Home Contact Us  
   

J&K - Articles

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
#4696, 13 October 2014
 

Dateline Islamabad

India-Pakistan: Working Boundaries and Lines of Uncontrolled Fire
Salma Malik
Assistant professor, Defence and Strategic Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University
 

After a much-deliberated stalemate, Afghanistan finally had a new democratic government with a power-sharing arrangement. The signing of the controversial Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) provides a false sense of security to many who felt that the US military must not pull out completely as the perceived regional proxies would turn Afghanistan into a complete proxy battlefield.

Though Pakistan has time and again reiterated its policy of non-interference and non-intervention in Afghan internal affairs, the same cannot be said about other regional actors. That will add to complicating the bilateral equation further. Another moot point is the Durand line, which always carries the potential to ignite fiery exchanges of passionate and politically loaded rhetorics and on rare instances, exchange of firepower. However, the more volatile of the “unofficial” boundaries has been the Line of Control (LoC) and working boundary on the eastern border, which has over the years, successfully become a testing field of India-Pakistan relations. Like any and all bilateral arrangements between the two neighbors, the 2003 ceasefire agreement regarding the LoC has also been blatantly violated in the past several years. 

With both elected governments in Pakistan and India being driven by economics, the general perception was that even if there is no substantial progress on the bigger problem areas, at least both administrations will try and maintain congenial relations and move towards progressive engagement. However the first sign of trouble was the calling-off of the Augus 2014 foreign secretary level talks after Pakistan’s high commissioner to India met with the Kashmiri leadership.

Interestingly, anyone familiar with the New Delhi diplomatic setup and the grand receptions held would actually find a much greater number and variety of Kashmiri leadership in attendance, brushing shoulders with all and sundry.

Sensitivities aside, if seriously committed to the process, a better approach could have been registering a well-worded protest and allowing the talks to proceed as per schedule. However, several times in the past too, much investment has been made in holding a meeting than making it meaningful. What if the meeting had proceeded as per schedule? There is little doubt that nothing substantial would have resulted from the parleys. Despite a much clearer vision regarding what Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants regarding internal growth and development and a foreign policy to match with it, there was a somewhat vague gesturing vis-à-vis relations with Islamabad. Although, during his election campaigning Modi and his party had been vocally very anti-Pakistani, yet the very brief period of positive overturing soon after elections, gave space for optimism that perhaps things might be on the mend. 

The recent round of cross-LoC fire resulting in substantial infrastructural damage as well as heavy civilian fatalities on either sides of the LoC and working boundary, has again brought out media histrionics seeking death to Pakistan and dealing the enemy (Islamabad) a crushing decisive blow. Where on one hand it makes the Modi government’s policy towards its neighbor clear, it also retards the process (whatever it may be) substantially.

A recent statement by the new-kid-on-the-block, Bilawal Bhutto, regarding wresting the entire Kashmir from India got a knee-jerk reaction from across the border. Interestingly, one set of replies was hacking of the Pakistan Peoples Party web site by an Indian group which posted propaganda stuff with inflammatory statements. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif too, much to New Delhi’s displeasure highlighted the plight of Kashmiris at the recently concluded UNGA session in New York. Immediately, conspiracy theorists hinted at a silent pledge between Sharif and Modi regarding silence over the K-word.

However, what has intentionally been forgotten in this entire conflict narrative is the plight of flood-affected Kashmiri population, which has suffered loss of lives and livelihood. 

Cross-LoC fire has unfortunately become a barometer of India-Pakistan relations. Sooner or later the guns will fall silent, after claiming many lives both civilian and military, with unpleasant words exchanged and angry gesturing at the political level. In the worse-case scenario, it may require a higher level of deployment, but that is highly unlikely. What it will claim in its wake is a chunk of peace, and a window of opportunity to act wisely by either side and discuss the problem, rather than indulging in blind rage and provocative statements.

