Not So Neighborly Neighbors: The Indo-Pakistani Conflict
By Jarom Drummond
Pakistan and India have been disputing over the Kashmir region since 1947. Currently India controls approximately 45% of the region, Pakistan controls some 35%, and China controls about 20% (Hunt). The main disputes and hot conflicts, however, have remained between India and Pakistan, with 3 wars and numerous conflicts since 1947. This conflict is often neglected when considering national security, but poses a potential serious issue to the US. The United States maintains bilateral relationships with both countries, and war between them could pose a diplomatic disaster.
In 2008 after the infamous Mumbai bombings by Lashkar-e-Taiba, the United States headed a team to prevent the outbreak of war between Pakistan and India (Yusuf). Thanks to the cooperative Prime Minister of India, the effort proved fruitful. However, since then, tensions between the countries have remained high and have escalated with several serious skirmishes between the two since 2008, noteable the 2016 surgical strikes supported by PM Modi of India on Pakistani soil. Tensions and skirmishes have escalated since then. 2018 had more ceasefire violations since 2003 when the arrangements were home.
Prime Minister Modi is known for a nationalist platform, supporting Hindu groups and strongly repressing Muslims. Al-Jazeera calls it the normalization of anti-Muslim bigotry in India (Ahmed). While this anti-Muslim sentiment will likely lead to inner-country conflict, it could also well lead to further conflict between India and Pakistan. Lieutenant-General Ranbir Singh called the number of Muslim-terrorists killed in 2018 a huge success (Tnn). Omar Abdullah responded that a successful year would be a year where no terrorists needed to be killed.
Historically India has accused Pakistan of state sponsored terrorism. Recently Pakistan has accused India of the same (Pakistan). It may well be linked to rising anti-Muslim sentiments from Hindu nationalist groups fueled by the Prime Minister Modi regime. India, however, refuses to meet extensively concerning the Kashmir conflict until Pakistan begins to regulate terrorist cells in their country (Ani).
With rising tensions and no end in sight, it is likely that further US intervention will be necessary in the coming years, as conflicts escalate to higher levels and war becomes ever more impending.
- Ahmed, Nehal. “‘Anti-Muslim Bigotry Has Been Normalised under Modi’.” GCC News | Al Jazeera. April 12, 2018. Accessed January 26, 2019. https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/bigotry-normalised-modi-180411100651759.html.
- ANI | May 28, 2018. “No Comprehensive Dialogue with Pak till It Shuns Terrorism, Says Sushma Swaraj.” The Economic Times. May 28, 2018. Accessed January 26, 2019. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/no-comprehensive-dialogue-with-pak-till-it-shuns-terrorism-says-sushma-swaraj/videoshow/64356751.cms.
- Hunt, Katie. “India and Pakistan’s Kashmir Dispute: What You Need to Know.” CNN. September 27, 2017. Accessed January 26, 2019. https://www.cnn.com/2016/09/30/asia/kashmir-explainer/index.html.
- “Pakistan Submits Dossier Alleging Indian Hand in Terrorism to UN.” The Economic Times. July 12, 2018. Accessed January 26, 2019. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/pakistan-submits-dossier-alleging-indian-hand-in-terrorism-to-un/articleshow/49191402.cms.
- Tnn. “Indian Army Always a Step Ahead of Pakistan: Lt-Gen Ranbir Singh – Times of India ►.” The Times of India. January 18, 2019. Accessed January 26, 2019. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/indian-army-always-a-step-ahead-of-pakistan-lt-gen/articleshow/67580377.cms.
- Yusuf, Moeed. “How the India-Pakistan Conflict Leaves Great Powers Powerless.” Foreign Policy. December 10, 2018. Accessed January 26, 2019. https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/12/10/954587-india-pakistan-mumbai-terror/.