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The India-Pakistan Rivalry

In 1947, British India was partitioned into two independent states: India and Pakistan. Nearly seven decades later, the two countries — now both nuclear powers — are still fierce rivals. As Pakistan works to develop its tactical nuclear weapons, and as India seeks new means of deterring their development, South Asia will be uniquely vulnerable to the threat of military miscalculation. Pakistan’s ongoing struggle to rein in militants, some of whom have turned against the government in Islamabad, will only make matters worse. The ongoing spat over the disputed territory of Kashmir, meanwhile, will prevent New Delhi and Islamabad from normalizing ties. But though the prospect of conflict can never truly be ruled out, the states' mutual need for economic growth will temper their hostilities toward each another, much as it has for the past few years.

As Pakistan works to develop its tactical nuclear weapons, and as India seeks new means of deterring their development, South Asia will be uniquely vulnerable to the threat of military miscalculation.
(FAROOQ NAEEM/AFP/Getty Images)
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