Military Diplomacy Essay

3293 WordsSep 4, 201214 Pages
Commentary India-Pakistan Relations: Military Diplomacy vs Strategic Engagement Ali Ahmed* Military diplomacy has not figured significantly in India-Pakistan relations with ample reasons. Military to military engagement between the two states is confined to CBMs of varying significance. Even as both militaries have several regional and extra-regional engagements falling under the rubric of military diplomacy, the ones between the two are restricted to the routine exchanges of military advisors in respective missions in national capitals. However, there is a case for expansion in military diplomacy between the two. The main argument is that there are asymmetric benefits for India from engaging Pakistan. Therefore, the several dimensions of India’s engagement with Pakistan need supplementing with engaging its military directly. It states that initiation of a strategic dialogue, independent of the peace process, as a ‘solution’. Military diplomacy has not been a prominent feature of India-Pakistan relations and with ample reason. Military to military engagement between the two states is confined to Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) of varying effectiveness. Even as both militaries have several regional and extra-regional engagements falling under the rubric of military diplomacy, the ones between the two are restricted to the routine exchanges of military advisors in respective missions in national capitals. However, there is a case for expanding military diplomacy between the two. The argument made in this commentary is that there are asymmetric benefits for India from engaging Pakistan. Therefore, the several dimensions of India’s engagement with Pakistan need supplementing with engaging its military directly. India’s efforts so far have paid limited dividends. Since the Pakistani army is at the core of the establishment in Pakistan, engaging it directly

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