• Pakistan was created on the basis of the ‘two-nation theory’ which states that the Hindus and Muslims were two different nations, and therefore, the Muslims were entitled to have a separate homeland in the pockets of their majority where Islam would be the ‘state religion’.
  • The bloody legacy of Partition has created a massive identity crisis in both Pakistan and India. After Partition, the immediate military incursions in Kashmir, followed by two wars and the Kargil conflict – which bred a hyper nationalistic fervor in both countries – led to an increasingly bitter political relationship. This has impacted both peoples’ perception of the other.
  • Although, the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah had conceived of creating a non-theocratic state, his political successors declared Pakistan as ‘Islamic’ in the first Constitution adopted in 1956, paving the way for all laws to be brought in conformity with the Quran and Sunnah. In the second Constitution, adopted by the military dictator MohammdAyub Khan in 1962, the word ‘Islamic’ was removed but was soon re-inserted following a civil backlash.

Geographic links

  • The Indo-Pakistani border is the official international boundary that demarcates the Indian states of Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat from the Pakistani provinces of Punjab and Sindh. The Wagah border is the only road crossing between India and Pakistan and lies on the famous Grand Trunk Road, connecting Lahore, Pakistan with Amritsar, India.

Historical Links

In popular culture, the ascetics whom Alexander is said to have met were Jains residing in the ancient university town of Takshashila (now Taxila), near Islamabad. Veteran Indologist Dr. R. G. Bhandarkar mentions two major Jain manuscript libraries in Gujranwala, Punjab which record the rich tradition of Jain scholarship in the region.

  • The historical geography of the Rigveda, the foremost of the Vedas and one of the holiest books of the Hindus, is located in the region of what is called Pakistan today.
  • The great Sanskrit grammarian Panini was born in today’s Charsadda, near Peshawar (ancient Purushpur or Pushkalavati) and spent his life in Shalatur, which is now known as Lahore.
  • The great political thinker Chanakya was a teacher at the Takshashila University.
  • The great Buddhist emperor Ashoka was the governor of Takshashila province before his coronation.
  • Kaikeyi, the mother of Bharat, step-brother of Lord Rama, was from the Kaikeya region, which is today a part of Pakistan’s Punjab.
  • The Katas Raj complex has several ancient temples dedicated to Shiva, Ram and Hanuman. The Shiva temple is considered one of the most sacred and finds mention in the Mahābhārata.
  • the Sun temple and Prahladpuri temple in Multan,
  • Shri Varun Dev Mandir in Karachi,
  • Hinglaj Mata temple in Balochistan,
  • the Kalka Devi cave and Sadhu Bela temple in Sindh
  • TheNankana Sahib in Pakistan’s Punjab, the birth place of Guru Nanak, remains one of the most revered places of pilgrimage for the Sikhs in India.

Cultural links

India and Pakistan, particularly Northern India and Eastern Pakistan, to some degree have similar cultures, cuisines and languages due to common Indo-Aryan heritage which span through the two countries.

  • Pakistani singers, musicians, comedians and entertainers have enjoyed widespread popularity in India, with many achieving overnight fame in the Indian film industry Bollywood.
  • Likewise, Indian music and film are very popular in Pakistan. Being located in the northernmost region of the South Asia, Pakistan’s culture is somewhat similar to that of North India, especially the northwest

Ethnic Links

The Punjab region was split into Punjab, Pakistan and Punjab, India following the independence and partition of the two countries in 1947.

  • The Punjabi people are today the largest ethnic group in Pakistan and also an important ethnic group of northern India.
  • The founder of Sikhism was born in the modern-day Pakistani Punjab province, in the city of Nankana Sahib. Each year, millions of Indian Sikh pilgrims cross over to visit holy Sikh sites in Nankana Sahib.
  • The Sindhi people are the native ethnic group of the Pakistani province of Sindh. Many Hindu Sindhis migrated to India in 1947, making the country home to a sizeable Sindhi community.
  • In addition, the millions of Muslims who migrated from India to the newly created Pakistan during independence came to be known as the Muhajir people; they are settled predominantly in Karachi and still maintain family links in India.

Linguistic ties

Standard Urdu is mutually intelligible with Standard Hindi.

India and Pakistan also share a distribution of

  • Punjabi language (written in the Gurmukhi script in Indian Punjab, and the Shahmukhi script in Pakistani Punjab),
  • Kashmiri language and Sindhi language, mainly due to population exchange.

