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South Asia

The United Nations failure in the Indo-Pak Bump: Causes and Consequences

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Authors: Najma Hashmi & Sofia Abdul Qayyum

The word ‘bump’ means ‘rivalry’ or ‘conflict’. The acronym elucidate the situation of contention between two different poles of power or opinion. This bump can be seen in the Indo-Pak relations and the recent episode of Pulwama terror attack in February 2019 further proved the narrative. There are many outstanding issues contributing into this bump but the issue of Jammu & Kashmir is a root cause of Indo-Pak dyad.

Before the Pulwama attack many other incidents greatly increased the gravity of tensions between the two nuclear rivals. The antagonism threw them into three full-fledged wars and in a limited conflict over Kargil in 1999, but the issue of Kashmir remains the point of persistent rivalry. As we have observed that Kashmir is a primary cause of contention between India and Pakistan, then it is necessary to probe that to what extent Kashmir is contributing in Indo-Pak bump and what role the UN has been playing in conflict resolution?

The rivalry over Jammu & Kashmir is a nuclear flashpoint between India and Pakistan which pushed the two states into direct wars. If we examine the history then we came to understand that conflict started soon after the partition of India in 1947 as the dispute over former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, which consequently escalated three wars between India and Pakistan and several other armed skirmishes. The first ever war was broke out in 1947 and ended in 1948 by ceasefire resolution of the United Nations Security Council. This ceasefire resolution divided Kashmir into areas controlled by Pakistan and India respectively by” ceasefire line”.

 The second indo-Pakistani war was fought from April 8 to September 23, 1965. This war was terminated by the Tashkent declaration. The primary battlefield was Kashmir and in this war Soviet Union played the active role of mediator. An India-Pakistan meeting was held in Tashkent on January 4, 1966. This declaration brought a short sighted peace through ignoring the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir which again brought the two nations into battlefields in December 1971. This war was largely fought in East Pakistan, but the conclusion of war was the dismemberment of Pakistan now known as Bangladesh. In early years of independence, the United Nations has played the active role to resolve the dispute but the geopolitical factors and irredentist behavior of India did not brought any fruits.

A forth mini war was started between India and Pakistan at Kargill, the line of control. The wars fought by India and Pakistan were aim to integrate Kashmir through military means but went fruitless. If we observe the rivalry of indo-Pak in theoretical context then the IR theory of realism explain that states are rational and always preserve their sovereignty and territorial integrity. The anarchical International system compel states to maximize their military power to ward off threat of aggressor states and leave little room for negotiations and peaceful relations. The security dilemma derive foreign policies of nation states as it allow them to balance of power of rival state. Meanwhile the preservation of territory is another prominent feature of realist school of thought. The realists claim that the concept of modern nation states is based on territorial gains and states are selfish in this case. So the case of India and Pakistan rivalry over Jammu and Kashmir dispute can been seen with realist lens.

Contrary to realist school of thought, liberals argue that although anarchy exist in international politics and states are rational for sovereignty, but the conflict can be managed through international organizations and economic interdependence. So in the light of liberal point of view we can say that arbitration or third party involvement is one of the method to resolve the conflict. In Kashmir conflict the major involvement for the conflict resolution is the role of United Nations. The United Nations is an international organization with objectives to maintain world peace and security through mediation and dialogue. So here it is necessary to investigate the role of UN in the Indo-Pak rivalry.

The United Nations intervened in the conflict in 1948 at the request of India and managed a ceasefire in the first war. From 1948 to 1971 the UN passed 23 resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir dispute. The first UNSC resolution was passed on 17 January 1948 urging Indian and Pakistan for restraint. Three days later the Security Council passed another resolution creating the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan to investigate the dispute and to start mediation between the two countries led by the British and the United State, but failed to reach on conclusion. Later on January 5, 1949 the United Nations came with a new plane for a plebiscite. This time the UN proposed that the State of Jammu and Kashmir should be given under the full control of plebiscite administration and administrator enjoy quasi sovereign power over the state of Jammu and Kashmir but the proposal was rejected by the Indian side.

Another effort was made in December 1949, when the President of UN Security Council tried to be a mediator between India and Pakistan but failed to manage an agreement between the two sides. All these attempts of UN failed to solve the Kashmir conflict between India and Pakistan. The early years of conflict witnessed the active role of UN but the earlier enthusiasm was lost in late sixties and seventies. This time the UN only passed resolutions condemning the Indian atrocities in Jammu & Kashmir and urging two sides to resolve the conflict through dialogue. Before reaching on any conclusion, it is necessary to probe that what are the possible factors behind UN failure to resolve the dispute.

