Are Pakistani Hindus patriotic towards Pakistan? - the information portal on South Asia

Relations between India and Pakistan represent one of the most complicated bilateral and regional problems in Asia since the end of the Second World War. For more than fifty years the two countries have been in a permanent conflict, which was given a new dimension with the open nuclearization in May 1998. The security situation in South Asia has thus fundamentally changed. South Asia is currently one of the most important crisis regions in the world. (1) The American President Bill Clinton described South Asia ten days before his official visit to the subcontinent in March 2000 as "the most dangerous place in the world right now". (2)

There is not only the risk of a nuclear arms race, but also the risk of a nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan. The conflict between India and Pakistan, which has been going on since 1947, has so far led to three wars. In the summer of 1999, during the ten-week Kargil crisis, the "most dangerous conventional confrontation between two nuclear states" broke out. (3) The conflict in the Himalayas cost the lives of more than 400 soldiers on the Indian side and led to the breaking off of the dialogue between India and Pakistan, which began in February and which promised to bring about a hopeful turnaround in mutual relations (Lahore process). The international community of states responded with great concern to the military coup carried out by General Pervez Musharraf on October 12, 1999 - the first in a state equipped with nuclear weapons.

To this day there have been repeated artillery duels and border skirmishes on the Line of Control in Kashmir. The international conflict becomes particularly explosive due to its overlap with the civil war in Kashmir. The constellation described raises a number of questions. Among them especially the question of the various effects of the conflict. What are its internal political consequences? What does the bilateral dispute mean for stability in the respective country and region? What are the effects of the conflict and the associated nuclearization for regional and international security policy?

The following article aims to answer these questions.

Background of the Indian-Pakistani conflict

The origins of the conflict between India and Pakistan lie in the colonial era. 1940 passed the All India Muslim League a resolution calling for a separate state for the Muslims of British India. The basis of this demand was the so-called two-nation theory, according to which Hindus and Indian Muslims represent their own nations due to their different religious affiliations, each of which has the right to its own state. The President of the Muslim League, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, summed this up in his keynote speech in Lahore in 1940:

"The Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, social customs, literatures. They neither intermarry nor interdine, and indeed they belong to two different civilizations which are based on conflicting ideas and conceptions [...] To yoke together such nations under a single state, one as a numerical minority, and the other as a majority, must lead to growing discontent and final destruction of any fabric that may be so built up for the government of such a state. " (4)

The political background for the proclamation of the two-nation theory lay in the fear of the Muslims that they would be politically and economically disadvantaged in an undivided India because of their numerical inferiority. (5)

The concept of the predominantly Hindu was the ideas of the All India Muslim League Indian National Congress under the leadership of Gandhi and Nehru, who, regardless of language, religion or ethnic group, held on to the unity of the entire subcontinent.

Jinnahs finally prevailed with his vision of a Muslim state in the final phase of negotiations with the British colonial power: the subcontinent was divided into the Hindu-majority state of India and the Muslim state of Pakistan, which consisted of two parts 1,500 kilometers apart. The division triggered the resettlement of more than 15 million people, which was accompanied by violent riots and expulsions, in which around one million people were killed. The circumstances surrounding the process of division continue to have a traumatic effect up to the present: They have “dug themselves deep into the collective consciousness of both societies; the events are unforgotten and often not gone, they are neither politically nor emotionally worked through. "(6)

Against the background of the historical starting position described, the Indian-Pakistani conflict constellation arose, which still determines the relationship between the two states to this day. Three different levels of conflict can be derived from the overall conflict situation: the political power, the security political and the ideological. (7)

The rivalry and power-political conflict between two factions of the Indian elite, which found their respective political representation in the Muslim League and the Indian National Congress, was "continued seamlessly in the post-colonial constellation and raised to the level of interstate relations" after the partition of India ) In the first years after 1947, the dispute initially focused on the division of finances and the economic and infrastructural resources of British India, but in the 1950s the conflict continued (after a certain status quo had developed) as a bilateral confrontation and regional strategic dispute continued (9)

With the division of British India, not only a completely new but also a very different strategic situation arose for the two newly formed states. India was in a far more favorable position than Pakistan, which, with its geographical division in West and East Pakistan, was only able to defend its borders to a limited extent in the event of a conflict. In addition to the economic gap, there was also a marked imbalance between the armed forces of both countries.