Although New Delhi does not accord the same status to UNMOGIP than Pakistan, the latter’s proposal of making this office more proactive may not be a bad idea. Apparently, sticking to bilateralism and seeking a third party’s role behind the curtains which results in crisis stability has become a norm for the two neighbors. The current crossfire, while may apparently look like a good marketing strategy – with Modi allegedly approving an all-out assault – will further fracture the already fragile base on which “conditional” peace stands. If either side is genuinely interested in peace, there is a need for reviewing both policies and postures. 

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
IPCS Columnists
Af-Pak Diary
D Suba Chandran
Resetting Kabul-Islamabad Relations: Three Key Issues
Can Pakistan Reset its Relations with Afghanistan?
The New Afghanistan: Four Major Challenges for President Ghani
Big Picture
Prof Varun Sahni
Understanding Democracy and Diversity in J&K
When Xi Met Modi: Juxtaposing China and India
Pakistan?s Tactical Nuclear Weapons: The Inevitability of Instability

Dateline Colombo

Asanga Abeyagoonasekera.
Sri Lanka: Moving Towards a Higher Collective Outcome
The Importance of Electing the Best to our Nation's Parliament
Sri Lanka: Toward a Diaspora Re-Engagement Plan
Dateline Islamabad
Salma Malik
Pakistan's Hurt Locker: What Next?
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
India-Pakistan Relations in 2015: Through a Looking Glass
 
Dhaka Discourse
Prof Delwar Hossain
IPCS Forecast: Bangladesh in 2015
18th SAARC Summit: A Perspective from Bangladesh
Bangladesh in Global Forums: Diplomacy vs. Domestic Politics
Eagle Eye
Prof Chintamani Mahapatra
India-US: Significance of the Second Modi-Obama Meet
Has President Obama Turned Lame Duck?
Modi-Obama Summit: Criticism for Criticism?s Sake?

East Asia Compass
Dr Sandip Mishra
India-Japan-US Trilateral: India?s Policy for the Indo-Pacific
China-South Korea Ties: Implications for the US Pivot to Asia
Many ?Pivots to Asia?: What Does It Mean For Regional Stability?
Himalayan Frontier
Pramod Jaiswal
Nepal?s New Constitution: Instrument towards Peace or Catalyst to Conflict?
IPCS Forecast: Nepal in 2015
Constitution-making: Will Nepal Miss its Second Deadline?

Indo-Pacific
Prof Shankari Sundararaman
IPCS Forecast: Southeast Asia in 2015
Indonesia's Pacific Identity: What Jakarta Must Do in West Papua
Modi in Myanmar: From ?Look East? to ?Act East?
Indus-tan
Sushant Sareen
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
Islamic State: Prospects in Pakistan
Pakistan: The Futility of Internationalising Kashmir

Looking East
Wasbir Hussain
Myanmar in New Delhi's Naga Riddle
China: ?Peaceful? Display of Military Might
Naga Peace Accord: Need to Reserve Euphoria
Maritime Matters
Vijay Sakhuja
Indian Ocean: Modi on a Maritime Pilgrimage
Indian Ocean: Exploring Maritime Domain Awareness
IPCS Forecast: The Indian Ocean in 2015

Nuke Street
Amb Sheelkant Sharma
US-Russia and Global Nuclear Security: Under a Frosty Spell?
India's Nuclear Capable Cruise Missile: The Nirbhay Test
India-Australia Nuclear Agreement: Bespeaking of a New Age
Red Affairs
Bibhu Prasad
Countering Left Wing Extremism: Failures within Successes
Return of the Native: CPI-Maoist in Kerala
The Rising Civilian Costs of the State-Vs-Extremists Conflict

Regional Economy
Amita Batra
India and the APEC
IPCS Forecast: South Asian Regional Integration
South Asia: Rupee Regionalisation and Intra-regional Trade Enhancement
South Asian Dialectic
PR Chari
Resuming the Indo-Pak Dialogue: Evolving a New Focus
Defence Management in India: An Agenda for Parrikar
Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan: Implications for Asian Security

