India and Pakistan one of the bitter rivals packed with nuclear weapons; both these nations rivalry almost in everything from religion to sports. If anyone likes to see a battleground then they need to watch an India vs Pakistan cricket match. In addition it is also an important strategic location for the world’s developed nations for investment and other political games. Everyone knows the rivalry of India and Pakistan and how they were split into two nations from a single huge country. The conditions were not created overnight, it happened in a slow and steady process. Both these nations are democratic but it has not been the same always. India is world’s largest democracy whereas Pakistan who has to fight to bring democracy. This text reviews what factors have facilitated these 2 nations with their political development before and after partition. This does not end over here, as the world is moving towards globalization and whereas Europe who had wars among them before the world war but now there is European Union formed. Unfortunately, in India and Pakistan’s case the relations have been bad to worse and have been deteriorating even more. This paper will relate to some of those topics regarding the India and Pakistan’s political development. The research will be justified by relevant justification.


As World War 2 was out of the way, it brought uprising in many countries which resulted in the decolonization. Decolonization was a great moment for the people of those respective countries as they gained independence from those empires and colonizers (Haqqani, 2005). 200 years of British colonization in Indian subcontinent, for over 90 years the Indians fought for their independence from the British Raj (British Rule); on 1947 this resulted in formation of two nations India and Pakistan. The partition of Indian Subcontinent into two separate nations of India and Pakistan was a catastrophic moment in the history. It was accompanied by unmatched genocidal violence and one of the largest displacements of people in the twentieth century (Patrick, 1998). It was a climax within a pattern of frequent violence in the name of Hindus and Muslims for a long period of time before 1947. About one million civilians died in the riots and local level fighting, particularly in the province of Punjab which was later sliced into two borders. The partition itself was one of the reasons for the violence; friends and neighbors have turned against each other, residents fled their ancestral houses in order to escape from the persecution (Partition 1947, n.d.). The sense of difference between the unfailingly defined communal categories began in the medieval period. The colonial period saw a major change of phase, with discriminating insecurities amidst the large changes in strategy, financial system and society (Partition 1947, n.d.). This was commonly seen as the result of conflict between the nations’ elites. There are many other aspects and questions regarding the political situation in both these nations which was inherited before the partition (Patrick 1998). Keeping in mind the rivalry before the partition what else factors caused the political developments in both these countries.

So to deal with this India- Pakistan crisis this research will evaluate the situation with the following questions:

1)      How were the conditions just after the partition of Indian Subcontinent?

2)      What was Pakistan’s political development after the partition?

3)      What was India’s political development after the partition?

4)      How is the current political situation in both these nations?

Hindoostan-map-gtyMap of British India . The Hindustan (Modern Day: India, Pakistan and Bangladesh)

       How were the conditions just after

the partition of Indian Subcontinent?

The concept of a separate Muslim country was on the basis of religion, civilization and history. Hindus got their land as India and Muslims got their separate land as Pakistan but in both these nations a big group of minorities are there. India is the world’s third largest Muslim populated nation i.e. it has a higher Muslim population than in Pakistan whereas Pakistan do have a small minority of Hindus and Sikhs but nothing compared to the Muslim population in India (Bates, 2003).  Quaid E – Azam Jinnah, the founding father of Pakistan inspired the Muslims of the subcontinent to demand a separate homeland where they could arrange their lives and dealings of the state according to the dictates of the Holy Quran and Sunnah (Shariah Law) (Bates, 2003). On the other hand, Sikhs played a significant role in the British Indian army that most of the Sikh leaders had a feeling they would be rewarded by the British after the war with their own country on the fertile soil of Punjab which would be called as “Sikhistan” or “Khalistan” (Land of the “Sikhs” or Land of the “Pure” (Haqqani, 2005).

jinnah_mountbatten_nehru_20050620Lord Mountbatten with Pakistan’s founding father Jinnah and first Prime Minister of India Jawaharalal Nehru

The idea of a “Pakistan” nation was not in the minds of the Muslim League Leader Jinnah until the late 1930s. An explanation for this disorganized manner in which the two independent nations came into was the hasty nature of the British withdrawal from the subcontinent. This announcement came in after the victory of Labor Party in the British general election of July 1945, with a awareness that the British State which was devastated by war and could not afford to hold on to its vast empire (Bates, 2003).

