Relevance : GS Paper II (International Relations)
[1000 words summarized to 200]
Gulf countries can help defuse the tensions between India and Pakistan.
The Pakistan angle
- In the past, shared religious identity of Gulf with Pakistan gave it a political edge over India in the region.
- In recent years, India has begun to correct that imbalance which can cause Gulf countries to put some pressure on Pakistan.
- The security of the Indian Subcontinent and the Gulf region have always been inter-linked.
- During British era, the Raj offered security protection, a framework for commerce and some administrative support.
- Independent India tended to underestimate the importance of the strategic intimacy with the Gulf.
Pakistan replaced India in Gulf
- Pakistan became a member of CENTO which led to its cooperation with a number of countries in the Gulf region.
- India steadily lost political ground to Pakistan in the 1970s.
- Matters got worse in the 1980s as India remained silent on the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
- The 1990s saw Pakistan mobilise significant support to castigate India’s
The winds of change
- The nuclear tests by India and Pakistan and the Kargil crisis in led to restructuring of South Asia’s relations with the Gulf.
- During the Kargil War, Saudi Arabia encourage Pakistan to pull it’s army back.
- That Jaswant Singh was the first Indian foreign minister to ever visit Saudi Arabia in late 2000.
- The bilateral relationship with Saudi Arabia kept on improving since then.