Spotlight West Asia
Amb Ranjit Gupta
Prime Minister Modi Finally Begins His Interaction with West Asia*
A Potential Indian Role in West Asia?
US-GCC Summit: More Hype than Substance
Strategic Space
Manpreet Sethi
India-Russia Nuclear Vision Statement: See that it Delivers
Global Nuclear Disarmament: The Humanitarian Consequences Route
Nasr: Dangers of Pakistan's Short Range Ballistic Missile

The Strategist
Vice Admiral Vijay Shankar
Jihadi Aggression and Nuclear Deterrence
The Blight of Ambiguity
Falun Gong: The Fear Within


OTHER REGULAR contributors
Gurmeet Kanwal
Harun ur Rashid
N Manoharan
Wasbir Hussain
Rana Banerji
N Manoharan

Ruhee Neog
Teshu Singh
Aparupa Bhattacherjee
Roomana Hukil
Aparupa Bhattacherjee


 

Browse by Publications

Commentaries 
Issue Briefs 
Special Reports 
Research Papers 
Seminar Reports 
Conference Reports 

Browse by Region/Countries

East Asia 
South Asia 
Southeast Asia 
US & South Asia 
China 
Myanmar 
Afghanistan 
Iran 
Pakistan 
India 
J&K  

Browse by Issues

India & the world  
Indo-Pak 
Military 
Terrorism 
Naxalite Violence 
Nuclear 
Suicide Terrorism 
Peace & Conflict Database 
Article by same Author
Pakistan's Hurt Locker: What Next?

IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015

India-Pakistan Relations in 2015: Through a Looking Glass

Burying the Past: A New Beginning for Pakistan and Afghanistan

Of Inquilab and the Inquilabis

Pakistan: Of Messiahs and Marches

Zarb-e-Azb: The Decisive Strike

India-Pakistan: Faces in the Sand

India-Pakistan: Nuclear Weapons and Crisis Diplomacy

Elections in India and Afghanistan: Perspective from Pakistan

Afghanistan and Pakistan: Consequences of the American Exit

Pakistan and TTP: Dialogue or Military Action?

The Musharraf Trial & Beyond

Ten Years of Ceasefire along the LoC: Through Elections and Media Ratings

The Failed State Index and South Asia: Revisiting the White Manís Burden

India, Pakistan and the Nuclear Race: Strengthening the Risk Reduction Measures

Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Holbrooke Visit: Reviewing the Messy Inheritance

Pakistan-India Peace Process: Cautious Optimism

ADD TO:
Blink
Del.icio.us
Digg
Furl
Google
Simpy
Spurl
Y! MyWeb
Facebook
 
Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
Year 2017
 January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November
 2016  2015  2014  2013  2012  2011  2010  2009
 2008  2007  2006  2005  2004  2003  2002  2001
 2000  1999  1998  1997
 
 

The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) is the premier South Asian think tank which conducts independent research on and provides an in depth analysis of conventional and non-conventional issues related to national and South Asian security including nuclear issues, disarmament, non-proliferation, weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, counter terrorism , strategies security sector reforms, and armed conflict and peace processes in the region.

For those in South Asia and elsewhere, the IPCS website provides a comprehensive analysis of the happenings within India with a special focus on Jammu and Kashmir and Naxalite Violence. Our research promotes greater understanding of India's foreign policy especially India-China relations, India's relations with SAARC countries and South East Asia.

Through close interaction with leading strategic thinkers, former members of the Indian Administrative Service, the Foreign Service and the three wings of the Armed Forces - the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force, - the academic community as well as the media, the IPCS has contributed considerably to the strategic discourse in India.

 
Subscribe to Newswire | Site Map
18, Link Road, Jungpura Extension, New Delhi 110014, INDIA.

Tel: 91-11-4100-1902    Email: officemail@ipcs.org

© Copyright 2017, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.