East Pakistan and followed up with a military victory that helped create 
Bangladesh. The defeat made Pakistan cautious, but also led to an accelerated effort on Islamabad’s part to 
develop nuclear weapons, with painful consequences for India. By the mid-1980s, Pakistan had acquired 
nuclear capability, thereby nullifying the war option for India. 
Contain 
Policy of containment has two main facets:  
1. direct military deterrence and  
2. indirect power balancing with the support of other powers 
In both respects, Indian policy was hamstrung by signi?cant limitations.  
•
As a military power, post-colonial India remained relatively weak for the initial decades: evident not only 
from its lackluster performance against Pakistan, but also its decisive loss to China in 1962. As a result, 
Pakistan was not deterred until 1971 
•
Besides, while India consciously tried to avoid alliances, Pakistan was quick to bolster its position by 
means of alliances with the United States and China 
•
In addition, it was able to exploit India’s failure to set its own house in order. In the 1980s, Islamabad 
began exercising the ‘asymmetric option’ by providing support for a militant secessionist movement in 
the Indian province of Punjab.  
•
From the mid-1980s, Pakistan’s acquisition of the atomic bomb enabled it to raise the stakes, especially 
after the rise of a militant independence movement in Jammu and Kashmir  
•
The Kargil crisis, or ‘war’ as it is sometimes known, and a series of major jihadi attacks on Indian targets 
clearly showed that Pakistan could not be deterred 
www.YouTube.com/SleepyClasses 
www.SleepyClasses.com 
! 
•Following a jihadi attack on India’s Parliament in December 2001, India shifted its containment strategy 
to compellence by threatening limited war, but the war option was not a viable one and, after a brief and 
partial policy retraction, Pakistani support for cross-border terrorism was renewed 
•The stalemate continued subsequently, with India’s incapacity exposed when Pakistan-based terrorists 
launched a commando-style attack on Mumbai in November 2008, killing 160 civilians 
Negotiate 
Initially, Nehru was amenable to a plebiscite in Kashmir, but the war of 1947–8 more or less killed the option. 
India’s negotiating strategy over the years underlined its status quo position on Kashmir. The ?rst war ended 
with India agreeing to divide Kashmir, at least as a temporary arrangement; and India eschewed territorial 
gains in the 1965 and 1971 wars.  
But India’s willingness to make a deal and limit its demands appears to have been interpreted as a symptom 
of weakness. Moreover, Pakistan’s deep internal ?ssures made it dif?cult for its leaders to abandon their 
revisionist stance; nor was it in the army’s interest to do so.  
The failure of the Indian negotiating strategy was dramatically evident in the Kargil crisis, which erupted 
barely three months after Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee traveled to Lahore to initiate what was 
thought to be a breakthrough in the relationship. 
On the positive side, India’s readiness to persist with negotiations showed signs of paying off when, following 
the two military crises of 1999 and 2001–2, Pakistan’s military leader, President Pervez Musharraf, began 
responding in earnest. The comprehensive dialogue that followed came close to a major ‘deal’ (though its 
content remains unclear); but eventually nothing came of it as Musharraf’s political fortunes plummeted, 
taking the putative deal with them. 
Strategy Assessment  
The factors that sustained the gap between India’s status quo-ist approach and Pakistan’s challenge to it 
were clearly two:  
1. India’s relative weakness and  
2. Pakistan’s domestic politics.  
Had India been much stronger militarily at the early stage of the relationship, Pakistan’s capacity to push its 
agenda would have been weaker. And had Pakistan been internally more stable, its interest in de?ning itself 
via Kashmir would have been less powerful. 
External Push to Pakistan  
During the ?rst phase of the Cold War (from the 1950s to the mid-1970s), it was able to acquire American 
military equipment (including ?ghter aircraft and tanks).  
In the second phase, after the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in late 1979, it received even more military 
aid by assuming the role of a frontline state.  
The American position on Kashmir was also more sympathetic to Pakistan’s claims. China was an additional 
source of military wherewithal and political support.  
www.YouTube.com/SleepyClasses 
www.SleepyClasses.com 
!
Page 4


 
India-Pakistan 
Sources of Con?ict 
1. Mutually exclusive identities: India espoused a secular identity embracing its diverse religious and 
other social groups. Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who led the movement for the creation of Pakistan, sought 
political space for Muslims rather than an Islamic state 
?These identities were by no means ?rmly established and both were conscious of their 
vulnerabilities  
?In fact the very identity of Pakistan was built as an anti-thesis of secular India, its identity based on 
the opposition of what India  
?Pakistan’s identity crisis faced a hit with the separation of Bangladesh from Pakistan.   
