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Of Nukes and Neighbors
India-Pakistan Relations Go South Again

Today brought news of the worst attack in troubled Kashmir in six years—militants infiltrated an Indian military camp and killed 11 policemen and soldiers. Reuters reports on the situation in the territory held by India but claimed by Pakistan:

Violence has escalated in Kashmir as India holds an election to the state assembly that separatists have shunned and instead urged talks with Pakistan to resolve the 67-year-old row over the Muslim-majority region. […]

“These terrorists keep coming from Pakistan,” Home Minister Rajnath Singh told reporters. “Pakistan should make an effort to stop them.”

India has long accused Pakistan of giving material support to the fighters. Pakistan denies that.

India also criticized Pakistan for letting Islamist leader Hafiz Saeed, whom it accuses of masterminding 2008 attacks in Mumbai, hold a rally in Pakistan, saying it was “nothing short of mainstreaming terrorism”.

Writing in the Diplomat, Saim Saeed, a contributor and former intern here at TAI, takes a look back at what many thought was a propitious moment for India and Pakistan to improve their relationship after Modi’s election. But, as he notes, that moment seems to have passed. The missed opportunity bodes ill not only for these unfriendly neighbors but for the whole region, because both countries boast their own nuclear arsenals. The long-term outlook is not encouraging:

As NATO forces leave Afghanistan, regional powers including Iran, China, Pakistan and India jostle for influence. With both Indian and Pakistani military budgets – and nuclear stockpiles – increasing, South Asia is heading towards a nuclear arms race, endangering the stability of the region and its economic integration. All of these issues have direct repercussions for South Asia’s security and well-being, and will require concerted and protracted negotiation and cooperation. In the current circumstances, that seems very unlikely.

Read the whole thing here. Meanwhile, Modi’s outspoken Hindu Nationalist party has its best chance ever to take power in Kashmir’s current elections, according to Reuters. The region is unlikely to become less restive anytime soon.

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  • Anthony

    “Th seven-decade rivalry between India and Pakistan is often portrayed as intractable – with good reason. The countries were birth out of a bloody partition that encouraged each to define itself in opposition to the other, and they have fought four wars since.” An operable question now given titled premise is the Kashmir unresolved issue benefits whom and to what extent.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    Pakistan is a rogue state that funds terrorists, there was never a chance that India which suffers from hundreds of Islamic terrorist murders every year and has for decades was going to develop friendly relations with the supporter of those murderers.

  • Tom

    Why did anyone think, given their shared history, that Pakistan and India would come closer together after an electoral victory for the Hindu Nationalist Party?
    Regardless of what you think about the countries’ respective positions, this was not an indicator of possible rapprochement.

  • FriendlyGoat

    We may find that India is one of the least willing countries on earth to tolerate escalating Islamic provocations. The conflict is really very dangerous for the world.

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