These languages belong to a common Indo-Aryan family that are spoken in countries across the subcontinent.

Matrimonial ties

  • Some Indian and Pakistani people marry across the border at instances. Many Indians and Pakistanis in the diaspora, especially in the United States, intermarry, as there are large cultural similarities between the two countries respectively. In April 2010 a high-profile Pakistani cricketer, Shoaib Malik married the Indian tennis star Sania Mirza.

Sporting ties

  • Cricket and hockey matches between the two (as well as other sports to a lesser degree such as those of the SAARC games) have often been political in nature. During the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan General Zia-ulHaq travelled to India for a bout of “cricket diplomacy” to keep India from supporting the Soviets by opening another front.
  • In tennis, Rohan Bopanna of India and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan have formed a successful duo and have been dubbed as the “Indo-Pak Express.”

Diasporic relations

The large size of the Indian diaspora and Pakistani diaspora in many different countries throughout the world has created strong diasporic relations.

  • British Indians and British Pakistanis are the largest and second-largest ethnic minorities living in the United Kingdom respectively. There are various cities such as Birmingham, Blackburn and Manchester where British Indians and British Pakistanis live alongside each other in peace and harmony.
  • It is quite common for a “Little India” and a “Little Pakistan” to co-exist in South Asian ethnic enclaves in overseas countries.


A) Kashmir 1948

  • Hindu ruler Hari Singh tried to negotiate with India & Pak to have an independent status for his state. Since majority population of the state was Muslim, the Pakistan thought Kashmir ‘belonged‘to them.
  • On 15th August Hari singh offered standstill agreement with both countries which allowed the free movement of people & goods. Pakistan signed the agreement but India didn’t.
  • Pakistan became impatient & started violating standstill agreement.
  • On 24th October Hari Singh requested military assistance from India. Mountbatten pointed out that under international law India can send its troops only after state signs a formal instrument of accession
  • On 26th Oct Maharaja signed instrument of accession – ratified in 1954.
  • On 27th Oct. morning nearly 100 planes airlifted men and weapons to Srinagar.
  • Pakistan army left the main valley region but continue to occupy a large chunk of territory of Gilgit, Baltistan region – Pak occupied Kashmir.

At the same time India lodged complaint against Pakistan for their illegal actions in UN. India also accepted UN resolution on ceasefire in spite of its advantageous position and agreed for plebiscite in Kashmir, which laid down two conditions for holding plebiscite –

  • Pak should withdraw its forces from the state of J&K
  • The authority of the Srinagar administration should be restored over the whole state

Above mentioned first conditions was never fulfilled, so there was no plebiscite there.

B) India Pakistan War 1965

The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 was a culmination of skirmishes that took place between April 1965 and September 1965

  • The conflict began following Pakistan’s Operation Gibraltar, which was designed to infiltrate forces into Jammu and Kashmir to precipitate an insurgency against Indian rule.
  • India retaliated by launching a full-scale military attack on West Pakistan.
  • The seventeen-day war caused thousands of casualties on both sides and witnessed the largest engagement of armored vehicles and the largest tank battle since World War II.
  • Hostilities between the two countries ended after a United Nations-mandated ceasefire was declared following diplomatic intervention by the Soviet Union and the United States, and the subsequent issuance of the Tashkent Declaration.
  • Both the countries signed the Tashkent Agreement [Lal Bahadur Shastri Ji from India & General Ayub Khan from Pak] in January 1966.


  • India had the upper hand over Pakistan when the ceasefire was declared.
  • The conflict is seen as a strategic and political defeat for Pakistan as it had neither succeeded in fomenting insurrection in Kashmir nor had it been able to gain meaningful support at an international level
  • Internationally, the war was viewed in the context of the greater Cold War, and resulted in a significant geopolitical shift in the subcontinent.
  • During and after the conflict, both India and Pakistan felt betrayed by the perceived lack of support by the western powers for their respective positions.
  • As a consequence, India and Pakistan openly developed closer relationships with the Soviet Union and China, respectively.

