BY N. P. UPADHYAYA
Indian jealousy, as is its convention, has increased in these days and recent weeks observing the stunning developments that have taken place against its desire and hope in and around the entire South Asian region.
Positive developments, as they are, however, the Indian regime has taken it in a negative fashion, and it has, as is its known tendency, busy in manufacturing strategies and tactics to blunt those developments. But will fail this time for sure. So be it.
However, the things are already moving as per not the Indian design but here is China that has taken the lead. It is the Chinese constructive initiatives taken in the recent weeks and days that have flabbergasted India to the hilt thinking that how could China-its “declared” enemy and arch rival which is a deep rooted thinking at least among the unfriendly and erratic babus seated in Delhi who control the foreign policy issues together with some tainted scholars who as and when summoned by South block mandarins presumably write articles or for that matter ventilate their sullied impressions through the Modi controlled electronic media. This is the general impression in Nepal collected over years and decades.
But the fact is that practically all the smaller neighbors, read the India tormented and plagued countries, slowly but very steadily slipping out from the Indian clout and have apparently sided with the Chinese regime.
Compulsion factor India has to admit this fact:
While Nepal has already tilted towards China “by default” in order to breathe fresh oxygen then in the recent days the Maldives and very freshly Afghanistan has decided to join hands with Beijing for understandable political reasons.
Diplomacy is never static. A country is free to find friend(s) which suits to their respective national interests.
Sri Lanka has already opted to go the Chinese way as it suits to Colombo’s national benefits. The Indian media is bent on crying foul about Colombo’s internal decisions.
If Nepal’s case is unique because of the six month long blockade ordeal, this writer suffered the tribulation personally, that she had to undergo in April 2015 then, as the luck would have it or even one could say the turn of events took a dramatic spin that brings Colombo, and then Male and now it is Afghanistan, where India pumped in the past colossal amounts to bag sympathies from the Afghanis, both in government and outside, in order to damage the local social fabric, too deciding to offer a Himalayan grief to the Indian command which recently entered into an agreement with China along with Pakistan for the enhanced construction of the much publicized China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the CPEC.
Grand agreement that it was signed in Beijing:
To be more precise, foreign ministers from China, Pakistan and Afghanistan on last Tuesday (the previous week in the year 2017, December 26 to be more precise) agreed to discuss ways and means to extend the China-Pak Economic Corridor to Afghanistan.
“In the long run through Afghanistan, we will gradually connect the CPEC with the China central and Western Asia Economic Corridor”, so writes the Chinese news agency Xinhua over this surprising event.
This incident must have made the Indian establishment impatient and restless, let’s hope so. The umbrage of the highest order thus begins in India which perhaps shall amplify in the days ahead.
So be it:
The Chinese news agency further writes quoting foreign Minister Wang Yi that an “important neighbor of China and Pakistan, the Afghanistan has an urgent desire to develop its dwindling (stress added) economy and improve people’s livelihood and it is now willing to integrate itself into the process of regional interconnection”.
After the exit of Afghan King, Zaheer Shah, the country is in uninterrupted troubles which began with the then Soviet intervention, to recall.
That such a move would be taken by the otherwise India friendly Afghanistan without consulting Delhi in all likelihood may have brought heaven down the earth in air polluted and suffocating Delhi which also may have sounded alarm in the already panicked minds of the Narendar Modi dictated babus.
As if this were not enough, one more jolt appears to India in the offing.
To the utter dismay and annoyance of Delhi, the Kathmandu based Bangladesh Ambassador Her Excellency Mrs. Shamse Binte has categorically stated in an exclusive interview granted to one daily paper, December 25, 2017, that her country would very much wish to invest in Nepal, as much as it could be say even billions and billions, in the energy sector and prefer to import electricity to Dhaka to meet its ever increasing needs.
The envoy has further stated that her country and Nepal enjoyed “cordial” relations and hope that the existing ties attain a new height in the days ahead.
This news may also add insult to injury to Delhi for comprehensible reasons as the latter thinks that the countries located in Indian periphery should consult her first prior to entering into any agreements as such with other countries situated in this part of the world. B’desh too is facing energy crunch like Nepal.
The Bangladesh envoy spoke the minds of her Prime Minister.
The ailing frame of mind continues unabated across the border.
In the mean time, Chinese party mouth pieces, The Global Times for example, have been quick enough to insist that Beijing does not intend to turn Nepal, and it perhaps applies also to those countries which have recently been attracted towards Beijing, into a pawn, and urged New Delhi not to view its regional relationships through a hidebound, zero-sum prism.
Despite such firm and guaranteed assurances from Beijing, New Delhi thinks just the other way round. Old habits die hard.
“Any sharp elbow tactics from India will only boomerang and push Nepal further closer to China”, so writes Frank Chen in the Asia Times. (See People’s Review last issue).
This may apply, by extension, to all the countries of the region that have been collaborating with China in order to enhance their internal development and expand their reach much beyond through the China planned Belt and Road Initiatives and CPEC to name a few.
Yet myopic India sees Pakistan as to have become or soon to become the second version of British India Company and spreading wrong information through its dictated media that Chinese presence in Pakistan and in other countries as well will finally press these countries to toe the Chinese ideology.
India also maintains that internal conflicts within Pakistan may impede the progress of the CPEC. But why should India worry on Pakistani internal matters?
If Pakistan has any concern to be sorted out for the smooth implementation of the CPEC, even if it were related with security issues, then Pakistan is smart enough and possesses the capabilities and strength to sort out those matters to the satisfaction of those who were against the CPEC inside Pakistan, if any, as claimed falsely by India.
