Pak-India Friendship: Fruitful or Else?

Pak-India Friendship: Fruitful or Else?

Even though PPP government almost did nothing to raise the expectation bar for the present government, Pakistani’s still seem pregnant with hope that change is in the air.  Nawaz Sharif’s government is expected to miraculously root out all the evils planted by the past one. One of these is the political deadlock from both the East and the West. Except for China, our relationship with our immediate neighbors on both sides of the border has been tense, tumultuous, and devoid of trust. Of this triumvirate, our strategic relations with India stand out to be the most complex ones. Choke relations with her, and you asphyxiate your so-called camaraderie with Afghanistan and Iran. Hence, it is vital for the new government to maintain healthy ties with our noisy neighbour.



New Reconiliatory policy- at what expense?

It’s no surprise that Mr.Sharif’s reconciliatory policy, which I lauded previously, will transcend the cross border grudges. However, are we being too eager to join both hands with India and consequently, overlooking our vulnerabilities? Are we inducing mutual pleasure at the behest of too many sacrifices? Where it’s only true that we should advocate peace with true spirit, but should also be wary of these dilemmas.



How do we benefit from the handshake?

Strongly cooperative Indo-pak relationship is going to favor the two countries to an unimaginable extent. It will make the land trade more robust throughout the entire region. Not only will Pakistan and India be the economic strongholds in the area but the mutual cooperation will also serve to bolster the development of third world countries in the region, like Nepal and Afghanistan. Old trade routes will be revived and new ones constructed. With closer ties, needless expenditure on accruing weapons and fulfilling army requirements at challenging terrains will be slashed. More fund will be available for nurturing other, more important, areas like education and public health. Employment ratio will shoot up exponentially, and foreign investment will change the whole outlook of our country.



What’s needed to build mutual trust?

To make sure this mirage turns into reality there is a strong need to develop bilateral trust. Without it, we can sign many accords on paper, but in reality we wouldn’t have moved an inch towards the Utopian sub-continent that we so desperately wish for. Trust does not come in a flash, it builds up gradually. If we think that by inviting the Indian PM to the oath-taking ceremony of his Pakistani counterpart, or by declaring the Kashmiri militants to be terrorists we have won our archrival’s trust, we are only being cruel to ourselves. There’s more to it than these ‘miniature’ gestures. A sincere desire is needed, trust will grow with time. There is no need to overstep our bounds. We have to gauge their eagerness too, and keep in mind our own reservations.



Jeopardizing our take on Kashmir?

Is it possible that in the eagerness of the little handshake, we might be jeopardizing our take on Kashmir? In recent years, our stance towards the torn and troubled Kashmir has been put on the back burner. This has been done to woo the Indian counterparts in an attempt to bring them on the tables. This, I believe, is a heinous crime. As a country whose raison d’etre is Islam, it is our utmost duty to remember the blood and flesh Kashmiri people have laid down for their freedom, and to give them unshakable support. If India does not like our prioritizing Kashmir, then so be it. We should not be expected to make any more sacrifices than we have done so already.



It takes two hands to clap?

Mutualism is a need of the hour for India as well. It takes two hands to clap. She should not expect everything to go her way. Kashmir needs a solution, and it is needed as soon as possible. We can’t wait for them to go berserk and do something to gain world attention, if you know what I mean. If they want independence, give it to them; it’s the least we can do for the people who’ve had protracted suffering.



India’s rigid stance on Kashmir:

One of the reasons why India has been obstinate with Kashmir is the geological importance of the region. Four of the five main rivers of Pakistan pass through the corridors located in this area. Her agriculture depends on the vast and highly intricate irrigation system that makes use of these waters. With the climatic changes due to global warming, the sub-continent is at the risk of losing certain waterways bringing agriculture under the cosh.



What about the Water Treaty?


