India–Pakistan Relations: Common Ground and Points of Discord

India–Pakistan Relations: Common Ground and Points of Discord

  • 20 October 2010

Relations today between India and Pakistan are the consequence of centuries of interaction between the Indian local population and waves of migrations primarily from Central Asia. Over the centuries India was seen to provide a more hospitable economic environment and therefore millions chose to stay and make it their home. India’s tremendous ability to absorb, nurture and shelter foreign cultures allowed the two major communities to live in harmony and together contribute towards the great empire and prosperity experienced by India, particularly during the 16th and 17th centuries.

European expansionism and the arrival of the British changed the makeup of India completely. Through the process of colonization the British sought to control the ruling classes of India at the expense of the common man and promoted two separate and often antagonistic communities, eventually leading to the partition of India in 1947. These two communities are still unable to overcome the events accompanying partition and creation of the two independent states of India and Pakistan.

In addition to the reasons of religion, geography, economics, personalities, Western concepts of governance and security, there are also psychological barriers that prevent normal relations between the two communities which share so much. Each feels threatened by the other and this perceived threat takes many forms, as well as a failure to understand that disagreement between neighbors is normal and that they in fact have so much in common. It is this mutual suspicion, inability to cross-mental barriers and lack of empathy for the concerns and fears of the other – fueled by outside forces – that prevent normal relations between India and Pakistan. This lecture looks at some of the factors behind this divide as well as an assessment for the future.

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LECTURER

Wednesday 20 October 2010

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Wednesday 20 October 2010

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