Other Topics Related to Pakistan

Kishenganga River Issue

Kishenganga {Neelum in Pakistan} is a tributary of Jhelum River. In India, it flows through Kashmir before flowing into PoK and Pakistan. India is constructing a dam over this river within the Gurez valley at a high elevation and then the water from this dam will be diverted through a system of tunnels to the hydroelectric plant of 330 MW capacities, with power being generated here by the moving water. The water from this hydroelectric plant will then flow to Bonar Nullah, another tributary of Jhelum (at a lower height). India started construction on this project in 2007 and is expected to be completed soon.

Pakistan objected this work and took the matter to Hague’s Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), complaining about violation of Indus Water Treaty. It claimed that diversion of water would lead to reduced flow of water to Pakistan. In 2013, the PCA had given its final award whereby India has right to divert water from Kishenganga River to the Kishenganga hydroelectric project for power generation, but it will have to maintain minimum environmental flows of 9 m3/sec in the river. India has also been barred from using the drawdown technique for flushing sediments in the reservoir behind the dam. This drawdown flushing technique can only be used in case of emergency.

Baglihar Dam Controversy

Baglihar Dam on Chenab River was another controversial issue between India and Pakistan. This matter was resolved in 2010 in a meeting of Indus Water Commission amicably.

US’ Bill for designating Pakistan a State Sponsor of Terrorism

In last week of September 2016, Republican Poe along with Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of the Democratic Party moved the ‘Pakistan State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation Act’ in the US House of Representative to designate Pakistan a ‘State Sponsor of terrorism’.

As per the US bill, the Government of Pakistan, and the ISI in particular, provides support and a safe haven to groups designated as foreign terrorist organizations by the U.S.

The USA has recently asked Pakistan to prevent itself from becoming a safe house for training, nurturing and housing terrorists of all shapes and sizes and also made a pointed reference to Uri attack.

The US development has told upon Pakistan’s international stance to a considerable extent.

UNGA Session 2016

While attending the 71st Session of UN General Assembly in September 2016, the Minister of External Affair of India blamed Pakistan for fomenting terror and perpetrating the worst form of oppression even in its own region i.e. in Baluchistan and called upon the global community to urgently adopt a long-pending global treaty on terrorism as well as implement the UN Security Council reform, highlighting the need for more contemporary approach to combating terrorism  and the need for a renovated Security Council.

In a dramatic twist to the ongoing war of words and shattered bilateral relationship between India and Pakistan over Uri incident, India on 27 September 2016 took a move unprecedented in the history of SAARC that it would not attend 19th SAARC summit in Islamabad in Pakistan in November 2016. India expressed deep discontentment at increasing cross-border terrorist attacks in the region and growing interference in the internal affairs of Member States by one country (Pakistan) have created not-so-conducive environment to the successful holding of the summit.

Most-favoured Status

Most-favoured status is a level of treatment accorded by one state to another in international relation to augment trade and bilateral relations by treating each other advantageously. The members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) agree to accord MFN status to each other. It extends reciprocal bilateral relationships following both GATT and WTO norms of reciprocity and non-discrimination.

India granted MFN status to Pakistan in 1996. By virtue of the MFN status Pakistan gets a low trade tariff and high import quota. On the other hand, despite its assurance, Pakistan has not returned the favour to India till date.

However, following the Uri attack in September 2016, India is giving second thought to continuing MFN status to Pakistan for latter’s complicity in instigating cross-border terrorism in Kashmir.

On India’s Permanent Membership in UNSC

Pakistan shows open opposition to India’s proposed permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

In 2014, Pakistan urged in the UN General Assembly to prevent the creation of permanent seats in the Security Council but lay stress on the need for strengthening the role of General Assembly.

Pakistan opposes India’s permanent members in the UNSC on various grounds such as:

First of all, Islamabad meant that any reformation to the Security Council should reflect the interests of the wide membership of the United Nations by strengthening the role of 193 members of the General Assembly.

Second, according to Pakistan the idea of new permanent members of the UNSC is likely to put in place new power centres of power within the UN.

Third, Pakistan feels that India is not eligible for special status in the UNSC for it has violated UN Security Council resolutions of Jammu and Kashmir and the right of the Kashmiri people to self-determination.

Pakistan’s opposition to the accordance of special status to India is often corroborated by China’s unconditional support and patronage to it. China has been with Pakistan through thick and thin over the years apparently with a view to contain India’s rise as emerging Asian power.

In January 2015, US President Barack Obama’s expressed support for India’s candidature to the UNSC during his historic visit to India was vehemently criticised in the Pakistani media.

China is also against UN reforms and considers India misfit into top decision making body, the UNSC.

However, India seems to be potential candidate for permanent membership in the Council whenever any reform in this direction is made in the UN. India is supported by countries like US and France.

On India’s Membership in the NSG

Pakistan supports NSG guideline for disallowing countries, which have not been signatories to Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), from NSG membership.

At the same time, it is opposed to India’s entry into to the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group, by citing various grounds such as:

Pakistan considers granting membership to India in the NSG will be severe blow to the non-proliferation regime.

It points to the US-India nuclear deal concluded in 2008 and views that the deal is aimed at building up the nuclear capabilities of India and lacks transparency.

Pakistan seems much concerned about the capacity growth of India’s military strength considering increase in defence expenditure in India during current times.

It believes that the US-India defence agreement for a period of ten years is likely to further strengthen the existing imbalance of conventional and nuclear weapons and cause destabilization strategy in South Asia. US-India Defence agreement was signed in June 2015 to work closely together to develop military capabilities both can use.

Cricket Diplomacy of India

Since cricket is a most favourite game at national level in both India and Pakistan, it has also been used as diplomatic measure to boost bilateral relations between the two countries.

The history of Indo-Pak relations stands a mute witness such diplomatic measures in the past.

Despite clashes and bloodshed on LoC, cricket diplomacy seems to be alive and active till date.

Cricket has always proved advantageous for the leaders of India and Pakistan to signal good will towards each other and break political ice at difficult moments in bilateral relations.

In the last Cricket World Cup, 2015, India whished well and success to all its participating neighbours including Pakistan.

However, such diplomacy has not been able to materialize good bilateral relationship. India is now is determined to break the ice with the neighbouring country through “cricket diplomacy” and has recently decided to start a cricket series between both countries to improve bilateral relations.

Mango Diplomacy by Pakistan

Pakistan sends mangoes to New Delhi every year, irrespective of the tense security environment between the two countries, but India does not reciprocate with mangoes.

As per the sources in Pakistan, the world’s fifth largest producer of mangoes, it is an annual ritual for Pakistan to send boxes of mangoes to heads of various countries including India.

Though India is the largest producer of mangoes in the world it doesn’t reciprocate the same with Pakistan.

Although the Mango diplomacy is viewed as a sweetening measure to ease Indo-Pak relationship, it is yet to have any role in influencing bilateral relationship between two countries.

In July 2016 on the occasion of Ed, the festival gift came even as India and Pakistan exchanged fire in the disputed Kashmir region, in which ended in loss of both civilian lives and killing of Indian armed forces personnel.