When water is scanty, there is a greater possibility that India might subtly infringe the Indus Water Treaty of 1960, like it has attempted to in the recent past. India is allowed to irrigate her lands using the waters from all of these rivers but, according to the treaty, except for Ravi, they cannot obstruct the waters of the other three rivers (Chenab, Jhelum, and Indus) for storage or any other purpose. Up till now, India has built many controversial projects on these rivers like Wullar Barrage, Salal Dam, and Dul Hasti Hydropower Project to name a few. This is endangering our Irrigation reliant land, and swift action needs to be taken to ensure there is no drought in the future due to Indian projects. Thein Dam on River Ravi could also be a threat. If India releases more than a certain threshold volume, our areas could well be under water in no time.




According to many think tanks, World War 3 will be fought on the basis of water disputes. This foreboding emphasizes the importance of water. Indolence in this matter could wreak unprecedented catastrophe in Pakistan. Therefore, it is an indispensable issue that we dare not compromise on. We must have our guard up for every possible move our nemeses might make.



Indian Presence in Balochistan?

Lastly, the issue that we both condemn equally, but paradoxically, cannot be on the same page about, is terrorism. India blames Pakistan for its inaction against terrorist havens inside the latter’s borders notwithstanding the fact that we have had more than five thousand military personnel martyred, and nearly 17000 civilians wasted ( India needs to be cognizant of their own frailties. As General Musharraf pointed out in one of his interviews during his sojourn to India, back in 2009, the majority of terror strikes in India emanate from within. Secondly, Pakistan, for me, has adopted a very soft stance towards the ostensible Indian presence in Balochistan, and their covert operations in Afghanistan. Terrorism is not all about Pakistan’s shortcomings; it also features India’s own slothfulness in checking local terrorist hotspots and perhaps a little bit of hanky panky.



My Take on it:

I would like to make clear here that I do not advocate any brusquely belligerent approach toward the Indians. However, I would stress upon avoiding excessive wooing, and sycophancy, which I fear might continue into the new political era. As long as we show desperation, we’re more likely to be subject to exploitation. Just like India, we must also chalk out some pre-negotiation conditions. Foremost of them should be mitigating the public hatred by checking widespread and grandiose propaganda against us by their media, and sharing of substantial evidence before jumping to any conclusions as cynicism begets cynicism.


We need to change our attitude if we want to improve theirs. The lesser submissive we are, the more positive their feedback.

Works Cited

Emerging challenges to Indus Water Treaty by Dr.Shaheen Akhtar

Abdur Rehman Sheikh

A sophomore at LUMS School of Science and Engineering

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  • Shantanu

    “If they want independence, give it to them” I think the author is talking about Baloch people.

    • Muneeb Akhtar

      No, he may have been talking about MQM.

  • Pseudo Intellectuals

    Fruitful or not, is there any other choice though?

  • Anonymous

    Nasrullah Sb

    How does one get out of the Simla agreement which made the whole matter a bilateral affair between India and Pakistan?! This would appear to be the only way before te UN’s cold storage door opens. ZAB and PPP sold Simla as the best thing since sliced bread but pulled the rug from under the Kashmiri aspirations at the time. Today, the IHK citizens do not have the same or similar passion as Pakistan on the matter.

  • Anonymous

    ….and the irony is that the 93000 would have had to be freed any way!

  • Kirpal Singh Dhillon

    We have made you a Global Beggar where terrorists organisation can be found in every corner of the street killing Pakis like rats with billions of dollars in debt with just 4 hrs electricity in a day, no chance of self dependency in the next 5 decades. Kashmiris hate you more than anyone else, Balochistan is on the way of Bangladesh etc etc. What else you want? When you will use your so called NUKES when Americans would leave this region taking away the code numbers with them? Do not bark, have courage and use it you coward moron …….

    • M.Saeed

      So, you lost your dhilloni!

  • M.Saeed

    Raj ji, you also?

  • M.Saeed

    Let your courts give authentic proof about Hafiz Saeed’s or other’s from Pakistan involved in Mumbai carnage, I assure you our Apex Court would waste no time in hauling the confirmed culprits and giving them their due.

