|This article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2012)|
An Indo-Pak Confederation is a concept advocating a political confederation of the sovereign states of Pakistan and India as means of ending bilateral conflicts and promoting common interests in defence, foreign affairs, culture and economic development. While this idea does not end the sovereign existence of either nation, but aimed to resolve the conflicts since partition of India in 1947.
The partition of India took place on August 14, 1947 dividing the provinces of Bengal and Panjab and was later followed by the independence of Pakistan as a result of the Pakistan movement, which advocated the "Two-Nation Theory" - that Muslims and Hindus are separate nations that could not live together. Partition provoked great communal conflicts and the dispute over the territory of Kashmir made both nations hostile to each other. India and Pakistan engaged in war in 1947, 1965, 1971 and 1999. However, some diplomatic efforts have succeeded in promoting bilateral trade, sports events and permitting Indians and Pakistanis to visit each other countries through the Samjhauta Express and the Delhi-Lahore Bus. The 1972 Shimla Agreement and subsequent bilateral accords have bound both nations to seek a peaceful solution to the Kashmir conflict while promoting trade and economic co-operation.
Some politicians and academicians in India have promoted the concept of a confederation between the two republics as a means to resolve the conflicts while promoting common cultural bonds, economic development and solidarity in major issues, with a ceremonial head of state and important posts held alternately by Indians and Pakistanis. Some advocates of the concept perceive the two-nation theory to have been a failure, being unable to resolve conflicts between Muslims and Hindus, and that a closer bonding of the two nations would be the best possible solution. Others have envisaged a broader confederation between the members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) - Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka - akin to the European Union. According to some advocates, such an arrangement would not only end the Kashmir conflict and bring peace and progress, but would forge a powerful geo-political entity of equal standing with global power such as the United States, European Union, Russia and China. Critics have described the proposal as naive and impractical given the extent of mutual distrust and antagonism.
The idea of a confederation gained prominence with the endorsement of senior Indian political leader and then-Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani, who on April 29, 2004 said in an interview to the Pakistani newspaper Dawn, that he envisaged both nations coming together to form a confederation: "I conceive that there would be a time when decades hence, both the countries would feel that partition has not solved matters. Why not come together and form some form of confederation or something like that." Another senior Indian politician Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia had similarly advocated the idea. This public endorsement from Advani, a reputed Hindu nationalist leader gave rise to much speculation and media coverage, but the Pakistani Foreign Ministry responded by calling the idea a "mirage," and asserting that both nations were sovereign and this status was "irreversible." Some leaders of the South Asian region have started talks about the practicality of this idea. Some advocates added that the nations be sovereign but they can issue a same currency and also sign an accord with which they can solve defence related problems with world powers like the United States and Russia.
- Two-nation theory
- Tribune India
- Advani moots Indo-Pak confederation
- Asghar Ali Engineer - IISCSSS
- Some leaders of the South Asian region has started talks about the practicality of this idea. Some advocate that the nations be sovereign but they can issue a same currency and also sign an accord with which they can solve defense related problems with other powerful entities of the world like The U.S.A, Russia and China. Larger part of Indian population has shown positivity to this idea. Rediff
- Indian Express
- Advani's remarks on Indo-Pak union a 'mirage'