Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, November 15th, 2018

The zero-sum game does not meet Pak- India Interest

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The zero-sum game does not meet Pak- India Interest

Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Imran Khan has shown the signs to improve India-Pakistan relations on various occasions. Firstly, he delivered an actively signal in public to improve the relations with India in his victory speech on July 31; A day earlier, in his telephone conversation with Narendra Modi, he claimed that he was willing to push forward India-Pakistan relations and would seek the chances to dialogue with India so as to resolve the Kashmir conflict as much as possible; Later on August 23, Imran Khan expressed on Twitter that Pakistan was willing to provide humanitarian aid to Indian flood-ravaged areas. In this regard, Indian Prime Minister Modi also made responses positively. In his conversation with Imran Khan, Modi expressed his expectation of regional peace and stability while congratulating Imran Khan’s victory in the election, especially emphasizing on how to ease tensions between India and Pakistan. Recently, leaders of both India and Pakistan have expressed their willingness to improve bilateral relations which are at the dawn of the day. India and Pakistan have been in a state of “zero-sum game” for a long time, does the change of attitudes of the two leaders mean a new dawn for the peace and development of the Indian subcontinent?
India and Pakistan are neighbours, and the two countries are inextricably linked with each other in their geographical, ethnic, historical and religious cultures. However, due to the deep-seated contradiction between India and Pakistan, there have been long-standing contradictions between the two countries in the historical legacy, territorial disputes, religious conflicts, cultural barriers and international situation. Frictions and conflicts between the two sides have been continuing, and the relations between India and Pakistan have been caught in a “zero-sum game” state for a long time. What needs to be pointed out is that India and Pakistan have also cooperated in not attacking each other’s nuclear facilities, strengthening cultural exchanges and avoiding dual taxation and achieved certain results initially, this was called a “good start” in improving the relations between the two countries by the former Indian Prime Minister Gandhi. It can be seen from the historical practice that India and Pakistan have tried to improve the relations between the two countries. The relaxation of relations between India and Pakistan is conducive to the peaceful development of the Indian subcontinent. At the same time, this is the inexorable outcome of the readjustment of the thinking of the leaders of both countries.
The relations between India and Pakistan are known as “feud”, since independence, more than 70 years of frictions and conflicts between the two countries have resulted in huge obstacles in political mutual trust, economic mutual benefit, security dependence and cultural exchanges between the two countries. Nevertheless, in the long-term game, India and Pakistan have gradually realized that if they do not take into account each other’s interests and only focus on maximizing their own interests, they will fall into the trap of “no solution”, which is merely not conducive to resolving frictions and conflicts; but will even trigger more disputes and conflicts. Conversely, if state acts are carried out on the premise of proper compromise or consideration of the interests of the other side, it will be beneficial to reducing the possibility of confrontation and conflict more often, increasing effective political trust between the two sides, and further enhance the possibility of bilateral cooperation.
Moreover, the concerns of the two countries for the future also contribute to further cooperation. The will of the leaders of India and Pakistan in the future will help defuse the conflicts and build mutual trust, and will be conducive to improving bilateral relations and promoting mutual cooperation. At present, Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Imran Khan’s proposal to build a “new Pakistan” coincides with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposal of a “new India”, both aiming to build a country that is clean in politics, strong in economy, guaranteed in medical education, concerned about vulnerable groups, and not poisoned by terrorism and corruption. The pursuit of common goals allows India and Pakistan have huge space and potential for cooperation.
The establishment of the new Pakistan government sheds a great deal of light on the peace and development of the South Asian subcontinent. Through the strategy of reciprocity, the efforts made by the two countries to improve bilateral relations will be bound to benefit the two peoples. Despite that the gradual improvement of India-Pakistan relations is just beginning, it is certain that both leaders of India and Pakistan will pay attention to strengthening dialogues and communication, jointly addresses the issues of mutual concern, and also constantly abandoning the thinking of “zero-sum game”. It can be foreseen that the easing of India-Pakistan relations conduces to propelling the Indian subcontinent into a region of peace and prosperity.

Dekai Huang, Jiao Nie & Yunsong Zhou, Scholars, School of International Studies, Yunnan University, P.R. China

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