An eye for an eye and the whole world goes blind
. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
The relations between India and Pakistan has always been strained for the day
both countries attained their independence from British in 1947. Both countries
have fought four wars with India winning each time. The effect of cold war also
had a major impact over the two countries with Pakistan backed by America and
India backed by USSR even though neither the countries entered into the eastern
bloc nor the western bloc throughout the whole conflict.
The roots of all the conflicts between the two nations can be traced back to
Kashmir. Pakistan has always sponsored terrorism in the region of Kashmir as it
has always maintained that Kashmir is an integral part of Pakistan. India also
claims Kashmir on the basis of Instrument of Accession (IOA) signed by India and
King of Kashmir in the year 1947. The war in 1971 was fought for the liberation
of East Pakistan from West Pakistan.
The Bengalis from East Pakistan were migrating into Indian territories due civil
unrest and the fight for liberation from the West Pakistan. But there is also
one more region were both nations are in a tug of war and that is Balochistan.
This region has always been overshadowed by the issue of Kashmir. But the recent
agreement of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), arrest of Kulbhushan
Jadhav by Pakistan Officials increasing protest for the freedom of Balochistan
an International forum have brought the attention of the world in this region.
Balochistan is one of the four provinces of the Pakistan. It is least populated
even though it is the largest province in terms of land size. It is populated in
ethnic Baloch people which can be found in the modern day Iran and Afghanistan
though majority of Baloch can be found in Balochistan.
The culture and tradition of Baloch people is very distinct from the majority
Sindhi and Pakistani Punjabis. Their language has more similarity with Indian
languages than with the Urdu or Punjabi. Balochistan is rich in natural gas and
oil and is one of the most important region of Pakistan. But during the
withdrawal of British from the Indian sub-continent, Kingdom of Balochistan was
offered the same offer, either to join India, join,Pakistan or remain
The king of Balochistan chose to remain independent and it did remain
independent for nearly a year. In the year 1948, the Pakistan government with
combination of military and diplomacy, took control of the region and made it
into a part of Pakistan. Pakistani government generate tons of revenue for the
region in the form of taxes as it is an oil rich region but does nothing for the
people of Balochistan. It is one of the most economically backward province in
Pakistan in spite of being resource-rich region.
All the revenue that is generated goes for the development of Punjab and Karachi
regions and the military and the nuclear project. The Baloch people get nothing
in return from the Pakistani government. There has been growing concern in the
international community for the human rights violations in the region done by
the Pakistan military and terror groups. As the region dominated by Shias and
Pakistan is dominated by Sunnis, Shias in the region have been facing
discrimination for years. Hindus and the other minority group are also facing
discrimination by Pakistan. The insurgency in Balochistan has been active since
Pakistan claims that New Delhi has been supporting these rebel fighters with
arms and intelligence. Even though New Delhi has denied these allegations from
the Pakistani authorities but tries to help Balochistan by supporting it in the
United Nations General Assembly. But an Indian officer claimed that junior
intelligence officer was very much active during the 1970s. If other claims
that, like Pakistan and India, Iraq and Iran are also bitter rivals. As a
result, Pakistan and Iran had developed closer relations with each other.
Likewise, India and Iraq also had developed similar relations. Arming Baloch
insurgents on Iranian and Pakistani was also in the interest both Iraq and
India. Militant group like Pasthun Zalmay which was made up of Baloch and
Pasthun militant, was in direct contact with Kabul as well as with Indian and
Iraqi mission in Afghanistan. Pasthun Zalmay was responsible for series of bomb
blast and other insurgent activities in Pakistan. As a consequence, relations
between Iran and India deteriorated. Afghan intelligence chief Amarullah Shleh
and Indian diplomat Mayankote Kelath Narayan were closely engaged with Baloch
He claims that even if Indian intelligence services deny direct support to
Baloch insurgent, it was unlikely that they remained aloof from unfolding
dynamics. Atul Khare, who had observed these events on regular basis, confirmed
that India had contacts with Baloch militants. India had given limited
protections to sons and grandsons of Baloch leaders as well as Akbar Bugti.
However, Khare claims that India did not help Akbar Bugti when he was killed
during the fight with Pakistani army. Indian newspaper, The Hindu, reported that
the Balochistan liberation army commanders, in the past, had sought medical
treatment in Indian hospitals, of an under disguised or false identity.
In one such case, militant commander in charge of Khuzdar city was based in
Delhi for at least six months in 2017 when he underwent extensive treatment for
kidney related ailments. Baloch militants visit to India were obtained under
assumed identities similarly, another Baloch liberation army commander, Aslam
Baloch, was also alleged to have visited India in the past where he met people
who were sympathetic to his cause. Aslam Baloch was also alleged to have been
treated in a hospital of New Delhi. The former American Afghanistan – Pakistan
envoy Richard Holbrooke said in 2011 that while Pakistan had repeatedly shared
its allegations with Washington, it had failed to provide any evidence to the
United States that India was involved in separatist movement in Balochistan. He
did not consider Pakistan’s accusations against India credible.
