History & Political Science

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Journal of Indo-Pacific Affairs

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The number of ceasefire violations (CFV) between India and Pakistan has risen dramatically over the past few years. While the increased number of CFVs are a result of the heightened tensions between the two rivals, none of these CFVs has escalated to a full-blown militarized conflict or war between the nuclear-armed neighbors. An analysis of CFVs provides an incomplete picture of Indo-Pakistani relations. The bilateral treaties between India and Pakistan are also important indicators of the status of their relationship. This article argues that the increased levels of cooperation through treaties and the use of treaty nesting in their relationship may be serving a conflict management function by preventing CFVs from escalating into militarized conflict. Treaty nesting is a technique that states use to tie treaties to previous treaties, thus institutionalizing efforts at cooperation between states. Using network analysis, we examine all (N=44) bilateral treaties between India and Pakistan and analyze the relationships between those treaties and the impact of treaty nesting on Indo-Pakistani bilateral ties. We also analyze and discuss the most important treaties to the relationship. A continued attempt by India and Pakistan to tie future cooperation to prior successful treaties may serve to avoid potential disputes from escalating into militarized conflict.


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