C) 1971 India Pakistan War

  • The internal crisis of Pakistan after the verdict of their general elections turned violent.
  • Ruling party of Zulfikar Bhutto emerged as winner in West Pakistan while in Eastern Part Rahman’s Awani League won with great margins.
  • However, strong and powerful western establishment ignored the democratic verdict and didn’t accept the League’s demand for federation.
  • Instead of responding to their demands and verdict positively, Pak army arrested Rahman and unleashed brutal terror activities and suppressed their voices.
  • People of Eastern Pak started liberation struggle of Bangladesh from Pak.
  • With a huge influx of refugees from Eastern Pak, India deliberated much and later extended its support to people’s cause materially and morally
  • The support to Western Pak came from the USA & China to quash the people’s movement.
  • To ensure its safety from the attacks of American and Chinese backed Pak, India signed 20 year Treaty of Peace and Friendship with the Soviet Union.
  • Full scale war broke out in 1971 on both the western and Eastern front.
  • Indian Army with strong support of local population in the form of “MuktiBahini” made rapid progress and compelled the Pakistani troops to surrender in 10 days only.
  • With emergence of Bangladesh as an independent country, India declared a unilateral ceasefire.
  • Later Shimla Agreement of 1972 between Indira Gandhi &Zulfikar Bhutto brought back the peace between two nations
  • Surrender of 93000 Pakistani troops leading to end of 1971 war and Formation of Banglandesh

D) Kargil War

  • This conflict got worldwide attention because of the nuclear capabilities attained by these countries in 1998, which could be used by either side,
  • it was limited to about a 150-km frontage of the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir
  • This war was extensively covered by the media

Chronology of events


Result of war

  • This conflict was a humiliating military and diplomatic loss for Pakistan.
  • Globally, Pakistan came to be seen as an irresponsible nuclear armed country
  • The Kargil war also punctured the Pakistani myth that no conventional conflict was possible under a nuclear umbrella.It demonstrated that there was enough space for a limited conflict.
  • India established a review committee under K Subrahmanyam and followed up on most of the recommendation

Economic Aspect

A) Comparing economies: Who stands where

  • According to World Bank’s database on global trade, in 2017 India’s GDP stood at $2,600,818 million with a per capita income of $1,800. In comparison, Pakistan’s GDP was $304,952 million (i.e. 752 per cent lower than India) and its per capita income was $1,580.
  • The above table illustrates the size and nature of the two economies in 2017. But this was not the case always.
  • Pakistan had been outperforming India in economic growth in the first three decades after independence.
  • “In the 1950s and 1960s, India’s growth hovered around 2-3 per cent annually while Pakistan grew at around 5-6 per cent, with a per capita income significantly higher than India’s,” states a 2019 World Bank policy note.
  • Since 1970s, while India was able to improve its growth rate, Pakistan’s growth gradually petered, largely due to internal political instability.

B) Where do India, Pakistan export to and import from

  • India and Pakistan are two neighbors who not only share a 3,000-km-plus land border but also are well connected with a commercially vibrant international sea route. But despite Pakistan’s strategic location and India’s vast resources and booming market, the two countries do not share any significant trade.
  • Pakistan does not feature among India’s top 35 exporters and importers.
  • On the other hand, India does not feature among Pakistan’s top 10 exporters, but stands at the seventh place in its list of top 10 countries from where it imports. (Despite the seventh position, Pakistan’s import from India was just 2.95 per cent of its total imports in 2017.)
  • India’s exports to Nigeria, Oman, Turkey, Belgium, Mexico, Egypt and Kenya was more than its exports to Pakistan with which it shares a well-connected land border.
  • India’s imports from countries like Angola, Mozambique, Ghana, Peru, Botswana, Chile, Tanzania, Kazakhstan, Zambia, Morocco, Burkina Faso, Brunei, Azerbaijan, Sudan, Myanmar among others, is way more than what it imports from Pakistan.
  • The outcome of decades of hostile relations and fractured trade between India and Pakistan is that Pakistan imports far more vegetables from Indonesia, sub-Saharan Africa, far-off Canada, the US, Brazil and Australia, than it imports from its next-door neighbor India.