2. In?uence of domestic politics: An individual’s sense of af?nity with a group is de?ned essentially by the 
group’s separateness from other groups and internally by a sense of belongingness arising from 
meaningful participation in the life of the group. At level of society and the state, this means that a voice 
in and therefore a positive contribution to social and political life is an essential prerequisite for the 
development of a strong sense of national identity. If the external component of identity is not 
adequately balanced by the internal, there is an inbuilt tendency to reinforce identity in opposition to a 
collective external ‘other’ . 
?The internal weaknesses of both countries made them prone to consolidate their identities with 
regard to other states. Indian post-colonial state sought to protect itself from the West, especially 
US, while Pakistan did likewise with India  
?Apparent dominance of Nehru’s Congress Party was subject to severe pressure under Indira 
Gandhi’s effort to personalise the political system culminated in the declaration of an Emergency 
?Numerous secessionist movements made it vulnerable to the possibility of at least partial 
disintegration and from this standpoint, sensitive about the potential loss of Kashmir 
Pakistan 
•
Pakistan had its own share of dif?culties. Grafting a ‘fundamentally non-territorial vision of nationality’ 
on to a physically bounded space without the bene?t of a history was hard enough 
•
T o attempt it in an ethically divided society demanded a Herculean effort and neither the leadership nor 
the institutional framework was available —> country came to be dominated by military 
•
Army and mainstream political parties failed to bring enduring stability, their tensions instead providing 
political space for Islamic extremism and a ‘culture of jihad’ 
•Pakistan’s inner turbulence and its determination to complete the task of Partition, as it were, by 
obtaining control over Kashmir thus became the centerpiece of Islamabad’s strategy. India, itself 
wracked by substantial problems of internal rift, economic stagnation, and external threat (from 
Pakistan as well as China), sought to respond by means of a combination of approaches 
www.YouTube.com/SleepyClasses 
www.SleepyClasses.com 
! 
India’s Polity Efforts 
Options available to India in responding to Pakistan’s revisionist policy are 
1. Defeat 
2. Contain 
3. Negotiate 
4. Concede (Not acceptable) 
Defeat 
From the beginning, Pakistan was driven by a strong desire for parity of status, which in turn strengthened its 
resolve to challenge what it saw as Indian hegemony. India’s resort to war was both reactive and proactive. 
Pakistan, though the weaker state, took the initiative immediately after independence in 1947 and again in 
1965. India’s relative weakness was revealed by its failure to win a decisive victory on both occasions. 
In 1971, though the origins of war lay in an internal crisis of Pakistan’s own making, India was proactive in 
aiding the breakaway movement in East Pakistan and followed up with a military victory that helped create 
Bangladesh. The defeat made Pakistan cautious, but also led to an accelerated effort on Islamabad’s part to 
develop nuclear weapons, with painful consequences for India. By the mid-1980s, Pakistan had acquired 
nuclear capability, thereby nullifying the war option for India. 
Contain 
Policy of containment has two main facets:  
1. direct military deterrence and  
2. indirect power balancing with the support of other powers 
In both respects, Indian policy was hamstrung by signi?cant limitations.  
•
As a military power, post-colonial India remained relatively weak for the initial decades: evident not only 
from its lackluster performance against Pakistan, but also its decisive loss to China in 1962. As a result, 
Pakistan was not deterred until 1971 
•
Besides, while India consciously tried to avoid alliances, Pakistan was quick to bolster its position by 
means of alliances with the United States and China 
•
In addition, it was able to exploit India’s failure to set its own house in order. In the 1980s, Islamabad 
began exercising the ‘asymmetric option’ by providing support for a militant secessionist movement in 
the Indian province of Punjab.  
•
From the mid-1980s, Pakistan’s acquisition of the atomic bomb enabled it to raise the stakes, especially 
after the rise of a militant independence movement in Jammu and Kashmir  
•
The Kargil crisis, or ‘war’ as it is sometimes known, and a series of major jihadi attacks on Indian targets 
clearly showed that Pakistan could not be deterred 
www.YouTube.com/SleepyClasses 
www.SleepyClasses.com 
! 
