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Old Tuesday, September 01, 2020
Aamir Ali Abro Aamir Ali Abro is offline
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Default Question from Pakistan Affairs 2020

What are the major provisions of Simla Agreement (1972) between Pakistan and India? How it was helpful for establishment of durable peace in the region?


The dissolution of British from India led the foundation of two sovereign states namely Union of India and Dominion of Pakistan. Independence of newly states did not end with peace in the region because of ill-organized decisions made under RadCliffe Award. It resulted contention over the territory of Kashmir. The skrimishes between two states continued, sometimes, in the form of water dispute, cross-border insurgency and undeclared wars between two - Pakistan and India. Following the rebellion in the East Pakistan and political instability in West Pakistan paved way for Indian military intervention and concluded with fall of Dhaka in December, 1971. Hence, it created a dire need for a peace treaty between Pakistan and India to maintain bilateral relations and respect sovereignty of each other. Efforts of external ministries of both countries shaped the treaty named as Simla Agreement.

Major Provisions of Simla Agreement

Simla Agreement is also known as peace treaty. It was signed by the President of Pakistan Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto and Indian Prime Minister Indra Gandhi to ensure peace in the region by withdrawing forces on borders from both sides. Below are some major provisions of Simla Agreement.

(i) Resolving the conflicts with peace talks
One of key component of the treaty was to eliminate the arms confrontation and dissent with each other. Bringing up the conflicts over table and resolving them with bilateral peace deals

(ii) Respect of Sovereignty
Through this treaty, it was a sign of showing respect to territorial sovereignty, political relations and avoiding any kind of interference in internal matters of the state

(iii) Ensurance for improvement of bilateral relations
To ensure strong ties between two - Pakistan and India, it was decided to held communication through telephone conversations and other sources. Also such activities will be brought between countries which could bring both nations closer to each other.

(iv) Frequent visits of Head of states
To maintain mutual understanding and resolving the rifts, frequent meetings were decided to ensure productivity of peace talks and agreements

(v) Decision of Kashmir Conflict
It was decided by both parties that Kashmir conflict will be observed as a bilateral issue so there wouldn't be need of bringing any third party international organization like United Nations

Significance of Simla Agreement for maintaining durable peace in the region

(i) Putting an End to Long Standing Arms Conflicts
Simla Agreement has played a vital role in the political history of Pakistan and India. Partition of India didn't end with peace and bright tomorrow of both countries. Soon after partition, both countries fell into series of conflicts with each other including Kashmir conflict 1947-49, water dispute 1948, War of 1965, War of 1971, until peace treaty in the form of Simla Agreement came into existence.

(ii) Interest for Mutual Cooperation
Deals discussed under this treaty shows that there is deep interest present on both sides for cooperation with each other as much as possible. Hence, series of such meetings can result in a very effective manner.

(iii) Simla Agreement as Pioneer to Future Summits
Simla Agreement has proved as a gateway to future summits such as Lahore Summit 1999 and Agra Summit 2001. However, these meetings didn't prove much fruitful due to Kargil and Siachen border issues but apart from these conflicts if there are number of summits, conferences and meetings are held then surely, there can be seen much improvements in the relations as compared to dark history of past relations.

(iv) Withdraw of Armies from Borders
It was a great achievement of Simla Agreement in which it was decided by leaders of both countries to resist border insurgency and peacefully removing the armies from both sides of borders

(v) Peace Agreements over Kashmir Issue
Kashmir issue has been the integral part of conflict between Pakistan and India, it was notable point of the agreement that for the first time in history, both countries were ready to bring the Kashmir Issue on the table and discuss over it without bringing interference of external source.

(vi) Devastation of Simla Agreement
There are non-removable imprints of Simla Agreement in history of Pakistan and India relations. It also could be proved as a long lasting bond between relation of these two countries if Operation Meghboot was not made by Indian Army followed by Kargil conflict of 1989 and Kargil War 1999.

Criticism on Simla Agreement

(i) Criticism over Removing the Forces from Border
As both leaders agreed to withdraw armies from borders, it was criticized that this decision is only based on Head-to-Head of the state, there is no any involvement in favor of this decision from government or public of any side. It was considered that by removing the forces, cease fire is being converted into Line of Control and both leaders are considering it International Border. Hence, it is violation of Karachi Agreement 1949 resolution laid by United Nations Military Observer in India and Pakistan.

(ii) Criticism Over Kashmir Dispute
It was discussed in the Agreement that all issues and Kashmir conflict will be resolved by bilateral talks of both countries as all concerns belong to us. Hence there is no need of any external force. However, whenever there is a point related to Kashmir then that is taken to under eyes of United Nations.


Simla Agreement has left remarkable imprints on relations of India and Pakistan. There is dire need of series of conferences, summits and agreements like Simla Agreement which can extinguish contentions in the region. As per current scenario, it seems typical to have fruitful agreements because of certain recent events such as Attack on Indian Parliament, Mumbai Attacks, presence of Raw Agents in Pakistan like Kulbushan Yadev, Pathankot attack 2016, Pulwama attack 2019, strike attacks of 2019 and recently more fuel added to fire by action of Indian government through revoking special status of Kashmir. Last but not least, international organizations can play key role for betterment of Pak-India relations. Lastly, forthcoming governments from any side also can come up with brave moves which can resolve all conflicts in a blink
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