Pakistan, Afghanistan & Balochistan

Editorial

In the regions of Pakistan, Afghanistan & Balochistan, the majority of people are followers of Islam, with its divisions of Shia’s and Sunni’s and many other sects, and with a hardy people the area is an eternal war theatre of Islamic nations fighting with each other, along with the borders that the British gave the sub-continent aptly described are Floating borders, as per their threat perceptions to the British at different times. This entire area must have a new regional commission to sort out the problems given by British along with their exit and independence to the area.
For the first time India with great confidence has shown the Chinese that we too can play the border game well, and no one can mess with us China included, has not gone well with the Chinese, who never envisaged that India will take a tough stand and not be brow beaten. About trade, like our Foreign Secretary says about Indo-US ties, Business is “bread and butter” aptly applicable for India’s relations with all nations now. In an inward looking world an economically strong growing India with a huge domestic local market is a blessing to us. China has a $ 70 billion trade with India, with a big trade surplus in their favour. Our new Foreign Trade policy document announced in first quarter of 2015 says the government is interested in taking India’s share in global trade from 2.1 % to 3.5 % and taking exports from about $ 400 billion to $ 900 billion by 2020. Letting cross border trade with Pakistan is something that Pakistan talks about but does nothing, leave alone trade with Afghanistan and beyond in Central Asia through Pakistan.
Balochistan has two major population groups the Baloch and the Pashtuns along with many other smaller groups. The Baloch’s are also spread in Afghanistan and Iran. The border between Afghanistan and Pakistan the Durand line drawn by the British is not accepted by any shade of government in Afghanistan. Pakistan is for ever trying to control the government in Afghanistan, sometimes it does, and mostly it does not. Pakistan backs the Taliban and the Haqqani Network and would like them to be the masters in Kabul. Aid to Pakistan for the first time is being forcefully linked with what Pakistan is doing to reduce terror in the area, and bringing peace to Afghanistan. For the first time the US state department report has noted that Pakistan has not taken action against the Taliban and the Haqqani Networks instead they operate from its land using it as safe heavens. The US wants an immediate cessation of these operations. So the entire relationship with Afghanistan and Pakistan are always in a state of Flux. The Baloch’s fighting for independence is a battle going on with Pakistan for a long time ,they felt cheated that they did not get Independence after the British left as their hired a lawyer Mr Jinnah who had promised to get them Independence, but who went on to be the Pakistani Chief and annexed Balochistan. Baluchistan is rich in minerals Copper, Gold, Silver Iron ore, Coal, Sulphur and has Natural Gas fields.
In the recent unveiling of Trump’s new US Strategy for the war in Afghanistan signals a marked hardening of US stand on Pakistan when he said, “We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond.” Trump’s positive remarks and hopes on Indian role in Afghanistan is an indication of India’s greater future stakes in not only Afghanistan but the entire region.

Pakistan, Afghanistan & Balochistan


Pakistan, Afghanistan & Balochistan: The Disturbed Areas
Anil Kamboj IG (Retd)

As I write this article during the month when India got its Independence seventy years ago from British Raj and simultaneously a new country was carved out of India by the Britishers, I start wondering as in what state did the Britishers leave our country into.  They departed leaving all controversial issues behind. They drew the Redcliff Line dividing families, rather a large part of Indian population into two. 

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US, India as Factors on Pakistan-Afghanistan Relations post-9/11
Prof. Mohammed Badrul Alam and Dr. Reyaz Ahmad Ganaie

Very recently, India’s ambassador to Afghanistan Amar Sinha criticised Pakistan for its suspected proxy war tactics and encouragement for terrorism in Afghanistan. He emphasised that Pakistan is trying to use Afghanistan as its combat zone while doing nothing to eliminate the terrorist sanctuaries on its soil. Ambassador Sinha’s accusations were swiftly refuted by in a statement released by Pakistan’s embassy in Afghanistan maintaining that India’s accusations are ‘baseless and unfounded.

