INTRODUCTIONThethesis is titled “India Factor in Pak-Russia Relations: Challenges andProspects”. Under said title, the researcher intends to study the evolvingrelational dynamics between Russia and Pakistan keeping in view the Indiafactor and evaluating the challenges and prospects of Pak-Russia partnership. 1.1. Problem StatementThe existentconflict between India and Pakistan carves out the political landscape of SouthAsia.
1This dominant feature leads to absorption of external power rivalries andmeander them into bilaterally symmetric conflict going on between the twohistoric adversaries i.e. Pakistan and India.2Keeping in view the political history of relationship between Russia andPakistan, it can be said that the two states have often ended up presiding theopposite sides in each conflicting scenario. The relation between these twostates has often been carved out as a by-product of the very nature of UnitedStates of America (USA) relationship with Pakistan vis a vis India’s relationshipwith Russia.3Pakistan gotincepted in 1947- the critical era of Cold War at international level was goingon between two blocs i.e. United States of America (USA) and the then SovietUnion.
4Eventually, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan sought to visit USA,hence posing pro-western foreign policy.KnowingPakistan’s India-consciousness, the West manipulated her up to its utilitythroughout the past. Due to stringent conditions of Cold War, India could notstrictly maintain its non-aligned policy and inched closer to Soviet Union tocounter Pakistan-USA partnership. No matter, Russia and Pakistan had no badintentions towards each other but ultimately each of them was equally guilty offorging closer ties with other’s adversary which widened the gap betweenPakistan and Russia.
At the end ofCold War India thought that owing to outdated East-West rivalry, RussianFederation has lost its urge to support India versus Pakistan.5Meanwhile, Russia continued with a neutralized stance towards India as well asPakistan. After 9/11, Pakistan adopted anti-Taliban posture was warmly welcomedby Russia.6This provided both states with a common ground upon which future bilateral relationswere to be nurtured. However, in 2005, USAand India entered into strategic partnership and finalized a civil nucleardeal.7 The Indo-US nexus is in direct conflict with Russianand Pakistani regional interests.
Furthermore, increasingamiability between USA and India left both, Pakistan and Russia, insecure. For this, Russia has extended fraternal ties towardsPakistan, India’s historical adversary, to which Pakistan has equallyreciprocated. This development provides them with another majoroutlook to kick start new avenues of cooperation with each other, hencediluting the baggage of bitter past experiences.
However, it is rationalto mention here that global power center is now shifting to Asia and Russiaconsciously realizes this strategic change. In the realm of defencecooperation, both countries, Russia and Pakistan, can prove to be reliableallies. Therefore, it is in Russia’s interest to forge new alliances in theregion. It can, thus, be concluded that Russia and Pakistan are foreseeing anunprecedented era of convergence between them. Though still in a nascent stage,it signals a promising prospect for both, Russia and Pakistan. However, India’srole and response towards this development would be another aspect of thisstudy.In this study, it isaimed to chalk out feasibility for Pakistan that how can it maintain peace withpast allies vis a vis extend new friendships at the same time. It would beintrospected that how the constructed realities (India-Russia bonhomie) wouldbe sublimed and new records (Pak-Russia fraternal ties) would be forged.
Aftergoing through extensive literature, it has been concluded that India-Russiarelationship is over-rated. Moreover, little has been written over prospects ofconstructive Pak-Russia relationship. Most of the writers ignore the fact thatthere are no permanent friends or foe in international relations, what remainsupreme is the national interest of a state. This research is intended to addup literature upon the future of Pak-Russia relations, but in a constructiveway and not beating the bush regarding bitter past.1.2. Literature ReviewThe articletitled ‘Pak-Russia Relations: Lost Opportunities and Future Options’ written byNazir Hussain provides a critical analysis of historical factors that greatlymoulded Pak-Russia relations.8 The merit of this article is that the author,after drawing lessons from the past, has carved out future policy options thatneed to be adopted by Pakistan in emerging geo-strategic environment.
