The Evolution of the India-Pakistan Rivalry

Authored by: Mahesh Shankar

Routledge Handbook of the International Relations of South Asia

Print publication date:  October  2022
Online publication date:  October  2022

Print ISBN: 9781032159881
eBook ISBN: 9781003246626
Adobe ISBN:


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The India-Pakistan rivalry has been one of the most intractable for the best part of seven decades. This chapter argues that while dramatic changes have characterized the context surrounding the rivalry in the last two decades—owing primarily to the introduction of nuclear weapons, the emergence of terrorism as a more prominent means of war, and significant domestic political developments in both countries—the practical effect of these transformations has been to, at best, freeze the conflict in its current state, and at worst to render it all the more difficult to resolve. Conflict will continue to animate the India-Pakistan relationship for some time to come, with negative implications for the broader regional context, while continuing to generate global concerns.

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