Geopolitical Realignment in South Asia
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An extraordinary geopolitical swing is taking place in South Asia as time honoured patterns of friends and adversaries is breaking down. Since the independence of India and Pakistan in 1947 the two neighbours have been in opposite camps. While Pakistan was closely allied with the United States, India was incontrovertibly all-time strategic partner of the Soviet Union /Russia. Pakistan and China have had an all-weather friendship since early 50s but its impact was not really felt till recently when the two nations agreed to a multibillion dollar project the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). India has been a devoted, committed and steadfast client of the Soviet Union but when the USSR was disintegrated, India jumped the US-Israeli bandwagon and it took to it as fish takes to water. The most striking commonality is their perception of Islam and China as their ultimate common enemy. Indian military occupation of Kashmir and Israeli military occupation of Palestine and Arab territories makes them natural partners. With this wither India‘s pro Palestine policy, its secular outlook, its non aligned status and now all this is replaced by religious intolerance, Hindutva, apartheid (against Dalits and other scheduled castes and tribes) , Islamophobia and national arrogance.
India and Israel, with the tacit support of the US, continue to violate the internationally recognized inalienable right of self-determination of the Kashmiri and Palestinian people. Instead they are now trying to change the demographics of Kashmir and Palestine through migrations and settlements and expanding the borders of their lands of occupation. The new emerging geopolitical alignment of China, Pakistan and Russia has taken the world by surprise. In pursuit of its multipolar strategy particularly in South Asia, Moscow now finds Pakistan a ready partner. India is piqued by Russian new strategic priorities but fails to make out that it is itself responsible for this shift. India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi appears to have totally
allied with the USA and both countries have signed military logistics pact (amodern day terminology of providing military bases). Modi‘s shift towards the anti-China camp is the result of American corporate sector investment. India seems to have given up the non-alignment principle of its foreign policy as it has given up secularism in favour of religious fundamentalism (Hindutva).\ Under Modi‘s regime, the anti-Russian lobby funded by the US corporate defence sector came in power within the Indian establishment. The huge Indian defence deals with the USA, Israel and its western allies bear testimony to the 4 view that the pro west lobby has worked overtime to manifest that Russian defence technology as faulty and lacking sophistication.
Despite several diplomatic protestation Russia seems to have rejected all Indian concerns regarding Moscow‘s up-and-coming partnership with Pakistan. It has turned down Indian plea about providing of Russian defence technology to Pakistan but it slowly but surely is building defence ties with Pakistan, as both armies have started bilateral military training from last year onward to an annual basis. Furthermore, Russia has also spurned Indian efforts to isolate Pakistan regionally and globally. Russia has shown keen interest in the China Pakistan Energy Corridor (CPEC) as it appreciates its potential to build the Eurasian energy grid in Pakistan so that Caspian Sea energy would be exported by utilizing its potential for a twoway export for East, West, South and North. Indo-US non acceptance of CPEC is confrontational in nature. A realistic appraisal by India would reveal that this programme is unstoppable and has great potential for ‗peace and cooperation‘ with Pakistan since this energy corridor would turn Pakistan into India‘s irreplaceable energy partner, as the Caspian Sea‘s proposed inter-continental gas pipelines would pass through Pakistan to the rest of South Asia via India.
As and when this programme links up with Iran and Turkey and later beyond to Europe, India would be isolated geo-economically. India has no option but to join One Belt One Road (OBOR) in the long run but should it continue with Modi‘s short sighted policy of aligning with US to contain China, India is bound to suffer enormously and perhaps irretrievably.