  • Anonymous

    Raj ji

    Anti missile rockets held by anyside may be of little use with the more ‘efficient’ nuclear weapons and domino effect, which will provide for that mutually assured destruction of whole humanity as you note. Radioactivity too may not respect boundaries depending upon weapon design or ask nationality or faith of the prople it effects!

    As NASAH Sb may point out, in ths business of point scoring between India and Pakistan, most have no clothes on – so time to get some but not grabbing these from each other!

  • Anonymous

    Hashmi Sb

    A man of your refinement does not and should not fall succumb to the incendiary diatribe.

  • Anonymous

    “…..200 400 aur marne chahiye…..soldiers in Jamu kashmir. Frankly, they do the same kind of things as what those 10 people did in Mumbai.”

    An abhorent rationalisation of random killings of innocent human beings. Why should you need to find justification for a terrorist killing act on the street of any city by anyone?

    The trouble is neither Pakistan nor India truly understands or cares about what Kashmiris want – and to top it, both end up minimalising the other issues between them by making Kashmir the bogey man of their problems.

  • M.Saeed

    My dear Raj ji, courts, our as much as yours, need prosecutable evidences before giving fool-proof judgements!

    I wish much more than you to make India-Pakistan not only good neighbours but genetic cousins way ahead of US-Canada, New Zealand-Australia and almost all (roughly 70) European countries joined in the EU. If we can dispel our mutual grievances with respect, regard and resolve to find the living human solutions to our grounding problems, within no time we shall become the fastest of all developing countries, walking ahead of all others.

    As I have repeatedly maintained, all religions promote
    humanity and should be respected with open hearts. Even our Holy Qur’an unequivocally says so on which I have provided several references on these pages.
    In one of my posts on Aman ki Asha, I had calculated that, the cost of maintaining our conflicts, while costing us astronomical amount of direct money, has practically kept us in poverty while the world moves much ahead of what otherwise was our entitled endowments.

    • Anonymous

      ‘….and cost of maintaining our conflict’ by bothsides is paid to outsiders for acquiring weapons!

  • M. Farooq Kashmiri

    I am a regular reader of this blog. Only once i made my comments in this forum and thinks this one is my second. Previously also on behalf my Kashmiri brothers and sisters made an appeal to my Pakistani brothers and again I am appealing you to just leave us alone and let us remain where we are and assure that we are much capable of taking decision of ours. You have no respect/sympathy with us but just scoring the points with India through our shoulders. In the last 65 Yrs you have done much damage to our cause of which Kargil and Mumbai were the final nail in the coffin. In the world forum previously we had some sympathy and now any of our action is treated an action from terrorists. Therefore, if really you have any sympathy with us leave us alone and take care of your Pakistan which is on fire from all the corners. We are tired and want to live in peace just peace. Thanks

    Farooq Kashmiri, Lal Chowk,SRINAGAR

  • M. Farooq Kashmiri

    Just compare the standard of living of our kashmiri brothers living that side in POK and this side. result will be before you. .

    • Anonymous

      Purely from an ordinary Kashmiri’s perspective and with the bnefit of hindsight, Sirinagar was fortunate in having Sh Abdullah whilst Muzzafarabad’s misfortune was Qayyum Khan…..The difference in living standards alone may explain the change in attitude of the Valley’s Kashmiris towards Pakistan notwithstanding all the attrocities Indian Army as committed on the ground their.

      • M.Saeed

        New Mirpur, the little Birmingham? Just have a look on Wiki.

  • Sumit Awasthi

    Here one can easily judge who is effected by rabies.LOL

  • Anonymous

    Hashmi Sb,

    1. Minorities in Pakistan are not exactly on a bed of roses either.
    2. Logically, it is not in India’s interest to have a broken Pakistan and to aid the process as in this case India itself will end up breaking. This will not be be because of Pakistani nuclear weapons but simply human attitudes based on perceived injustices by more powerful ruling groups.
    3. You have the advantage of a few years on me and may have bitter memories of the partition. With respect, I suggest its about time the history of partition is left as history only for reference, and with view to avoiding mistakes again rather then a standard by which future relations are to be gauged – or there will be a continuous turmoil for the masses on both sides for decades to come.