There are the several reasons of UN failure in Kashmir. At first, the UN has no proper enforcing power for the implementation of its decisions. Unlike the national governments, the UN is dependent on major powers for military and policing tasks and the restive national interests of major powers sometimes make difficult for UN to deploy forces in a given situation and the dispute of Jammu and Kashmir is an example of competing national interests of major powers. Secondly, being a major regional power, India has more voice on regional and international forums which gives enhance its capacity to reject the UN proposals for conciliation. Another reason is the geopolitics of major powers particularly the United States. The geopolitical struggle and the military economy restrain the United States to play any affective role in the conflict resolution. Fourth is the Indo-U.S strategic partnership to contain the rising China. The United States cannot afford Indian anger while playing constructive role in Kashmir conflict. The core interest of U.S. is to maintain healthy relationship with New Delhi to secure its national interests in the wider Indian Ocean region.  Last but not least is the UN dependence on its member states to maintain its functions. The financial and human dependence on the U.S. and India hamper the United Nations efforts to resolve the conflict. Therefore, the above mention scenario reveal that the near future will not witness the major role of UN in the resolution of Kashmir conflict.

Authors are Graduate Students of International Relations at Women University of Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Bagh Pakistan

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South Asia

Similarities between Trump-Modi Policies and their Actions

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President Donald Trump calls PM Narendra Modi the father of India; according to him he has been successful in combining every section of society like a father combines the whole family through caring for the needs, necessities and reservations of his children. Including praise for PM Modi, President Trump has raised very serious matters for the nations of the world in his recent speeches. Throughout his tenure, President Trump has remained centred on the idea of “American Exceptionalism.” As evident in his statements, he has already expressed in one of his recent speeches that “The future does not belong to globalists, the future belongs to patriots”. He further explained that this is the rise of nationalism and fall of globalism. Though, whatever the ideology guiding President Trump’s statements and strategies it still creates several complexities for the world, especially for weaker developing nations. In the same way, PM Modi has expressed his ideas and thoughts – as influenced by RSS ideology – which are also based on a similar sense of superiority albeit based around a predominantly Hindu inspired nationalism.

Taking into account this idea of America as the saviour of the world -, as evident in its penchant to intervene in any part of the world -the US has created its own definitions what is just and unjust. Likewise, PM Modi’s more hands-on approach to Kashmir and even to a certain extent Gujrat represents a similar approach couched in a sort of ‘saviour’ complex. According to PM Modi, the ancient books of Hinduism give the lesson of humanity throughout the world that it is protected under their responsibility. In this regard, they will work in collaboration with other states who also want to protect the same cause of saving humanity as described by both President Trump and PM Modi during the Howdy-Modi gatherings in United States. Thus, hinting at perhaps a dangerous penchant for a more interventionist approach to world politics.

Now this is psychological rhetoric used by different entities to provide a moral justification for their actions in an attempt to make their actions legal and just in front of a specifically targeted audience. As such this kind of manoeuvring, used by States and individual rulers via looking over the changing global dynamics, is all about gaining interests, power, dominance and influence. There was a period when Narendra Modi was banned in America as well as some other countries of the world. He was banned because of the numerous atrocities, massacres, misconducts and the spread of RSS extremist ideology. He was the central person who was allegedly involved in the massacre of the Babri Masjid in Gujrat, India. He has been an active member of the RSS for a very long period of time. As such he remains famous for his fascist, extremist, hawkish and discriminatory policies imposed on the people of India. These include his harsh policies against the people of Jammu and Kashmir which are glaring proof ofseveral human rights violations.

PM Modi and President Trump have the same ambitions despite the varying differences between the status, development levels, technology, and economies of their respective countries. However, there are numerous similarities within their ideologies, policies and actions as they are mostly inspired by their far-right more conservative electoral bases. Such types of states or individual rulers use beliefs and ideologies for legitimizing their actions. In this regard, United States of America has been practicing these policies and actions within various parts of the world like Palestine, Middle East, Afghanistan. If America is imposing such injustices such a significant share of the world’s population while projecting itself as the saviour of human right violations, then any state with the ability to project power and influence could exploit the situation against the pretext of saving human right violations. As evident, it is this same mentality that has led to the deterioration of the security of various parts of world.

Similarly, Narendra Modi’s ideology has been generating serious issues for the security of South Asia. In this regard, PM Modi along with several other RSS stalwarts have been accused of spreading violence, discrimination and hatred against India’s marginalized communities such as Dalits, Sikhs Christians particularly Muslim and other religious minorities. The recent controversy embroiling the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is an example of such violent and extremist policies which have already resulted in mass agitations and strikes throughout India. The policies and actions adopted by PM Modi have been the cause of various problems within India as well as in the region including the repeated threats from BJP leaders against Pakistan.

