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World

Cross-border violence between India and Pakistan expected to intensify in 2021: Report

  • 2020 marked one of the most violent years for conflict between India and Pakistan, as relations between the two historically adversarial countries plummeted and military skirmishes across the disputed Jammu and Kashmir border intensified.
  • Cross-border violence between India and Pakistan in the Kashmir region is expected to manifest with greater intensity in 2021.
Published February 3, 2021

2020 marked one of the most violent years for conflict between India and Pakistan, as relations between the two historically adversarial countries plummeted and military skirmishes across the disputed Jammu and Kashmir border intensified.

According to a report highlighting the 'Ten Conflicts to Worry About in 2021 by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED), cross-border violence between India and Pakistan in the Kashmir region is expected to manifest with greater intensify in 2021.

The report highlights that with both sides adopting "non-cooperative militarised strategies", any bilateral attempts to resolving the Kashmir conflict remain highly unlikely in the foreseeable future - adding that the tensions between Indian and Chinese forces in Ladakh further "compounds the conflict dynamic in the Kashmir region".

Considering that diplomatic negotiations between India and China at de-escalating the conflict remained inconclusive, the report articulates that it would be likely that the lack of a peaceful settlement would leave India to contend with both Pakistan and China (strong regional allies) would compound regional tensions.

The marginalisation of Disputed Jammu and Kashmir's Muslim population, in the aftermath of the abrogation of Article-370, may aggravate the persistent threat of domestic and foreign militancy in Kashmir, while the discontent around the CAA and farmers protests will remain a cause for concern.

In Pakistan, an increase in militant violence targeting state forces in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan indicates a resurgence of the Baloch separatist movement and the Tehreek i Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which could prove to hinder the progression of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The report also highlights the alliance of opposition parties in Pakistan, also known as the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), which aims to oust Prime Minister Imran Khan, could inflame any anti-government discontent in the foreseeable future.

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