Accepted Paper:

Incongruous match-making: The US and China caught in the web of the mangled Pakistan-India relationship  


Dietrich Reetz (Zentrum Moderner Orient)

Paper short abstract:

This presentation is exploring the argument that much of the current phase of instability in the relations between Pakistan and India is related to the shifting and unsettling strategic equation of the US and China with both countries.

Paper long abstract:

The attempts of India to establish a new strategic equation with the US that started already before the current Modi government have had deeply unsettling effects on the Pakistan-India relationship, especially in terms of the US-India civil nuclear agreement. Pakistan's reliance on China as a strategic counterweight has so far not produced the desired result of balancing the US shift. This presentations inquires whether under the current post-Cold War conditions such strategic alliances and balancing acts have not outlived their utility as neither the US nor China can and will revoke the benefits of close relations with the other party. Their concurrent pursuit of conflicting objectives has rather become a new structuring element of international relations which has cast new uncertainty on the efforts of calming the new Pakistan India confrontation.

Panel P29
Security challenges in contemporary India-Pakistan relations