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India Afghanistan Economic Trade Connectivity - Gauging the Success of Air Freight Corridor
Prof. Mondira Dutta

Post 2001, India has come forward swiftly contributing to the tune of 2 billion USD plus the recent additional aid of $1 billion declared during the seventh Heart of Asia Conference in Dec 2016, towards capacity building and reconstruction of Afghanistan’s infrastructure. Transiting goods through the route via Wagah-Peshawar-Torkham would greatly reduce the freight rates of goods from India to Afghanistan. 

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Afghanistan-Pakistan-Balochistan: Ethnic-Geographical Quagmire
Prof. Snehalata Panda

Ethnic problem created by geographical divisions has inexorably severe consequences for South Asia . Involvement of big powers in Afghanistan   stoked the atmosphere of crisis. Fueled by religious fundamentalism the problem has intensified engulfing almost all countries in the world with few options for an easy solution.

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A Card or Crisis: Indo-Pak Perspectives on Balochistan
Prof. Anil Kumar Mohapatra & Dr. Debasish Nandy

Of late, India’s Kashmir has found its counterpart in Pakistan’s Balochistan. This violence-plagued province of Pakistan has become an instrument of realpolitic in the hands of India vis-a-vis her arch rival. When Pakistan sees the prospects of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as a game changer, Balochistan remains as the biggest challenge in the road since India has sympathy for the rebellious Balochis who have fallen victim to a protracted Pakistani atrocities and repression. 

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Afghanistan and Pakistan: India’s Strategic Concerns
Dr. Arunoday Bajpai

Ever since Alexander invaded India in 3rd century BC, the Indian rulers have been preoccupied with strategic dynamics of their North-West region. Many subsequent invasions and mingling of races, religions and people was followed by a more coherent and systematic ascendance of Moguls in India. Though British came to India from sea routes, the North-West continued to remain a persistent irritant for various reasons. 

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Need for India’s Balochistan Policy: From Diplomatic Gambit to Diplomatic Ennui
Dr. Alok Kumar Gupta

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi threw a diplomatic gambit when he announced India’s concerns for the on-going movement in Balochistan from the ramparts of Red Fort on India’s Independence Day on August 15, 2016. He castigated Pakistan for human right violations in Balochistan, Pak Occupied Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. 

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Pakistan, Balochistan & Afghanistan: Mounting Terror Amidst U.S. AID !
Prof. Sudhanshu Tripathi

Both Afghanistan and Pakistan have undergone long decades of instability and turmoil due to on-going fratricidal wars between different ethnic tribes resulting into long spate of continuing turbulence between Afghanistan and Pakistan and also within Pakistan between the country’s federal government with Pakistani army and various groups of Baloch insurgents fighting for an independent and sovereign Baluchistan. 

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Pakistan’s Policy towards Afghanistan: Challenges from India
Dr. Saleem Ahmad

In fine, since, the end of the Cold War, Pakistan’s Afghanistan policy has been dictated by the geo-political interests in the region. Afghanistan’s strategic location at the crossroad has forced Pakistan to follow the doctrine of ‘Stategic Depth’, and therefore, Islamabad wants to install a favourable government in Kabul. To that end, Pakistan has accomodated Afghan Taliban terorists and supported them against the government of Kabul to keep on check in Afghanistan.

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Balochistan Conundrum: Issues and Implications
Dr. Bhawna Pokharna

The conflict in Baluchistan is protracted and extremely complex. Basically, the root causes of the conflict are both historical and political. Besides the historical and political reasons, the social factors such as ethnicity and religion has also played a vital role in the continuance of the conflict. Lack of representation at the decision-making level and low quotas for political representation are the prominent factors that have added more misery to the ongoing problems, thus spiraling this conflict out of control.

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The Way Forward in 21st Century Afghanistan: Internal Challenges and Opportunities
Saumya Maniny Sinha

It has been more than 15 years now, but the Political turmoil and Civil unrest in Afghanistan fails to settle down. The post – truth of (the Post - American withdrawal presents a gloomy picture in Afghanistan. It would not be entirely correct to say that the Taliban Insurgency in Afghanistan has been weakened and fractured and controlled effectively.

