India's Pakistan and Afghanistan Policies

Dr Klaus Voll, FEPS Correspondent for Southern Asia

In the absence of a clearly defined Indian policy on Pakistan and Afghanistan, there is still a pointed recognition of the need to maintain peace and stability in the region, even where there have been provocations. As such, Indian government have shown the ability to deal with both military and democratic regimes in Pakistan, although preferring the latter. In recent times, Sharif’s overtures are met with cautious optimism. This paper looks at the prospects for building peace and trust between India and Pakistan. It also charts the utilisation of “soft power” influence in Afghanistan as a preferable alternative to direct military cooperation with Kabul. Ultimately, relations with both Pakistan and Afghanistan are deeply embedded in domestic political conflicts too.