Pakistan’s major security threat comes from India whose political elite is pursuing a destabilising military build-up to become a global power and regional hegemon, says a new research to study the strategic chain connecting China, Pakistan, India and the United States.
The study is a result of 15-month research published by Brookings publications that was drawn on the results of consultation with former senior officials and scholars from each of the four countries in the strategic chain.
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The study shows that India has been emboldened by the Western-supported military build-up with New Delhi looking less willing to pursue the long-due resolution of the Kashmir dispute.
“The longstanding unresolved Kashmir dispute, despite various UN resolutions, lies at the heart of tensions between India and Pakistan,” reads the paper.
“The absence of a meaningful, sustainable, and result-driven dialogue and the growing strategic partnership between India and the United States are matters of grave concern for Pakistan,” it adds.
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The study argues that the regional imbalance comes from India’s enormous defence expenditure as it is now spending four times more on its military than Pakistan.
“India has the oldest, largest, and fastest-growing, unsafeguarded nuclear program of all non-Non-Proliferation Treaty states and the entire developing world. The most advanced, accurate, and operationally-ready Indian missiles can be employed against Pakistan more effectively than against China,” the paper reads.
The scenario becomes all the more volatile as the United States tries entering the strategic chain while containing China’s regional power.
“China believes the United States is not acting alone, but is enhancing its alliance system in the Asia-Pacific region and encouraging neutral countries to side with the United States against China,” the research explains.
The paper further recommends measures that might be able to thaw the relations between Pakistan and India.
Bilateral India-Pakistan Measures
- Agree to resume comprehensive dialogue and institutionalise it so that it is insulated from bilateral tensions.
- Consider the modalities and functions of risk-reduction centers.
- Agree not to weaponise space.
- Consider expanding existing CBMs to include an “incidents at sea” agreement.
- Consider measures for restraint and confidence building, where feasible.
The report can be read here.