Holbrooke also strongly rejected the allegation that India was using its
consulates in Afghanistan to facilitate Baloch rebel activity, saying he had ‘no
reason to believe Islamabad’s charges’, and that ‘Pakistan would do well to
examine its own internal problems’. The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)
is another issue between these two countries.
The aim of CPEC is that china will help china and it will Pakistan to extract
its resources and will take the raw materials to China and in return China will
help Pakistan develop its infrastructure and increase its employment. Some of
the proposed infrastructure that the Chinese have been developing for Pakistan
are passing through the disputed region of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) which
India considers it to be a part of its own territory.
The infrastructure that China have been developing are oil pipelines that are
coming from Gwadar port and from other parts of Pakistan which will reduce the
cost of transportation oil for China. The agreement signed between Pakistan and
China is a very complex and strict one in nature. As the net worth of the deal
have been sky rocketed from $40 billion dollars to $60 billion dollars in 2017.
India has declared the project as a debt trap for Pakistan. Nevertheless,
Pakistan has borrowed the loan from Exim Bank of China, China Development Bank
Today, Pakistan’s total debt is more than $6 billion dollars to China and is
expecting International Monetary Fund (IMF) for economic bailout. But American
who controls the funds in IMF do not want IMF’s money to be used to repay
China’s loan and want Pakistan to show all the accounts of CPEC project if they
want monetary help from IMF but it will but geo-political disaster if Pakistan
opens all the accounts to America as it will not only undermine the current
projects that it has been working on in Pakistan but also its interest in
China has agreed to lend $2.54 billion dollars to Pakistan in order to repay it
previous loan. One such project is the development of Gwadar port. China had
promised Pakistan that it will increase its annual shipment capacity from 100
million tons to 400 million tons, making it one of the most sophisticated ports
between Red sea and Arabian ocean. this port was also very essential for the
trade in the Red sea as it is the only port where the ships can make port for
refuelling for its further journey.
But after the completion of the development of the port, when the Pakistani
government couldn’t repay its part to China, they struck a deal that China is
taking Gwadar port on lease from Pakistan for 99 years. According this deal, all
the taxes from the port will be collected by the Chinese and the management of
the port will be also under the Chinese control. This means that Pakistan will
not get a single penny for the project as the workers are also from china.
Under the deal the Chinese and also station its troops and navy in the port. It
will create geo-political unbalance as Chinese military will be surrounding
India from all the sides. The port is important for china as it will not only
reduce the cost of the transportation of oil and other natural gas from Middle
East to china but will also help to control the traffic and trade in the Red
sea. Gwadar port will also help to strengthen its interest in Africa and will
also help to solidify Chinese premier Xi Jinping’s pet project ‘one belt-one
road’ initiative which aims to increase the connectivity between china and
European countries and Africa.
India have raised strong objections in the international forum and have agreed
to develop the Chabahar port in Iran and both the countries have agreed to
manage it together. This deal was struck between India and Iran so that Indian
ships will not have to rely on the Gwadar port. The Baloch people are protesting
against this as Gwadar port is situated in their territory and as all the energy
projects that the Chinese have been developing in the Balochistan region, they
are not getting benefitted from this. They are not employed in the port nor they
are a part of the management.
The Baloch insurgents have been started focusing their targets on the Chinese
nations that are working on the projects. There has been an increase in the
violence against the Chinese nations in the Baloch region and the recent
kidnapping of Chinese citizen by Baloch insurgents have raised questions on the
security that Pakistan had promised to provide to the Chinese workers. China
have now insisting that it will provide protection to its own people and the
projects in Pakistan.
There has been no generation on employment in Balochistan and the local leaders
are raising their dissatisfaction on the promises made by Chinese to the Baloch
people. They are accusing the Chinese and Punjabis for stealing their resources
and land and not giving them anything in return. With the continuous bombardment
by Pakistan Air Force on Balochistan and judicial killings of the inhabitants,
the Baloch separatists have been calling on to Indian Prime Minister to
intervene on the issue.
On 3rd March 2016 and Indian national was arrested from Balochistan during a
counter- intelligence operation. Pakistan claims that Indian national called
Kulbhusan Jadhav was a RAW operating and was aiding the Baloch rebels. The
Pakistani government stated that he was serving commander in the Indian Navy who
was involved in subversive activities inside Pakistan.
The Indian government recognised Jadhav as a former naval officer but denied any
current links with him and maintained that he took premature retirement and was
abducted from Iran. Pakistan stated that Jadhav entered Chabahar with a visa
stamped on a fake passport in 2003 where he got a new identity of Hussain
Mubarak Patel – born in 30 August 1968, from Maharashtra, India. Pakistani
officials claimed that his job was to destabilise Pakistan by strengthening a
separatist movement in Balochistan and Karachi – a mission which officially
began in 2013.
Balochistan Home Minister Sarfraz Bugti said that Jadhav was obviously working
for RAW and was in contact with Baloch separatists and militants, fueling
sectarian violence in the province and the country. He further added that he was
involved in financially supporting militants and that Jadhav has admitted his
involvements in Karachi's unrest.