partition-of-india-1947-rare-photos (64)

The partition of India- Pakistan, 1947

As the transfer of power kicked in; a group of migrates moved to its new homeland as the partition of Indian subcontinent took place in 1947. A date for the transfer of power into the hands of Indians was proposed in the act of parliament in June 1948 but it was later advanced to August 1947 at the notion of last viceroy, Lord Louis Mountbatten (Y. Khan, 2008).  With this decision a lot of issues and interests were unsolved at the end of colonial rule (Partition- 1947, n.d). In charge of the discussions, the viceroy aggravated difficulties by focusing largely on Jinnah’s Muslim League and the Indian Congress led by Jawaharlal Nehru (Partition- 1947, n.d.). The two parties’ representatives’ status was recognized by Constituent Assembly elections in July 1946 but fell short of a universal charter. As the British had less knowledge on the Indian conditions and with the use of the historical maps and census materials the border (Partition- the Day India Burned, 2007).  Communities, families and farms were sliced into two but by delaying the declaration the British managed to avoid responsibility for the worst fighting and the mass migration that has later followed (Dennis, 2001). The partition on Indian subcontinent in 1947 promised its people both religious and political freedom, mainly the religious freedom which was mainly the cause (Y. Khan, 2008). Instead, this brought more chaos and hatred, the geographical break up brought displacements and casualty; it benefitted few on the cost of the many. Pillage; plunder vandalism, robbery and above all thousands of women raped. At least three and half million people were killed in these riots (B. Sidhwa, 1991). Among these; one and half million were Muslims, one million were Hindus and remaining were Sikhs. About ten to fifteen million people were forced to leave their homes as refugees. This was one of the first events of colonization in the twentieth century and one of the bloodiest ones (Earth- 1947, 1999).


Vandalism in Lahore before the Partition

What was Pakistan’s Political development

                         after the partition?

With the new nation of Pakistan, east and west which was separated by more than thousand miles of Indian territory and with the major portion of the wealth and resources of the British heritage passing to India. Pakistan’s continued existence hanged in the equilibrium (B. Sidhwa, 1991). Pakistan is a nation which depends on 3 A’s; Allah, army and America. As both the nations started with democracy but Pakistan always struggled with democracy. As Pakistan was more Muslim dominated and the political theory was to establish a complete Islamic state. But even having the Muslim majority Pakistan suffered a lot of setbacks. Of all the well structured provinces of British India, only the reasonably backward areas of Sindh, Baluchistan and North West Frontier came to Pakistan integral (Y. Khan, 2008). The states of Punjab, Bengal (East Pakistan) were important regions but came in divided whereas Kashmir became a disputed area (Haqqani, 2005). The most astonishing of Pakistan’s problems stemmed from the refugees influx, particularly in the region of Punjab. After the partition a large number of Muslims migrated from urban parts of India into the new nation of Pakistan. These migrants were later identified themselves as Muhajirs (immigrants). Unlike the other groups of Pakistan they don’t have tribe based individuality (Identity) (Partition- aftermath, n.d.). For this reason most of the Muhajirs settled in the province of Sindh particularly in the cities of Karachi and Hyderabad. East Pakistanis even if they were Muslims the culture and language was totally different which made West Pakistanis particularly Punjabis to dislike them. They had a belief that East Pakistanis culture and language (Bengali) is influenced from Hinduism and this would be a disaster if East Pakistanis get any kind of power in the government. Therefore, most of the political, industrial and commerce were into the hands of Punjabis and Sindhis (Partition- aftermath, n.d).


     East and West Pakistan till 1970

As mentioned earlier Pakistan depends on 3 A’s; Allah, Army and America. After the partition Pakistan recognized the People’s Republic of China in 1950 and been a steadfast ally during China’s isolation from the international relation in the 1960’s and 1970’s (Dennis, 2001). Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan headed the first government of Pakistan and Karachi was the capital. Regarding foreign policy Liaquat Ali Khan established his friendship with United States in 1950 even though without aligning itself to United States and with no formal commitment (Safdar, 2000). On 1951 Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated and here starts with the pattern of political violence, repression and waves of assassination which prevented the establishment of democracy (Dennis, 2001). However this did not stop Pakistan to align itself to United States on 1953 and started to receive military and economic assistance (Safdar, 2001).

