Deterrence in the Twenty-first Century

Deterrence in the twenty-first century - Air University Press


of the Indian sub-continent could not live alongside the majority

Hindu population, the incorporation of Kashmir legitimises

its claim as a Muslim state. This became even more important

after having suffered the secession of East Pakistan in 1971.

For India, the incorporation of Kashmir legitimises its own claim

as a secular state for both Hindus and Muslims alike (since

1972 it has possessed the second-largest Muslim population

after Indonesia). Then, there is the future of the Kashmiri people


With both countries now possessing nuclear weapons and

delivery systems to deter each other, conventional major war

seems unlikely; the risks associated with escalation are too

grave. Indeed, the Kargil conflict was deliberately limited in

scale and operation by both sides to prevent such an escalation.

To mitigate the possibility of another Kargil-type conflict

taking place in the future and to ensure peace and stability in

Kashmir, however, both countries have for the first time been

engaged in a comprehensive dialogue (begun in 2004) on the

Kashmir dispute. The joint statement of 6 January 2004 ensured

the resumption of official-level bilateral talks after a

three-year hiatus. For the first time, New Delhi formally recognised

that the Kashmir dispute was to be settled to the satisfaction

of both sides, and Islamabad pledged it would “not permit

any territory under Pakistan’s control to be used to support

terrorism in any manner.” 7 The bilateral composite dialogue

that followed tackled eight key disputes and issues: peace and

security, Jammu and Kashmir, Siachen, 8 the Wular barrage/

Tulbul navigation project, 9 Sir Creek, 10 terrorism and drug trafficking,

economic and commercial cooperation, and the promotion

of friendly exchanges. 11

These talks have resulted in important confidence-building

measures in Kashmir, including for the first time the opening

of routes across the LoC for both passenger and trade traffic.

The 2003 cease-fire on the LoC and Siachen has also held despite

allegations of violations by both sides. But even as India

feels emboldened by the 60 percent turnout in provincial elections

in Kashmir in December 2008, it clearly needs to do more

to ensure peace and security in Kashmir.

To be sure, a final resolution of the Kashmir dispute involves

a host of complexities. Pakistan’s preferred solution is the inde-


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