Model Question and Answers for APSC | Terrorist activities and mutual distrust have clouded India-Pakistan relations. To what extent the use of soft power like sports and cultural exchanges could help generate goodwill between the two countries? Discuss with suitable examples.
Terrorist activities and mutual distrust have clouded India-Pakistan relations. To what extent the use of soft power like sports and cultural exchanges could help generate goodwill between the two countries? Discuss with suitable examples.
Ans: Since India and Pakistan both became countries in 1947, their relationship has been rocky. The two countries have been in four wars together. Kashmir has been the most important problem between the two countries, and it is still a boundary dispute that hasn't been solved. Terrorism, especially against India, that starts in Pakistan and goes there to grow is another big problem that has made things hard between the two countries.
Terrorist activities and mutual distrust have clouded India-Pakistan relations:
- Cross border terrorism has always been an issue.
- Some analysts go to the extent of saying that both nations are always in a perpetual state of war.
- Despite the fact the after the Kargil conflict, there was a Ceasefire Agreement signed in 2003, there have been regular cross border ceasefire violations from the Pakistan side of the border with the trend being as such that since 2009 onwards, there has been a rise in the violations (with the exception of 2014). It has killed and injured security forces as well as civilians on both sides.
- Support to khalistan groups
- Major terror attacks
- Mumbai terror attack 2008
- Pathankot 2016
- Uri 2016
- Pulwama 2019
The use of soft power like sports and cultural exchanges:
- Cricket diplomacy
- Kartarpur corridor
- Broad spectrum of cultural diplomacy is not restricted to performing arts, instead it extends to bilateral exchanges of art, music, dance, theatre and artists and even organisation of sports events at bilateral level like cricket will definitely ease out the political anxiety and will bring more stability and peace in bilateral relations between the two.
- For example urdu poetry and ghazals from Pakistan and shows like Coke studio, Mtv unplugged has a wider range of fan following in both the countries.
Limits of such activities:
- It is unacceptable to normalize relations in one sided way when terror acts continue unabated from other side
- Soft power projects such as ‘Destination Pakistan’ that were implemented back in 2007 failed to yield the required results.
- Lahore declaration in February 1999 that intends to end the nuclear race between both the nations lost its relevance with the outbreak of Kargil war in May 1999.
- Mumbai terror attacks of 2008 stalled the whole process of composite dialogue between India and Pakistan and India also cancelled its cricket team’s tour of Pakistan that was scheduled for January- February 2009.
- After the uri attack in september same year, our PM made statement that ‘talks and terrorism’ cannot go hand in hand.
In order to strengthen the bilateral engagements between India and Pakistan need of the hour is to employ perfect balance of soft and hard power diplomacy coupled with International diplomacy. International Organizations can be used for building pressure over Pakistan for carrying out anti terrorist activities like Pakistan’s inclusion on the FATF Grey list makes it harder for its government to access international markets at a time when its economy is weakening.