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other’s adversary which widened the gap betweenPakistan and Russia.At the end ofCold War India thought that owing to outdated East-West rivalry, RussianFederation has lost its urge to support India versus Pakistan.5Meanwhile, Russia continued with a neutralized stance towards India as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 provided 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.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 After drawing lessons from the past, theauthor has carved out future policy options that need to be adopted by Pakistanin 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.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 quantifies the cost that would be inflicted upon India in itsbackdrop.9 Moreover,she opines that Russia is successfully engaging three Asian powers i.e.
India,China and Pakistan, in order to drive its ‘Pivot to Asia’ strategy effectively.Russia is mature enough to accommodate each power with in their sphere ofinterests.The articletitled ‘The Russia-Pakistan Rapprochement: Should India Worry?’ by UmaPurushothaman critically analysis recent Pak-Russia rapprochement.10 Theauthor looks forward to Russia to play a constructive role for neutralizingtensions between India and Pakistan.
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. 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. 1.3.1.
1. 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 sharedchallenges. However, outside forces are working hard to highlight their pastworst experiences to minimize their chances of future bonhomie. Nevertheless,Russia and 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. 1.
5. Research Questionsv Why Indian factor plays a pivotalrole in Pak-Russia relations?1. How Pak-Russia relations have evolvedhistorically?2. Whichfactors catalyze Pak-Russia closeness?3.
HowRussia is likely to balance her relations with India and Pakistan? 4. WhyIndia is wary towards Pak-Russia growing ties?5. Whatare the challenges and prospects of 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 and techniquesadopted by researcher includes reading, critically analyzing, deconstructingalready available literature; analyzing content of statements issued by ForeignOffice and important state representatives; interviewing (In-depth as well as E-interview)participants in order to get feedback from experts having deep insight on thistopic and attending seminar and conferences in order to get view point ofexperts in Academia.1.8. Motivation in ResearchThe motivation behind opting this topic is majorly intrinsic.
Pakistan and Russia conducted their first joint military exercise, namedDruzhba-2016, meaning Friendship-2016. The Russian contingent reached Pakistanin spite of India’s unease and allegations on Pakistan for instigating Uriattack. 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 errors in 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 (Obtrusive) will be generated byconducting interviews (in-depth) with the professionals having expertise andkeen perceptiveness. My personal observations and experience will also beincluded in primary data. Secondary data (Non Obtrusive) will be collectedthrough books, journal articles, articles from newspapers and data bases fromthink tanks. 1.11. Participantsv Andrew Korybko is a political analystas well as contributor to several online journals.
Also, he is member of expertcouncil for 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 is pursuing his Phd from the University of Nottingham, Ningbo,China.v Chandra Rekha is an Indian expert on Indo-Russiarelations. Currently, she is a Research Associate at the Centre for Air PowerStudies (CAPS), New Delhi.
v Officials from Ministry of Foreign Affairs ofPakistan.1.12. Ethical IssuesFollowing ethical issues would be taken intoconsideration and minimizing them would be ensured:v Voluntary and informed consent of the participantswill be ensured.
v Ascertained anonymity and confidentiality ofperson/institution, if asked, for the period of five to seven years.v It will be assured that no harm is caused toparticipant, of any nature, ranging from professional, ethical, moral, socialwell-being, alike.v Ethics for Academic Community will be strictlyfollowed.1.13.
Chapterization and Time FrameThe scheme of study that would be adopted to undergothe planned research work systematically is as follows:1.13.1.Chapter 1- Introduction (8 weeks)The veryfirst chapter would constitute of statement of problem under study, literaturereview of already available pieces of literature, theoretical framework,research questions, hypothesis, scope of the study, objectives of the study,significance of the study, methods and methodology.1.13.2.
Chapter 2- History of Pak-Russia Relations (3 weeks)Thischapter would be focused upon historical evaluation of relations between Russiaand Pakistan since 1947 to 2010. 1.13.3.Chapter 3- Evolving Dynamics of Pak-Russia Relations (2 weeks)Thischapter would be focused upon the relational development undertaking from year2011 to May 2017. 1.13.4.
Chapter 4- Factors Catalyzing Pak-Russia Closeness (8 weeks)Thischapter would embark upon the major factors that acted as a catalyst forPak-Russia growing fraternal ties. 1.13.5.
Chapter 5- India’s Wariness towards Pak-Russia Growing Ties (2 weeks)Thischapter would solely focus upon India’s reaction, apprehensions and wariness,towards growing ties between Russia and Pakistan. 1.13.6.Chapter 6- Challenges and Prospects (6 weeks)Underthis chapter, challenges and prospects brought by growing ties between Russiaand Pakistan would be analyzed vis a vis subliming the Indian factor,tactfully. 1Tahir Amin, “Pakistan-Russia relations and the unfolding “newgreat game” in South Asia,” The regionalsecurity puzzle around Afghanistan: bordering practices in Central Asia andbeyond. Opladen : B.
Budrich, (2016). – ISBN 978-3-8474-0912-0,pp. 191-206. URL: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-47154-82ibid3Muhammad Taimur Fahad Khan, “Renaissance in Pakistan-Russia Relations,” Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad (December27th, 2016): 24Gulandam Mian, “Challenges and Prospects of Pak-Russia Relations in theEvolving Multi-polar World,” Centre forInternational Strategic Studies, Quarterly News and Views (2016) URL: http://ciss.org.
pk/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Paper-6-I.-2-3-V.-3.pdf5Mark A Smith, “Russia’s Relations with India & Pakistan,” Conflict Studies Research Centre, (August2004).6Nazir Hussain, Qurrat ul Ain Fatima, “Pak-Russian Relations: HistoricalLegacies and New Beginnings,” CentralAsia, Issue No.72, Summer 2013 (Published in June 2015), pp.1-15.7Fazal ur Rehman, “Pakistan’s Evolving Relations With China, Russia And CentralAsia,” 211-229.
8Nazir Hussain, “Pak-Russia Relations: Lost Opportunities and Future Options,” Journal of Political Studies, Vol. 19,Issue-1 (2012), 79-899Chandra Rekha, “Is Russia Mending its Ties with Pakistan at India’s Cost?” Centre for Air Power Studies, June 8,2014.-10Uma Purushothaman, “The Russia-Pakistan Rapprochement: Should India Worry?” Observer Research Foundation, ISSUEBRIEF No.
117, NOVEMBER 2015.11Andrew Korybko, “Pakistan Is The “Zipper” Of Pan-Eurasian Integration,” Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, September15, 2015. URL: https://en.riss.ru/analysis/18882/