C) Economic Benefits which can be accrued from a good India-Pakistan Relationship

  • Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline which originates in Turkmenistan and passes through Afghanistan, Pakistan before reaching and terminating in India can also get huge benefits as it can help secure the National Energy needs of both Pakistan and India, which are potentially growing nations with increasing needs of energy.
  • Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline is another project, which is currently stalled. If relations are cordial, then this pipeline can also supply the energy needs of both nations.
  • A stable Afghanistan is in the best interest of both Pakistan as well as India. Terrorism is affecting both India as well as Pakistan and the porous boundary between Afghanistan and Pakistan provides a safe haven for terrorists.
  • Also, a better relationship with Pakistan can give direct road access to Afghanistan. Currently, India has to go via Iran to Afghanistan to send any trade goods and vice versa.
  • The size and proximity of the Indian economy, taken along with the common cultural factors such as language will lead to tremendous growth in trade
  • Improving trade ties with India is the most viable option for Pakistan to help itself as trade with China has already peaked and the scope for further increase is limited.
  • For India cordial relations with Pakistan can serve India’s economic interests, mainly by reducing transportation charges (i.e. if Pakistan allows transit).
  • Pakistan is geographically located at a strategic position between India and the energy-rich Gulf. It is a vital land link between South Asia and central Asia.
  • The discord between the two countries is preventing them from harnessing their fullest economic potential–their bilateral trade potential is estimated to be $37 billion. Consequently, the mutual economic benefits will also result in enhancing intra-regional trade in South Asia, which remains one of the least economically integrated regions of the world.


  • Kartarpur corridor is expected to provide visa-free access for Indian Sikh pilgrims to the Gurdwara in Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan, one of the holiest places for the Sikh community to mark the 550th anniversary of Sikhism’s founder Guru Nanak.
  • It is a “peace initiative” with the potential to put the Pakistan-India relationship back on track and help building interdependence by promoting people-to-people relations between the two countries.
  • This project is an opportunity to gain politically and diplomatically for both countries


  • Allowing Separatist groups

India spelt out its apprehensions over Pakistan allowing separatist Khalistani groups, including those funded by groups based in the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada, to try and influence pilgrims.Of specific concern is the ‘Referendum 2020’ plan by the Sikhs for Justice group (banned by India).

  • Drugs and Arms Supply

The other irritant is the possible use of the corridor for drugs and arms movement; there are many routes and tunnels at the border between the two Punjabs.

  • Terrorism

The terror threat by Pakistani Punjab-based anti-India groups such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammad is also a constant concern.


  1. Other faith-based corridors: The obvious extension from this would be for having other faith-based “corridors” for Hindu, Muslim and Sikh pilgrims in both countries; this would be in addition to the list of 20 shrines (15 in Pakistan, five in India) that were negotiated under the 1974 Protocol on visits to Religious Shrines.
  2. Template for bilateral negotiations : The template that Kartarpur has given both sides is also worth considering for the format of other bilateral negotiations given that the talks have been immunised from both terror attacks and election rhetoric.
  3. The venue of the talks, at the Attari-Wagah zero point, lends itself to more successful outcomes too away from the glare of the media, without focus on arrangements for both parties.

FATF Sanctions

  • The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 by the Ministers of its Member jurisdictions.
  • The objectives of the FATF are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating
    • money laundering and terrorist financing techniques and counter-measures
    • Promotes the adoption and implementation of appropriate measures globally.
    • Protects the international financial system from misuse.
  • The FATF Plenary, meets three times per year.

Impact of FATF listing

  • Pakistan was placed on the Grey List by the Paris-based watchdog in June last year and was given a plan of action to complete it by October 2019, or face the risk of being placed on the black list with Iran and North Korea.
  • FATF had given Pakistan a list of things to do:
    • Identify terrorism financing (TF) risks, and then assess and deal with them.
    • demonstrate that remedial actions are applied in the case of AML/CFT violations,
    • Demonstrate that action is being taken against illegal money or value transfer services.
    • Enforce controls on illicit movement of currency.
    • Ensure that terror-financing (TF) investigations and prosecutions are hitting the right persons and entities.
    • Demonstrate effective action against all terrorists in the UN’s 1267 and 1373 designation lists.
  • According to FATF rules there is one essential stage between ‘Grey’ and ‘Black’ lists, referred to as ‘Dark Grey’.
  • ‘Dark Grey’ means issuance of a strong warning, so that the country concerned gets one last chance to improve, another official said. ‘Dark Grey’ was the term used for warning up to Third Phase. Now it’s just called warning — that is the fourth phase.
  • If Pakistan continues with the ‘grey list’ or put in ‘Dark Grey’ list,
    • Make it very difficult for the country to get financial aid from the IMF, the World Bank and the European Union,
    • make its already precarious financial condition worse
    • All of it financial transactions would be closely scrutinized
    • Lead to a financial downgrade and restrictions on its markets
    • Even jeopardize the CPEC(China Pakistan Economic Corridor)
    • Doing business in Pakistan would become costly and cumbersome


  • The Indus Water Treaty (IWT), a water sharing agreement, covering three Eastern and three Western rivers, between India and Pakistan, was signed nearly 60 years back. The Treaty has withstood the acrimonious relationship between the two neighbors, including the three wars.