The articletitled ‘Pakistan-Russia Relations: Progress, Prospects and Constraints’ writtenby M Hanif gives a brief account of Pak-Russia relations. The author haschalked out many recommendations for mending ties between two states in theface of strong opposition posed by USA and India. However, the only demerit ofthis article lie in the fact that author did not pen-out the ways to workout withthe past grievances effectively.Chandra Rekha inone of her article titled ‘Is Russia Mending its Ties with Pakistan at India’sCost?’ has introspected the reasons behind Russian recent tilt towards Pakistanas well as successfully quantifies the cost that would be inflicted upon Indiain its backdrop.9Moreover, she opines that Russia is successfully engaging three Asian powersi.e. India, China and Pakistan, in order to drive its ‘Pivot to Asia’ strategyeffectively. The author proves to be quite optimistic towards maturity ofRussia to accommodate each power with in their sphere of interests.
The articletitled ‘The Russia-Pakistan Rapprochement: Should India Worry?’ by UmaPurushothaman critically analysis recent Pak-Russia rapprochement.10 Nomatter, the author aanticipates Russia to play a constructive role forneutralizing tensions between India and Pakistan. Nevertheless, the authorfailed to gauge the Indian eagerness to use its Russian card for minimizingtensions with Pakistan. Moreover, the author did not keep into account Indianstubbornness throughout during the process of mediations in the past.
AndrewKorybko, a Russian analyst, acknowledges the increasing geostrategic importanceof Pakistan in his article titled ‘Pakistan is the “Zipper” of Pan-EurasianIntegration’.11 He acclaims that Russiaaims to develop ties with Pakistan in full spectrum. It greatly aspires tointegrate Pakistan in the multipolar Eurasian Union framework, the idea whichis being materialized under Russia and China strategic partnership.
The strengthof this article lies in its optimistic view towards Pak-Russia partnership.However, the author could not devise practical precautions for Russia tominimize its wariness towards Russia’s growing bonhomie with Pakistan.1.3. Theoretical Framework1.3.1.
RealismAccording to realist school of thought ofinternational relations among states, there are neither permanent friends norpermanent foes. What remains intact and supreme is the national interest of thestates. For successfully pursuing ones national interests, states go forinternal balancing i.e. power maximization, or external balancing, i.
e.alliance formulation. 184.108.40.206.
Application of TheoryAllof the developments along with changing regional dynamics led the Pakistanforeign policy maker to revisit their options and decisions. In the meantime,Russia overtured towards Pakistan in order to checkmate USA influence in theregion. Pakistan and Russia soon realized that it is inevitable to ignore eachother and hence started working towards exploring avenues of cooperation.
Later, Russia and Pakistan found a plenty ofconverging interest, at bilateral and international level, between them. Here,they worked together to shed the baggage of historical bitterness and searchingnew avenues of cooperation in order to conjointly deal with the shared challenges.However, outside forces are working hard to highlight their past worstexperiences to minimize their chances of future bonhomie. Nevertheless, Russiaand Pakistan are nurturing their ties up to the level of maturity, henceblurring the past perceptions and building constructive and mutually beneficialrelations.1.4. Significance of StudyChangingregional dynamics has brought two historical opponents, Russia and Pakistan,closer to each other. Both states have adopted afresh posture towards eachother.
They are looking forward to exploit new avenues of cooperation.Meanwhile, a lot of factors provide substantive pretext to each state forforging closer ties with each other in the emerging new geo-political scenarioin the region. While, Pakistan is over done with USA policy to ‘use and abuse’and now wants to broaden up its regional options.
