Regional Stability in South Asia – UPSC GS2

  • India and Pakistan have announced the strict observance of all ceasefire agreements along the Line of Control(LoC).
  • De-escalation along the Line of Actual Control with China.
Lessons from these announcements:
  • India has shown that China’s military and economic domination can be resisted.
  • India showed that Pakistan’s ceasefire violations cannot yield any result on the ground.
  • On the other hand, Pakistan also learned a few significant things.
    • The abrogation of Article 370 did not result in a cycle of violence in the Kashmir Valley that Pakistan wanted to exploit.
    • Pakistan at present remained on the FATF grey list. So, Pakistan’s state funding of terrorism has burdened Pakistan itself.
Challenges in regional stability:
  • De-escalation between India and China:
    • Some fringe group might try to disrupt the de-escalation.
    • Chinese intentions behind de-escalation are still unknown.
    • Lack of trust between both the countries.
  • Ceasefire declaration by Pakistan also cannot be trusted, considering the past instability in Pakistan’s actions.
  • The Issue of Kashmir is now seen by the world as a trilateral dispute. As the LAC with India-China and LoC with India-Pakistan was disputed. If it is true then India will need significant resources to deal with China and Pakistan at the same time.
Suggestions to improve the regional stability:
  • India has to realise that the aggressive use of foreign policy for domestic political gains has serious effects on India’s international stand. For example, assuring that India will retake Pakistan occupied Kashmir for gaining votes in elections will harm bilateral relations and India’s international credibility.
  • Pakistan should open up to the South Asian region instead of depending on China. As it will help Pakistan to realise its full economic potential. Further, it will provide access to the Central Asian region to the South Asian countries. Pakistan can get a large revenue as they are the transit of goods and services.
  • China has to maintain stable relations in their deals. China has to avoid things such as non-adherence to the principles, frequent violation in the region, etc.
  • The pandemic offers an opportunity for greater economic cooperation between the three countries.
  • Political establishments of India, Pakistan and China have to rethink their geostrategic interests. Also, they need to analyse what they can offer to their citizens from peaceful relations. Then only regional stability is feasible in South Asia.

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