The fact that there was not a fundamental security arrangement between India and Pakistan, but - on the contrary - armed conflicts, exacerbated the already existing, difficult strategic constellation on the subcontinent. The result was the emergence of divergent and almost irreconcilable perceptions of threats and security, which led to a corresponding security policy in both countries. (10) Since then, one of the greatest problems in Indo-Pakistani relations has been a security trauma, which has had a much stronger impact on the Pakistani side in light of the experience of three wars.

The Indian-Pakistani relationship is at the same time burdened by profound ideological contradictions. The memory of the realities of the partition and its immediate concomitant circumstances is still present in India and Pakistan. It has been consciously kept alive on both sides for over fifty years and has contributed to the development and deep rooting of mutual enemy image projections. (11) On the Pakistani side, however, these are much more pronounced due to the continuous propaganda of all Pakistani governments.

Furthermore, the divergent concepts of state and nation of the National Congress and the Muslim League continued after 1947 at the intergovernmental level in the form of different state ideologies. While India defines itself as the secular state of all Indians (including the 125 million Indian Muslims), Pakistan derives its state identity as the constitutionally "Islamic Republic" from the religious identity of its citizens (95% of the Pakistani population are Muslims). Therefore, from "India's point of view ... Pakistan should not actually exist, from a Pakistani [perspective] the existence of India is a fundamental challenge." (12)

It has been shown in Pakistan that the reference to Islam, in view of the different languages ​​and the different Muslim faiths, was not sufficient to form a national identity. In India, on the other hand, democracy has proven to be an integrating force and has helped to hold the various linguistic, ethnic and religious groups together.

The special position of the Kashmir question

Kashmir plays a central role in Indian-Pakistani relations. (13) Two wars have been fought over Kashmir since 1947. To a certain extent, Kashmir is the focal point at which the bilateral conflict continues to ignite.

However, it is important to point out that the Kashmir issue is only part of the Indo-Pakistani conflict and is not to be equated with the conflict, as is often the case in the media. Kashmir is not the cause, but rather the most visible expression of the Indo-Pakistani conflict.

When the Indian subcontinent was divided into the independent states of India and Pakistan, the status of the more than 500 princely states had to be clarified, which had become formally independent through the withdrawal of colonial power. A particular problem was the principality of Jammu and Kashmir, which bordered both India and Pakistan, and in which a Hindu maharaja ruled over a majority Muslim population. Kashmir initially remained independent, but after the invasion of Muslim tribal warriors from the Pakistani-Afghan border area, supported by Pakistan, the Maharaja turned to India for military assistance. India provided the requested aid after Kashmir declared its affiliation with the Indian Union. (14)

The result was the first Indo-Pakistani war of 1947-1949, which ended with a ceasefire under the supervision of the United Nations and the de facto division of Kashmir into Pakistani Azad Kashmir and the Northern areas and the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir ended. Since then, the affiliation of the Indian part of Kashmir has repeatedly been the cause of political and military conflicts between the two countries. (15)

The conflict in and around Kashmir consists of a complex of different conflict situations.

The core and most visible dimension of the Kashmir conflict is, first, that territorial conflict between India and Pakistan around Kashmir. Both countries maintain their claim to the entire territory of the former princely state, so they do not recognize the status quo of the division as final. (16) Pakistan invokes the Kashmiris' right to self-determination and calls for a referendum, as provided for in the 1948 UN resolution. (17) India, on the other hand, regards Jammu and Kashmir as belonging to India and is not ready to negotiate the status of Kashmir. (18) In addition, Kashmir is seen as a purely bilateral problem with Pakistan. The UN resolution of 1948 has been considered obsolete since the Simla Peace Agreement (1972). (19)

Second, in the context of the power-political confrontation between India and Pakistan that has been going on since 1947, there is one strategic conflict around Kashmir. (20) The issue is control of a significant part of South Asia's water resources and important accesses to Central Asia. The Pakistani side does not officially reflect on this dimension of the Kashmir conflict, as it is difficult to reconcile with the attitude of selfless struggle for the Kashmirirs' right to self-determination.

Third, there is oneConflict in Kashmir between radical sections of the native population and the Indian state, which since 1989/90 has practically taken the form of a civil war. (21) The positions of the many groups within Kashmir range from demands for more autonomy, through an independent Kashmir, to affiliation with Pakistan. (22) The Indian military cracks down on all forms of separatist efforts, with attacks against the population again and again. (23) The armed insurgents in Kashmir are supported by Pakistan with weapons, material and fighters, some of whom come from Afghanistan. (24) India therefore also blames Pakistan for the unrest and regional instability. (25) In turn, Pakistan denounces the human rights violations committed by the Indian army.

