Press as Negotiator or Instigator between India and Pakistan: A Case Study of Ceasefire Violation Incident Occurred in January 2013

AuthorGurinder Pal Singh
Published date01 June 2022
Date01 June 2022
Subject MatterArticles
Jadavpur Journal of
International Relations
26(1) 81 –109, 2022
© 2022 Jadavpur University
Reprints and permissions:
DOI: 10.1177/09735984221087493
Press as Negotiator
or Instigator between
India and Pakistan:
A Case Study of
Ceasefire Violation
Incident Occurred in
January 2013
Gurinder Pal Singh1
This cross-border ten newspapers interdisciplinary study examined
the extent to which the editorial and opinion column coverage in India
and Pakistan played the role as negotiator or instigator between two
countries during the ceasefire violation incident occurred in January
2013. Many studies have been undertaken to understand bilateral
rivalry between both the countries, but how Indian and Pakistan press
view these contemporary South Asian bilateral dynamics remains
underexplored. Using qualitative content analysis as methodological
tool, central objective of the article stands analyzed with the help of
five politico-historical core foreign policy issues through the lens of a
cross section of the Indian and Pakistan media—the newspaper press
to be more precise. The findings are based on the analysis of editorial
and opinion articles published in ten English language newspapers in
both countries. The study revealed that newspapers’ role as negotiator
1 Department of Political Science, Sri Guru Gobind Singh College, Chandigarh, India
Corresponding author:
Gurinder Pal Singh, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Sri Guru
Gobind Singh College, Sector-26, Chandigarh-160019, India.
82 Jadavpur Journal of International Relations 26(1)
on both sides varied from newspaper to newspaper, however, on the
whole, Indian newspapers remained much committed to their negotiator
role vis-à-vis Pakistani counterpart.
India, Pakistan, foreign policy, newspapers, war, dialogue, nuclear
weapons, people-to-people contacts, trade, journalism
Antagonism between India and Pakistan has occupied front stage for the
best part of its history in South Asia. Ever since the partition in 1947,
both India and Pakistan persisted in their hostile attitude toward each
other with no endpoint in sight. Every time a cordial deal is arranged
between them it comes out to produce nothing (Pant 2016: 81). Among
the clashes, the conflict over the territory of Jammu and Kashmir has
acquired the foremost priority in the foreign policies of both the
countries. It remains fundamental to their nationhood identity in South
Asia (Ankit 2016). The possession of nuclear weapons by both neighbors
has helped to prolong the South Asian enduring rivalry (Khan 2005).
Taking into view the seriousness of the conflict in South Asia the issue
has been debated and discussed in academic world as well as in official
circles of foreign policy in an extensive way. Political solutions to
address this enduring rivalry are sought to a considerable degree on both
sides but to no avail. The success of efforts made on the issues which are
concerned with foreign policy clearly depends on how the policies and
actions regarding those issues are (de-)legitimized at national and
subnational level by many societal actors and consequently the support
they receive on the national level (Königslöw et al. 2019: 1–2).
Among the various societal actors, news media plays important role in
the field of foreign policy—news media projection of policy-relevant
issues largely shapes popular perceptions in a democracy and thereby
exerts indirect influence on the policy-making exercise as well.
While the constructive role of news media in resolving foreign policy
conflicts between nations is thus well recognized in the case of Western
media norms, what is not commonly appreciated is the fact that
newspapers reconcile and play any facilitator role among nation states in
South Asia and thus remained substantially understudied. Markedly,
media in both India and Pakistan is ‘…strong, influential and have always

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