On the other hand, Russiawitnessed that its traditional strategic partner is now more tilted towards USAand west. Moreover, Russia has realized that only relying on its sole partnerin the region, India, will not pay off in the emerging geopolitical scenario.So, Russia is also on its endeavor to expand its regional options. As witnessedby the researcher, there exist piles of literature over Pak-Russia historicalgrievances, however, little has been written to chalk out prospects of intimaterelationship that lie in converging regional and international interests ofboth states. This research is intended to present a literary contribution forfuture foreign policy formulation. It is aimed to shift the focus of Pakistanrelatively away from western allies towards new eastern allies like Russia.
1.5. Research Questionsv Why Indian factor plays a pivotal role in Pak-Russiarelations?1. How Pak-Russia relations have evolvedhistorically?2. Which factors catalyze Pak-Russiacloseness?3. How Russia is likely to balance herrelations with India and Pakistan? 4.
Why India is wary towards Pak-Russiagrowing ties?5. What are the challenges and prospectsof Pak-Russia relations?1.6.
Hypothesis ‘Indiafactor plays an important role for bringing Pakistan and Russia closer’.1.7. Research MethodologyThis research isexploratory and descriptive in nature. Deeply discussing the type of research,it is analytical, empirical, quantitative, qualitative and applied research innature.The methods andtechniques adopted by researcher includes reading, critically analyzing,deconstructing already available literature; analyzing content of statementsissued by Foreign Office and important state representatives; interviewing (In-depthas well as E-interview) participants in order to get feedback from expertshaving deep insight on this topic and attending seminar and conferences inorder to get view point of experts in Academia.1.8.
Motivation in ResearchThe motivation behind opting this topic is majorlyintrinsic. Pakistan and Russia conducted their first joint military exercise,named Druzhba-2016, meaning Friendship-2016. The Russian contingent reachedPakistan in spite of India’s unease and allegations on Pakistan for instigatingUri attack. This development blew a fresh soul into Pak-Russia relations. Theresearcher got intrigued to introspect the new dimensions of this emergingpartnership. Moreover, the researcher wanted to calculate the Indian responseand role regarding this development.1.9.
Aims and Objectives in Researchv ExploratoryTo explore the historical bitter experiences thatmajorly carved out the Pakistan and Russia relations throughout the past,drawing them apart. Moreover, the role played by India, throughout history,would also be introspected.v DescriptiveTo describe underlying factors behind recent bonhomiebetween Russia and Pakistan, particularly starting from the year 2010.
As wellas, it is intended to describe India’s reaction towards this development.v DiagnosticTo diagnose the current underlying factors those areworking as a catalyst to bring Pakistan and Russia even closer, particularlythe India factor. v Avoiding errorsin reasoning In order to avoid over generalized approach andillogical reasoning towards the relationship of Pakistan and Russia, sincehistory to till date.
This would help out to neutralize past bitterness,misperceptions and provide constructive avenues for cooperation in future. 1.10. Data CollectionPrimary data will be generated by conductinginterviews (in-depth) with the professionals having expertise and keenperceptiveness. My personal observations and experience will also be includedin primary data. Secondary data will be collected through books,journal articles, articles from newspapers and data bases from thinktanks.
1.11. Participantsv Andrew Korybko is a political analyst as well ascontributor to several online journals.
Also, he is member of expert councilfor the Institute of Strategic Studies and Predictions at the People’sFriendship University of Russia. His area of expertise includes Russian affairsand geopolitics, specifically the US strategy in Eurasia. v Peter Krasnopolsky is an expert on Russia studies. Currently, he ispursuing his Phd from the University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China.v Chandra Rekha is anIndian expert on Indo-Russia relations. Currently, she is a Research Associateat the Centre for Air Power Studies (CAPS), New Delhi.v Officials from Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan.
1.12. Ethical IssuesFollowing ethical issues would be taken intoconsideration and minimizing them would be ensured:v Voluntary and informed consent of the participants will be ensured.v Ascertained anonymity and confidentiality of person/institution, ifasked, for the period of five to seven years.
v It will be assured that no harm is caused to participant, of any nature,ranging from professional, ethical, moral, social well-being, alike.v Ethics for Academic Community will be strictly followed.