When there are nuclear states being led by such leaders who have already fought several wars over multiple issues, they require a certain maturity, sense of responsibility, rationality and understanding in their behaviours as well as the actions of their rulers. Such kind of statements and behaviours portray a picture of madness or irrationality which can generate various problems for the peace and security of both nations as well as regional stability. Both PM Modi and President Trump would do well to ponder over that together during their forthcoming meetings in India which is considered very important for the strategic partnership of India as well as regional security and stability.

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South Asia

Dysfunctional Government of Pakistan

Rafaqat Khalil

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The def of successful government is to control defined territories, population, conduct diplomatic relation with other state, succeed in providing peace & stability to their public & monopolize legitimate violence in their territory. While a stateless or failed government can not create peace, law & order for their population, no control over their territory, weak & dependent institution. There will be no economic stability & no control over the distribution of goods. The massive economic violence, warlord’s & unequal distribution of resources make a failed government.

Resent example of weak government is Pakistan. Where disintegration occur, civilian dependent institute, selection on the name of election, ruling of bureaucrat instead of serving, no check & balance system on institute, monopoly on foreign & internal policy, no freedom of expression, demand of right & protest is a crime. Instead of rule of Law, autocracy is on peak.

That’s why this country face major challenges like humanitarian, extremism, sectarianism, violence, poverty, foreign aid budget, enforced disappearance, disease & philanthropic resources. On the slogan of national interest public face insecurity & unsafety. Because interference is on peak, instead of own constitutional duties s/he interfere in dealing of other. When the nondemocratic forces influence the weak democratic institute then the contract between the state & citizen will be weaker. And majority of population will be unpleasure from law & order implementation.

Where does Pakistan stand in term of democracy, freedom, rule of law, independence of Judiciary and sovereignty of parliament? Are we the people of Pakistan is not democratic? Is democracy will not solve our problem like politics of dynasty, personality-oriented politics, presidential and parliamentary form of government, check and balance in legislature, judiciary and executive, power of president and PM, making and amending of constitution?  Procedure of Election and action against rigging and horse trading. The superpower and indigenous conspiracies and its short- and long-term effects? Devolution of power to local government system and participation of women in our politics? Literacy rate and influence of clergy on public?

The genesis of the present situation is that in Pakistan politics has never been based on some specific philosophy, programmed or principles. It has been in negation of all the ingredients of democracy. It has always been confined to prison or personalities. Ever since partition the only motive of alliances has been for personal gain, power and wealth. Political parties are the personal fiefdom of political leaders; scions of interrelated families of Landlords, Pirs, Nawabs, industrialists, business tycoons and Generals. They conspire and intrigue with civil/ military bureaucracy to achieve, retain and perpetuate power.

The historical background of the issue irradiates that our provincial and national politics have been helpless victims of the power hogging syndrome. Whoever reaches the throne, sets about misusing all the power that he can lay his lands on, whether, it is covered by the rules or not. However, the local government was degenerated into an instrument for perpetuating the British Raj. Bureaucracy was imposed on the people’s representatives; Deputy commissioners were the pillars of British Empire. Nothing much changed after independence in the year 1947. Pakistan inherited a highly centralized political system. Even the idea of federation envisaged by the successive reconstitutions was negated by the preponderance of the central government’s power in legislative, financial, administrative and political fields. The ruling classes confirm to the colonial traditions of governing the entire country from a strong center.

Now it’s the basic responsibility of international community, actors, Institutions & nongovernmental organizations to address these issues immediately. Empowering political parties, strengthening constitution, independent & effective judiciary, reviewing a professional military & police service, effective & influential governance, stopping humanitarian and security problem and holding free & fair election. To return from a weak government to a functioning govt. 

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South Asia

Pakistan- Afghanistan- Turkey Trilateral Summits and its implication for the region

Rahat Shah

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This essay aims to critically explain the Pakistan-Afghanistan-Turkey Trilateral Summits and its implications for the region. These summits were initiated by Turkey to normalize the bilateral relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan. We found that these summits have somehow normalized the relations, but still, there is a need for a formal treaty such as strategic partnership and consensus. The author holds that if both states sign these two treaties, then it will lead them to build a common security community and focus on the positive-sum game, instead of zero. Moreover, it will provide them the opportunity for confidence-building and security reassurance. If they succeed to do so will vital implications for the region. For instance, it will confidently overcome the issue of terrorism which is problematic to the security of the whole region.

