The strategic competition between Pakistan and India has been a defining feature of their relations since their independence from British colonial rule in 1947. In recent years, this competition has been complicated by Pakistan’s growing ties with China and India’s increased alignment with the United States. The following are some of the key factors contributing to this dynamic:
- Kashmir conflict:
The dispute over the region of Kashmir has been a major source of tension between Pakistan and India for decades. Pakistan has long supported separatist movements in Kashmir, while India has maintained that Kashmir is an integral part of its territory.
- Nuclear arms race:
Both Pakistan and India possess nuclear weapons, and their arms race has contributed to regional instability and the risk of nuclear conflict.
- China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC):
Pakistan’s growing ties with China are a significant development in the strategic landscape of South Asia. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a major infrastructure project that will link the Pakistani port of Gwadar with China’s western region, providing China with access to the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf.
- India-US strategic alignment:
In recent years, India has strengthened its ties with the United States, including through defense and economic cooperation. This alignment has been driven in part by concerns about China’s rising power and influence in the region.
Pakistan has been accused by India and other countries of providing support to terrorist groups that target India, including Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed. This has contributed to a breakdown in trust between the two countries and hindered efforts to improve relations.
In conclusion, the strategic competition between Pakistan and India is complex and multifaceted, and is influenced by a range of domestic, regional, and global factors. The growing ties between Pakistan and China and India’s alignment with the United States have added new dimensions to this competition. While there have been some efforts to improve relations, such as the recent ceasefire agreement along the Line of Control in Kashmir, the underlying issues and tensions between the two countries remain unresolved.