Abstract

Traditional cultural and economic ties between the Indian subcontinent and the Gulf region have existed for several centuries now. Strengthened further, both India and Pakistan continue to have important economic and strategic ties with the countries of the Gulf. While the Gulf region offers substantial economic advantages to both, they also have the potential to make positive interventions in the bilateral conflict between India and Pakistan. The following chapter analyses the role and position of the Gulf Arab States – in particular the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and their potential in acting as a buffer for the Indo-Pak conflict. It will evaluate the official positions of the Gulf region towards various aspects of the Indo-Pak conflict. The Gulf countries have often voiced their positions at regional and international forums. An additional aspect of this relationship is that the Gulf States are also members of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), a pan- Islamic body which has often addressed issues of contention between India and Pakistan, particularly with respect to Kashmir. Through an academic understanding of the issues and incorporating viewpoints of experts in the area, the chapter seeks to provide fresh insights into an aspect which has the possibility of becoming a crucial incentive for peace between India and Pakistan.

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