•Following a jihadi attack on India’s Parliament in December 2001, India shifted its containment strategy 
to compellence by threatening limited war, but the war option was not a viable one and, after a brief and 
partial policy retraction, Pakistani support for cross-border terrorism was renewed 
•The stalemate continued subsequently, with India’s incapacity exposed when Pakistan-based terrorists 
launched a commando-style attack on Mumbai in November 2008, killing 160 civilians 
Negotiate 
Initially, Nehru was amenable to a plebiscite in Kashmir, but the war of 1947–8 more or less killed the option. 
India’s negotiating strategy over the years underlined its status quo position on Kashmir. The ?rst war ended 
with India agreeing to divide Kashmir, at least as a temporary arrangement; and India eschewed territorial 
gains in the 1965 and 1971 wars.  
But India’s willingness to make a deal and limit its demands appears to have been interpreted as a symptom 
of weakness. Moreover, Pakistan’s deep internal ?ssures made it dif?cult for its leaders to abandon their 
revisionist stance; nor was it in the army’s interest to do so.  
The failure of the Indian negotiating strategy was dramatically evident in the Kargil crisis, which erupted 
barely three months after Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee traveled to Lahore to initiate what was 
thought to be a breakthrough in the relationship. 
On the positive side, India’s readiness to persist with negotiations showed signs of paying off when, following 
the two military crises of 1999 and 2001–2, Pakistan’s military leader, President Pervez Musharraf, began 
responding in earnest. The comprehensive dialogue that followed came close to a major ‘deal’ (though its 
content remains unclear); but eventually nothing came of it as Musharraf’s political fortunes plummeted, 
taking the putative deal with them. 
Strategy Assessment  
The factors that sustained the gap between India’s status quo-ist approach and Pakistan’s challenge to it 
were clearly two:  
1. India’s relative weakness and  
2. Pakistan’s domestic politics.  
Had India been much stronger militarily at the early stage of the relationship, Pakistan’s capacity to push its 
agenda would have been weaker. And had Pakistan been internally more stable, its interest in de?ning itself 
via Kashmir would have been less powerful. 
External Push to Pakistan  
During the ?rst phase of the Cold War (from the 1950s to the mid-1970s), it was able to acquire American 
military equipment (including ?ghter aircraft and tanks).  
In the second phase, after the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in late 1979, it received even more military 
aid by assuming the role of a frontline state.  
The American position on Kashmir was also more sympathetic to Pakistan’s claims. China was an additional 
source of military wherewithal and political support.  
www.YouTube.com/SleepyClasses 
www.SleepyClasses.com 
! 
India, of course, was able to counter Pakistan’s strategy by obtaining arms from a variety of sources, primarily 
the Soviet Union. But the overall effect was to allow Pakistan to maintain a relatively strong position, both 
militarily and politically, which enabled it to sustain its challenge to India. 
Faulty Decisions by India 
Nehru’s grand strategy, deeply in?uenced by the colonial experience, was predicated on maximizing Indian 
autonomy. Accordingly, he sought simultaneously  
1. to keep a distance from the ‘imperial’ capitalist powers by adopting an autarkic, socialistic economic 
policy and 
2. to avoid entanglement in Cold War alliance politics by adopting a non-aligned stance 
Both choices were to have fateful consequences. The ?rst left India with a weak economy that lacked the 
capital, technology, and dynamism to develop a strong state and the second deprived India of a crucial 
potential source of political support and sophisticated military prowess.  
Autarky and non-alignment were neither ‘natural’ products of the colonial experience nor the foundation of 
advanced state capacity: on the contrary, major success stories such as South Korea and T aiwan grew out of 
not adopting either. India’s own relatively faster economic and military growth after the 1990s is testimony 
to this.  
But once embraced, both policies were dif?cult to shed. Had Nehru taken the tack he consciously chose not 
to, India would have been launched on a growth path much earlier.  
Cold War and the capitalist system were interrelated: the United States was for the most part willing to make 
major economic concessions to Japan, South Korea, and other Cold War allies by absorbing their exports 
without demur. In short, had India taken the path suggested, it would have been an ‘emerging power’ decades 
before it began to be seen as one. And with a stronger economy, a sounder technological base, and more 
advanced military capability, it would have been in a better position to contend with Pakistan. Arguably, 
Pakistan’s revisionism might not have retained its persistence for long. 
While the argument above is about how India’s overall policy might have been very different in tackling a 
dif?cult adversarial relationship, the next section looks closely at the basics of the relationship itself and 
assesses the prospects for a lowering of tensions in times to come. 
