Category Archives: India

Parallels between 1971 India-Pakistan war & present Russia-Ukraine conflict

Stephen Cohen (of Brookings Institution, not to be confused with Russia specialist Stephen Cohen) in “Idea of Pakistan” writes of moral & martial superiority lying behind Jinna’s idea of providing home & protection for Muslims of Indian subcontinent after departure of British colonizers. Martial contest between predominantly Hindu India & largely Muslim Pakistan immediately ensued over disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir even when last British troops not yet departed from the country. 1st Indo-Pak war was followed by more bloody Partition which considered as largest ever historical migration of people.

In 21st century it became clear who won historic contest between Gandhi-Nehru vision of secular & tolerant India & martial, morally superior Pakistan – while the former is member of prestigious BRICS group, hoping for permanent seat in UNSC, universally regarded as emerging world power, the latter is balancing on brink of failed state, plagued by daily terror acts perpetrated by Islamist groups Islamabad long nurtered as soft power tool against Soviets in Afghanistan and India in Kashmir. Pakistan’s martial superiority was heavily compromised by loss of 1971 war against India & while moral bankruptcy evident in denying undeniable, i.e. its support to various terror outfits.

In many ways sad India & Pakistan rivalry mirrors now in Russia & Ukraine conflict. Many Indians & most Pakistanis speak one language called Hindi in India & Urdu in Pakistan. They have common history since Ancient Indus civilization, many people adopted & were converted to Islam, numerous families live on both sides of the border. Difference with Ukraine/Russia divide of course is religion – most Ukrainians and Russians are Orthodox Christians however after 80 years of atheistic Soviet rule influence of religion on politics & society became minimal.

“Idea of Ukraine” was expressed by its former president Kuchma in negative terms: “Ukraine Is Not Russia” & stems not only from Western Ukrainian rabid nationalism & sense of linguistic victimhood (in Soviet times their variety of Slavic language was frowned upon & discouraged) but also from jealousy to its rich in territory and natural resources “elder brother”, desire to live like in Europe, shame from chronic and rampant corruption at all levels, incompetence & greed of politicians & oligarchs etc.

Ukrainians yet to deploy its “soft power” terror groups against Russia to complete historical parallels but they distinguished themselves in committing mass murders of pro-Russian activists & civilians in Donbas & spreading copious amount of lies covering up their war crimes. Same can be said of Pakistanis who perpetrated genocide in East Bengal & still in denial over their use of terrorists. India under Indira Gandhi in 1971 intervened in Pakistan’s civil war & ensured Bangladesh independence from Islamabad. Russia officially yet to intervene directly in Ukraine civil war however her support for rebels obvious both in volunteers and humanitarian aid to Donbas.

Common for 1971 & 2014 cases is unwavering support United States had given to Pakistan & Ukraine genocidal policies by arms & diplomatic campaign. For Nixon administration Indira Gandhi became persona non-grata, “that bitch”, for Obama Putin is devil incarnate. Lies & aggressive posturing of Republican & Democrat US administrations also similar though differ in size cause India then & Russia now still in different leagues. US in 1971 cancelled vital humanitarian aid to India, in 2014 they try to strangle Russia economically.

But result will be the same, utter failure, I am sure.