A) Indus Waters Treaty

  • The Indus Waters Treaty, brokered by World Bank, was signed by the then-Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Pakistani President Ayub Khan in 1960.
  • It administers how Indus River and its tributaries would be utilized.
  • India governs Beas, Ravi, and Sutlej; Pakistan governs Indus, Chenab, and Jhelum.
  • However, India is allowed to use 20% of Indus water for irrigation, power-generation, and transportation.
  • Exchange of information about the rivers through Permanent Indus Commission – comprising of representatives from both India and Pakistan
  • Disputes have to be referred to seven member arbitral tribunal called “Court of Arbitration”.
  • IWT is considered as one of the most successful water-sharing arrangements in the world today.

B) Drawbacks of Indus Water Treaty

  • Division of water during the shortage of river water flow
  • The impact of storage of water on the Chenab river on Pakistan
  • Treaty is criticized being highly technical which leads to far ranging interpretations
  • The political situation between India and Pakistan is affecting the performance of treaty.
  • The hydro power potential of the Indus has remained virtually unexploited nbecause of the remoteness of the sites and the high cost of construction, power evacuation, operation and maintenance of these projects.

C) Way forward

  • To resolve the water dispute political will from both the countries is important.
  • The Technical aspects of the treaty should be answered through bilateral meetings and discussion involving experts from both the countries.
  • The global warming and climate change is melting the glaciers Tibetan Plateau which will impact Indus river water system in future.
  • Both the countries should aim to reduce water wastage and develop sustainable river development plans.
  • Good potential for constructing a number of smaller storages, possibly in cascade, on the tributaries of Jhelum and the same are permitted under the Treaty which could help prevent the Flood situations on either side of the border.


A) Terrorism

Terrorism targeting India which is bred on Pakistani soil is a major issue which has mired the relationship.

  • First in Punjab, then in Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan’s Deep State, with the ISI as the front, fine-tuned anti-India terrorism
  • The 1994 Mumbai serial blast main accused Dawood Ibrahim is being patronized by Pak agencies
  • The 2001 Attack on the Indian Parliamentwas carried out by perpetrators who belonged to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), two Pakistan-based terrorist organisations
  • 26/11 2008 Mumbai attacks main mastemind
  • the attack on the Indian Air Force Base in 2016 (Pathankot)
  • Terrorist attacks on security forces since have increased and the attack on the Uri Army base camp in September 2016, where 19 Indian soldiers were killed, was carried Lashkar-e-Taiba, which has its roots in Pakistan. (, also responsible for 26/11 attacks)
  • Pakistan adding fuel to the unrest and glorifying terrorists by declaring them, martyrs. The PM of Pakistan during the United Nations General Assembly meeting of 2016, declared Burhan Wani as a martyr and the struggle of the people of Kashmir as an Intifada
  • On 14 February 2019, a convoy of vehicles carrying security personnel on the Jammu Srinagar National Highway was attacked by a vehicle-borne suicide bomber in the Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir leading to the deaths of 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and the attacker.
  • Despite the fact the after the Kargil conflict, there was a Ceasefire Agreement signed in 2003, there have been regular cross border ceasefire violations from the Pakistan side of the border.It has killed and injured security forces as well as civilians on both sides.
  • Rise in the number of infiltrations of terrorists from across the Line of Control (LOC)
  • Use of unmanned drones to deliver drugs and weapons across LOC
  • Trying to internationalize the issue of Kashmir and asking for holding a plebiscite in Kashmir under Indian administration to decide the fate of Kashmiri people.

India Response

  • India’s non-engagement with Pakistan either at the bilateral or multilateral level since the National Security Adviser-level talks in December 2017,
  • Withdrawing the most-favored-nation status India had granted Pakistan,
  • boycotting the SAARC summit in Pakistan in 2016, and
  • Linking sports activities with the political nature of the relationship
  • Surgical Strikes to destroy Terrorist launch pads
  • Fencing of the complete International border

B) Case of Kulbushan Jadhav

Kulbushan Jadhav, arrested near the Iran-Pakistan border in the Chaman area of Baluchistan region by the Pakistani establishment.