Nuclear Weapons Effects 
Positive side: Nuclear rivalries also exhibit learning: the contenders discover that the risks associated with 
these weapons are suf?ciently severe to require rethinking about their possible ‘uses’ with regard to 
manipulating them for political advantage. 
As a revisionist state, Pakistan had the option to shield itself with nuclear weapons and “apply pressure on 
India through an ‘asymmetric strategy’ . The strategy did produce the kind of results it aimed to: it brought 
India to the negotiating table with regard to Kashmir. But it also brought the opposite effect. During the 
crises that erupted periodically, the two powers had willy nilly to cooperate in order to avoid war. They did so 
tacitly by limiting their actions (as opposed to their rhetoric) and explicitly by negotiating for an end to the 
tensions 
www.YouTube.com/SleepyClasses 
www.SleepyClasses.com 
!
Page 5


 
India-Pakistan 
Sources of Con?ict 
1. Mutually exclusive identities: India espoused a secular identity embracing its diverse religious and 
other social groups. Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who led the movement for the creation of Pakistan, sought 
political space for Muslims rather than an Islamic state 
?These identities were by no means ?rmly established and both were conscious of their 
vulnerabilities  
?In fact the very identity of Pakistan was built as an anti-thesis of secular India, its identity based on 
the opposition of what India  
?Pakistan’s identity crisis faced a hit with the separation of Bangladesh from Pakistan.   
2. In?uence of domestic politics: An individual’s sense of af?nity with a group is de?ned essentially by the 
group’s separateness from other groups and internally by a sense of belongingness arising from 
meaningful participation in the life of the group. At level of society and the state, this means that a voice 
in and therefore a positive contribution to social and political life is an essential prerequisite for the 
development of a strong sense of national identity. If the external component of identity is not 
adequately balanced by the internal, there is an inbuilt tendency to reinforce identity in opposition to a 
collective external ‘other’ . 
?The internal weaknesses of both countries made them prone to consolidate their identities with 
regard to other states. Indian post-colonial state sought to protect itself from the West, especially 
US, while Pakistan did likewise with India  
?Apparent dominance of Nehru’s Congress Party was subject to severe pressure under Indira 
Gandhi’s effort to personalise the political system culminated in the declaration of an Emergency 
?Numerous secessionist movements made it vulnerable to the possibility of at least partial 
disintegration and from this standpoint, sensitive about the potential loss of Kashmir 
Pakistan 
•
Pakistan had its own share of dif?culties. Grafting a ‘fundamentally non-territorial vision of nationality’ 
on to a physically bounded space without the bene?t of a history was hard enough 
•
T o attempt it in an ethically divided society demanded a Herculean effort and neither the leadership nor 
the institutional framework was available —> country came to be dominated by military 
•
Army and mainstream political parties failed to bring enduring stability, their tensions instead providing 
political space for Islamic extremism and a ‘culture of jihad’ 
•Pakistan’s inner turbulence and its determination to complete the task of Partition, as it were, by 
obtaining control over Kashmir thus became the centerpiece of Islamabad’s strategy. India, itself 
wracked by substantial problems of internal rift, economic stagnation, and external threat (from 
Pakistan as well as China), sought to respond by means of a combination of approaches 
www.YouTube.com/SleepyClasses 
www.SleepyClasses.com 
! 
India’s Polity Efforts 
Options available to India in responding to Pakistan’s revisionist policy are 
1. Defeat 
2. Contain 
3. Negotiate 
4. Concede (Not acceptable) 
Defeat 
From the beginning, Pakistan was driven by a strong desire for parity of status, which in turn strengthened its 
resolve to challenge what it saw as Indian hegemony. India’s resort to war was both reactive and proactive. 
Pakistan, though the weaker state, took the initiative immediately after independence in 1947 and again in 
1965. India’s relative weakness was revealed by its failure to win a decisive victory on both occasions. 
In 1971, though the origins of war lay in an internal crisis of Pakistan’s own making, India was proactive in 
aiding the breakaway movement in East Pakistan and followed up with a military victory that helped create 
Bangladesh. The defeat made Pakistan cautious, but also led to an accelerated effort on Islamabad’s part to 
develop nuclear weapons, with painful consequences for India. By the mid-1980s, Pakistan had acquired 
nuclear capability, thereby nullifying the war option for India. 
Contain 
Policy of containment has two main facets:  
1. direct military deterrence and  
2. indirect power balancing with the support of other powers 
In both respects, Indian policy was hamstrung by signi?cant limitations.  
