Review of the Effect of Indo-Pak relation on SAARC

Kumari Rashmi and Purnima Kumar


Abstract

In the present paper the attitude and relation between two important SAARC-member country India and Pakistan has been studied. The reviews on their differences like in establishment of SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation), Kashmir issue, Terrorism and likewise in economic co-operation have been made. India and Pakistan have different views on different issues. According to Indian ideology violent activities happening in Kashmir are terrorism, Whereas Pakistan calls it freedom struggle for Azad Kashmir and indirectly supports those terrorist. Apart of Terrorism, the economic fears and political hostility have constrained the growth of trade and these obstacles have not been confined ties between India and Pakistan. The mutual behavior of India and Pakistan the two big countries as the member of SAARC, in population and area-wise, affects the motto and outcome of the SAARC. Visualising all that things, in 13 th submit of SAARC, both the countries were willing to promote peace and co-operation in their personal relation for solving their common socio- economic problems.

Introduction

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), comprising the seven South Asian countries viz. Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, formally came into existence in 1985 with the adoption of its Charter at first Summit in Dhaka (7-8 December 1985). 1, 2 The idea of regional cooperation was first proposed through ‘a regional forum’ by Bangladesh in 1980, with a view to holding periodic, regional-level consultations among countries in South Asia on matters of mutual interest and possible cooperation in economic, social, cultural and other fields. 3 The fundamental reason was primarily predicted on the premise that regional experiences elsewhere in the globe had been highly successful and that the countries in the South Asian region would benefited enormously from such cooperation, as it would strengthen there in absence of the King of Bhutan, Who had expressed his inability to participate because of domestic preoccupation. I ndia insisted that the heads of all countries must be present for summit. The two SAARC members Sri-Lanka and Pakistan were blamed India for postponement of SAARC summit in violation of SAARC charter. Pakistan suggested that the charter of SAARC should be modified to avoid “Such disruptive postponement in future” like the recent one. The Jinx on the SAARC summit has not gone. The next summit scheduled in Dhaka for 12-13 December 1992 became a casualty of the aftermath of the destructio n of the Babri Masjid in India. The large-scale violence that followed in Bangladesh and Pakistan despoiled the atmosphere for a summit. It was rescheduled for 14-15 January 1993, but was postponed because India insisted that Atmo sphere was not right at that time for holding the summit. Pakistan again blamed India for violation of SAARC Charter and declared that it want ed to amend the SAARC charter and to raise bilateral issue.

Just after the Lahore journey of the former Prime Minister of India, Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee with objective to normalised the relationship with Pakistan, India had faced the Kargil war with the newly formed Pakistani military Government under the leadership of Gen. Parvej Musharraf. 9 Due to the tense situation between India and Pakistan the 11 th SAARC summit which was to be held in November 1999 was postponed, and finally it held on 4-6 January 2002. So, the 11 th SAARC summit was held two year later from the fixed scheduled date. Pakistan had complained that India was alone in proposing postponement of Kathmandu Summit on Nov. 1999 in clear violation of SAARC charter. 10 The "Mukti-Paani” Peoples' Forum, Kathmundu reiterated that the excuse given for not holding the 11th SAARC summit was against SAARC Charter and spirit. Therefore, such excuses were not congenial for the spirit of co-operation, sense of unity and therefore were directly against the interest of the peoples of the region. The 12 th SAARC summit scheduled to be held on 4-6 January 2003 was also postponed for one year due to India’s absence in the summit. Pakistan’s demand of public-poll in Kashmir under the UNO control (United Nation Organisation) was the big hurdles for Indo-Pak peace talk. Due to the Pakistan’s adamant on Kashmir issue, which was to be raised on the dias of SAA RC by Pakistan, India refused to attend the 12 th SAARC summit to be held at Islamabad in 2003. 11 On 17 th December growth quardenga (BBIN-GQ) inside the association . 2 Pakistan blamed India to isolate Pakistan inside the SAARC, but India denied it by expressing its willingness to extend sub-regional cooperation with Pakistan . Pakistan says here that before confirming economic co-operation we must resolve our conflicts over political issues. On the other hand India is primarily interested in regional economic integration and secondarily political issues.

