The Making of South Asia's Minorities: A Diplomatic History, 1947–52

By Pallavi Raghavan
Economic and Political Weekly, 21 May 2016

In April 1950, the prime ministers of India and Pakistan met in Delhi to sign the landmark inter-dominion agreement known as the Nehru-Liaquat Pact, according to which India and Pakistan would be accountable to one another for the treatment of minorities in their countries. This agreement was the outcome of a mutual necessity for both governments to regulate the unchecked movement of minority population across the border, which led them into an unlikely--though nonetheless structurally integral--position of compromise and dialogue. In order to grapple with the phenomenon of cross-border movement of minorities, the two governments had to enter into a series of bilateral dialogues about how this could be regulated, and synchronised for both sides.