•
As a military power, post-colonial India remained relatively weak for the initial decades: evident not only 
from its lackluster performance against Pakistan, but also its decisive loss to China in 1962. As a result, 
Pakistan was not deterred until 1971 
•
Besides, while India consciously tried to avoid alliances, Pakistan was quick to bolster its position by 
means of alliances with the United States and China 
•
In addition, it was able to exploit India’s failure to set its own house in order. In the 1980s, Islamabad 
began exercising the ‘asymmetric option’ by providing support for a militant secessionist movement in 
the Indian province of Punjab.  
•
From the mid-1980s, Pakistan’s acquisition of the atomic bomb enabled it to raise the stakes, especially 
after the rise of a militant independence movement in Jammu and Kashmir  
•
The Kargil crisis, or ‘war’ as it is sometimes known, and a series of major jihadi attacks on Indian targets 
clearly showed that Pakistan could not be deterred 
www.YouTube.com/SleepyClasses 
www.SleepyClasses.com 
! 
•Following a jihadi attack on India’s Parliament in December 2001, India shifted its containment strategy 
to compellence by threatening limited war, but the war option was not a viable one and, after a brief and 
partial policy retraction, Pakistani support for cross-border terrorism was renewed 
•The stalemate continued subsequently, with India’s incapacity exposed when Pakistan-based terrorists 
launched a commando-style attack on Mumbai in November 2008, killing 160 civilians 
Negotiate 
Initially, Nehru was amenable to a plebiscite in Kashmir, but the war of 1947–8 more or less killed the option. 
India’s negotiating strategy over the years underlined its status quo position on Kashmir. The ?rst war ended 
with India agreeing to divide Kashmir, at least as a temporary arrangement; and India eschewed territorial 
gains in the 1965 and 1971 wars.  
But India’s willingness to make a deal and limit its demands appears to have been interpreted as a symptom 
of weakness. Moreover, Pakistan’s deep internal ?ssures made it dif?cult for its leaders to abandon their 
revisionist stance; nor was it in the army’s interest to do so.  
The failure of the Indian negotiating strategy was dramatically evident in the Kargil crisis, which erupted 
barely three months after Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee traveled to Lahore to initiate what was 
thought to be a breakthrough in the relationship. 
On the positive side, India’s readiness to persist with negotiations showed signs of paying off when, following 
the two military crises of 1999 and 2001–2, Pakistan’s military leader, President Pervez Musharraf, began 
responding in earnest. The comprehensive dialogue that followed came close to a major ‘deal’ (though its 
content remains unclear); but eventually nothing came of it as Musharraf’s political fortunes plummeted, 
taking the putative deal with them. 
Strategy Assessment  
The factors that sustained the gap between India’s status quo-ist approach and Pakistan’s challenge to it 
were clearly two:  
1. India’s relative weakness and  
2. Pakistan’s domestic politics.  
Had India been much stronger militarily at the early stage of the relationship, Pakistan’s capacity to push its 
agenda would have been weaker. And had Pakistan been internally more stable, its interest in de?ning itself 
via Kashmir would have been less powerful. 
External Push to Pakistan  
During the ?rst phase of the Cold War (from the 1950s to the mid-1970s), it was able to acquire American 
military equipment (including ?ghter aircraft and tanks).  
In the second phase, after the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in late 1979, it received even more military 
aid by assuming the role of a frontline state.  
The American position on Kashmir was also more sympathetic to Pakistan’s claims. China was an additional 
source of military wherewithal and political support.  
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India, of course, was able to counter Pakistan’s strategy by obtaining arms from a variety of sources, primarily 
the Soviet Union. But the overall effect was to allow Pakistan to maintain a relatively strong position, both 
militarily and politically, which enabled it to sustain its challenge to India. 
Faulty Decisions by India 
Nehru’s grand strategy, deeply in?uenced by the colonial experience, was predicated on maximizing Indian 
autonomy. Accordingly, he sought simultaneously  
1. to keep a distance from the ‘imperial’ capitalist powers by adopting an autarkic, socialistic economic 
policy and 
2. to avoid entanglement in Cold War alliance politics by adopting a non-aligned stance 
Both choices were to have fateful consequences. The ?rst left India with a weak economy that lacked the 
capital, technology, and dynamism to develop a strong state and the second deprived India of a crucial 
potential source of political support and sophisticated military prowess.  
Autarky and non-alignment were neither ‘natural’ products of the colonial experience nor the foundation of 
advanced state capacity: on the contrary, major success stories such as South Korea and T aiwan grew out of 
not adopting either. India’s own relatively faster economic and military growth after the 1990s is testimony 
to this.  