Reason of Differences

It is not a matter of surprise on having different and opposite approach toward each other. India and Pakistan as the division of Indian sub-continent region was an unwanted gift of British withdrawal. The main reason of their differences is Kashmir issue. Nuclear issue is also an important point of dispute. Both countries have increased nuclear capab ility, for the defense. Specially, Pakistan has taken critical Chinese assistance like important component M-11 Ballistic Missile.

External intervention in South Asian region is also an important reason of tension between India and Pakistan. In the middle of March in Year 2004, when Indo-Pak peace talk was booming with hope and trust, the decision of USA to grant the status of ‘Major N on-NATO ally (MNNA) to Pakistan caused major heartburn in India. 27 However, the US was w illing to consider the similar arrangement with India, but India rejected it. Power competition between the United States and the Soviet Union and between the China became intertwined with the conflicts between India and Pakistan, so that India was unable to achieve its aim of insulating South Asia from power politics. These so called superpowers always tried to use Pakistan as their interest. Conclusions

SAARC is comparatively a young association in respect to other regional association but with genuine political will, especially on the part of India and Pakistan, it can grow into a living symbol of South Asian regional cooperation. Neither India nor Pakistan should force each other to accept a solution on Kashmir of their choice. Both of them need to initiate a purposeful dialogue. They had to manage their differences and conflicts that is the part of diplomacy. There is no need to use SAARC to solve the differences between India and Pakistan. Simultaneously, Economic fears and political hostility hav 14.Grapevine, 2003, Violation of SAARC charter, 10 th July 2003, Web site: www.mumbai- central.com/grapevine/msg01314.html

15. Daily Jang, 2004, South Asia ministers sign free trade agreement, 6 th January, 2004,Islamabad,Website:http://www.jang.com.pk/j ang 16. Pratiyogita Darpan, 2004, International Events, 12 th

SAARC summit, Publ. M/s Pratiyogita Darpan, Agra, March, pp.1454-1455. 17. Muchkund Dubey, 2004, SAFTA: a perspective, The Hindu, Delhi Edition, 10 th January, 2004, p.10.

18. Agencies, Prabhat Khabar, Pakistan rejected the historical proposal of common currency, Prabhat Khabar, Jamshedpur Edition, January 3, 2004, p.1

19. The Hindu, 2004, Another attempt at SAFTA, January 8, 2004, Delhi Edition, p.10.

20. SAARC, Regional Convention on Suppression of Terrorism, 2004, Web Site: http://www.itcilo.it/english/actrav/telearn/global/ilo/ blokit/saarc.html

21. Alok Mehta and Sanjeev Acharya, 2003, “We will not take the consent of America for the action on Pakistan”, Out-Look, April 21, 2003, pp.40-41.

22. Amit Baruah and B. Murlidrar Reddy, 2004, India Pakistan to start dialouge in February, The Hindu, Delhi Edition, 7 th January 2004, p.1



 

growth quardenga (BBIN-GQ) inside the association . 2 Pakistan blamed India to isolate Pakistan inside the SAARC, but India denied it by expressing its willingness to extend sub-regional cooperation with Pakistan . Pakistan says here that before confirming economic co-operation we must resolve our conflicts over political issues. On the other hand India is primarily interested in regional economic integration and secondarily political issues. Reason of Differences

It is not a matter of surprise on having different and opposite approach toward each other. India and Pakistan as the division of Indian sub-continent region was an unwanted gift of British withdrawal. The main reason of their differences is Kashmir issue. Nuclear issue is also an important point of dispute. Both countries have increased nuclear capab ility, for the defense. Specially, Pakistan has taken critical Chinese assistance like important component M-11 Ballistic Missile.