Fourth, Kashmir is an expression of ideological conflict between India and Pakistan. For the ideological self-image of both states, Kashmir has a high symbolic function, which also explains the intensity of the conflict. Kashmir is the only member state with a majority Muslim population within the Indian Union and thus serves as evidence of the "viability and superiority of the original state conception of the Indian founding fathers" (26): it proves the pluralistic, secular character and the integrative power of the Indian Union. In addition, a departure of Kashmir from the Indian Union could act as a precedent for the secessions of other union states and territories (especially in northeast India).

For Pakistan, Kashmir's own state idea, namely the right to self-determination and the right to unity of all Muslims in South Asia, is at stake. The emphasis on Indian secularism and pluralism undermines the concept of Pakistan's religious identity. The "liberation" of Kashmir is thus the primary national goal for all Pakistani governments, which makes clear the "central, sometimes paranoid-looking value" that Pakistan attaches to the Kashmir conflict. (27)

The domestic political and economic dimensions of the conflict

The Indo-Pakistani conflict has considerable domestic political consequences for both countries, including an increasing strengthening of radical forces in parts of society. On the Indian side, the ongoing conflict with Pakistan has given rise to primarily Hindu nationalist groups, which are massively questioning the secular character of the Indian republic. Abuses in the Indian part of Kashmir in particular are seen as a justification for their own radical positions. This creates the danger that the government could feel compelled to give in to domestic political pressure from radical forces. At the same time, the emergence of Hindu nationalism is putting a strain on the relationship with the Muslim minority in one's own state: the position of Indian Muslims is heavily dependent on the state of Indian-Pakistani relations. (28)

On the Pakistani side, the ongoing conflict with India is primarily strengthening the Islamist parties. This is forcing the government to pursue a more Islamist course in order to secure the support of these socially rising forces. This will put further strain on relations with India and further restrict the scope for negotiation between the two countries. The Kashmir issue in particular must be addressed by all Pakistani governments if they do not want to risk being overthrown by political opponents (29) or rivals on the pretext of Islamophobia or a lack of patriotism. (30)

Another consequence of the ongoing Indian-Pakistani conflict is its ongoing instrumentalisation. The fragile and generally short-lived multi-party coalitions in India favor attempts to raise their profile in domestically sensitive problem areas (e.g. nuclear weapons, Muslim minorities and especially Kashmir).

In Pakistan, too, the conflict with India is repeatedly mobilized as an instrument by conjuring up the Indian image of the enemy and projecting internal tensions onto the neighbors. This approach is closely connected to the still not found Pakistani identity and the obvious weakness of the state-supporting ideology (the two-nation theory). (31) The propagation of the Indian image of the enemy and the appeal to Islam should have an identity-forming effect. Furthermore, due to the great emotional impact, the political class expects an instinctive solidarity with their politics. Last but not least, instrumentalizing the conflict is also about distracting from one's own failure and inner problems. (32)

The Kashmir conflict in particular is used by the Indian and Pakistani parties to "prove the legitimacy of their own claims or the failure of their political opponents." Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is the best example of this. She has made tough action on the Kashmir issue her program in order to underpin her reputation as a value-conservative and Hindu nationalist force, but not because such an approach promises more success in resolving the conflict. In Pakistan especially did that Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) under Benazir Bhutto the Kashmir question again on the subject of national politics. By cracking down on the Kashmir issue, it wanted to wrest control of foreign and security policy from the military and thereby strengthen the unstable government.

The Indo-Pakistani conflict, which has been going on since 1947, has also had a significant impact on the economic relations between the two countries, as it has divided a common and uniform economic area and severed ancient transport and travel routes. In Punjab, the same language is spoken on both sides of the border, food and clothing are similar, so that the conditions for an economic exchange would be extremely favorable. (34)

However, Pakistan prevents direct trade with India, which is classified as an enemy state, so that the volume of trade between the two countries (even if one includes smuggling) is extremely small. Indian exports to Pakistan reached a peak in 1996 with a volume of US $ 196 million, but still only represented 0.6% of all exports. Indian imports from Pakistan in 1996 were only a fraction of US $ 41 million . (35) For decades only one road and railroad crossing between the two neighbors near Lahore has been open. A newly established bus connection between the two countries has only been in place since February 20, 1999. There is still no direct flight connection between the two capitals.

India and Pakistan have been in a continuous arms race since the 1950s, the high costs of which have negative effects on the economic and social development of both countries. These costs have a particularly serious impact on Pakistan. While the defense burdens in both countries were around 3-4% of GDP up to 1970, the burdens on Pakistan have increased considerably since then. In 1998 they amounted to 4.2% of GDP, compared to 2.1% for India (Germany: 1.5%). (36) Pakistan spends nearly 40% of its budget and 35% of its debt servicing on military spending annually. (37) Due to the heavy burden of the military budget, Pakistan's external debt rose to currently around 35 billion US dollars.

If the costs are a heavy burden for India, they turn out to be ruinous for Pakistan: They have contributed significantly to the ailing state of the economy and inhibit every form of modernization as well as economic and social development. (38) Ganguly states:

"Unless Musharraf improves relations with India ... the two countries will remain locked in a defense-spending race. India's substantially larger and more diversified industrial base, its higher rates of growth, and its manifestly greater military strength make such a competition suicidal for Pakistan. " (39)

Much of the military resources are tied up in the Kashmir region. The recurrent artillery duels on the Siachen Glacier, which is 6000 meters above sea level, the highest theater of war in the world, are extremely costly - quite apart from the very high human losses. (40)

Nuclear arms race and blockades of Asian cooperation

With the nuclear test in May 1998, India and Pakistan finally revealed their nuclear capacity, which had been hidden for decades, and added a qualitatively new dimension to the conflict between the two countries, which has an impact on the security of the entire region.

In order to make it clear that there is a risk of a conventional and nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan, the different roles of the armed forces must first be discussed. Then the historical experiences and the associated threat perceptions of India and Pakistan must be considered, since the military policy of both countries was shaped by long-term determinants. (41)

With 1.2 million soldiers and numerous special units, the Indian army is the fourth largest in the world. Since the founding of the state, the Indian army has been firmly integrated into a democratic system and has always remained loyal to civilian governments despite the increase in its importance in recent years (as the increased use in domestic political conflicts shows). (42) In India there is broad domestic consensus on the defense budget and the role of the army. (43)

In contrast, the army in Pakistan (580,000 soldiers plus special units) plays a much more dominant role in domestic politics. In its 53-year history, the country was ruled by the military for a total of 26 years. (44) The army has always provided a framework for stability in the politically fragile country and has always exerted a strong influence on politics even in the years when democratically elected governments were in power.

In the interests of maintaining its strong position, the army is not interested in easing tensions with India. In the past, the army has made a significant contribution to preventing attempts to reach a political compromise with India. She is also responsible for the failure of the process of rapprochement between India and Pakistan, which Sharif and Vajpayee initiated in Lahore in February 1999.

After the army itself took power with General Musharraf's military coup on October 12, 1999, it is hardly to be expected that it will question its armament and modernization. (45)

On the Pakistani side there is only one enemy, namely India. Domestically, the fixation on India is highly emotional, as Pakistan did not tolerate the three-time defeat by India, including the secession of Bangladesh in 1971. (46) Pakistan has always orientated itself to India in its military and especially in its nuclear policy. The Pakistani armament and the strategic decision to conduct the Pakistani nuclear tests can therefore be compared with the big Need for security Explain Pakistan's. (47)

India, on the other hand, is based on China. Even if the conflict with the "archenemy" Pakistan is perceived as a threat on the bilateral level, China is seen as a far greater threat, especially since India's traumatic defeat in the Himalayan War of 1962. (48) Indian security experts keep coming up pointed out the geostrategic location disadvantage of India compared to China. While China can threaten central India with short-range missiles from Tibet, the central regions of China are outside of India's military range. (49) In addition, India sees the close military cooperation between Myanmar (Burma) and China as part of a Chinese encirclement strategy, which is viewed with concern. (50)

Above all, however, China serves as a benchmark for India's efforts to improve its international status. Due to its size, population, wealth of resources and civilizational importance, India claims the same global political rank as China, which, unlike India, is a recognized nuclear power, a permanent member of the UN Security Council and an economic and political partner (so far) favored by the West. The Indian nuclearization and the nuclear tests in May 1998 were always justified with reference to the Chinese threat (51), but primarily India pursued an international one with the tests Status upgradewhich should also underpin the equality with China. (52)

The inclusion of China complicates the security situation in South Asia considerably. This creates an "open security or threat triangle" between China, India and Pakistan. (53) While India sees itself as being threatened primarily by China and Pakistan as a secondary threat, Pakistan feels threatened exclusively by India. The partnership between China and Pakistan is also worrying for India. In particular, the close Chinese cooperation with Pakistan in the nuclear and missile technology area is a burden on Indian-Chinese relations. (54)

For the security situation in South Asia as a whole, it turns out to be disadvantageous that the "triangular relationship" described consists of two imbalances: India is inferior to China and Pakistan is inferior to India. This constellation leads to the fact that the losers (India and Pakistan) upgrade nuclear and ballistic.

