The Origins of War in South Asia: The Indo-Pakistani Conflicts since 1947

The Origins of War in South Asia: The Indo-Pakistani Conflicts since 1947

The Origins of War in South Asia: The Indo-Pakistani Conflicts since 1947

The Origins of War in South Asia: The Indo-Pakistani Conflicts since 1947

Synopsis

In this second edition of the only comprehensive and comparative study of the three Indo-Pakistani conflicts, Sumit Ganguly deepens his exploration of the causes and consequences of these clashes. Reassessing the origins of war in South Asia and ongoing ethnic strife in the region, he identifies and examines key developments, including shifts in policymaking necessitated by the collapse of the Soviet Union and the incipient nuclear weapons programs of both India and Pakistan. Ganguly incorporates recently published as well as newly declassified material in this edition and has written a new chapter on the origins, nature, and likely future of the insurgency in Kashmir.

Excerpt

The purpose of this study is to explain the origins of war in the South Asian region since 1947. The study will be limited to an analysis of the three Indo-Pakistani conflicts that had common roots, unlike other conflicts that occurred in the regions during the same period. There are three major reasons for explaining the causes of war in the South Asian region. First, it stems from a specific interest in studying the processes that have led to armed conflict in South Asia. Second, although a number of case studies already exist on each of the three wars (1947-1948, 1965, 1971) between India and Pakistan, none provides a comprehensive explanation and analysis of their origins. Third, the issues of separatism and autonomy are still relevant both for India and Pakistan. As recent events indicate, India continues to be plagued by separatist and autonomist demands ranging from Assam to Kashmir. On a lesser scale, Pakistan is also faced with similar demands in Sind and Baluchisthan.

These three wars in the South Asian subcontinent share some characteristics with other international conflicts that occurred following the collapse of the Eurocentric international system. With the collapse of that system, its colonial appendages in Asia and Africa gradually but steadily entered the international system. The process of colonial disengagement was, for the most part, neither well-planned nor tranquil.

In the great majority of cases, it produced violent conflicts as the long-suppressed internal divisions of language, religion, and ethnicity came to the forefront and existing institutions proved incapable of mediating such conflicts. Such divisions within nations had often been held in check by the colonial powers for the purposes of administrative convenience, but with the . . .

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