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A South Asian Reality


Shoaib Khan

Publication Date
October 14, 2013

January 28, 2014


Peace & Conflict


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When the Indian parliament was attacked on 13th December 2002, the immediate reaction was the build up of the armed forces on its Western front. Many thought that it was an all out signal of a large scale conflict with Pakistan, but it did not go as predicted. Then again after the Kaluchak incident on 16th May 2003 in the Jammu region of strife torn Kashmir, it was decided to attack the training camps of the militants across LOC (Line of Control) and it was also expected a retaliatory answer from across the border in the form of a full scale war. On both occasions the armed forces were sent to across the LOC and International border but after some hesitation and succumbing to the US and International pressure, the men in uniform were asked to return back to their previous positions and finally after a long ten month stand off they were send back to their barracks. Similarly after the Bombay attack on 26th November 2008, the Indians began to shout in the war tone, but after press release in the Chinese newspapers of that country’s support to Pakistan in the event of a war, the Indians immediately changed their stand from that of an aggressive one to that of a peaceful negotiation.

The question still arise as of why the Indians did not take action like their US counterpart in Afghanistan. In reality it is not so, India did try to react but in the present circumstances its own position did not allowed it to go ahead. The Indian media in the past had always presented the achievements of its armed forces hiding any incident from those fronts where they were at the receiving ends.

Looking at the past records, Pakistan though smaller in size in area and men in numbers was not a pleasure ride for the Indians on the contrary it inflicted heavy casualties on the latter. According to a neutral view from the International observers in the 1965 war in which the Indian claim was of its victory but according to IISE (International Institute for Strategic Studies) London, there was no outright victory for either side. It was the former Soviet President Kosygin’s intervention which averted any further catastrophe. Among the Indian circles there was a common thinking that the then Prime Minister of India Lal Bahadur Shastri had been wrongly informed of the military hardware on the Indian side that the stock of which was only maximum to a further fortnight of action. That was the reason according to some Indian newspapers as to why Lal Bahadur Shastri succumbed to Kosygin’s pressure and entered into the Tashkent agreement with Pakistani President Ayub Khan.

But having a glance at the military picture of the 1965 war according to strategic studies conducted, the Indian claim of victory seemed to be only on the paper. The Indian attacks across the border were retaliated simultaneously in the form of Pakistani thrusts on Indian positions.
Today the Indian politics is in a state of flux, the exact pace and direction of change remains uncertain. Many attack authoritarianism and the corruption as the cause of India’s troubles. After the cold war people and the government by and large are bewildered between the identification of their friends and enemies.

A sizeable population invokes a strident Hindu nationalism that would consign the various minorities to a second class status. These forces in the years have been carefully drawing out strategies to take political control of the country. Some by forming direct parties and organizations on communal basis and others by penetrating its members in secular parties.

This has been noted by the policies adopted by the Indian media and Government in the past. The treatment given to Muslims and other minorities in India on socio-economic front, besides these projecting Muslims as the main cause of every trouble in India has been the main policy of media through history books, films and periodicals. For instance India still does not recognize Pakistan as a technically nuclear capable and that it has received full ready made weapons from China. But on the International front this has been countered when the US intelligence report revealed about transfer of nuclear technology from Pakistan to Iran, Libya and North Korea to whom China would have supplied these technology directly. In another incident when the world media focused on the spread of bird flu virus in South East Asian countries and no where Pakistan’s name was involved, the Indian media constantly broadcasted about the bird flu being spread across Pakistan in spite of friendship verbal used by the Indians. With this attitude in the coming days the peace initiative by both sides will not work further.


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