But once embraced, both policies were dif?cult to shed. Had Nehru taken the tack he consciously chose not 
to, India would have been launched on a growth path much earlier.  
Cold War and the capitalist system were interrelated: the United States was for the most part willing to make 
major economic concessions to Japan, South Korea, and other Cold War allies by absorbing their exports 
without demur. In short, had India taken the path suggested, it would have been an ‘emerging power’ decades 
before it began to be seen as one. And with a stronger economy, a sounder technological base, and more 
advanced military capability, it would have been in a better position to contend with Pakistan. Arguably, 
Pakistan’s revisionism might not have retained its persistence for long. 
While the argument above is about how India’s overall policy might have been very different in tackling a 
dif?cult adversarial relationship, the next section looks closely at the basics of the relationship itself and 
assesses the prospects for a lowering of tensions in times to come. 
Nuclear Weapons Effects 
Positive side: Nuclear rivalries also exhibit learning: the contenders discover that the risks associated with 
these weapons are suf?ciently severe to require rethinking about their possible ‘uses’ with regard to 
manipulating them for political advantage. 
As a revisionist state, Pakistan had the option to shield itself with nuclear weapons and “apply pressure on 
India through an ‘asymmetric strategy’ . The strategy did produce the kind of results it aimed to: it brought 
India to the negotiating table with regard to Kashmir. But it also brought the opposite effect. During the 
crises that erupted periodically, the two powers had willy nilly to cooperate in order to avoid war. They did so 
tacitly by limiting their actions (as opposed to their rhetoric) and explicitly by negotiating for an end to the 
tensions 
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In 1999, India refrained from crossing the LoC, though this hampered its use of air power, slowed down its 
counterattack and meant a higher cost in lives lost. The lesson was quickly learned that rivals with nuclear 
weapons must cooperate to avoid war. It was scarcely surprising, then, that Indian and Pakistani leaders 
subsequently made serious attempts to ?nd political solutions though a sustained ‘composite dialogue. ’ 
Globalisation and Economics 
Political tensions had long con?ned India-Pakistan trade to a low level because Pakistan sought to protect 
itself by keeping India at arm’s length. It was only after the 2001-2 crisis was behind them that trade between 
the two countries began to increase. 
Opening of trade between the separated portions of Kashmir in 2008 brought mutual economic bene?t and a 
lessening of tension. 
T alks on a proposed Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline were also on.  
Pakistani state faced great dif?culties and its prospects for evolving a workable democracy were repeatedly 
disputed by military rule and by ethnic and sectarian divisions  
India’s Policy 
Having failed to anticipate the costs of nuclearization, Indian policy-makers struggled to ?nd an appropriate 
response. Among the options aired were ‘hot pursuit’ of terrorists into Pakistani territory, selective strikes 
against terrorist camps inside Pakistan, and some indeterminate ‘limited war’ response to continuing 
Pakistani backing of jihadis.  
In the wake of the slow mobilization of strike forces in the crisis of 2001–2, the Indian army developed a 
strategy (of?cially denied) known as ‘Cold Start, ’ which envisaged limited incursion and holding of Pakistani 
territory with a view to obtaining a strong bargaining position. The strategy was open to question, since 
Pakistan’s military response was not predictable and now included the threat to use tactical nuclear missiles 
and nuclear-tipped cruise missiles. Meanwhile, India necessarily developed a degree of tolerance to attacks 
by Pakistan-based terrorists, but left open the matter of what it might do in response to another major 
attack. The political situation in Pakistan remained ambiguous. The relative longevity of civilian rule did not 
ensure that the army—with its proclivity for tension with India—was permanently back in the barracks. And 
terrorist groups like the Lashkar-e-T aiba (LeT), which had not been under pressure while the army fought the 
T aliban on the western frontier, retained the potential to launch serious attacks on India. The Indian 
government did not appear to have a policy other than continuing with the old combination of threats and 
offers to negotiate. 
Pakistan’s unwillingness to grant India MFN status, which it had announced in 2011, slowed the pace of talks 
over economic cooperation  
Lack of progress to the distrust fostered on both sides by ‘security agencies’: Indian pointed to the lack of 
progress on the Pakistani trial of those said to be involved in the 2008 Mumbai attack; Pakistanis said the 
same with regard to the case involving the 2007 bombing in India of a cross-border train (the ‘Samjhauta 
Express’) that had caused the death of 42 Pakistanis 
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