External intervention in South Asian region is also an important reason of tension between India and Pakistan. In the middle of March in Year 2004, when Indo-Pak peace talk was booming with hope and trust, the decision of USA to grant the status of ‘Major N on-NATO ally (MNNA) to Pakistan caused major heartburn in India. 27 However, the US was w illing to consider the similar arrangement with India, but India rejected it. Power competition between the United States and the Soviet Union and between the China became intertwined with the conflicts between India and Pakistan, so that India was unable to achieve its aim of insulating South Asia from power politics. These so called superpowers always tried to use Pakistan as their interest.

Conclusions

SAARC is comparatively a young association in respect to other regional association but with genuine political will, especially on the part of India and Pakistan, it can grow into a living symbol of South Asian regional cooperation. Neither India nor Pakistan should force each other to accept a solution on Kashmir of their choice. Both of them need to initiate a purposeful dialogue. They had to manage their differences and conflicts that is the part of diplomacy. There is no need to use SAARC to solve the differences between India and Pakistan. Simultaneously, Economic fears and political hostility hav 2003 Pakistan’s President Gen. Parvez Musharraf proposed India to solve Kashmir Issue, assuming this as bilateral issue, and the way for normalising the Indo-Pak relation opened. 12 Thus, the 12 th SAARC summit was held after one year on 4-6 January 2004 at Islamabad.

According to the SAARC charter Bilateral and contentious issues are excluded from its deliberations. India and Pakistan both were agreed not to raise their difference for SAARC consideration, while constituting SAARC. 6 Inspite of knowing the above facts and rules, Pakistan always raised its bilateral issues with India on the forum of SAARC. Pakistan had been making its amply clear that no worthwhile progress could be expected unless India resolved the “core problem” of Kashmir to Pakistan’s satisfaction. 12, 13 India stoutly resisted that these attempts of Pakistan were the violation of social and main charter of SAARC. In social charter of SAARC all members’ countries must cooperate for the development and peace of the region. But Pakistan denied it, giving importance to Kashmir issue. While the issue itself considered in a separate section on SAARC, it may be noted here that Nawaz Sharif made use of the 6 th SAARC summit at Colombo to denounce India and raise the Kashmir Issue. During 8 th SAARC summit on 2-4 May 1995 in New-Delhi the King of Bhutan and Prime Minister of Bangladesh favored member countries manifesting the will to make use of informal bilateral consultations during summits to resolve existing problems and difficulties. Later on SAARC members accepted it.

Economic Issues

Apart of terrorism, the economic fears and political hostility have cons trained the growth of trade and ties between India and Pakistan. Infact, before the 12 th summit denying MFN status to India by Pakistan and imposing curbs on it, created obstacles in the development of SAARC economic cooperation and this way Pakistan has violated the WTO charter as well as the SAARC charter, as it is related with regional economic cooperation. 14

SAPTA’s modified form i.e. SAFTA (South Asian Free Trade Area) was signed finally during 12 th SAARC summit, which was held on 4-6 January 2004. 15 The transformation of SAPTA to SAFTA had taken a long period i.e. about 10 years. The difference between India and Pakistan resulted the formation of sub-regional economic cooperation Banglades h–Bhutan-India-Nepal their competitive position, both individually and as a group.

Infact, SAARC was founded in 1985 but has few achievements to show for itself due to nearly constant tension between its two important members, India and Pakistan. So, a review has been made on India and Pakistan’s attitude on different issues, and how Indo-Pak relation affects the SAARC.

Review on India and Pakistan attitude

India and Pakistan as two counties are standing in front of each other having different ideologies, unable to establish a mutual acceptable power equation in south Asia. Affecting the national and international politics, India and Pakistan, as the member of SAARC, in population and area-wise, affects the motto and outcome of the SAARC. Both of the countries have adopted opposite approach towards each other on several occasions as follows:

Establishment of SAARC

At the time of the formation and establishment of SAARC, India and Pakistan, both had different thought and doubts. Pakistan was suspicious about the dominance of India in any regional structure due to its area, economy, military power, industry and science and technology. was trying to increase the number of muslim countries in SAARC by including Iran and Central Asian countries. India and Pakistan had different thought in this matter.

