Pakistan Foreign Policy Towards India (1947-1980)


India and Pakistan had never friendly relations. Born on hatred, suspicion and narrow religionism, Pakistan could never think of friendly ties with India. Differences between the two soon started on the question of the integration of princely states Hyderabad, Junagard and Kashmir; particularly the latter created an unresolved controversy. It also led to wars in 1965 and 1971.
Another dispute related to the distribution of water in Punjab also created differences between the two countries but after protracted negotiation and through the good offices of the World Bank the canal Waters Treaty was signed in 1969.
Pakistan’s main reason for joining the western alliances was to secure support and arms against India. The domination of military in politics further deteriorated the problems. As a result in 1965 war broke out between India and Pakistan.
In 1970 differences between East and West Pakistan came to a head after the December 1970 General Election in which East Pakistan Awami League led by Sheikh Mujeebur Rehman won an absolute majority. Deadlock between Sheikh Mujeeb and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the leading Western Pakistan politician gave way in March 1971 to East Pakistan’s declaration of independence and the outbreak of civil war. But actually Indian interference contributed a lot to the dismemberment of Pakistan in 1971.
Tension between Pakistan and India built up until in December 1971 war between the two countries broke out. Pakistani top authority knocked the doors of SEATO but without any success. Ultimately Pakistan was defeated in the East and India recognized the independence of Bangladesh.
Thus Pakistan lost its eastern part, General Yahya Khan resigned in favour of Bhutto. Bhutto initiated talks with India on the issue of the return of powers and other issues.  A formal peace treaty was signed between Bhutto and Indra Ghandi at Shimla in July 1972. The treaty normalized the relations of Pakistan with India.
Bhutto gave political stability to Pakistan. He withdrew Pakistan from the common wealth and the SEATO. In the end of 1976, Bhutto ordered elections in Pakistan. His party secured overwhelming majority but the people charged him of rigging the polls. When Bhutto was nearing an agreement, army under Zia struck and captured power. Martial law was declared, thousands sent to prison and Bhutto was executed in a dictated judgement of the Supreme Court. Zia has made Pakistan a concentration camp where all political activity has been banned.