Mr Liaquat Ali Khan with US President Mr Harry Truman in USA

Mr Liaquat Ali Khan with US President  Harry Truman in USA

With these starts the Military Era in Pakistan Ayub Khan as the new and second President of Pakistan. He was the first Military dictator and chief Marshal Law administrator of Pakistan (Y. Khan, 2008). He came under the 1958 Pakistani coup d’etat which took place in October 7 when the Pakistani president Iskinder Mirza abrogated the Constituitoon of Pakistan and declared martial law and on October 27th Mirza was deposed by General Ayub Khan. This was the first and successful coup in Pakistan history bringing its first military regime (Safdar, 2001). Pakistan assigned itself more towards the West by joining the two defense pacts CENTO and SEATO which stands for Central treaty Organization and South East Asian Treaty Organization.As a result Pakistan received military aid of $2 billion from U.S. including $508 million aid from 1953 to 1961 (Safdar, 2001). In 1964, Ayub Khan was confident with his popularity and saw some political opposition; so called for Presidential Elections. Ayub Khan won with 64% of the vote in a resentfully contested election on January 2, 1965. This election did conform to the international standards and journalists; it was believed the elections were rigger in the favor of Ayub Khan using the state sponsorship to influence the indirectly elected Electoral College (Y. Khan, 2008).

ayub khsm

President Kennedy, VP Lyndon Johnson with Pakistan President Ayub Khan 

By 1971, East Pakistanis (Bengalis) started to feel less involvement in the Pakistan’s economy, politics and elsewhere. West Pakistan was on a war with East Pakistan due to the failure of constitutional agreement after the victory of Awami League (East Pakistan) in the country’s first general elections. Pakistan’s military regime with President Yahya Khan tried with full force and military assistance from United States to suppress the Mukti bahini (guerrilla from East Pakistan) but unfortunately it got worse when India on 3rd December 1971 got involved in the war helping the Mukti Bahini and East Pakistanis to fight against the West Pakistanis (Rashid, 2008). Later East Pakistan seceded from West Pakistan and formed as Bangladesh. If Pakistan’s political history timeline is watched; then it can prove one thing Pakistan has lived under the military dictatorship more than democracy. Starting with President Ayub Khan, then Yahya Khan, Ziaul Haq on 1975 and later President Musharraf on 1999 (Rashid, 2008).



Lt. Gen. A.A.K Niazi signs the instrument of surrender, handing over his troops toLt. Gen. Jagjit Singh Aurora, Commander of Indian forces in East Pakistan. East Pakistan secedes and Bangladesh forms.

What was India’s political development after the partition?

India earned its independence from the British on 08/15/1947 just the day after creation of Pakistan. India was established and flanked on two sides of Pakistan (East and West) after the partition of Indian Subcontinent (A. Daniel, 2004). Since the independence India transformed a lot in both politically and economically. After the independence the political leaders of India adopted the liberal democratic system. The population of India is about 2 billion people and it is the world’s largest democracy. India has the leading number of people with authorization rights and the largest number of political parties which take part in election campaign (A. Daniel, 2004).

During British India some of the Indian revolutionaries were Marxists, socialists and communists so India aligned itself to Soviet Union and treated China as its enemy. India who was surrounded more enemies than friends survived itself pretty well in that region (B. Sidhwa, 1991). On both side Pakistan, on the north with China as one of the enemies it managed to control its internal problems very well. As earlier mentioned India is world’s second largest Muslim country; more than the population of Pakistan but India has Shariah Law for Muslims, regular law for the other citizens (Partition- aftermath, n.d). India’s democracy has been secular unlike Pakistan. India does have many political and cultural problems like religion, caste and languages. During and after the independence one of the biggest issues for India has been Hindu – Muslim riots which is one of the biggest internal problems and also many politicians agenda to win elections (Earth- 1947, 1999). Nehru’s impressions about the Soviet Union were probably formed during a brief visit to Moscow in 1927. In June 1955, accompanied by daughter Indira Gandhi, Nehru paid his first official visit to the USSR. This was quickly followed by a visit to India by a huge official delegation led by , then first secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and Premier Nikolay Bulganin in November that year.

