Q. 1. What are some of the commonalities and differences between Bangladesh and Pakistan in their democratic experiences?
Ans. Bangladesh was a part of Pakistan from 1947 to 1971. It was called East Pakistan. In 1971, it became a separate country called Bangladesh. Both the countries, Pakistan and Bangladesh share some commonalities and differences.
Commonalities : (i) Both Bangladesh and Pakistan experienced military rule. Pakistan experienced military rule under General Yahya Khan, General Ziaul- Haq and General Pervez Musharraf.
(ii) Bangladesh experienced military rule under Ziaur Rahman and Lt Gen. H.M. Ershad.(iii) After Pakistan framed its first Constitution, General Ayub Khan took over the administration of the country and soon got himself elected. But he had to give up his office when there was a popular dissatisfaction against his rule. This gave way to a military takeover once again under General Yahya Khan.
(iv) Pakistan again experienced military rule under Zia-ul-Haq in 1977 when the Bhutto government was removed.
(v) In 1988, under the leadership of Benazir Bhutto, democratic government was established.
(vi) In 1999, army stepped once again and General Pervez Musharraf removed Prime Minister Nawaj Sharif.
(vii) The current position is that Pakistan is under democratic rule having Imran Khan as the Prime Minister.
(viii) Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was the first Prime Minister of Bangladesh. He was assassinated in a military uprising in August 1975. The military took over the rule under Ziaur Rahman. He was assassinated and another military takeover followed under the leadership of Lt Gen H.M. Ershad.
(ix) In the current scenario, Bangladesh is experiencing a democratic rule.
Differences : (i) In Pakistan, social dominance of the military, clergy and landowning aristocracy has led to the frequent overthrow of elected governments and the establishment of military governments. Whereas in Bangladesh it was directly from the military.
(ii) Pakistan’s conflict with India has made the pro-military groups more powerful. In case of Bangladesh, India helped it from getting its independence from Pakistan. So in Bangladesh, pro-democracy groups were more powerful because of the help of India.
Q. 2. Write a short note on history of democracy in Pakistan.
Ans. After the adoption of the Constitution in Pakistan, General Ayub Khan took over the administration of the country and soon got himself elected. General Ayub Khan gave up the office because of the popular dissatisfaction against him. After Ayub Khan, the military took over Pakistan under General Yahya Khan. During Yahya’s military rule, Pakistan faced the Bangladesh crisis and after a war with India in 1971. East Pakistan broke away to emerge as an independent country called Bangladesh. An elected government under the leadership of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto came to power in Pakistan from 1971 to 1977. The Bhutto government was removed by General Zia-ul-Haq in 1977. An elected government was established once again in the year 1988, under the leadership of Benazir Bhutto. In 1999, the army stepped in again and General Pervez Musharraf removed Prime Minister Nawaj Sharif.
Q. 3. Examine three major areas of conflict between India and Pakistan.
Describe any three points of conflict between India and Pakistan.
Ans. Conflicts between India and Pakistan:
(i) There was dispute over Kashmir immediately after the partition in 1948 between India and Pakistan. Both the governments continue to be suspicious of each other. The Indian government has blamed the Pakistan government for using a strategy of low-key violence by helping the Kashmiri militants with arms, training, money and protection to carry out terrorist strikes against India.
(ii) India’s conflict with Pakistan is also over strategic issues like the control of the Siachen glacier and over acquisition of arms.
(iii) India and Pakistan also have had problems over the sharing of river waters. Until 1960, they were locked in a fierce argument over the use of the rivers of the Indus basin.(iv) In 1971, another war broke out between India and Pakistan. As a result of the war, Bangladesh came into existence as a free country.
(v) Operation Vijay was started to free Kargil from Pakistan in 1999.
Q. 4. Give a detailed account of relationships between India and Pakistan in the early years of independence.
Ans. Soon after the partition, India and Pakistan got embroiled in a conflict over the fate of Kashmir. The Pakistani government claimed that Kashmir belonged to it. Two wars took place in the year 1947–48 and 1965 over this issue, but failed to settle the matter. The 1947–48 war resulted in the division of the province into Pakistan–occupied Kashmir and the Indian province of Jammu and Kashmir divided by the Line of Control. In 1971, India won a decisive battle against Pakistan but the Kashmir issue remained unsettled. India’s conflict with Pakistan is also over strategic issues like the control of the Siachen glacier and over the acquisitions of arms. The arms race between the two countries assumed a new character with both the states acquiring nuclear weapons and missiles to deliver such arms against each other in the 1990s. India and Pakistan seem to have developed a military relationship in which the possibility of a direct and full-scale war has declined.
The Indian government blames the Pakistani government for using a strategy of low-key violence by helping the Kashmiri militants with arms, training, money and protection to carry out terrorist strikes against India. The Indian government also believes that Pakistan had aided the pro-Khalistani militants with arms and ammunitions during the period 1985–1995. India and Pakistan also have had problems over the sharing of river waters. Until 1960, they were locked in a fierce argument over the use of the rivers of the Indus basin. In 1960, with the help of the World Bank, India and Pakistan signed the Indus Waters Treaty which has survived to this day in spite of various military conflicts in which the two countries have been involved.