Turkey was the first Muslim country that tried to ameliorate Pakistan and Afghanistan’s relations during the post 9/11 decades. Ankara began to hold a presidential summit known as the Pakistan-Afghanistan-Turkey Tripartite Summit in April 2007. Since 1947, the bilateral relations between Islamabad and Kabul have been weakened mainly due to security reasons. The security reason is very diaphanous as the Afghanistan government did not agree to recognize the Durand Line border due to their claim that some part of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtoon Khowa province belongs to Afghanistan. In fact, it is an international 2,430-kilometre border that separates both states from each other. The Duran Line represents the name of Henry Mortimer Durand, a foreign secretary of the colonial government of India. He was an official who demarcated the border between Afghanistan and British India after diplomatic negotiations in 1893. However, in 1947, after the independence of Pakistan, this became a security tension between Islamabad and Kabul. Besides, bilateral security issues it is widely believed that the terrorists such as Al-Qaida and Taliban are taking benefit of this border and are easily moving from Afghanistan to Tribal area of Pakistan.

In Sep 2005, due to the threat of terrorism, Islamabad decided to commence the fencing of the border where work was begun in Apr 2007. Nevertheless, this was unacceptable to Afghanistan because they hold the claim that it will weaken the free movement of the Pashtun tribe. The Afghan government further argued that fencing is nothing more than the division of our Pashtoon tribes because the fencing cannot stop terrorism. Both state blame on each other for terrorism as it is noted that “the Afghan government has been blaming Pakistan for harboring key Taliban leaders on its soil and providing them with sanctuaries to stage war against Afghan forces and their foreign counterparts. However, Pakistan has often rejected the allegations and has claimed that it is extending support to the Afghan peace process”. On the other side Pakistan claims that India is using Afghan soil for terrorists’ activities against Pakistan.

However, Turkey tried to eschew any possible conflict between Pakistan and Afghanistan but it bore no fruits. As in May 2007, the Afghan forces tore the fencing, which consequently led both side troops to serious conflicts. Same On 5 May 2017, an armed skirmish occurred after Afghan forces attacked a Pakistani census team in Chaman, in Pakistan near the border with Afghanistan. At least 15 people died on both sides in the immediate border clash. It is one of a series of similar border-related incidents between the two countries. This plight confirmed that there are misunderstandings and a deficit of trust between both states. Even both states were informally agreed in 2007 in Turkey during Trilateral summits that both will respect the territorial integrity and will not interfere in the domestic affair of each other. Given this, Turkish President Abdullah Gul again invited the two countries in the same year to resolve the issue and promised to hold a summit every year until relations between the two countries were normalized. Further, in the second summit, the three states decided to work on shared military exercises and to share intelligence information on terrorism. Turkey also assured that both states need to build contact between their parliaments which are essential for trust-building. With the passage of time these summits somehow brought the both states at conclusion to avoid any possible conflicts and interference in each other domestic affairs but it still need formal proper agreements for positive results which are important for the whole region.

Implication for the region

Now, for instance, these trilateral summits succeed, then what will be the implication for the region? The first and foremost implication will be the resolution of Afghan’s issue itself. For instance, if both Pakistan and Afghanistan get agree for strategic partnership and flexible consensus, then both can build common security where they will think for win-win security cooperation instead of zero-sum. The common security will build trust between them as the international system is anarchic and no one knows the intention of other states, especially the presence of India in Afghanistan is hideous for Pakistan. The flexible consensus will bring both states at one page to mutually formulate the policies that serve best their specific interests.

The second most significant advantage will be if both states build common security then will surely overcome terrorism which is not only problematical to the security of both states but as well as to the whole region. For instance, terrorism has no boundary and no religion which means it can continue its activities anywhere they want. One of the Vulnerable region is the Central Asian Republican States which are strategically vital regions for the all great and major powers due to natural resources if the terrorism in Afghanistan rooted out then there will be no future threat to this region.

Suggestion

There is no doubt that Turkey is working to normalize relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan, but it needs to change its current policy based on informal processes because formal agreements are needed. In short, only spoken agreements are not enough Turkey should convince both states for strategic partnership and flexible consensus which is very important for the security of the whole region. The strategic partnership which is rival to relic power politics as the strategic partnership provides the opportunity of the win-win situation instead of zero sums. Where the flexible consensus is important due to its ability to bring both states policymaker at the same page to formulate mutual beneficial policies and agree to support a decision in the best interest of the whole group or common goal. 

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