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Political Instability in Pakistan: A Permanent Feature of Democracy in Pakistan
Dr. Priyanka Mallick

Seven decades have been passed, since the creation of a new homeland for Indian Muslims, namely Pakistan. These decades have experienced three constitutions and a series of unstable Government in Pakistan. The nation building process is still far from satisfactory level. Between 1947 to 2012, not even once did an elected government complete its tenure and peacefully transfer of power to another elected government.

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India-Pakistan Geostrategic Competition in Afghanistan
Dr. Muzammil Ahad Dar & Showkat Ahmad Kumar

The formation of the national unity government in Afghanistan – as envisaged in the power-sharing deal brokered earlier by US Secretary of State, John Kerry – marked the end of the months-long political stalemate. The political impasse, stemming from an alleged fraud in the presidential run-off elections, proved to be a major impediment in the process leading to the first democratic transition in Afghanistan.

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India’s Afghan Strategy Beyond 2014: The Pakistan Factor
Dr. Ramakrushna Pradhan

India has been playing a constructive role in Afghanistan since the ouster of Taliban in late 2001. India’s policy options in Afghanistan were clear. Afghanistan should be a democratic multicultural state thereby preventing the return of Taliban. It is in interests of the region that Afghanistan should be a country with peace and stability. 

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Narendra Modi on the Footsteps of Indira Gandhi: Will Balochistan Become the Next Bangladesh?
Dr. Pitam Ghosh

However, the project has its own complications. India might face opposition from Iran and Afghanistan as Baluch land also lies under the territorial control of Iran and Afghanistan. Secondly, in the light of Indo-US and Indo-Saudi relations getting stronger, Indian influence in Baluchistan might be used by the US and the Saudis to frustrate Iran.

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Pakistan-Afghanistan and Balochistan: Issues of Conflict and Prospects of Cooperation in South Asia
Pankaj Lakhera

For the last 70 years, relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have been quite tense. Both blame each other for disturbing their internal peace and security.  Not only there is border dispute between the two states, but both are blaming each other for spreading terrorism and destabilizing the region. It seems from the present scenario that both are adopting the policy of tit for tat. 

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US-Pakistan Relations in 1980s on Nuclear Issue
Dr. Kuldip Kumar

One crucial importance of President Ronald Reagan’s Pakistan policy that could never be ignored was Pakistan’s successful quest for a nuclear weapon capability. For a number of reasons, U.S. nonproliferation legislation and the Administration’s diplomatic efforts tended to focus primarily on Pakistan, rather than India or China, the latter of which is already recognized as a legitimate nuclear weapon state under the NPT.

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Fragility Trap of Insurgency in Balochistan: Problems and Solutions
Vineeth Thomas & Prof. P Lazarus Samraj

The history of Balochistan marred by economic exploitation, deprivation, political inaptitude, and unfulfilled promises. All these factors acted as the catalyst for the emergence of insurgency in the province. The onus of this precarious situation of Balochistan is primarily vested with the State, for being the centre of decision making process.

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Discarding Ostensible Nationalism: Balochistan A New Bangladesh?
Shilpa S.P. Singh

Balochistan’s ethno-national movement for freedom was primarily fought against its subjugation by sovereign Pakistan, the forceful annexation followed with their alienation in terms of plunder of their resources, unemployment, economic backwardness and non-availability of basic infrastructure compounded the ethnic differences, which let them to never embrace idea of the Muslim nationalism imposed by Pakistan. 

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Post-2014 Afghanistan: An Introspection of Security Environment
Abdul Rouf Bhat & Dr. Sudheer Singh Verma

The paper is an attempt to explore the causes that were responsible for the withdrawal of the US-led NATO forces from Afghanistan as the withdrawal does not represent a mission completed in achieving all the three main goals that were set forth in 2001 by the US, ISAF and NATO: eliminate Osama-bin-Laden and the Al-Qaeda terrorist networks from Afghanistan; to remove the Taliban from power and the last to bring stability in Afghanistan and establish a democratic state.

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