What is it about?

since their inception, Pakistan and India are locked in an intractable conflict over acquiring prestige against each other. This conflict behaviour and the perception of enmity is directly informed by their indigenous culture of conflict found in the common institution of joint family. This article develops a conflict theory to explain the rationale behind such an emotion-laden rivalry between the two nations. The conflict theory presented in this article (which can be termed as Sharike-Bazi [Culture of Conflict]) explains that peoples’ conflict behaviours in Pakistan and India are rooted in their earliest socialisation within primary kinship institutions.

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Why is it important?

India and Pakistan can be termed as ‘patient’ states suffering from deep-seated trauma of ‘separation’ from each other. They are prisoners of ‘I am not respected’ and ‘I am wronged’ syndromes, respectively. This paper has examined that the collective hysteria existing in both nations to hate and compete with each other has cultural origins, characteristics and mechanisms (or ‘operating system) emanating from their indigenous culture of conflict at the family level.


Pakistan denies India’s big-brother role in south Asia because India has not extended proper care and nurturance to Pakistan. The conflict between both nations owes more to their cultural and historical nearness and sameness than their differences. Their rivalry can be best understood as ‘the people who are like us are always extra competitive with us’. The India–Pakistan rivalry is of familial nature for being lived side by side for centuries, and, because neighbours in the subcontinent are also taken as kin.

Mr. jawad kadir
Lancaster University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Perceiving the Enemy Differently: A Psycho-cultural Analysis of Pakistan–India Conflict, Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs, June 2019, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/2347797019842445.
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