A rearmament dynamic is also set in motion by the fact that India insists on a minimum nuclear deterrent, which means that Pakistan is forced to "follow suit" in nuclear matters. A closer look at the Indian draft of a nuclear doctrine (55) shows its ambivalence. On the one hand, a "credible minimum nuclear deterrence" is postulated, which waives initial use and should be based exclusively on a policy of retaliation only. (56) On the other hand, a "dynamic armament concept" is aimed at, which is based on very vague reference values ​​such as "strategic environment, technological needs and national security needs". (57) The very ambitious targets for the development of a nuclear land, sea and air triad structure also appear to be difficult to reconcile with the concept of minimum deterrence. (58)

The danger of a nuclear arms race is further heightened by the fact that India is not providing precise information about the planned size of its minimum nuclear deterrent and the level of technological standards. (59)

Even if the Indian nuclear doctrine does not contain a specific enemy image (60), China is ultimately the decisive benchmark for India's nuclear armaments concept.

According to Citha D. Maaß, everything points to the "worrying perspective" that is in the inside discussion of the Indian strategic community the advocates of a maximalist position will prevail. (61) If this position is implemented by the Indian government - which is currently still open - this would mean that India's minimum deterrent should include at least 100-120 nuclear warheads, but in the long term it would be based on the Chinese inventory, which is currently estimated at around 450 nuclear warheads.

However, the drastic increase in the Indian defense budget announced by Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha on February 29, 2000 (62) is not yet sufficient evidence for this prognosis, which is supported by some authors.

The largest part of the increase in the budget is used for conventional modernization and serves, among other things, to compensate for the high material losses of the Kargil conflict (63) and the Line of Control to winterize.

However, it must also be pointed out that India-China relations, which were initially heavily burdened by Indian nuclear policy (64), have improved significantly in recent times. The visit of the Indian Foreign Minister Singh to Beijing in June 1999 (which initiated the beginning of a strategic dialogue between the two countries (65)), the advocacy of the Chinese government in March 2000 for a cooperative partnership between the two countries to address the threat from other parts of the world World and Indian support for China at the human rights conference in Geneva in April 2000 document this process of rapprochement. Furthermore, since the Kargil crisis in particular, China has kept its distance from Pakistan and has made it clear that Pakistan can no longer count on Chinese support on the Kashmir issue. (66) Pakistani support for the Taliban in particular led to irritation in relations with Beijing. In spite of all this, however, China will endeavor to maintain its good relations with Pakistan in order to be able to continue to exert pressure on India in the future.

The governments in India and Pakistan are keen not to let the conflict escalate into a military one, but that danger exists. The main problem is that "India and Pakistan have not yet learned to live with the bomb". (67) In both countries, for example, there is a lack of command structures and operational plans to prevent a conventional war from escalating into a nuclear operation. However, in order to build a stable deterrent system, as was the case in the East-West conflict, appropriate procedures, behavioral patterns, institutions and functioning communication channels must be developed and established between the conflicting parties. These include, among other things, confidence-building measures, early warning systems and "hot wires". However, India and Pakistan are still a long way from achieving this. So Becher notes:

"It has nothing to do with cultural arrogance when one states that, especially in a country that is not reliably pacified internally like Pakistan and in a relationship that has been characterized by mistrust and barring of contacts for decades, such as between India and Pakistan, there are worrying deficits for a responsible, predictable and thus potentially stabilizing handling of nuclear weapons exist. " (68)

In addition, large parts of the elite and the population are not aware of the devastating consequences of an atomic bomb. In both countries, a public debate about the realistic consequences of a nuclear war has been deliberately suppressed by the governments. (69) As long as there is no awareness that a nuclear operation destroys not only the enemy but also one's own country, the deterrent effect does not take effect. The Kargil crisis provided the best example of the fact that the nuclear potential of both countries does not raise the threshold for conventional confrontation.

The danger that Pakistan should find itself in a critical, existence-threatening situation in a conventional dispute, would be ready to carry out a nuclear first strike is also to be taken particularly seriously. Pakistan has repeatedly reaffirmed its adherence to its first strike doctrine. (70)

The particular danger of an escalation between India and Pakistan arises from the - already described - specific conflict situation. The deeply rooted distrust of the enemy neighbor increases the risk that minor incidents will escalate into an unintended open war.