  • Anonymous


    Glad you kniw you got some laughs from us. Now will you return the gesture or in good faith or pour more oil on the fire?!

  • Anonymous

    Raj ji

    With respect, neither you nor Hashmi Sb has the moral high ground here when it comes to Kashmir. You have selected quoted Peter too forgetting that “Some 87% of this section of the Kashmiri population does want independence from India.. ”

    Neither Peter, Mr. Hashmi, yourself, the whole of India or Pakistan can claim moral superiority in this game of verbal volley ball because none of us can decide or preempt a decision which is and always should have been of the Kashmiri people in any just and moral sense.

    If you are so assured of Peter’s assessment that 80% of Kashmiris will settle for status quo then seek a confirmation from the Kashmiris of this – surveys thatfavour India and Pakistan are of no moral value to try and score points. Whilst you are at it, the transgressions of the Indian army in the cities you mention need your condemnation too!

  • Anonymous


    Your recognition of real politik that two larger countries are at loggerheads over Kashmir is reasonable whilst the Kashmiris find themselves between a rock and a hard place.

    However, would it be correct and just to deprive Kashmiris of their moral and legal rights by relying on untested surveys or assumptions that India would not budge from its position or Pakistan may not like the results of a plebicite in Kashmir so lets accept the status quo.

    By not winning hearts and minds but maintaining the status quo by a barrel of guns and long term boots on the ground is hardly likely to endure anywhere in the world including India or Pakistan!

    Incidentally, would be interesting to learn the source of your surveys and who conducted them.

  • Anonymous

    My friend perhaps you don’t realise how many Pakhtuns are in the Pakistan army. This could even explain the difficulties of conducting operations in KPK at times.

    Perhaps you should consider the possibility that should Pakistan break any further and that too along ethnic lines, it may set a precedent for ethnic movements in India too. Neither country breaking up any further is in the longer term interest of its people or each other.

  • M.Saeed

    With 65%of their share, Punjabis democratically have to flood the whole of Pakistan in every walk of life. Don’t you know that, with
    its many groups, Baluch Regiment; is the oldest and most potent force in Pak-Army?
    Knowledgeable Indians very well know that, even in Indian
    Army, Sikhs and Gorghas flood it, being martial races. Real Hindus who religiously watch even their steps, with a fine tooth-comb, fearing not to trample ants in their walk, cannot be any fighters.
    But, with our Faith in Unity and religiously ingrained Discipline,
    we Pakistanis are whole heartedly fighting a few disgruntled elements brain-washed by the foreign-based militant savages and hope to eradicate them soon. Their end should be an added benefit to Indians because, once out of scene, we can
    have real meaningful parleys with Indians to amicably sort out our outstanding issues in dispute.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for the sources Peter.

    Should it it even be a consideration what Pakistan (or India) will get if Kashmiris are given the right to determine their own future? Unfortunately, The problem has always been looked at from India or Pakistan’s perspective and not the Kashmiris.

    Of course If another question was added in , there is the possibility that because of language and economic differences, most of the part under Pakistani control is not desired by the people in the Valley.

    Unfortunately, we live in a world where possession is 9/10 of the law and narrow surveys instead of a free plebicite will end up dominating the argument for now.

  • Anonymous

    Raj ji

    A wrong is a wrong whether you or I condemn it or not. Would you have me so shallow that I condemn a wrong in expectation of you condemning a wrong?! Sir, whether you condemn the wrongs of Indian Army in Kashmir or not is a matter of your own conscience and I do not need that lead to condemn the excesses of Pakistan Army in any human right abuses. As per my own conscience I have in the past condemned those or te carnage in Mumbai or any other terrorist act and will do so in the future again whether you have the courage to do so or not at your end.

