Given the fact that both superpowers saw the India-Pakistan conflict through a geostrategic prism, they were not interested in making the resolution of the conflict a priority. To do so would have meant removing India and Pakistan's dependence on the superpowers and altering the balance of power in South Asia, thus providing India with more room to manoeuvre in pursuit of its global ambitions. This situation hardly changed until the end of the cold war. In fact, the region gained strategic importance again after the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan in and Pakistan became a highly valued partner and frontline ally of the United States again.
Operating within a unipolar world order and a globalized world economy in the post-cold war era, and affected particularly by a balance of payment crisis in the early s, India began to liberalize its economy and actively tried to improve relations with the United States. These developments also had a positive impact for the bilateral composite dialogue.
While economic liberalization in the s stimulated a change in India's regional policy, the rapprochement between India and the United States changed the regional balance of power in India's favour. Relations between the two countries improved very quickly and even India's nuclear tests in posed no serious problem for this rapprochement process.
The United States began to take a pro-India position on many issues e. Within the framework of this strategic partnership, both sides concluded several defence deals and signed a nuclear agreement, through which the United States recognized India as a legitimate nuclear weapons power even though India is not a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty see Ganguly et al.
Though Pakistan has remained an important regional partner in the 'War on Terror', the United States now has better relations with India and holds a far more critical view of Pakistan Mohan, , p. Like India, the majority of United States policy makers see Pakistan as a fragile nuclear state that is a safe haven and recruitment and training base for terrorists and whose military supports and tolerates Islamist insurgents and terrorists and uses them as instruments of state policy see Cohen et al.
In recent years, the United States even carried out aerial attacks against suspected terrorist and insurgent camps on.
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Although Islamabad publicly criticized the United States for the infringing upon its sovereignty, it was evident to many that the Pakistani army, at least partially, supported the US drone attacks on the insurgents in the tribal areas Ahmad, , p. It must also not be forgotten that in May , a US Navy SEAL team carried out a commando raid deep within Pakistan from its base in Afghanistan in order to capture the world's most notorious terrorist, Osama bin Laden, who was hiding in the garrison town of Abbottabad. The commando operation, launched without any prior warning to the Pakistani authorities, was a resounding success.
The Navy SEALs captured and killed bin Laden and took away his body to their base from where it was eventually buried in secret at sea.
Several US policy makers publicly suggested that they believed that bin Laden would not have been able to hide for so long without support from some influential elements within the Pakistani establishment, particularly the military and the ISI Fair, , p. India has become the state that we tried to create in Pakistan. It is a rising economic star, militarily powerful and democratic, and it shares American interests. Pakistan, however, is one of the most anti-American countries in the world, and a covert sponsor of terrorism.
Politically and economically, it verges on being a failed state.
And, despite Pakistani avowals to the contrary, America's worst enemy, Osama bin Laden, had been hiding there for years—in strikingly comfortable circumstances—before US commandos finally tracked him down and killed him. Thus, the United States has come to regard Pakistan more as a problem or even a foe rather than an ally Cohen, b; Riedel, This has led to calls in the US Congress to restrict assistance programmes to Pakistan e.
Khalilzad, ; Markey, ; Riedel, This development may act as an important incentive for the India-Pakistan peace process and facilitate the resumption of the stalled bilateral composite dialogue.
Pakistan's bargaining position has weakened considerably and it is under international pressure to take action against terrorist groups and networks operating from its territory. Since Western governments see these groups and networks as a major threat Jones, , p. To continue to do so may lead to greater military strikes in violation of its sovereignty and even international isolation.
Moreover, by continuing on the path of conflict, Pakistan today can hardly hope to internationalize the Kashmir dispute and accuse India of state terrorism. Furthermore, any decline in Pakistan's external military assistance would enable Pakistani elites to undertake necessary economic and social reforms and facilitate the further consolidation of Pakistan's democracy, which in turn would benefit the peace. On its part, New Delhi now has to worry less about external powers taking advantage of the Indo-Pak conflict in order to weaken and contain India.
This may actually spur India's political elites to push ahead with a cooperative regional policy and to settle the conflict with Pakistan through a dialogue process. This article investigated the causes of the persistency of the India-Pakistan conflict in order to highlight those factors that have facilitated the bilateral dialogue process as well as to assess the prospects of the India-Pakistan peace process.
While the RSCT offers a multi-level approach towards regional security issues that allows for the consistent integration of structure and agency, subaltern realism highlights the distinctive conditions of post-colonial states such as the incomplete state-building processes or the interplay of internal and external security threats, and liberal IR theory sheds light on how state preferences derive from domestic e.
The analytical approach enabled us to understand how material and ideational factors as well as internal and external conditions influence the securitization choices and negotiation behaviour of state actors. The analysis showed that important changes in the South Asian security complex paved the way for Vajpayee's peace initiative and the onset of the bilateral composite dialogue.
