Pakistan Agreement in India
Pakistan Agreement in India: What Does It Mean for Regional Peace and Security?
On February 25, 2021, Pakistan and India announced a surprise agreement to observe a ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) in the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir, which has been the subject of a decades-long conflict between the two nuclear-armed neighbors. The joint statement by the director generals of military operations (DGMOs) of both countries declared that “the two sides agreed to strict observance of all agreements, understandings and cease firing along the LoC and all other sectors with effect from midnight 24/25 Feb 2021.” The agreement was welcomed by many as a positive step towards reducing tensions and building trust between the arch-rivals, but it also raised some questions and concerns about the motives, implications, and challenges of this development.
First of all, why did Pakistan and India decide to reach this agreement at this particular moment? Some analysts speculate that the Biden administration`s efforts to engage with both countries and urge them to resolve their differences peacefully may have played a role in creating a conducive environment for dialogue and cooperation. Others point to the domestic and international pressures that both governments face, such as the economic costs of the pandemic and the need to regain the confidence of investors and allies. However, it is also possible that the ceasefire is a tactical move aimed at gaining tactical advantages in the ongoing conflict, such as regrouping, recruiting, and rearming, or at deflecting attention from other contentious issues, such as human rights violations, cross-border terrorism, and water-sharing disputes.
Secondly, what does the ceasefire mean for the people who live on both sides of the LoC, especially those who have been affected by the frequent exchanges of fire and shelling? According to the United Nations, over 13,000 civilians have been killed or injured along the LoC since 1989, and many more have been displaced or traumatized by the violence. The sudden suspension of hostilities may provide some relief and opportunities for humanitarian aid and cross-border travel, but it does not address the root causes of the conflict or address the grievances of the Kashmiri people, who have been denied their right to self-determination under various international resolutions. Moreover, the ceasefire may not last long if either side violates it or fails to implement it fully, as happened in the past.
Thirdly, what are the wider implications of the ceasefire for the regional and global dynamics of power and security? Pakistan and India are not just neighbors, but also members of multiple regional and international organizations, such as the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and the United Nations. The improvement of their bilateral relations could have positive spill-over effects on other issues, such as trade, energy, environment, and counter-terrorism. However, it could also provoke the ire of other actors who have their own interests and agendas in the region, such as China, the US, Russia, and various non-state actors. Moreover, the ceasefire could be seen as a setback or a betrayal by those who have invested in the conflict, such as the military-industrial complexes, the nationalist lobbies, and the religious extremists in both countries.
Fourthly, what are the challenges of sustaining the momentum of the ceasefire and turning it into a durable peace process? This is perhaps the most difficult question to answer, as it depends on a variety of factors, such as the political will of the leaders, the support of the public opinion, the involvement of the civil society, the role of the media, and the trust-building measures that need to be taken on various levels. Some proposals have been made to revive the stalled dialogue between the two countries, such as the Composite Dialogue, which covered eight issues, including Kashmir, trade, and people-to-people contacts, or the back-channel diplomacy, which was used in the past to resolve some thorny issues. However, there are also some obstacles that need to be overcome, such as the hard-line positions of some factions, the lack of transparency and accountability, the influence of external actors, and the domestic and regional instability that could affect the fragile peace process.
In conclusion, the Pakistan Agreement in India is a significant development that could potentially pave the way for a lasting peace between the two countries and the region. However, it is also a complex and fraught undertaking that requires careful management and sustained efforts from all stakeholders. As a professional, I would suggest that the article should include some relevant keywords that could attract more readers and improve its visibility on search engines, such as “Indo-Pak relations”, “Pakistan-India ceasefire”, “Kashmir conflict”, “regional peace”, “nuclear deterrence”, “international diplomacy”, “humanitarian crisis”, “cross-border trade”, “South Asian security”, “counter-terrorism”, “China-US rivalry”, “military balance”, and “civil society engagement”. The article should also be written in a balanced and informative style, avoiding any sensationalism or bias, and providing accurate and up-to-date information from credible sources.