  • Anonymous

    Raj ji

    ‘Chapter of Kashmir is closed in the world eyes since 1947….’ Sadly that is the tragedy of Kashmiri people.

    On Kashmir, neither India nor Pakistan have a moral high ground as both are without clothes here. India did not exactky have its hands clean when ut went to the UN under Chapter VI (non binding) and not Chapter VII which is the binding resolution. Then Mrs Gandhi and Mr Bhutto agreed to make it a bilateral issue in Simla – again ignoring that they were deciding the fate of a whole peopke who were not even made a party. I don’t have a slogan, dead or alive in the Kashmir issue but when someone tries to claim a moral high ground at Kashmiris expense and quotes selective history, am I not even allowed to complain.

    The best either side can claim is that they have possession (9/10 of the law). They have yet to win the hearts and minds of the Kashmiri people and admittedly the part under Indian control has better economic performance depite the military excesses. Your comparison with Siri Lanka/LTTE would have had more merits if Kashmir had become part of India in a clean moral and legal fashion. The Sri Lankans used to claim Indian interference in the Tamil issue if you recall.

  • Anonymous

    Raj ji

    It has never been a desire on my part to see a broken India but you should have more confidence than I that India’s union is not dependent upon Kashmir being a part if it (and neither is Pakistan’s). Kashmir was and will always be a special case in this regard ever since it was sold off as land an chattel to the time both India and Pakistan played their own interests at partition, overlooking any moral and legal rights of Kashmiris themselves. Not that it is likely to happen, if India holds a plebicite in the part under her control and finds that a majority wants to stay within Ibdian rule, you can say I had a contradiction. else where is the contradiction in asking for some thing to be made legal by consensus and not by forceful possession?

    • M.Saeed

      You are correct Mr.Qalim. That’s why I always quote the case of Hyderabad Duccan for comparison.

      It is a pitty that our govt. has never used that leverage to press the point. Obvious indifference due to vested interests involved. Otherwise, Nizam would have been the easiest and most convenient bargaining tool to employ. And, there are 13 other such bargaining tools to consider, only if we are real sincere to the cause.

      Even princely state of Junagadh and Manavadar had acceded to Pakistan but occupied by India on 9th Nov., 1947 rescinding accession to Pakistan the following day. In a referendum carried out in late Feb., 1948 the state had approved occupation by India due to obvious Hindu Population advantage.

      Another glaring case of Indian multiple-standards golore!

  • M.Saeed

    Raj-Ji, of late, you are fast shedding your cool-façade and
    becoming a “Hindu in a hurry”!

    Maybe you need some deeper study in Indian History.

    You should not be selective in history because exception
    does not make any precedence.
    I arrived at my conclusions about “Indian Martial Races”, following the universal recognitions based upon the number of “Victoria Crosses” received by the Indian soldiers in the British wars. You will find that, out of a total of 41 Victoria Cross Medals awarded, 14 recipients were Sikhs, 12 Gorkhas, 7 Muslims, 5 North Indians and 2 only from the whole of remaining India and both were from Bombay (Now, Mumbai). That makes 40 recipients but the total medals awarded were 41 because Richhpal Ram Lamba of (now) Haryana had won the Victoria Cross twice, a unique feat in the entire sub-continent.

    My specific reference about walking, watching steps not to
    trample even ants, is specifically relevant to Jains but liberally applicable to all vegetarians who avoid even eating of eggs.

  • M.Saeed

    While joy of happiness comes through innumerable worldly ways
    and means, Bliss is blessed and cannot be acquired.

  • M.Saeed

    So, you have fast unlearned the 1,200 years of Muslim rule in India?
    Had it been a terror rule, every sinle person of 1,200 million Indians today would have been transformed into terrorist!
    Sometime you fail to see what lies just below your nose!

  • Danial Tariq

    I hope I am not replying too late, But just recently Mian sahab did visited Quetta and if what you say about shop keepers is true then it is really good to hear!