India Pakistan Relations

Brief History of India Pakistan Relations

History of conflict:

  • India Pakistan relations has been hostile since the time of partition of both the countries and independence in 1947
  • Kashmir has been the major issue of contention as Pakistan claims it based on a significant amount of Muslim population which led to first Kashmir war in 1947
  • India and Pakistan have fought the following wars:
  • 1965 for infiltration of Pakistan in Kashmir
  • 1971 over the question of Independence of Bangladesh
  • 1999 in Kargil when Pakistani troops infiltrated the Kargil district in Kashmir
  • There were border disputes in Siachen (one of the world’s highest glaciers in Kashmir), Sir Creek (Gujarat)
  • Pakistan has attempted at many cross border terror attacks and infiltration of terrorists
  • pakistan has also attacked Indian mainland. For Example, Attack on Indian Parliament in 2001, Mumbai terror attacks in 2008
  • Both the countries possess nuclear arms which increases the risks of a strained relationship

History of Cooperation: 

  • Several ceasefire Agreements were signed for peace along the Line of Control in Kashmir
  • A bus service between Lahore and Delhi was launched
  • Several Confidence Building Measures were launched mainly in the form of bilateral talks and dialogues
  • Attempts to improve trade relations were made by providing Non Discriminatory Market Access (i.e, not to discriminate the products imported with other country products on taxes etc.,)

Present Scenario

a.) Dialogue Process:

Dialogue process between the two countries centres on the following broad arenas

  • Heads of State visits happens between heads of civilian governments
  • Director General of Military operations (DGMO) hold talks for maintaining peace and tranquility along the border
  • National Security Advisers (NSA) level talks are concerned with the the issues concerning terrorism, border skirmishes and other security related affairs
  • Foreign Secretary level talks are aimed at improving the relations between the two countries on cooperation for trade, economic development and other bilateral affairs
  • International bodies like United Nations are used as platforms to discuss issues of contentions between the two countries
  • Other regional summits like SAARC summits and Heart of Asia conference were also are used creatively to  work towards cooperation
  • India was acclaimed of engaging in creative measures to improve the relationship between the two countries through Imaginative Diplomacy

What is Imaginative Diplomacy?

Imaginative Diplomacy involves friendly visits that are not in adherence of the general protocol.  For Example, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Pakistan on the occasion of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s birthday that was not previously informed to any authorities and did not undergo the usual procedures followed for a visit.

c.) A snapshot of Contentions

India Pakistan relations are strained in the present due to Pakistan’s continued involvement in terrorist activities and cross border infiltration of terrorists. Several measures to resolve the issues through Bilateral Cooperation and dialogue did not yield results because of the following reasons

  • Pakistan is not a fully functioning democratic country like India. Several of its democratic institutions like Judiciary do not function independently
  • The Civilian Government in Pakistan has been sidelined by the Military, which has a considerable influence on the conduct of Pakistani government
  • Pakistan has been known to contain many terrorist camps and there are no measures by the Government to curb them leading to violence and instability in their country
  • Pakistani attacks on our soldiers in Indian bases has derailed our dialogue process and diplomatic visits. For Example: Uri attack, Pathankot attack and Nagrota attack
  • Organizations like United Nations have not been effective in bringing peace between the two countries
  • Regional summits like SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) did not achieve any form of integration or goodwill between India and Pakistan

Surgical Strikes

It was launched as a response to Pakistan’s frequent provocations along the border and Line of Control.

What is a surgical strike?

  • Surgical strikes are attacks on particular military targets
  • They aim at having a minimum damage to the surrounding structures including civilian buildings
  • They aim at having a zero or minimum deaths of civilians

Indus Water Treaty

Way Forward


  1. The Hindu
  2. Wikipedia
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