Violation of the SAARC-charter

The member countries of SAARC became failure several times to keep up with the objectives and spirit of SAARC as promised in SAARC Charter.

Many times Annual SAARC summit was postponed or extended due to misunderstanding between the members, which obviously violated the charter of SAARC. The sixth summit scheduled to be held in Colombo on 8 th Nov. 1991 had to be postponed because India refused to go constrained the growth of trade and these obstacles have not been confined ties between India and Pakistan. . References 1. Indian Embassy, 2004, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, (SAARC) web site: www.indianembassy.org . 2. History and Evolution of SAARC: Website http://www.ptv.pk/saarcsummit2004/historicalview. html 3. Regional Economic Cooperation, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, Web site: http://www.saarc-ec.org/economic/economic.html 4. PAK FM, Clari News, 2003, SAARC should not be hostage to India-Pakistan differences, Agencies France-Presse (via Clari Net), 11-Sep- 2003,

5. V.N.Khanna and Lipachhi Arora, 1998, In Book: Foreign Policy of India, Publ. Vikash Publishing House Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, p.276.

6. V.N.Khanna and Lipachhi Arora, 1998, In Book: Foreign Policy of India, Publ. Vikash Publishing House Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, p.281-282. 7. Manish Kumar and Sonu Trivedi, 2003, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation: An Overview, Employment News, 6-12 December, Publ.Ministry of I&B, New Delhi, p.1. 8.Mukti-Paani Forum, 2000, Declaration of the 2 nd SAARC People’s forum, 18-21 December, Kathmandu.

Website:www.twnside.org.sg/title/mukti.html 9. Pratiyogita Darpan, 2000, India’s Main Events- 1999, Publ. M/s Pratiyogita Darpan, Agra, February, p.1126-1134. 10. B. Muralidhar Reddy, 2000, Indian attitude damaging SAARC, says Pakistan official, The Hindu, Internet Edition, November 22, Web site: http://www.hindu.com 11. Pratiyogita Darpan, 2004, International Events, Publ. M/s Pratiyogita Darpan, Agra, February, p.1259. 12. Pratiyogita Darpan, 2004, International Scenario, India Pak relation: A new approach of peace, Publ. M/s Pratiyogita Darpan, Agra, February, pp.1305-1306. 13. Pakistani news channel, 2004, Kashmir apple of discord between India and Pakistan, Web site: www.pak.gov.pk/public/kashmir/Apple_of_discord. htm 23. Amit Baruah and B. Murlidrar Reddy, 2004, SAARC- Pledge to eliminate all forms of Terrorism, The Hindu, Delhi Edition, 7 th January 2004, p.12.

24. Siddeshawar Prasad, 2004, Mukhota of Indo- American relation, Out-Look, New Delhi, Hindi Edition, 5 th April 2004, p.26.

25. V. Sudarshan,2003, Kutnitik Larai ka Daur, Out-Look, New Delhi, Hindi Edition, 24 February 2003, pp.50-51.

26. News Agency, 2004, Pakistan: Road Block in Normalising Relations, We site:

www.saag.org/papers6/paper510.html 27. S. Rajgopalan and Saurabh Sukla, 2004, India Snubs American non-Nato ally offer, Hindustan Times, Ranchi Edition, 25 March, 2004, p.7 28. S. Rajgopalan and Saurabh Sukla, 2004, India Snubs American non-Nato ally offer, Hindustan Times, Ranchi Edition, 25 March, 2004, p.7 About the Authors:

Kumari Rashmi * is persiung Ph.D. in the Department of Political Science, Jamshedpur Womens College, Bistupur, Jamshedpur. Dr. Purnima Kumar is Head, Department of Political Science, Jamshedpur Womens College. E-mail: kmr.rshm@gmail.com

 

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