Q. 5. Assess the negative aspects of India’s relations with Bangladesh.
Ans. Negative aspects of India’s relations with Bangladesh :
(i) Illegal migration of Bangladesh in the states of India.
(ii) Dispute over sharing of the Ganga and Brahamputra river waters.
(iii) Islamic fundamentalist groups are against having good relations with India.
(iv) Bangladeshi government has felt Indian government as regional bully.
Detailed Answer : Relations between India and Bangladesh are based on the moral support given by India during the freedom struggle of Bangladesh. India had to bear the influx of more than 80 lakh refugees. But the rapid change of governments and assassination of Mujib impacted the strong relations between the two. But still some positive aspects do exist. The governments of India and Bangladesh have had differences over several issues including the sharing of the Ganga and Brahmaputra river waters. The Indian government has been unhappy with Bangladesh’s denial of illegal immigration to India, its support for anti-Indian Islamic fundamentalists groups. Bangladesh’s refusal to allow Indian troops to move through its territory to northeastern India and its decision not to export natural gas to India or allow Myanmar to do so through Bangladeshi territory. Illegal migration of Bangladeshis in the states of India and Islamic fundamentalist groups who are against having good relations with India are also responsible for the sore relations between India and Bangladesh.
Q. 6. Assess any three difficulties each in maintaining cordial relationship with Bangladesh and Nepal by India.
Ans. Bangladesh: The governments of India and Bangladesh have had differences over several issues including the sharing of the Ganga and Brahmaputra river waters. The Indian government has been unhappy with Bangladesh’s denial of illegal immigration to India, its support for anti-Indian Islamic fundamentalists groups, Bangladesh’s refusal to allow Indian troops to move through its territory to northeastern India and its decision not to export natural gas to India or allow Myanmar to do so through Bangladeshi territory.
Nepal: The Indian government has often expressed displeasure at the warm relationship between Nepal and China and at the Nepal government’s inaction against anti-Indian elements. Many leaders and citizens in Nepal think that the Indian government interferes in its internal affairs, has designs on its river waters and hydroelectricity, and prevents Nepal, a landlocked country, from getting easier access to the sea through Indian territory. The Indian security agencies see the Maoist movement in Nepal as a growing security threat, given the rise of Naxalite groups in various Indian states from Bihar in the North to Andhra Pradesh in the South.
Q. 7. Evaluate the role and limitations of SAARC as a forum for facilitating economic co-operation among Asian countries.
Ans. The role of SAARC :
(i) SAARC is a major regional initiative by the South Asian states to evolve co-operation through multilateral means.
(ii) Unfortunately, because of the persisting political differences, SAARC has not had much success.
(iii) SAARC members have signed the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA), which promised the formation of a free trade zone for the whole of South Asia.
Limitations : (i) SAFTA can usher in a chapter of peace and co-operation, but some of our neighbours fear this a way for India to invade their markets and interfere in their politics through commercial ventures.
(ii) Also, another limitation is that some people in India think that SAFTA is not worth as we have bilateral agreements with Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
(iii) One great limitation is the rather strained relationship between India and Pakistan.
Q. 8. How is South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) major regional initiative by South Asian States to evolve co-operation through multilateral means? Explain.
Ans. Despite many difficulties and conflicts, the states of South Asia recognise the importance of cooperation and friendly relationship, among themselves. The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is a major regional initiative by the South Asian states to evolve cooperation through multilateral means. SAARC members signed the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) which promised the formation of a free trade zone for the whole of South Asia. A new phase of peace and cooperation might evolve in South Asia if all the countries in the region allow free trade across borders. This is the spirit behind the idea of SAFTA. Although India Pakistan relations seem to be a story of endemic conflict and violence, there have been a series of efforts to manage tensions and build peace. The two countries have agreed to undertake confidence–building measures to reduce the risk of war.
Q. 9. How are the external powers influencing bilateral relations in South Asia? Take any one example to illustrate your point.
Ans. No region exists in a vacuum. It is influenced by outside powers and events no matter how much it may try to insulate itself from non-regional powers. American involvement in South Asia has rapidly increased after the Cold War. The US is having good relations both with India and Pakistan after the Cold War. It is helping both the countries economically. Economic reforms and liberal economic policies in both the countries have greatly increased the depth of American participation in the region. The large South Asian diasporas in the US and the huge size of the population and markets of the region also give America an added stake in future of regional security and peace.
Q. 10. Write a short note on the role and limitations of SAARC as a forum for facilitating economic co-operation among the South Asian countries.
Ans. Following is the role of SAARC in facilitating economic co-operation among the South Asian countries :
(i) The South Asian Association for Regional cooperation (SAARC) is a regional initiative of South Asian countries to evolve co-operation in the region.
(ii) Its aim is to facilitate economic co-operation through multilateral means.
(iii) SAARC members have signed South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA), which promised the formation of a free trade zone for the whole of South Asia.
(iv) A new chapter of peace and co-operation might evolve in South Asia if all the countries in the region allow free trade across the borders.
Limitations : Following are some limitations of SAARC :
(i) India Pakistan souring relations have marred the growth of SAARC.
(ii) Some of the SAARC members feel that India will invade their markets and influence their societies and politics through commercial ventures. This apprehension is a stumbling block in the growth of SAARC.
(iii) Insufficiency of funds also puts a big limitation on the growth of SAARC.