Prisoner’s Dilemma to avoid an India-Pakistan conflict

Prisoner’s Dilemma to avoid an India-Pakistan conflict

Mutual Dialogue or Mutual Cooperation

India/ Pakistan Compromise/ Cooperate Defect/ Confront
Compromise/ Cooperate Reward for mutual cooperation, when different options work out   

(P=3, I=3)

Kashmir is in conflict zone, if India compromises with a stand 

(P=5, I =0)

Defect/ Confront  

Insurgency problems needs attention from only one of the sides

 (P=0, I=5)


India resolves Kashmir amicably by resolving through internal dialogues


(P=1, I=1)


This can be the perfect Nash-Equilibrium for resolving the India-Pakistan Conflict. It is imminent for both India and Pakistan to resolve the internal differences amicably. A negative component from either side can disturb the peace on the border. This negative dilemma is in accordance with the prediction of game theory.

Both the countries need to settle with rationality, without any dominating strategy, which might have lead to a full-fledged and limited wars. India and Pakistan are caught in a classic “prisoner’s dilemma” for their nuclear capability and competitive military strength. It would be wise to say that nobody would gain any profit from each other in the name of self-defense. Hence, a zero sum relationship is much preferable.

Both India and Pakistan can consider that they have a legitimate claims over Jammu and Kashmir. The history of wars, military stand-offs, failed meditation and negotiation attempts corroborate that the government of India and of Pakistan has also preferred having all of Kashmir to itself.

The euphoria of Tashkent Declaration in 1966, the Shimla Agreement in 1972, and the Lahore Declaration in 1999 were short-lived and hopes of peace were shattered soon. Pakistan has been guilty of adopting the dominating strategy more often than India before. This iterated game like chess where “a chess master can safely use the assumption that the other will make the most feared move”, and it is better to obtain a situation unlike chess where it is “not safe to assume that the other player is out to get you” to provide a better pay-off than a war.

It is time that the Indian Government accepted more responsibilities than their counterparts to resolve their internal conflict through dialogues!

Read also:

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