Gist of Editorials: The Gulf as a Channel of Peace| GS – II

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.

India-Gulf link

  • 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.