The relations between the two have become an issue to watch for the world especially’ after they exploded their respective nuclear powers in 1998.
The world gets on the edge whenever there is a tension between the two, as was the case after the terrorist attack on Indian Parliament in December, 2001, or after the November, ’08 terrorist strike in Mumbai – it can always trigger a nuclear conflict between the two neighbours. The terrorist attack on November 26, 2008 has caused renewed tension in Indo-Pak relations.
The fear of military confrontations was high but sanity prevailed and the crisis defused. Earlier, Pakistani trained terrorists had struck in Jaipur (May, ’08), Bangaluru (July, ’08), Ahmedabad (July, ’08), New Delhi (September, ’08), A few of the terrorists were home-grown belonging to the Indian Mujahideen. Islamic fundamentalism and extremism is nurtured and promoted by the Pakistani establishment. The Jehadi schools spread all over Pakistan and the Madrasas spread hatred and intolerance.
Pakistan’s strategic objectives are, first to change the status quo in J&K and to force the Government of India to reach a compromise with Pakistan. Secondly, to hinder the emergence of India as a major power ir the Asian region on par with China. This is an objective which both Pakistan and China share.
Thirdly, to prevent a closer relationship of India with US and Israel. In the recent past, air-force, navy and the army of two countries have been on high alert. India and USA have coordinated their efforts and the Indian proficiency has been proved beyond a shadow of doubt. Pakistan is wary of India maintaining close proximity to the USA. Demands from India are as follows:-
First, the arrest and handing over to India of Pakistan based operatives of Lakhar e-Toiba who have been named by Kasab, the lone terrorist surviving, as the brain behind the 26/11 terrorist attack.
Second, the dismantling of the anti-India terrorist infrastructure of the Le-T and other Pakistani Jehadi organizations. Third, handing over to India about 20 suspects, both Indians and Pakistani Muslims and Sikhs, wanted for prosecution in India on charges of terrorism.
From the above comparison it is apparent that Pakistan has been slipping behind India and the gap has widened. Pakistan’s obsession of parity with India in military terms is mainly responsible for the growing wedge. When India launched “Arihant”, the first nuclear powered sub-marine in South Asia the immediate Pakistan response was “that we will appropriately respond to the Indian challenge”.
India being a much larger country both in population and size bordering China. Myanmar, Nepal, Bangladesh has to assume larger responsibility for continuous defence preparedness to protect its people of and exercise constant vigil and surveillance, and conduct reconnaissance fair & seas to plan for warding off enemy attacks conference P.
Pakistan is also keen to match our development of missiles; if India launches Agni – III, Pakistan immediately responds with their own version of missilies to be ahead of India. Pakistan out smarted India in the Sharm- Lel-Sheikh Conference in July 2009; when on the sideline of the non-aligned conference Pakistan inducted the issue of Baluchistan. The Pakistani Prime Minister, Gilani, immediately on reaching Islamabad demanded that India should stop its interference in Balochistan.
The best way to bring about a dramatic change in the relations between the two countries would be to expand people to people contact and, secondly, increase the two-way trade. The rigid visa regime does not promote movement of people. Protectionism is a major impediment in the expansion of trade contact.