23sld1Jawaharlal Nehru with Nikita Khrushchev

Some communities demanded more independence for their cultures within the Indian states. Others demanded independent states within the Indian union while the others demanded total independence from India. In the 1980’s when the Sikhs demanded their own free land the “Khalistan” and there still some elements in the state of Punjab who operates from outside the country and demands independence from India  (B. Sidhwa, 1991).  India’s development of Multi Party system has strengthened the India’s democracy. After the disintegration of Soviet Union, India stayed strong and mended its relations with United States, currently United States is a very important partner of India as China is a good friend of Pakistan. With all this problems India still survives as a single state with secular and democratic values (Partition- Aftermath, n.d.).

tumblr_ls9pzo9hph1qjvoywo1_500Khalistan Movement. Bhindranwala and his followers

How is the current political situation in both these nations?

Both these nations forming at the same time; India has rapidly progressed in all aspects than Pakistan. India and Pakistan has fought 3 wars; one just after the partition in 1948 over Kashmir, then in 1965 which ended up in UN ceasefire again over Kashmir, later in 1971 which shortened Pakistan’s area by forming East Pakistan into Bangladesh (Moreau, 2011). However Pakistan allied itself to U.S. and China whereas India allied itself to Soviet Union. India used its resources and aid more economically and cleverly than Pakistan. Pakistan has been spending more money towards its military rather than economy since Pakistan has been surviving on military regime. With the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and US interferences on Afghan – Pakistan border it is a very bleak image for Pakistan’s democracy and political situation. As Secretary Hillary Clinton has said on 2009 “We have a kind of history of moving in and out of Pakistan, today the people we are fighting are the people we funded at one time against Soviet Union as we don’t want the Soviets to expand their influence in Asia. Let’s help the Mujahedeen with the help of ISI and Saudi wahabi money, let’s import that too and once the Soviets retreated we left Pakistan and said let them deal with all the stingers we created. Instead of helping them we sanctioned them. And now we are trying to make up for the lost time.” (CNN, April 2009). But if more attacks on Pakistan which took place recently by NATO would restrain US- Pakistan relations even more. India who was once one of the ally of Soviet Union and not a good friend of United States has become a better partner of United States and the West. In addition finding of Bin laden in Abbotobad, Pakistan has weakened Pakistan’s relations with US more (CNN Morning, 2011).

_57707315_kashmir2Kashmir: One conflict which has been ongoing between both nations


With all the texts and researches, some of the reasons of Pakistan’s weak democracy are Pakistan itself and the Islamic theology, which it has. The formation of Pakistan was on the basis of Islam and better and freedom for Indian Subcontinent Muslims but that has caused downfall for Pakistan. Political assassinations, not a proper establishment of democracy in the country, wealth and political elites are only in the hands of Punjabis and at the separation of East Pakistan on 1971. In addition to that Islamic fundamentalists are in a mood of threatening the peace and stability in the region by not allowing itself to United States and daily terrorism activities.


Pakistani dictators

      India on the other hand had different allies and friends, internal problems of Hindu and Muslim riots and elements of Sikh fundamentalists who demand a separate Sikh nation.  India is still surviving with strong democratic values and progressing itself.

Finally if there is proper democracy in Pakistan may be the issue of Kashmir would be solved and make better relations with India and the west.



Rashid, A. (2008). Descent into Chaos. New York, NY: Penguin Books
 Safdar, M. (2001). Pakistan: Political Roots and Development 1947- 1999. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford Press
Patrick, F (1998). Liberty Or Death: India’s Journey to Independence and Division. Cambridge, U.K.: Flamingo
Dennis, K. (2001). The United States and Pakistan, 1947-2000. Woodrow Wilson Center Press, Johns Hopkins University Press
 Haqqani, H. (2005). Pakistan between Mosque and Military. Carnegie Endowment for International PeaceCarnegie Endowment for International PeaceDistributor, Brookings Institution PressDistributor, Brookings Institution Press.
 B. Sidhwa, (1991). Cracking India. Milkweed Editions.
Khan. Yasmeen (November 5th, 2008). The Partition: The Making of great India and Pakistan. Yale University Press.