The most critical factor of uncertainty is Kashmir. Due to the high emotional importance of the Kashmir issue, violent clashes in Kashmir could trigger a chain reaction that would affect the overall Indian-Pakistani conflict (including its nuclear dimension). The regulation of the conflict is made even more difficult by the fact that heavily armed, non-state actors are active in Kashmir, some of whom act independently of the Indian and Pakistani governments to steer and escalate the conflict. (71) Some of these armed groups are equipped, influenced or even controlled by international terrorist organizations (including those around Osama bin Laden). Against the background of the deep distrust between India and Pakistan, actions by such groups could provoke steps towards nuclear escalation.

The ongoing Indian-Pakistani conflict hinders regional cooperation, especially cooperation within the framework of the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation).

The fact that the SAARC has not developed into a regional forum for political cooperation or conflict regulation during its 15-year existence, despite certain economic progress, is primarily due to India, which plays a dominant role in the region. (72) India firmly takes the view that the SAARC should limit itself to the economic integration process and leave the political dialogue to the respective bilateral relations. India therefore also prevented the inclusion of a multilateral regulatory approach in the SAARC statutes. Behind this Indian position stands the "almost obsessive endeavor" not to give the "archenemy" Pakistan in any way any international forum to discuss the Kashmir conflict. (73) However, the process of regional economic cooperation - much to the annoyance of the other states - is only Progress is very slow is due to Pakistan. Although Pakistan joined the SAPTA in the summer of 1995 (South Asian Preferential Trade Agreement) at (74), but Pakistani authorities repeatedly emphasize that the Kashmir question must first be resolved before further cooperation with India can be considered.

Overall, the rivalry between India and Pakistan is blocking the further development of the SAARC. The summit meeting in Kathmandu planned for November 1999 was postponed indefinitely by India. (75)

Furthermore, India's ambitious endeavors to expand economic cooperation with the Southeast Asian countries are made more difficult by the conflict with Pakistan and the open nuclearization of May 1998. At the annual meeting of the Association of South East Asian Nations Regional Forum (ARF) in Manila at the end of July 1998, the member states clearly disapproved of the Indian nuclear tests. (76)

India and Pakistan have also been trying for a long time to be included in the dialogue between the Asia-Europe Meetings (ASEM) and to connect to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), which they have not yet succeeded in doing. The Asian members have little inclination to accept India and Pakistan because they want to prevent the conflict between the two countries from being dealt with in their bodies.

Threats to global arms control and the beginning of a new South Asian policy

The Non-Proliferation Treaty (Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons - NPT) (77) is part of the foundation of international efforts to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons and prevent the "erosion of global security". (78) So far, both India and Pakistan have refused to agree to the treaty. According to the logic of the NPT (which does not allow the official recognition of a "new" nuclear weapon state), both countries would ultimately have to destroy their nuclear arsenals. In both states, this demand is seen as presumptuous. India in particular condemns the unequal treatment between established and new nuclear states as injustice and discrimination. (79) India takes the position that the five official nuclear powers (P5) should not be allowed a monopoly on the possession of nuclear weapons and calls for the treaties to be renegotiated. Furthermore, India accuses the P5 of failing to meet their contractual obligations. (80) Pakistan is sticking to the position of not signing the treaty until India also signs.

The comprehensive nuclear test ban contract (Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty - CTBT) (81) has not yet been signed by either state, despite positive declarations of intent. The dissolution of the Indian parliament in April 1999 prevented an early positive decision from India (with the consequence of a corresponding delay for Pakistan). With the rejection of the treaty by the American Senate in October 1999, India's accession is not expected in the near future either. Whether Pakistan could decide to sign the treaty independently of India (82) in order to free itself from its international isolation is questionable in view of the domestic political resistance.

Neither state has so far been prepared to enter into negotiations to stop the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons purposes (Fissile Material Production Cutoff Treaty - FMCT). The efforts to get an international ban on the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons purposes in the Geneva Disarmament Conference are therefore on the point.

Under these conditions, on the one hand, there are no binding barriers to limit the possibilities of a nuclear arms race in South Asia, and on the other hand, international nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament have suffered a serious setback. (83)

There are different assessments of whether the risk of nuclear proliferation has increased. It cannot be denied that the failure of decades of efforts to prevent vertical proliferation (84) can no longer be reversed. However, whether individual actors such as North Korea and Iran see their intention to manufacture nuclear weapons "psychologically strengthened" by the events in South Asia (85), or whether the nuclear tests in India and Pakistan "are not likely to lead to the emergence of fresh countries of proliferation concern ", cannot yet be assessed. (86)

The risk of horizontal proliferation, on the other hand, appears to be low under the current circumstances. According to observers, neither India nor Pakistan have yet transferred weapons technologies to other countries. (87) Should the economic situation in Pakistan develop so critically that it would have to declare its national bankruptcy, there would be a risk that nuclear components or dual-use technology would be secretly resold for foreign exchange procurement.

