Fifty Years Of 1965 War-Indo-Pak Relations-A War History And India Pakistan Relations History
Fifty Years Of 1965 War-Indo-Pak Relations-A War History And India Pakistan Relations History-–The ongoing proxy war on the border between India and Pakistan at the time of Golden Jubilee of 1965 war has raised a curious question. Will this war end anytime soon? Or Will India continue to bear the brunt of bullets and fight expenditures for times to come? Neither the past victories of India nor the defeats of Pakistan ensured a sustained peace for citizens of both countries.
Proxy war implies a war fought not between armies of two nations but between a third party and an army. Third party here is Lashkar-e-Taiba militants crossing the porous Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir and creating trouble in Indian territory. Pakistan denies its role in helping the outfit and calls for greater vigilance on the border by collaboration at various levels. Recently concluded joint declaration in Ufa, Russia between the two countries failed to bring any improvement in relations because of issues of inclusion of separatists in National Security Advisor level talks leading to its cancellation.
Historically since independence India and Pakistan are at loggerheads on the issue of Kashmir fighting almost four wars. India claims Jammu and Kashmir to be its integral part according to Instrument of Accession signed by Raja Hari Singh of Kashmir in 1948. Originally Raja did not want to join either side but later acceded to India post Pakistan-side invasion via armed infiltrators which led to first war. India promised to hold a referendum in the state when the conditions are normal. Unfortunately there was never such a time. The state continuously remained under Indian Army’s protection and control but literally failed to gain trust of the people since it was visible in the frequent riot like situations and state of unrest despite an overwhelmingly “special” status under the Indian Constitution.
The 1965 war and other subsequent wars substantially ate Indian resources leading to higher expenditures on the military and defence research and acquisitions. For example, expensive living in the lofty mountains of Kashmir Himalayas and bulky transportation of supplies and weaponry led to large fiscal deficits for national security. This led to lower development expenditures in health and education apart from sanitation, clean drinking water and housing. Such cuts on the plan side led to often failures in achieving Plan Targets. Deficits were financed from the Reserve Bank of India leading to lower credit scope left with banks for Industrial development. This led to higher unemployment and more people joining agriculture as main mode of occupation. Such a shift led to difficulty in industrialization and raising the standard of living of the people increasing poverty.
Other issues of Sir Creek on the western side and Bangladesh formation on the eastern side led to increased bitterness in the relations. Later 1974 Nuclear test by India in Pokharan led Pakistan into arms race with India especially in the field of missile development. Further Pakistan also became a nuclear state with the help of China and other allies in later years. Both states never signed Non Proliferation Treaty considering it as a security issue in the even of a probable future war. Other aspects of the relations were trade and tourism barriers, issues of movement of goods, services and people and conflict of interests at international fora.
Psychological impact of the wars in 1948, 1965, 1971 and 1999 was the build-up of hugely opinionated society in front of peace loving section of the same society in both countries. Pakistan being declared an enemy state led to targeted policies leading to further isolation of Pakistani people and loosening of contact between people. Though later Track II dialogues revived the people oriented communication and developed a consensus over majority of issues with a common thread of peace building.
However many positives can be located within the gloom of the war. For example wins for India boosted its confidence and further led to development of a huge army and modern weapon collection. Also development of research in defence technology and armed forces enrichment created a boost for national unity and integrity sentiment in the society. Consensus within political parties was a big achievement in the Lok Sabha leading to quicker decision making and powerful rebuttals to the enemy attacks. But it must be remembered that loss of lives on the border were ever increasing and precious human resources were lost in an unending fruitless pursuit of war.
Of course positives from a war were almost always temporary and fragile. Permanency of peace could not be bought by defeating someone. Both countries soon realized it and signed a ceasefire agreement in 2003 and committed themselves to peace. But some people never liked it and always tried to bring back the dead from its grave. In general, people on both sides wanted peace as reflected in the election promises but armed forces and militants wanted to disrupt the peace process.
Certainly, need is to further the composite dialogue and confidence building measures which stopped after 26/11 attacks of 2008. Also previous consensus on making the Line of Control as International Border must be revived and be taken to government level decision making for agreement between the two countries. Another boost needed is in mutual development of trade under Most Favoured Nation status exchange for betterment of life of people on both sides by reduction of prices of commodities and increasing the savings creating demand and employment favouring Millennium Development Goals. Wars never created glory but only history of sorrow and revenge. Let the flower of friendship bloom between two countries with sustained efforts of people themselves to such a high level that negative forces end in defeat and misery.
Najam Sethi on Indo-Pak relations & Afghanistan & US-YouTube Indo Pak Relations
Post Written By Atul Sharma
Editor In FreeJobaware