Loving Indians Pakistani 2

Afghanistan and Pakistan

Joachim Betz

To person

Prof. Dr. rer. soc .; born 1946; Senior research fellow at the Institute for Asian Studies of the GIGA (German Institute of Global and Area Studies / Leibniz Institute for Global and Regional Studies) and associate professor for political science at the University of Hamburg. GIGA, Rothenbaumchaussee 32, 20148 Hamburg.
Email: [email protected]

The Indian-Pakistani relationship has relaxed significantly in recent years. This is due to the increasing dominance of India in South Asia after the end of the East-West conflict.


Only to a limited extent noticed by the world public, the previously extremely tense relationship between India and Pakistan has recently improved significantly. The starting point for this improvement was the hand of friendship that the then Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee extended during a visit to Srinager, the capital of the Indian part of Kashmir, in April 2003, which grasped the Pakistani side shortly afterwards and thus an all-round one that has now lasted for four years Dialog opened. In doing so, both sides refrained from the blockade positions they had always adopted; rather, they have negotiated a number of areas where progress is in the common interest. It was not only about Kashmir, but also about confidence-building measures in the field of conventional and nuclear armaments, in foreign trade and economic cooperation, in the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking, the demarcation of the border, the demilitarization of disputed areas and recovery - or the opening of new rail and bus routes, the most prominent of which is the one between the two parts of Kashmir. [1]

The talks were sometimes rather sluggish, at times the traditional compulsory positions reappeared: The Pakistani side tried to make progress on other issues, especially foreign trade, dependent on concessions on the Kashmir problem, India wanted to "sit out" this problem and its existence alone declare with Pakistani support for the militant groups. However, the results of the negotiations so far have not been fruitless. Consulates were reopened, agreements to announce missile tests were agreed, lists of existing nuclear facilities were exchanged, additional hot wires were set up, a shipping protocol was concluded and a joint mechanism to combat terrorism was set up. More importantly, the leaders of both states have declared on several occasions that the peace process is now irreversible, a determination that it will be difficult for them to fall behind later. This process has so far not been torpedoed by major attacks in Kashmir, and it has continued to be underpinned by civil society engagement, i.e. peace and cooperation interests and initiatives of business associations, universities and non-governmental organizations. The litmus test of the will for peace is, of course, the cashmere problem. There is an approximation here that was not thought possible years ago.

The Pakistani President no longer considers a plebiscite under the aegis of the United Nations for the self-determination of the Kashmiri people to be mandatory. Religious affiliation is only with some reservations as the exclusive criterion for a possible demarcation. He advises the resistance groups in Kashmir to enter into a dialogue with Delhi and in principle accepts the current ceasefire line as the final border, provided that this drawing is linked to some kind of joint Indian-Pakistani management over all of Kashmir. The whole area is to be demilitarized, the population is given a kind of self-government, and cross-border traffic is made easier. With this, Pervez Musharraf has strayed far from the Pakistani positions previously taken; consequently his considerations have been rejected by militant groups. The Indian side has also moved significantly: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said at his inauguration that everything could be accepted except secession, that we had to work on softening the border through Kashmir or, as he later said, making it irrelevant.

Of course, the negotiations in the "comprehensive dialogue" are dragging on. Of course, it would be too early to prophesy final peace between India and Pakistan. The peace process is still far too fragile for that and is being questioned by not insignificant political and social groups in both countries. At least on the Pakistani side, it depends heavily on the survival of the unstable, religiously relatively moderate regime. With all justified skepticism, however, one has to see against what historical background the lasting rapprochement between the two arch-rivals took place: the once bloody confusion of division, four conventionally waged wars, a decades-long arms race including the nuclear component and the more or less covert interference in the ethnic Neighbors' conflicts. It is this mortgage - the territorial conflict, the nuclearization and, last but not least, the diverse ethnic, religious and socio-economic conflicts throughout the subcontinent - that prompted American President Bill Clinton in March 2000 to identify South Asia as "perhaps the most dangerous place in the world today" to call.

In the following, firstly the security situation in all of South Asia before rapprochement is to be identified, secondly the global weather situation that has changed since the end of the bloc confrontation, to which the states in the region are exposed, and thirdly, considerations are made as to which factors are causing the turnaround in the Indian-Pakistani countries Relationships could have caused.