One of the few positive consequences of the Indo-Pakistani conflict after its nuclearization and after its escalation in the Kargil crisis is the increased international attention for the region. After the international community quickly realized that the imposition of sanctions was ineffective and even counterproductive, some countries tried to start a dialogue with India and Pakistan. However, this increased attention does not benefit both states equally.

A "paradigm shift" has taken place vis-à-vis the countries of South Asia, especially in US foreign policy. (88) The US's new "active" South Asia policy has led to a clear rapprochement with India, the climax of which was the visit of US President Bill Clinton from March 21 to 24, 2000. While the two states represented different foreign policy and ideological positions at the time of the East-West conflict (89), bilateral relations were placed on a new basis after Clinton's visit. In the overall foreign policy concept of the USA, India - also to create a counterweight to China - has gained in importance.

In contrast, Pakistan has not only continued to lose importance for American foreign policy, but has also lost a lot of its reputation on the international stage. It was not just the acceptance of international drug trafficking in its field, the negligent attitude towards international terrorism and the nuclear tests that brought international criticism to Pakistan. (90) The Kargil crisis and the military coup in October 1999 in particular isolated the country. In this context, there is a risk that Pakistan will collapse economically or state, which could provoke the country's slide into Islamism - with all its destabilizing effects for the region (see above) - or the secret transfer of nuclear components and know-how.


The current situation in South Asia and the complex constellation of the Indian-Pakistani conflict do not give cause for optimistic forecasts.

In particular, the ideologization of the conflict and the deep mutual distrust (91) between the two countries prevent rapprochement between the conflicting parties. The Pakistani army as well as Hindu nationalist and Islamic nationalist parties in both countries appear to be unlikely to be willing to make concessions in the future, especially not on the Kashmir issue. The actual will of the adversaries to settle the conflict and not instrumentalize it for political goals has so far been lacking in both countries, but particularly in Pakistan.

In view of the security constellation described (Pakistan-India-China), the security ideas of both sides and India's status thinking, the arms race in South Asia will be difficult to slow down. Even if both sides want to avoid an escalation, there is still a latent danger of armed conflict. The chances that this situation will change fundamentally in the near future and that the Lahore process will be resumed soon are slim.

Another problem is that the proposals of both sides to solve the Kashmir question are mutually exclusive: India insists on a bilateral solution, while Pakistan wants to solve the question with the mediation of international organizations or other states.

Overall, it can be said that no substantial movements are to be expected in the Indian-Pakistani conflict constellation. However, this does not mean that all approaches to conflict regulation are doomed to failure from the outset.

Even if the conflict cannot be resolved in the short term, there is an urgent need to limit its negative consequences for international security and to take steps towards "conflict mitigation".

An important means for this, not only in the interests of global disarmament efforts but also to limit the further development of nuclear weapons in the region, would be to involve India and Pakistan in the nuclear non-proliferation regime through ratification of the CTBT. (92) In order to limit a nuclear arms race, a moratorium on the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons would also be important.

At the same time, it is essential that India and Pakistan improve their inadequately developed instruments for crisis management. This includes the establishment of a functioning "hot line", the establishment of reliable command and control structures, precautions against inadvertent missile launches and other confidence-building measures. In order to develop these instruments, bilateral Indo-Pakistani negotiations are necessary. Since open mediation by the international community is not possible in view of India's stance, the international community can at best promote such a security dialogue between India and Pakistan from the outside.

However, it is imperative that international contacts with Pakistan continue to be maintained in order to prevent the risk of the country sliding into Islamic fundamentalism. The international financial organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank are called upon to maintain the country's international solvency and to demand a return to the constitutional order.


(1) Cf. Wagner, Christian: Security Policy in South Asia after the Nuclear Tests. In: Draguhn, Werner (ed.): India 1999. Politics, Economy, Society. Hamburg 1999. pp. 133-153 (p. 133).

(2) Quoted in: India and Pakistan. The elephant and the pekinese, in: The Economist, March 24, 2000.

(3) Kreft, Heinrich: South Asia as a Security Policy Challenge. In: Draguhn, Werner (ed.): India 2000. Politics, Economy, Society. Hamburg 2000. pp. 205-221 (p. 206).

