Don’t Expect Any Breakthroughs In India-Pakistan Relations

April 12, 2024
Syed Ali Zia Jaffery

The following is an excerpt from 9DASHLINE.

February 2024 marked the 5th and 3rd anniversaries of the Pulwama-Balakot Crisis and the Indo-Pak ceasefire agreement on the Line of Control (LoC), respectively. While the Crisis brought the two nuclear-armed neighbours perilously close to a catastrophe, the ceasefire agreement brought about a temporary end to violence on the most militarized boundary in the world. Unfortunately, neither the said nuclear-tinged crisis nor the ceasefire agreement portends better days ahead for Indo-Pak relations.

If anything, the crisis has set dangerous precedents of attacking the mainland and posturing for horizontal escalation. As for the ceasefire, it cannot help address the root causes of the Kashmir imbroglio. This is not the first ceasefire agreement as both countries have made four attempts to silence guns along the LoC since 2000. The results of these efforts show that any ceasefire is unlikely to pave the way for further steps towards enduring peace between the two countries.

That being said, it does provide relief to civilians on both sides of the LoC. Regardless, these two episodes loom large as the new coalition government finds its feet in Pakistan, and India readies itself for the upcoming general election. Notwithstanding the importance of these elections, it is unlikely that they will change the state of Indo-Pak relations. In the short term, no breakthrough should be expected.

Continue reading at 9DASHLINE.

Syed Ali Zia Jaffery is a graduate student in the NPTS Nonproliferation and Terrorism Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

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