  • Accused by Pakistan of espionage and spying and has been sentenced to death by a military court in Pakistan.
  • India says that Jadhav was a retired naval officer who was a businessman working in Iran and has been falsely framed by the Pakistani establishment.
  • India, on many previous occasions, demanded consular access of Jadhav, a demand consistently rejected by Pakistan citing national security issues
  • As there were repeated denials of the Consular Access, India approached the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at Hague where it put forward the argument that Vienna Convention was being violated as the Consular Access was denied.
  • The ICJ has asked Pakistan to stay the execution of Jadhav as the matter is sub-judice and allow India consular access

C) Sir Creek Dispute

  • Sir Creek is a 96 km tidal estuary on the border of India and Pakistan which opens up into the Arabian Sea, & divides Gujarat state of India from Sindh province of Pakistan.
  • India supports its stance by citing the Thalweg doctrine in international law. The law states that river boundaries between two states may be, if the two states agree, divided by the mid-channel, also shown on a map dated 1925.
  • Pakistan claims the entire Sir Creek, with its eastern bank defined by a “green line” and represented on a 1914 map belongs to it. Accepting Pakistan’s premise on the “green line” would mean loss of about 250 square miles of EEZ for India.Though Pakistan does not dispute the 1925 map, it maintains that the doctrine is not applicable in this case as it most commonly applies to non-tidal rivers, and Sir Creek is a tidal estuary.

  Pak Claim-Green line & Indian claim-Red line

  • Sir Creek itself has little value. It is a marshy wasteland.
  • But where the boundary line runs through it will determine how much Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) one country will lose or gain.
  • Much of the region is rich in oil and gas below the sea bed, and control over the creek would have a huge bearing on the energy potential of each nation.

Challenges due to non- resolution of Sir Creek Issue

  • Due to lack of proper maritime boundary, inadvertent crossing over of fishermen of both nations
  • Main route to smuggle drugs, arms and petroleum product to India
  • Terrorists are using disputed area to cross over Indian side. In 26/11 terror attack, terrorists captured an Indian fishing vessel, Kuber, off Sir Creek, and used it to attack Mumbai.
  • Way Forward – Designating the non-delineated area-Sir Creek and its approaches-as a zone of disengagement or a jointly administered maritime park

D) Siachen Dispute

  • Siachen is a triangular bit of land between Pakistan occupied Kashmir and the part ceded by Pakistan to the Chinese, which has the dubious distinction of being the world’s highest battlefield.
  • The Siachen dispute is a direct result of the ambiguity that exists in the Karachi ceasefire agreement of July 1949. The agreement, which established the ceasefire line, the positions of the two militaries at the end of the 1947-1948 war, did not delineate beyond grid reference NJ 9842, which falls south of the Siachen glacier, to the Chinese border but left it as “Chalunka (on the Shyok River), Khor, thence North to the glaciers”.

Siachen Glacier Issue

  • Siachen sits at a very strategic location with Pakistan on the left and China on the right. So Pakistan re-interpreted it as North-Eastwards to claim the area beyond the Saltoro Ridge and beyond Siachen as its own.
  • This would give Pakistan direct connectivity to China as well as a strategic oversight over the Ladakh region and on to the crucial Leh-Srinagar highway posing a serious threat to India.
  • In 1983, Pakistani generals decided to stake their claim through troop deployments to the Siachen glacier. To pre-empt Pakistan, India launched Operation Meghdoot in April 1984 and occupied the high points of the glacier.


  • Immense Economic Cost of military deployment in such inhospitable territory
  • 2,000 soldiers from both sides have died on the Siachen glacier since 1984
  • Avalanches and the challenging terrain of the glacier and its surroundings as a whole


Origin of trade – These measures originated in a four-point proposal for Kashmir that began to get regular airing from about 2005 from then military ruler General Pervez Musharraf. The four points were:

  • The LoC will stay but Kashmiris on both sides will be allowed to move freely back and forth;
  • Self-governance or autonomy to the region, but not independence;
  • Gradual demilitarization on both sides;
  • A joint supervision mechanism with India, Pakistan and Kashmir represented on it.


