This agreement, popularly known as Simla Pact, arose out of the 1971 war between the two countries over developments in the eastern wing of Pakistan. The agreement sought to lay down the principles that should govern their future relations. It also envisaged steps to be taken for further normalization of bilateral relations. Most importantly, it bound the two countries “to settle their differences by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations”.
Text of the India-Pakistan Agreement on the Promotion of a Friendly Relationship (signed in Simla on July 2, 1972)
1. The Government of India and the Government of Pakistan are resolved that the two countries put an end to the conflict and confrontation that have hitherto marred their relations and work fro the promotion of a friendly and harmonious relationship and the establishment of durable peace in the subcontinent, so that both countries may henceforth devote their resources and energies to the pressing task of advancing the welfare of their peoples. In order to achieve this objective, the Government of India and the Government of Pakistan have agreed as follows:
(i) That the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations shall govern the relations between the two countries;
(ii) That the two countries are resolved to settle their differences by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations or by any other peaceful means mutually agreed upon between them. Pending the final settlement of any of the problems between the two countries, neither side shall unilaterally alter the situation and both shall prevent the organization, assistance or encouragement of any acts detrimental to the maintenance of peaceful and harmonious relations.
(iii) That the pre-requisite for reconciliation, good neighborliness and durable peace between them is a commitment by both the countries to peaceful coexistence, respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, on the basis of equality and mutual benefit;
(iv) That the basic issues and causes of conflict which have bedevilled the relations between the two countries for the last 25 years shall be resolved by peaceful means;
(v) That they shall always respect each other’s national unity, territorial integrity, political independence and sovereign equality;
(vi) That in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, they will refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of each other.
2. Both Governments will take all steps within their power to prevent hostile propaganda directed against each other. Both countries will encourage the dissemination of such information as would promote the development of friendly relations between them.
3. In order to progressively restore and normalize relations between the two countries step by step, it was agreed that:
(i) Steps shall be taken to resume communications, postal, telegraphic, sea, land including border posts and air links including over-flights.
(ii) Appropriate steps shall be taken to promote travel facilities for the nationals of the other country.
(iii) Trade and cooperation in economic and agreed fields will be resumed as far as possible.
(iv) Exchange in the fields of science and culture will be promoted. In this connection, delegations from the two countries will meet from time to time to work out the necessary details.
4. In order to initiate the process of the establishment of durable peace, both the Governments agreed that:
(i) Indian and Pakistani forces shall be withdrawn to their side of the international border.
(ii) In Jammu and Kashmir the line of control resulting from the cease-fire of December 17, 1971 shall be respected by both sides without prejudice to the recognized position of either side. Neither side shall seek to alter it unilaterally irrespective of mutual differences and legal interpretations. Both sides further undertake to refrain from the threat or the use of force in violation of this line.
(iii) The withdrawals shall commence upon entry into force of this Agreement and shall be completed within a period of 30 days thereafter.
5. This agreement will be subject to ratification by both countries in accordance with their respective constitutional procedures and will come into force with effect from the date on which the Instruments of Ratification are exchanged.
6. Both Governments agree that their respective Heads will meet again at a mutually convenient time in the future and that, in the meanwhile, the representatives of the two sides will meet to discuss further the modalities and arrangements for the establishment of durable peace and normalization of relations, including the questions of prisoners of war and civilian internees, a final settlement of Jammu and Kashmir and the resumption of diplomatic relations.
Republic of India
(Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto)
Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Simla, the 2nd July, 1972.
The Agreement was ratified on July 28, 1972 and came into force from August 4, 1972.
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The Agreement we signed last night represents a breakthrough in our relations. I return home with firm conviction that we can embark on a new era of peace.
Z. A. BHUTTO
July 3, 1972