Vol. 1 No. 4 (2013): CISS Insight Bimonthly News & Views, Aug - Sep 2013

Dynamics of South Asian Strategic Stability and Prospects for Regional Stability

Ms. Farzana Siddique
Research Officer at the Center for International Strategic Studies (CISS)
CISS Insight Journal 2013
Published October 14, 2013
How to Cite
Ms. Farzana Siddique. (2013). Dynamics of South Asian Strategic Stability and Prospects for Regional Stability. CISS Insight Journal, 1(4), P19-30. Retrieved from https://journal.ciss.org.pk/index.php/ciss-insight/article/view/119


During the Cold War the security and stability of South Asia revolved around India-Pakistan hostile relationship, Sino-Indian relations, and South Asian nuclear proliferation issues. But the events of 9/11 have substantially transformed the security landscape of South Asia. Post 9/11 security situation is much different as terrorism has added a new and potent factor affecting the stability of this region. Moreover, presence of external powers and their increasing influence in shaping regional security environment has made the security situation more complex.

Traditionally India and Pakistan have had a tense relationship owing to unresolved Kashmir dispute, but in the post-9/11 period India’s increasing conventional military strength, as well as the strengthening of Indo-US ties, coupled with India’s deepening interest in Afghanistan and the Karzai government’s growing trust with India have multiplied the external threats for Pakistan. These developments have complicated existing relationship between India and Pakistan. Pakistan is now faced with low intensity conflict on its western border, and conventional Indian threat on its eastern border. Besides, its internal situation is directly influenced by external security pressures.

The issue of rising militancy due to Pakistan’s porous borders with Afghanistan, and increasing external interference inside Pakistan has badly impacted the internal dynamics of the state-society structure in Pakistan as well as Afghanistan. US offensive strategy (Af-Pak), and escalation in US drone attacks inside Pakistan’s territory, causing collateral damage has increased antiAmerican and anti-government sentiments, which is also rampant violation of the country’s territorial sovereignty. At the same time, India- China rivalry and India’s threat perception regarding the Chinese expansion in the Indian Ocean and its strengthening strategic ties with Pakistan are additional factors in regional security dynamics.