Interrogation also reportedly revealed that naval combat training was being
conferred to Baloch separatists, in an attempt to target the ports of Gwadar and Karachi. Pakistani
authorities stated that Jadhav, during his interrogation, gave details about
his funding, and plans to destabilise the country. They added that Jadhav also
disclosed the presence of other Indian intelligence operatives in the southern
During interrogation Jadhav also reportedly revealed that at Wadh, he was in
contact with Haji Baloch, who provided financial and logistic support to Baloch
separatists and the Islamic State network in Karachi. He also said that the
masterminds of the Safoora bus attack, where gunmen shot dead 45 Ismaili
passengers, were also in contact with Haji Baloch. Jadhav added that he had met
Baloch several times, sometimes for planning sectarian violence in Karachi and
the rest of Sindh. Pakistan said that, based on Jadhav's information, it had
arrested hundreds of undercover operatives.
Asim Bajwa told the press that Jadhav converted to Islam, adopted a false
identity and worked at Gadani under the cover of a scrap dealer. He stated that
Jadhav established a network of operatives, provided funds, arranged to smuggle
people into the country for the purpose of terrorism and reportedly purchased
boats at the Iranian port in Chabahar to target Karachi and Gwadar ports in an
alleged terrorist plot. According to him, Jadhav's goal was to sabotage
the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor through propaganda – with Gwadar port as a
special target – and also to create disharmony among the Baloch nationalist
On 3 April, it was reported that Iran was investigating whether Jadhav crossed
the Pakistan-Iran border illegally after the matter was taken up by Pakistani
officials in Hassan Rouhani's visit to Islamabad. However, Rouhani denied the
report as a rumor, saying that the matter was not even mentioned. Iranian
Ambassador to India Gholamreza Ansari said that Iran was probing into the
matter. He said that once Iran completes the investigation, it will share the
reports with friendly countries
The Iranian embassy in Pakistan criticised certain elements in Pakistan for
spreading undignified and offensive remarks that were attributed to Rouhani and
added that these rumours will not impact the positive views of the two countries
regarding each other as Pakistan had proven to be Iran's trusted partner and
neighbour.On 10 April 2017, Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Field General
Court Martial (FGCM) in Pakistan, following a confession before the magistrate
Jadhav's trial lasted three and a half months and the charges he was convicted
for included spying for India, waging war against Pakistan, sponsoring
terrorism, and destabilising the state.He was tried in a military court due to
his naval background and the sensitive nature of his case, involving espionage
The sentence was confirmed by army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa, and released via the
ISPR. Pakistan's Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif stated that under the
provisions of the Pakistan Army Act of 1952, Jadhav had the right to appeal
against his conviction on three appellate forums within 40 days.India accused
Pakistan for denying consular access to Jadhav despite several requests.
Pakistan, it was said, had also not informed India about Jadhav's trial.
In May 2017, India approached the International Court of Justice (ICJ),
asserting that Pakistani authorities were denying India its right of consular
access to Jadhav in violation of Vienna Convention.The ICJ proceedings began in
The Hague on 15 May to review the case. India and Pakistan both sent their legal
teams to put forward their arguments, led by Harish Salve and Khawar Qureshi
respectively. On 18 May 2017, the International Court of Justice stayed the
hanging of Jadhav.
On 22 June 2017, Pakistani sources confirmed that Jadhav had sought clemency
from the country's army chief following his conviction. Pakistan also released a
new confessional video of Jadhav, in which he stated that he visited Karachi
twice for gathering intelligence on naval facilities. He also admitted to
supporting and funding, on behalf of India's RAW, Baloch militants affiliated
with the BLA and BRA, in addition to infiltrating and establishing 30 to 40 RAW
operatives along the Makran Coast for involvement in terrorist activities.
Jadhav said that RAW's activities in Balochistan and Sindh were conducted under
the direction of Anil Kumar Dhasmana. India's Foreign Ministry again dismissed
the confession as false propaganda, stating that Pakistan was trying to
influence ICJ proceedings while denying the consular rights to Jadhav. ICJ did
not allow Pakistan to play the video during the hearing.
On 25 December, Jadhav's mother and wife met Jadhav in Islamabad after being
allowed permission by Pakistani authorities. India subsequently denounced
Pakistan for its handling of the visit of the wife and mother of Jadhav, saying
they were harassed and prevented from talking to Jadhav freely.On 17 July 2019,
the ICJ, in its verdict, rejected India's appeal for Jadhav's release and
directed Pakistan to allow consular access and effectively review the death
sentence. The court observed that Pakistan had breached international law by not
granting consular access. Pakistan and India both claimed victory and welcomed
the judgement of ICJ.
The conflict between India and Pakistan will continue for the time being. People
of Balochistan will continue demanding more freedom and autonomy. United
Nations has been trying to resolve every issue India and Pakistan for the last
70 years but have failed to come to any conclusion.
Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Adya Aditi Das
Authentication No: MA113204732156-12-0521