You dont have javascript enabled! Please enable it!


A fresh perspective emerges in a new book examining the complex relationship between India and Pakistan. The book delves into the “neuroses and psychoses” of these two nations, exploring both their historical grievances and potential pathways to peace.

The unique aspect of this book lies in its use of a psychotherapist, Neil Aggarwal, to mediate conversations between former security officials – AS Dulat from India and Asad Durrani from Pakistan. Aggarwal’s expertise aims to “defuse tension” through acknowledging negative emotions and fostering collaborative problem-solving. While the effectiveness of this approach on such a long-standing conflict remains to be seen, it offers a novel lens for understanding the situation.

The book moves away from the traditional rhetoric of blame games. It highlights the shared history of India and Pakistan, both emerging from the British Raj. However, the book acknowledges the complexities of this shared past, noting the rejection of this common ancestry by both nations.

The trauma of Partition, the bloody division of British India in 1947, is presented as a significant psychological factor. The authors compare the India-Pakistan relationship to a “sibling quarrel,” suggesting that the violent separation left deep emotional scars on both nations.

The book analyzes Pakistan’s strategic choices, including its large military establishment and alliances with external powers, as attempts to achieve “parity” with a larger India. It also examines Pakistan’s use of covert operations and terrorism, seen as a strategy to counter India’s size and influence.

The book acknowledges India’s own “obsessions” with Pakistan, arguing that even recent security concerns have primarily focused on the western neighbor, overlooking the emerging threat from China.

The book doesn’t offer easy solutions, but by exploring the psychological dimensions of the conflict, it opens new avenues for dialogue and understanding. Whether the “psychotherapist’s technique” can mend the fractured relationship remains a question for the future, but this book undoubtedly offers a valuable new perspective on this long-standing regional issue.