Asifa Jahangir


The emergence of nuclear factor in international politics has overwhelming transformed the essence of balance-of-power concept. This dynamic is an escalation of political dimension of balance-of-power and reduction of military aspect (hard power). However some realists argue that in world politics military and political both characteristics of balance-of-power indeed shape nation-states’ balancing approach against dominant players in a system. Therefore weak players get engaged with strong one stopping its opponent’s military threat and having deterrence capability. As a result, strategic balancing comes to light.  As the focus of the study is concerned, this entire scenario can be seen amid two major players of South Asia i.e. Pakistan and India. It has been analyzed that the balance-of-power politics has long been troubling due to hard power imbalance between Pakistan and India since independence. Besides the influential role of superpower(s) in the theatre of South Asian politics has also been a great disturbing factor for regional equilibrium and widening hard power unevenness where the U.S. or (USSR in past) is/were trying to maintain global balance in Asian-oriented global politics by making dyadic strategic partnerships with regional players. As the strategic triangle - Pakistan-China-India - seems quite significant wherein Pak-China strategic relationship has emerged owing to one of the very basic and common Indian factor and China being the most adjacent player of South Asian region has played a role by creating a balancing aptitude in its relations with both India and Pakistan whereas the U.S. (as a sole superpower) could not do this. While changing dynamics in India and U.S. partnership regarding strategic balancing after civil nuclear deal, Pakistan and China both have also strengthened their 60-years old strategic relationship. As a result, the strategic quadrangle - the U.S.-India-China-Pakistan is getting eminent as a new dynamic of the South Asian balance-of-power politics.


South Asia, balance-of-power, strategic triangle, strategic quadrangle

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Journal of South Asian Studies
ISSN: 2307-4000 (Online), 2308-7846 (Print)
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