India ups the ante in post-Laden scenario
June 03, 2011
After Osama bin Laden episode in Abbottabad, India has once again started its old blame game of maligning Pakistan. In fact, the current statements and attitude of Indian hawks and even of some moderates are not beyond expectation. They are acting in accordance with their set agenda that has been developed gradually owing to over six decades of conflicts.
The current Osama episode has provided India a unique opportunity to press Pakistan by initiating a new round of blame game. Although, the two countries are again moving for composite dialogue, the Indian side is still leaving no chance to malign Pakistan to get maximum concession in the dialogue by consistently pressurizing its arch rival. If India stops propagating its supremacy, and instead of putting pressure, tries to explore the win-win situation, and the Pakistan side also looks in the same direction, the dream of everlasting peace in the nuclear flashpoint of South Asia can be realized.
Since the partition of the sub-continent in 1947, when Britain dismantled its Indian empire, India and Pakistan have been hostile neighbors. The enmity has its roots in religion and history, and is characterized by the long-running conflict over the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Indian subcontinent was partitioned into Hindu-dominated India and the Muslim state of Pakistan after independence from Great Britain in 1947. Severe rioting and population movement ensued and an estimated half a million people were killed in communal violence. About a million people were left homeless. Since partition, the territory of Jammu and Kashmir has remained in dispute.
India and Pakistan first went to war in October 1947 after Pakistan supported a Muslim insurgency in Kashmir. India agreed to a request for armed assistance from Kashmir's Maharaja, in return for accession of the state to India. But the nature of that accession has long been the subject of debate. The war ended on 1st January, 1949, with the establishment of a ceasefire line. The status of the territory remained in dispute because an agreed referendum to confirm the accession was never held.
In 1965, the two countries went to war again after Pakistan launched a covert offensive across the ceasefire line into Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir. India retaliated by crossing the international border at Lahore.
In 1971, Pakistan descended into civil war after East Pakistan demanded autonomy and later independence. India invaded East Pakistan and at the end of 1971, Bangladesh was created out of East Pakistan.
Armed resistance to Indian rule broke out in the Kashmir valley in 1989, with some groups calling for independence and others calling for union with Pakistan. India accused Pakistan of supplying weapons to the militants. During the 1990s, with the emergence of militant Muslim groups, the movement’s ideology became essentially Islamic in nature.
In 1998, after both sides conducted nuclear tests, the US ordered sanctions against the two countries, with several European nations doing the same. Tensions were reduced early the following year after the two sides signed an accord pledging to intensify efforts to resolve all issues – including that of Jammu and Kashmir.
In the following year of 1999, conflict again erupted after India launched air strikes against Pakistani-backed fighters that had infiltrated Indian-administered Kashmir. Fighting built up towards a direct conflict between the two states and tens of thousands of people were reported to have fled their homes on both sides of the ceasefire line. Later that year, General Musharraf led a military coup in Pakistan.
In 2001, the two countries came to the brink of war when in October that year, 38 people were killed after an attack on the Kashmiri assembly in Srinagar. A month later, 14 people were killed in an attack on the Indian parliament in Delhi. India again blamed Pakistani-backed Kashmiri militants. India amasses hundreds of thousands of troops on border. Pakistan follows suit, raising specter of another war.
In November 2003, Pakistan announces ceasefire in Kashmir. India accepts and truce takes effect on November 26.
The following year, both the countries agreed to set up nuclear hotline, renew ban on nuclear testing, re-open Karachi and Bombay consulates and restore size of New Delhi and Islamabad embassies.
However, the relations again became sour after a bomb blasts in India's financial capital Mumbai that killed more than 180 people. Peace talks were canceled after Indian government blamed Pakistan-based militants.
The situation turned out to be worst in November 2008 when attackers launched a wave of gun and grenade assaults on Mumbai landmarks, killing more than 120 people. India blamed Pakistan.
In this context, the current Osama episode has provided India a unique opportunity to press Pakistan by initiating a new round of blame game. Although, the two countries are again moving for composite dialogue, the Indian side is still leaving no chance to malign Pakistan to get maximum concession in the dialogue by consistently pressurizing its arch rival. If India stops propagating its supremacy, and instead of putting pressure, tries to explore the win-win situation, and the Pakistan side also looks in the same direction, the dream of everlasting peace in the nuclear flashpoint of South Asia can be realized.