First, India renounced its partially imperialistic policies towards its neighbours and began to pursue a more cooperative and integrative regional policy. Thereafter, economic issues moved to the centre of Indian foreign policy, which began to be characterized by a greater awareness for interdependence and the importance of a stable regional environment for India's socio-economic development. Second, political and economic crisis and the increasing power of Islamist fundamentalists weakened Islamabad's room for manoeuvre but also led to a shift in Pakistan's threat perceptions.
Fourth, external powers now perceive India as a rising great power and have thus changed their policies towards India.
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Fifth, the external support of Pakistan has declined, thereby making it more difficult for the country to maintain the regional balance of power or opt for a military solution to the Indo-Pak conflict. However, there remain major obstacles to a sustainable peace process and the resumption of the bilateral composite dialogue: the state-dominating role of the military in Pakistan, conflicting national identities between India and Pakistan, and contested statehood in Pakistan linked to the growing power of Islamic fundamentalists.
As long as the Pakistani military or some influential elements within it continue to actively support and tolerate Islamic fundamentalists, dominate the Pakistani state and perceive India as an adversary, it will set clear limits to every dialogue process.
Likewise, the conflicting national identities will continue to. Combined with the still partially incomplete state-building processes and various extremist groupings in both countries, this adds a crucial internal dimension to the interstate conflict by generating the mutual belief that their own model of state is not recognized by the other side and the mutual fear that the other side wants to weaken or disrupt it. While India's state-building process has been more successful, Pakistan is still a fragile and crisis-ridden state. This also could impair the potential resolution of the Kashmir dispute, because the Kashmir dispute mutually affirms India's and Pakistan's national identity; hence, abandoning the territorial claim would be seen as a confession that their nation-building process has failed, thereby fuelling the resistance and militancy of separatist and other extremist forces in both countries.
With regard to the future prospects for the India-Pakistan peace process, the analytical framework applied in this article suggests that the relations between both countries will be characterized by a complex interplay of internal and external factors. While the relations between both countries have reached a higher degree of stability in the recent decade, a full normalization of relations and conflict resolution seems rather unlikely within the next few years. Domestically, Pakistan's recent democratic transition could in the long run pave the way for conflict resolution, but for the time being the civilian leaders are confronted with various domestic challenges and have arguably no political power base for pursuing peace with India.
Likewise, there are still quite strong domestic constraints for a peace process in India.
Military Control in Pakistan: The Parallel State (Routledge Advances in South Asian Studies)
However, the overall decline of India's internal wars and insurgencies in recent years could, if this trend continues, lead to a shift in India's Pakistan policy and a more conciliatory stance. Externally, the relationship of both countries with the United States and China will crucially shape the peace process. In particular, the future allocation of foreign assistance for Pakistan and growing international pressure to tackle Islamist militancy are of importance.
At the same time, the analysis has shown that favourable structural conditions alone are insufficient for a successful peace process; it also requires skilled political leaders who are willing to overcome prevailing patterns of thought and have the political power base to make bold decisions. Though the bilateral composite dialogue has received attention in the literature see Betz, ; Hussain, ; Misra, ; Padder, ; Patil, , the existing studies do not provide a systematic, theoretically grounded account of the dialogue process.
Military control in Pakistan : the parallel state
This can also partially be attributed to the resistance against the peace initiative within the BJP and any concessions with regard to the Kashmir dispute ICG, , p. There are, however, also several Islamist terrorist groups in India acting independently of Pakistan Thakur, , p. This notion still holds true for parts of the Pakistani elite despite the fact that, with the secession of East Pakistan today, Bangladesh , Pakistan is not any longer the single Muslim state in South Asia.
The secession of Bangladesh is primarily seen as a result of the destructive influence of India Cohen, , p.
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An indicator for Sharif's attempt to repel the army's role in Pakistani politics is that his government—despite the resistance of the army—wants to push through the legal process against Musharraf. The stabilizing effect of clear power imbalances is stressed by the power transition theory. See Tammen et al. For instance, India's maritime strategy states that the Indian Navy should 'provide insulation from external interference' in the Indian Ocean Ministry of Defence, , p. Similarly, the former foreign and defence minister Pranab Mukherjee noted: '[O]ur strategic location astride the major sea lanes of communication in the Indian Ocean makes us a dominant maritime player in this region'.
Ahmad, I. The U. Af-Pak strategy: Challenges and opportunities for Pakistan. Asian Affairs, 37 4 , Ahmed, A. Thinking beyond the Line of Control. Kriege in Pakistan. Ayoob, M. The Third World security predicament: state making, regional conflict, and the international system. Boulder: Lynne Rienner. Unpacking 'national interest' and 'foreign policy': The interplay of domestic.
In Sridharan, E. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Bajpai, K.
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