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How Today's Changing Global Landscape Impacts Indo-Pak Challenges & Prospects

CC BY 2.0 / Tore Urnes / Flags of India and PakistanFlags of India and Pakistan
Flags of India and Pakistan - Sputnik India, 1920, 05.05.2024
Delicate diplomatic maneuvers are taking place between India and Pakistan against the backdrop of shifting global dynamics. From tense confrontations at the UN to the formation of regional alliances, tensions are escalating due to ongoing disagreements.
New Delhi and Islamabad have refrained from appointing high commissioners to each other's countries, instead opting for deputy high commissioners and charge d'affaires. Both sides have accused one another of engaging in cross-border terrorism, supporting proxies, and holding varying stances on the issue of Kashmir.
During the United Nations General Assembly on May 3, 2024, Pakistan's envoy Munir Akram criticized India's democracy, election process, and leadership. In response, India's Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj, issued a strong rebuke, pointing out Pakistan's "dubious track record" on terrorism and their opposition to a culture of peace.
The exchange between India and Pakistan at the UN appeared to spiral into a war of words, with both countries using strong language and making accusatory statements against one another during their speeches to the UN assembly.

The Indo-Pak Relationship Conundrum

The emergence of multilateral forums like BRICS+ and the SCO, along with shifts in the global political landscape, have impacted regional dynamics. Nevertheless, ongoing disagreements between neighbouring South Asian countries have hindered progress significantly.

“Normalisation between Pakistan and India is less likely, considering the historical records, a continuation of the same old-fetched narratives from and the recent trajectories of both nations – with India trying to fetch leadership roles, such as in BRICS. At the same time, Pakistan struggles with economic and governance crises,” Mohammad Ali Zafar, a Researcher & Geo-Political analyst, told Sputnik India.

Further he said, “Furthermore, considering the context of India's elections, Modi's popularity, and public remarks mocking Pakistan's economic difficulties, prospects for improved relations seem dim. Despite on-and-off efforts by important stakeholders in Pakistan to gauge public sentiment regarding potential normalisation with India, such short-term policy maneuvers often fail to resonate with the broader populace.”
Since the founding of India and Pakistan, the disputed region of Kashmir has been a primary source of tension, leading to multiple conflicts between the two nations. Consequently, New Delhi and Islamabad find themselves in a complex situation, with both sides reluctant to engage in meaningful negotiations.

"I think India's advancements in cutting-edge weaponry and Pakistan's efforts to match India's military prowess are only eroding South Asia's strategic stability. This calls for breathing space that can only be made possible by the international community. However, the question is, for how long will the international community be able to convince both sides to practice restraint?" exclaimed Mohammad Ali Zafar.

Pakistan is facing concerns over issues involving Afghanistan, India, and even Iran. Managing these complex regional dynamics necessitates a high degree of adaptability and willingness to compromise in order to address the complexities arising from these intricate relationships.

Asia's Time to Lead: How the Global South is Redefining the Geopolitical Landscape

It has become increasingly clear that the neighbouring states require a revised foreign policy and diplomatic design as per suitability timely. According to the esteemed author Tim Marshall, we are bound by the constraints of geography, meaning that we have no control over our neighbors and cannot alter them. This highlights the significance of discovering methods to peacefully coexist and engage in negotiations, especially when confronted with long-standing conflicts.

“The normalisation of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and India should be the priority before seriously considering the restoration of bilateral trade," Professor Faisal Javaid, a think tanker, D.Director of ORIC at Federal Urdu University Karachi & a Geo-Political analyst, told Sputnik India.

He believes that international powers, such as the West and the US, are leveraging India against China in the region, which complicates the dynamics between the two South Asian neighbors,”
Professor Javaid also noted that despite territorial disputes, India and China have managed to engage in trade, setting an example for Pakistan and India. However, he added that the political issue with Afghanistan is more complex, as Afghan soil is being used to spread cross-border terrorism, which undermines regional peace.
The recent progress made in the newly established administration in Pakistan is promising. Pakistani Foreign Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar is prepared to explore the possibility of resuming bilateral trade with India, underscoring the significance of dialogue and peaceful coexistence.

“The prospects for normalisation of Indo-Pak relations appear bleak due to both sides' need for more political will. Official stances are rigid, with each side imposing prerequisites for dialogue. India insists on an end to cross-border terrorism, while Pakistan demands a reversal of India's Article 370 abrogation,” Zafar further remarked.

The responsibility now lies with the incoming Indian government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. With new alliances and ties emerging, the regional landscape is shifting, providing an opportunity for diplomatic flexibility.
Both parties should make use of this brief window to address longstanding conflicts and strive towards creating a more secure and prosperous regional environment.
Indian army soldiers patrol at the Line of Control (LOC) between India and Pakistan border in Poonch, about 250 kilometers (156 miles) from Jammu, India, Thursday, Dec. 18, 2020.  - Sputnik India, 1920, 17.04.2024
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