History

The Simla Agreement

Background:-

  • The 1971 India-Pakistan war and the Shimla Agreement of 1972 are some of the most important events of the 20th century history of the Indian subcontinent.
  • The decisions taken/not taken at Shimla continue to affect the Indian subcontinent and even more importantly the rationale, mindsets and logic on display then continues to be part of Indian decision-making on war and peace even years after the event.

Shimla agreement:-

  • Shimla Agreement was signed between India and Pakistan
  • Main agenda at Shimla was to deal with the aftermath of the 1971 War and usher in durable peace between India and Pakistan.
  • The following principles of the agreement also show that it was a peace treaty
    • A mutual commitment to the peaceful resolution of all issues through direct bilateral approaches
    • To build the foundations of a cooperative relationship with special focus on people to people contacts
    • To uphold the inviolability of the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, which is a most important CBM between India and Pakistan, and a key to durable peace.

How it was much more than a peace treaty:-

  • It was a comprehensive blue print for good neighbourly relations between India and Pakistan.
    • Under the Shimla Agreement both countries undertook to abjure conflict and confrontation which had marred relations in the past, and to work towards the establishment of durable peace, friendship and cooperation.
  • The Simla Agreement contains a set of guiding principles, mutually agreed by both the countries while managing relations with each other. These emphasize:
    • Respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty
    • Non-interference in each other’s internal affairs
    • Respect for each others unity, political independence
    • Sovereign equality and abjuring hostile propaganda.
  • Two countries are resolved to settle their differences by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations or by any other peaceful means mutually agreed upon between them.
  • In order progressively to restore and normalize relations between the two countries step by step, it was agreed that
    • Steps shall be taken to resume communications, postal, telegraphic, sea, land including border posts, and air links including overflights.
    • Trade and co-operation in economic and other agreed fields will be resumed as far as possible.
  • Exchange in the fields of science and culture will be promoted.

Conclusion:- 

  • Even though the agreement was in the interests of bringing peace in the relations of both the countries it adversely impacted the future of Kashmir and despite being in a winning position India could not use its diplomacy to the mark.

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