  • Both sides of Kashmir welcomed the opening of the trade routes.
  • The agreement was for zero duty trade for a list of 21 items.
  • Establishment of Intra Jammu & Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry (IJ&KCCI) – A chamber of commerce, called the Intra Jammu & Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry (IJ&KCCI), came into existence.
  • Trade has attracted divided families and former combatants and provided a non-violent and alternative vision for change and conflict transformation
  • Cross border trade can help to establish a “bottom up” approach to peace-building.

Recommendations to further improve trade

  • Better banking relations and mutual acceptance of letters of credit,
  • Set up a communication network,
  • Regulatory network to determine the composition of trade, and
  • Legal network for dispute resolution.
  • Expansion of list of items for trade,
  • facilitation of travel and traders’ access to each other,
  • Set up infrastructure facilities like
  • Inclusion of the services sector, and opening of more trade routes.

India-Pakistan Relations: Positive initiatives which were taken in the past

  • Composite Dialogue Framework, which was started from 2004 onwards, excluded, some of the contentious issues between the two sides had resulted in good progress on a number of issues.
  • Delhi-Lahore Bus service was successful in de-escalating tensions for some time.Recently,
  • the ‘Ufa ‘Agreement’ was made during the meeting of the National Security Advisors of both nations at Ufa, Russia.

There are several ways in which both India and Pakistan can improve the bilateral relationship

  • Flare ups on the LoC should be avoided. Such incidents have resulted in significant human losses, both military and civilian, on both sides of the border. These incidents do not serve a strategic purpose and can sometimes even trigger crises between the two countries.
  • The Pakistani Army remains a key interlocutor in Pakistan-India relations. Their overwhelming control over most aspects of Pakistan’s political and social life is built on a hardline Islamic identity and hostility towards India.
  • Regular communication and meetings between local commanders and coordinated patrolling would improve the LoC situation, serving as a major confidence-building measure to transform the political nature of the relationship.
  • Improvements by both India and Pakistan to the human security situation in Kashmir would go a long way towards demonstrating to the local populace that both sides genuinely intend to address their apprehensions.
  • Intelligence-sharing between India and Pakistan regarding the movement of members associated with international terrorist groups like the Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and anti-India militant groups operating in Pakistan could simultaneously increase transparency and trust between the two countries.
  • Informal meetings between Indian and Pakistani political leadership should become the norm such that they could lead towards a structured dialogue process in the future.
  • Pakistan taking action against anti-India insurgent outfits, the ending of proxy warfare and cross-LoC insurgent activities

Future of India-Pakistan relationship

The most critical demography that can bring about change in the India-Pakistan dynamic is the youth, because it is they who will shape the future of relations.

  • The greater the focus on enhancing interactions between the youth of both countries, the higher the chance of changing the preconceived perceptions and identities that are ingrained in society today.
  • People-to-people interactions have the ability to change the misguided mutual preconceived negative perceptions and identities amongst the citizens of India and Pakistan.
  • People to people interactions puts the onus on citizens to rebuild relations.
  • Changes in the perceptions and identities of citizens can in the long run alter the mindsets of the two governments and rebuild relations.
  • Institutions of higher learning can help create an environment of mutual trust by carrying out joint research
  • Designing academic courses relating to the classical languages, scripts and cultures of the subcontinent
  • Facilitate joint exploration of archeological sites of multi-religious importance
  • Academia must be encouraged to design courses for students from both countries to learn languages such as Sanskrit, Pali, Prakrit, Urdu, Persian and Arabic.
  • Joint studies of ancient scripts such as Brahmi, Kharoshtri, Sharada (ancient script of Kashmir) and different variants of Nagari must also be encouraged.
  • Similarly, religious studies in both countries should be designed to enlighten students about the great syncretic culture that flourished in the subcontinent.
  • Promote large-scale, cross-border religious tourism which has been repeatedly mentioned in official joint statements but never acted upon.

India and Pakistan are neighbours. Neighbours can’t be changed. Thus, it is in the better of interest of both the nations that they bring all the issues on the drawing board and resolve them amicably.

  • India wants Pakistan to act more strongly on the terrorism being sponsored from its soil.
  • India wants Pakistan to conclude the trial of 26/11 sooner so that the victims are brought to justice and the conspirers meted out proper punishment.
  • India has genuine concerns, as there are internationally declared terrorists roaming freely in Pakistan and preaching hate sermons as well as instigating terror attacks.

With the international community accusing Pakistan of breeding terrorism on its soil, Pakistan cannot remain in denial state and thus, needs to act tougher on terrorism-related issues.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *