Q. “Military and democracy are the two sides of the same coin in Pakistan.” Explain.
After framing its constitution, Pakistan’s General Ayub khan took over the administration of the country and soon got himself elected.
- A popular dissatisfaction against his govt forced him to step down, and a new military ruler General Yahya Khan took over.
- During Yahya’s rule, Pakistan faced the Bangladesh crisis in 1971.
- After this, an elected govt under the leadership of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto came to power in Pakistan from 1971 – 1977.
- The Bhutto govt was removed by General Zia-ul- Haq in 1977.
- General Zia-ul-Haq faced a pro-democracy movement in 1977, and an elected govt under the leadership of Benazir Bhutto came up in 1988. This time witnessed a competition between her party and the Muslim League.
- This democratic phase lasted till 1999 when the army stepped in again, and General Parvez Musharraf removed PM Nawaz Sharif. In 2001 General Musharraf got himself elected as the President.
- Again a new democratic government was established in Pakistan under the leadership of Asif Ali Zardari as the President and Yousuf Raza Gilani as the PM.
- Since then Pakistan has sustained its democratically elected governments.
Q. How was democracy established in Nepal?
Nepal was a Hindu kingdom in the past and then a constitutional monarchy. The common people of Nepal wanted a more open and responsive system of Government. But the king retained full control over the govt and restricted the expansion of democracy in Nepal.
- The king accepted the demand for a new democratic constitution in 1990 against a pro-democracy movement.
- During the 90s, the Maoist group was able to spread their influence in many parts of Nepal. They believed in armed insurrection against the monarchy and the ruling elite.
- There was a triangular conflict among the monarchist forces, the democrats and the Maoists.
- In 2002, the king abolished the Parliament and dismissed the govt, thus ending the limited democracy in the country.
- In 2006, there were massive countrywide pro-democracy protests. The king was forced to restore the House of Representatives that had been dissolved in 2002.
- In 2008, Nepal was finally proclaimed to be a democratic country.
Q. Name the principal players in the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka? How was this conflict resolved?
The principal players in the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka include the following
- The majority group of Sinhalas
- The minority group of Tamils.
After its independence in 1948, politics in Sri Lanka was dominated by the interest of the Sinhalas.
- The Sinhalas were hostile to the native Tamils as well as those who migrated from India during the colonial period
- The Sinhalas believed that Sri Lanka belonged to the Sinhalas only
- The neglect of Tamil concerns gave way to rise of the militant organisation – LTTE, i.e. the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam who demanded a separate country for the Tamils.
- The Sri Lankan problem exerted pressure upon the Indian Govt from the Tamil people of India.
- Indian govt did not have any choice but to intervene in the matter
- In 1987 India got directly involved in the Sri Lankan Tamil question. India signed an accord with Sri Lanka and sent troops to stabilise relations between the Sri Lankan govt and the Tamils
- The sri Lankans saw this as an attempt by india to interefere in the internal affairs of sri lanka.
- In 1989, the Indian peacekeeping forces were pulled out of Sri Lanka without attaining its objectives
- Finally, in 2009, the death of the LTTE leader Prabhakaran brought an end to the civil war in Sri Lanka.
Q. Discuss the economic dimension of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka has registered considerable economic growth and recorded high levels of human development.
- Sri Lanka was one of the first countries to liberalise its economy
- It was one of the first developing countries to successfully control the rate of growth of population
- It had the highest per capita gross domestic product (GDP) for many years.
- It maintained a democratic political system despite the civil war.
Q. Explain in detail the Indo- Pak relations
India and Pakistan, since the time of partition, have been involved in a conflict over the region of Kashmir.
- Wars between India and Pakistan in 1947, 1965,1971 and 1999 failed to settle the matter
- 1947 war resulted in the partition of the region into Pakistan occupied Kashmir (POK) divided by the LOC
- India has a conflict with Pakistan over the control of the Siachen glacier and over the acquisition of arms
- In 1998, India conducted a nuclear explosion in Pokaran. Pakistan responded within a few days by carrying out a nuclear test in the chagai hills.
- Indian govt has blamed Pakistan for maintaining low key violence by helping the Kashmir militants with arms, training, money and protection to carry out terrorist strikes against India.
- The Indian govt also believes that the Pakistani govt has aided the pro – Khalistan militants with arms and ammunitions during the period 1985-1995
- Its spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence(ISI) is alleged to be involved in various anti – India campaigns, operating secretly through Bangladesh and Nepal.
- The Pakistani govt blames India for fomenting trouble in the province of Sindh and Balochistan
- India and Pakistan have had problems over sharing of river water. However, the Indus water treaty signed between India and Pakistan in 1960 has survived in spite of various military conflicts.
- Both the sides are not in agreement over the demarcation line in Sir Creek in the Rann of Kutch.
Q. Mention the areas of cooperation and differences between India and Bangladesh
The govt of India and Bangladesh have had differences over many issues:
- The sharing of Ganga Brahmaputra river water
- Indian govt has been unhappy over Bangladesh’s denial of illegal immigration to India
- Bangladesh’s refusal to allow Indian troops to move through its territory to North-Eastern India
- Its decision not to export natural gas to India or allow Myanmar to do so through Bangladesh’s territory
- Bangladesh feels that the Indian govt acts as a regional bully over the sharing of river waters, encouraging rebellion in the Chittagong Hill tracts trying to extract its natural resources and being unfair in trade.
India and Bangladesh have cooperated on the following dimensions:
- Economic relations have improved considerably
- Bangladesh is a part of India’s Look East policy that wants to link up with South East Asia via Myanmar.
- On disaster management and environmental issues, the two states have cooperated regularly
- Efforts are on to cooperate on further common issues of threats
Q. Discuss the relationship between India and Nepal
Nepal and India share a very special relationship
- A treaty between the two countries allows the citizens to travel to and work in the other country without visas and passport.
- The govt of both countries have had trade-related disputes in the past
- The Indian govt has expressed displeasure over the warm relationship between Nepal and China
- Indian Govt see the Maoist forces in Nepal as a security threat
- Many leaders think that the Indian govt interferes in the internal affairs of Nepal, has designs on its river waters and hydroelectricity and prevents Nepal, a landlocked country, from getting easier access to the sea through the Indian territory
Indo Nepal relations are still fairly stable and peaceful.
Q. Discuss India’s relations with Sri Lanka
India and Sri Lanka have had differences mainly over the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka.
- Indian govt found it impossible to remain neutral when the Tamil population in Sri Lanka were unhappy and were being killed
- After the military intervention in 1987, Indian govt adopted a policy of disengagement with Sri Lanka’s internal troubles.
- India signed a free trade agreement with Sri Lanka which strengthened the relations between the two countries
- India’s help in post-tsunami reconstruction has also brought the two countries closer together.
Q. Discuss India’s relations with Maldives and Bhutan
- India does not have any major conflict with Bhutan
- Efforts made by Bhutan’s monarch to weed out the guerillas and militants from North-Eastern India have been helpful to India.
- India is involved in big hydroelectric projects in Bhutan and remains the Himalayan Kingdoms biggest source of development aid.
- India’ s ties with Maldives remain cordial and warm
- In 1988, when some Tamil mercenaries from Sri Lanka attacked the Maldives, the Indian air force and navy reacted quickly to the Maldives request to help
- India has also contributed towards islands economic development, tourism and fisheries.
Q. Write a short note on the role and the limitations of SAARC as a forum for facilitating economic cooperation among the South Asian countries.
The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is a major regional initiative by the South Asian states to evolve cooperation through multilateral means. It began in 1985. Unfortunately, due to persisting political differences, SAARC has not had much success. SAARC members signed the South Asian Free Trade (SAFTA) agreement which promised the formation of a free trade zone for the whole of South Asia. SAFTA. Agreement was signed in 2004 and came into effect on 1 January 2006. SAFTA aims at lowering trade tariffs by 20 percent by 2007. But some of our neighbours fear that SAFTA is a way for India to ‘invade’ their markets and to influence their societies and politics through commercial ventures and a commercial presence in their countries. India thinks that there are real economic benefits for all from SAFTA and that a region that trades more freely will be able to cooperate better on political issues. Some in India think that SAFTA is not worth the trouble since India already has bilateral agreements with Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka.