India-Pakistan relations remained strained due to the issue of the Jammu and Kashmir region. The recent Pakistani decision to hold elections in the region has brought the region again in the news. The area and its importance with respect to Pakistan and China is the topic of discussion in this article.
Recently Pakistan has reaffirmed the strength of its relations with Saudi Arabia after a diplomatic spat sparked by apparent inaction by the Gulf kingdom on the issue of Kashmir and also threatened to derail what has been one of the South Asian country’s strongest alliances in the region. The long-time allies seem like drifting apart, with Saudi who prefers to build ties with India instead of criticizing it over Kashmir.
In 2019, Indian firm “India Ports Global Limited” took over operations at the Shahid Behesti Port in Chabahar, Iran. The representative of India, Iran, and Afghanistan met and finalized the routes for trade and transit corridors between the three nations. An event, ‘Chabahar Day’ was organised on February 26, 2019, to promote and popularise the potential of Chabahar port. Recently, the Iranian government took several decisions that may impact India’s Central Asian Strategy.
On 17th July 2019, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) had delivered its final verdict on the Kulbhushan Jadhav Case between India and Pakistan. With a 15-1 majority decision in India’s favour, the ICJ held that Pakistan had violated its obligations under the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. This case is a clear victory for India. Yet, the ICJ can provide only limited remedies for India. This brings into question the uncertainty about Jadhav’s detention and his pending death sentence.
Last year, the bilateral ties between India and Pakistan saw little to no progress. The India-Pakistan relations has often afflicted by cross-border terrorism, ceasefire violations, territorial disputes, etc. In 2019, the bilateral relationship was rocked by several tense events like the Pulwama terror attack, Balakot airstrike, scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, etc. Improving bilateral ties is vital for both sides, as it would mean stabilisation of South Asia and the improvement of economies of both the nations. However, the political will to mend the relationship in the current juncture seems to be absent on both sides.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global watchdog that combats money laundering and terrorist financing, had grey listed Pakistan in June 2018 for not cutting down the finances of terrorist groups within its soil. Greylisting puts Pakistan under international scrutiny to prove its compliance with FATF norms. Notably, the greylisting move was initiated by the US.
Even with greylisting measures, Pulwama terror attack happened in February 2019 = FATF (with India’s lobbying) threatens Pakistan that it will be moved to the blacklist due to its failure to comply with the action plan which was due May 2019. Blacklisting could virtually cut all financial flows to Pakistan.
This big-picture article explains the following in an analytical manner with a mindmap for quick revision.
- What is the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)?
- How FATF works?
- What is the grey list and blacklist?
- What is the issue with Pakistan?
- Why the US initiated the move?
- What are the implications of placing Pakistan on FATF watchlist?
- Has Pakistan changed with external Pressures?
- Why has Pakistan failed to comply with or curtail terror funding?
- What is the way forward?
Recently India’s decades long effort to get the full membership of the 2nd largest intergovernmental group – the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) got the huge boost when it attended the OIC’s 46th session of council of foreign ministers meeting at Abu Dhabi as a guest of honour on the invitation by the host country – United Arab Emirates (UAE).It has to be noted that, India has never been invited to the OIC before and the latest development comes at a time when the India-Pakistan tension is running high, is being seen as a diplomatic success.
After the terror attack in Pulwama, the government has decided to stop India’s share of waters in the Indus river system from flowing into Pakistan. This indicates a shift in the policy of the government with regards to the Indus Waters Treaty.
Recently, the Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman who was arrested by the Pakistani rangers was returned to India. Pakistan claimed that Abhinandan was set free as a peace gesture. However, India maintained that Pakistan is obliged to release the pilot under the Geneva Conventions. It is imperative in this context to understand the provisions in Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners of war (PoWs).
This article explains the following in an analytical manner with a mindmap for better understanding and quick revision.
- What is the issue?
- What are the Geneva Conventions?
- Is the present conflict comes from the Geneva Conventions?
- What is prohibited under the convention?
- What are the rights enjoyed by a Prisoner of War under the convention?
- What about the release of prisoners?