India-Pakistan Foreign Policy and Kashmir : Quayyum Raja
India-Pakistan Foreign Policy and Kashmir : Quayyum Raja

The Second World War weakened the United Kingdom to such an extent that it could no longer sustain its occupation of India. The UK Parliament passed an act in 1947 that partitioned the British India into the two new independent dominions of India and Pakistan. After their independence, Britain still tried to use both of them for its own agenda. The agenda was originally designed by the United States of America. Initially, USA and the UK slightly differed on the issue of Jammu Kashmir.

The USA urged to respect the free wishes of the people of Jammu Kashmir, but the UK argued it should be resolved by India and Pakistan themselves. Later, both the USA and UK overlooked the Jammu Kashmir issue and urged India and Pakistan to become a part of, what they called, “International Peace Plan. What was this so called peace plan since America continues it’s international entanglement ever since the end of its isolationist policy in 1930s? On surface, it was an International Peace Plan. In disguise, it was a plan to unite nations behind America against the Soviet Union.

” Therefore the newly independent India and Pakistan were advised to form a joint defense force for the so called International Peace. The then Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, who was unbiased on the issue of Jammu Kashmir until UNSC 5 January 1949 resolution on Kashmir that reduced the Kashmir issue into India and Pakistan dispute, accused Britain of still interfering in the matter of the sub-continent. India rejected the USA and UK joint proposal for a joint defense force and therefore, Pakistan was persuaded to become a member of the Southeast Asian Treaty Organisation ( SEATO) in 1954 and Baghdad Pact a year later. The Soviet Union rightly expressed its concern over these agreements.

As the following years proved it, SEATO and Baghdad Pact only damaged Pakistan, which was used by the West but never reciprocated. India, in comparison, was clever enough to stay away from Western agenda and got Soviet support on Kashmir Issue. One of the reasons why America didn’t support Pakistan was American concern that it would further get Soviet Union and India closer to each other. For the past decade or so, India has got closer to America due to the Chinese influence.

The Chinese factor has made India and America strange bed fellows, exactly the way it did once Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler. Pakistan’s foreign policy is still topsy turvy, while Indian foreign policy is well balanced and in the best interests of India, unlike Pakistan. The Indian Foreign Minister has last week met with his Russian counterpart and President Vladimir Putin and signed a number of agreements. India didn’t want to be seen to be too close to Russia over the Ukraine issue just in order to keep the West happy, but only the future will tell how long India sustain its same level of relations both with Russia and the West. President Biden has already refused as Chief Guest to attend India’s forthcoming Republic Day Celebration.