(4) Quoted in Zingel, Wolfgang-Peter: India and Pakistan: distant neighbors, useful enemies, economic partners? In: Draguhn, Werner (ed.): India 1998. Politics, Economy, Society. Hamburg 1998. pp. 112-128 (p. 114).

(5) Cf. Johal, Sarbjit: Conflict and Integration in Indo-Pakistan Relations. Berkeley 1989. p. 17.

(6) Klaff, René: Background and Effects of Nuclear Policy in South Asia. In: Political Science Journal (Baden-Baden), Volume 8, March 1998 (No. 3). Pp. 1005-1030 (p. 1008).

(7) This division goes back to the systematisation by D. Weidemann. See Weidemann, Diethelm: The Foreign Policy Instrumentalization of a Conflict: The Example of the Atomic Powers India and Pakistan. Lecture from March 15th, 2000 at the European Academy Berlin. Lecture manuscript. 17 p. (P. 9).

(8) Weidemann, Die foreignpolitische Instrumentalisierung, loc. Cit. (Fn. 10), p. 3.

(9) The main conflict situations were: the conflict over the course of the border between western and eastern Punjab, the conflict over the distribution of Indus water, Pakistan's claims to Indian princely states with Muslim rulers (e.g. Junagadh, Manowar, Hyderababd) and the Conflict over the Principality of Jammu and Kashmir. See Johal, Conflict and Integration, loc. Cit. (Fn. 8), pp. 38-42.

(10) See Weidemann, Die Fremdpolitische Instrumentalisierung, loc. Cit. (Fn. 10), p. 5.

(11) Cf. Klaff, Background and Effects of Nuclear Policy in South Asia, loc. Cit. (Fn. 9), pp. 1008f.

(12) Müller, Harald: The end of nuclear non-proliferation? Background and consequences of the nuclear tests in South Asia. In: Sheets for German and international politics (Bonn), Volume 43, July 1998 (No. 7). Pp. 818-826 (p. 820).

(13) This can also be seen in the literature. There is an abundance of works on the Kashmir conflict. Two standard works are: Wirsing, Robert G .: India, Pakistan, and the Kashmir Dispute. On Regional Conflicts and Its Resolution. New York 1994 and Schofield, Victoria: Kashmir in Conflict. India, Pakistan and the Unfinished War. London / New York 2000. Alexander Evans (researcher at the Center for Defense Studies, King's College London) mentions other scholars and authors who deal with Kashmir on his homepage Kashmir 2000:>

(14) In the literature on the Kashmir conflict, there are a large number of historical studies that delve into the course of these events in detail in order to provide a judgment as to which party has the right on their side in this dispute. Verinder Grover provides an illustration from an Indian perspective, The Story of Kashmir: Yesterday and Today, 3 vol., Delhi 1995. For a historical account that is frequently cited by Pakistan, see Alstair Lamb, Incomplete Partition: The Genesis of the Kashmir Dispute, 1947-48, Hertingfordbury 1997. On the origin of the conflict see also Rösel, Jakob: The origin of the Kashmir conflict. In: Draguhn, Werner (ed.): India 1999. Politics, Economy, Society. Hamburg 1999. pp. 155-175.

(15) A second war between India and Pakistan over Kashmir took place in 1965. The Tashkent Treaty, concluded with Soviet mediation in 1966, restored the status quo ante.

(16) On the Indian side, however, despite public statements to the contrary, there seems to be a consensus in the political class that the current status quo would be accepted. Cf. Reetz, Dietrich: Options for India and Pakistan in Kashmir: Anatomy of a Conflict. In: Draguhn, Werner (ed.): India 2000. Politics, Economy, Society. Hamburg 2000. pp. 275-312 (p. 283).

(17) The basis is the resolution of the UN Security Council 47 of April 21, 1948 as well as two later resolutions of the UN Commission on India and Pakistan (UNCIP). See>

(18) India made Kashmir a federal state of the Indian Union as early as 1950 (but with some special rights (Article 370 of the Indian Constitution)). Cf. "" Vajpayee: 'Kashmir part of India' "in: BBC News South Asia, August 15, 2000, on the website>

(19) After the third Indo-Pakistani war, which was victorious for India, the Simla peace agreement agreed to settle all differences of opinion through bilateral negotiations. On this war see Sisson, Richard / Rose, Leo E .: War and secession. Pakistan, India, and the creation of Bangladesh. Berkeley, Los Angeles 1990.

(20) see Klaff, Background and Effects of Nuclear Policy in South Asia, loc. Cit. (Fn. 9), p. 1012.

(21) For an excellent analysis


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