Vol. 2 No. 1 (2014): CISS Insight Quarterly News & Views, March 2014

Strategic Compulsions and Failure of CBMs in South Asia

Muhammad Faisal
Research Assistant at the Center for International Strategic Studies (CISS)
CISS Insight Journal 2014
Published March 20, 2014
How to Cite
Muhammad Faisal. (2014). Strategic Compulsions and Failure of CBMs in South Asia. CISS Insight Journal, 2(1), P11-24. Retrieved from http://journal.ciss.org.pk/index.php/ciss-insight/article/view/187


Regional strategic dynamics in South Asia are both intricate and manifold. On the political spectrum partition of subcontinent resolved the communal conflicts between Hindus and Muslims. But the new geopolitical predicaments arose largely due to hasty nature of British withdrawal that left behind a number of unresolved issues and disputes. This resulted in an “enduring rivalry”1between India and Pakistan that has entered into its 67th year now. Regional security environment and strategic competition further complicated the historical pattern of prolonged conflict, which subsequently has fostered an environment of mutual suspicions and misunderstandings that spark crises and at times escalate to fullfledged wars. South Asia has been nuclearized in the course of protracted rivalry, while efforts for building confidence and mutual trust have not been successful.

Even after the overt nuclearization in 1998, mutual distrust has not receded, rather it has further deepened. Before introduction of nuclear weapons in the sub-continent, mutual suspicion and distrust led to wars, but after 1974, crises and localized skirmishes became the norm. Today India and Pakistan are mired in a state of cold peace i.e. direct hostilities are absent but there is very little trade, travel and diplomatic interaction. There exists mutual hostility leading to lack of mutually beneficial interactions aimed at developing trust, interdependence, and collaboration.