What Is The Significance Of The 1972 Simla Agreement

December 20th, 2020| Posted by admin
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The immediate outcome of the 1971 war between India and Pakistan was the change of government in Pakistan and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, leader of the majority party of West Pakistan, took power on 20 December 1971. The 1971 war led to the dismemberment of East Pakistan. Pakistan had lost nearly 54% of its population, and 93,000 of its soldiers and civilians were in possession of India. That is why the first challenges of the new government should resolve the ausdematon state of emergency and the problem of prisoners of war as quickly as possible. After the war, India and Pakistan were in direct contact through diplomatic channels, and both recognized the need to begin negotiations. From 12 January 1972 to 30 April 1972, the two countries were willing to engage in dialogue through press releases and discussions began. Finally, it was agreed that talks between Pakistani President Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Indian Prime Minister Indra Gandhi would begin on 28 June 1972. In the hope of saving an agreement, Bhutto called Gandhi directly. During the climate meeting, Gandhi stressed the main advantage of the Indian proposal in Kashmir – neither side was forced to physically abandon the territory or exchange populations. With “obvious feeling and sincerity,” Bhutto acknowledged that India`s proposal was the only possible one, but that a legally binding commitment would significantly weaken its domestic political position and strengthen the military establishment. He could give nothing but oral assurance that the de facto border in Kashmir, in Bhutto`s words, would gradually acquire the “characteristics of an international border.” On the other hand, India`s concession was concrete and in advance.

India abandoned its “package arrangement by agreeing to withdraw troops from the international border before concluding an agreement on Kashmir.” The international and regional context after 1971 had made the realization of some kind of agreement an important political objective for Gandhi and his national security team. After a successful war that liberated Bangladesh, politicians tried to continue to submit India`s status by showing a credible attempt at peace. Of course, India`s image had to be balanced by concrete results. The most desirable outcome would have been a final resolution in Kashmir, which bypasses the de facto position administered by both sides. The evidence is that policymakers have attempted to address some of the deep roots of the Indo-Pakistani conflict in Kashmir, seen as a direct manifestation of Pakistan`s national identity and not as a normal territorial impasse between states. P.N. Haksar, Gandhi`s senior foreign policy adviser, later wrote that India`s approach was based on “the realization that Pakistan continues to have an unresolved crisis of its national identity.” 1971 paved the way for an alternative future for Pakistan. As part of the agreement, the two nations, India and Pakistan, had agreed to refrain from threats and violence in violation of the line of control in Jammu and Kashmir.

In 2003, Musharraf called for a ceasefire during the LoC. India accepted its proposal and put into effect on 25 November a ceasefire agreement, the first formal ceasefire since the start of the insurgency in Kashmir. The two ministers invoked the 1972 Shimla Agreement and said that bilateral issues could only be resolved with his help — and nothing else. What exactly are these pacts and why are they important? In addition to the withdrawal of troops and the return of prisoners from the 1971 war, the Simla Agreement was a model for India and Pakistan to maintain friendly and neighbourhood relations. As part of the agreement, the two warring countries promised to renounce conflicts and confrontations and strive for peace, friendship and cooperation. The summit conference between Bhutto and Indra Gandhi opened in Simla on the agreed date.

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