Yet the construction continues inside Pakistan because the reality of the CPEC is reflected in the four pillars, as has been given to understand: firstly the energy; infrastructure, ports and development zones.
Pakistan is happy with the CPEC because such a cooperation in between the two contracting partners encourages other countries also to learn from an already advanced power house which is China for the industrial transfer that stimulates a third wave of the rise of Asia; connecting Eurasia and the Indian ocean brings together the two prongs of the Belt and Road Initiative which by extension the spillover effect of the CPEC improves also the trilateral cooperation in between China, Pakistan and India in development, security and governance which later becomes a solution for the vicious circle of poverty and tribal violence especially with the practical cooperation between China, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“CPEC related projects and the Corridor connecting Kashgar city of China with Pakistan’s Gwadar port by road, air, and optical fiber cable has been termed as “game changer” for Pakistan and the region, since it links China, Central, South and West Asia, North Africa and the Gulf states through economic and energy integration. Completion of CPEC will not only connect these regions but also facilitate regional connectivity in South Asia, thus giving significant strategic, macro and micro economic advantages to Pakistan and to regional countries like Afghanistan, Iran and India”, so writes Ambassador Sohail Amin (R) and Mohammad Haanif and Khurran Abbas in a journal published by Islamabad Policy Research Institute, IPRI, in its 2017 issue.
Mr. Sohail Amin, to recall and if this writer is correct, served as Pakistan Ambassador to Nepal in the mid 1990s.
Hinting at all these benefits Mr. Wang Yiwei, the director of the International affairs at the Renmin University, China, writes his positive views in the Global Times.
India perhaps does not want to appreciate the benefits of such cooperation. The jealousy factor by all means.
Why India’s neighbor, primarily in the case of Nepal for example , are distancing itself from Delhi’s routine dominance has aptly been penned by one Rubeena Mahato who authentically claims and asserts that “If India’s traditional dominance in Nepal has waned, it is more because of India’s reckless diplomacy”.
She further writes that Nepal’s newly elected Left Alliance is not doing Beijing’s bidding, but seeks to balance relations between China and India to promote economic growth and political stability.
She has taken up the Nepali case only in her fresh article. (Twitter source).
Ms. Mahato is right in that Nepal doesn’t need to bring about face to face the two giant neighbors. It is India’s repeated intervention, both overt and covert; in Nepali affairs that causes immense irritation in the minds of the Nepali population. And perhaps this applies to the entire smaller countries of the region unfortunately that adjoin India.
Alas neighbors could be changed:
And then writes Ms. Sarah Zheng quoting one recently elected senior politician that Nepal’s new government will strive to maintain the country’s “Independence” by breaking loose from India’s excessive interference and trying to attract more Chinese investment”.
Similar case may have been with Colombo, Male and freshly for Kabul.
Pakistan for India is a different case wherein both treat each other as declared cut-throat enemies. Yet seen from a larger perspective, it should be India’s domineering attitude towards Pakistan that may have encouraged the latter to go nuclear and extend her hands towards China considering that Chinese help and support can frustrate Indian designs against Pakistan which ultimately keeps South Asian stability.
A composite dialogue between India and Pakistan is thus needed to settle all the issues that bring in political stability in the entire South Asian region.
The advanced progress of the CPEC should be seen in this light.
Thanks “Baby” Bhutan has not taken any such steps that infuriate India to the disturbing extent. Yet the Bhutanese silence for long during the DOKLAM scuffle may have sent some wrong signals to Delhi. As the rumors have it, Bhutan officials were in close contact with Chinese high placed officials during the Dong-lam incident.
India thus is advised not to be jealous of friends around her. Let us live together.
Some tips to the Indian establishment:
# The Indians should get rid of the “being besieged by China delusion” for this hallucination stems from strong consciousness over the fake sphere of influence among India’s phased out elites. They believe that South Asia and the entire peripheral area should be Delhi’s grass. The Indian fever is such that she thinks smaller neighbors should respect only India, born 1947, and reject developing ties with other equally strong and reliable partners, for example China.
# If Delhi continues to do so, I mean poking its nose in Nepal, Pakistan, B’desh, Sri Lankan or the Maldivian affairs then we too deserve the right to talk about Kashmir and that of Gorkhaland. This card is under Nepal’s sleeves but remains yet unused.
Allow baby Bhutan to expand diplomatic ties with Beijing and beyond. Let this baby “grow and mature” so that it could observe the fresh global trends and join hands with preferred new friends. The baby is perhaps suffocating but can’t cry for fear of being penalized, blockade for example.
“Bhutan, not to speak of the fact that the younger generation of Bhutanese don’t feel as close to India any more”, so writes Indrani Bagchi in the Times of India, January 2nd 2018.
This also perhaps tells something very special for the Indian establishment.
# Stop poking nose in Nepal’s Madhesi affairs because if there is any problem in Nepal’s Madhesh, if is for the people of the Nepali Madhesis to fight with their own government but it should not be for the Indians to use this Madhesh card as and when they feel it opportune. It is our internal matter. We shall decide it that benefits “our” Madhesh-Nepal’s Madhesh or for that matter the Terai plains.
# Stop Indian envoys posted in these countries, the South Asian nations, from intruding into the internal matters of their host governments.
# More so to stop micromanaging of Nepal, and also in other countries of the region, by the Indian envoys. ( Ambassador Puri met with Nepal PM Deuba at a time when he should have not) .
If not then we possess also the right to advise the Gorkha regiment in India not to be sent to fight with the Pakistani and the Chinese soldiers as and when there is problem in Kashmir and DOKLAM.
To recall, in Kargil incident, India used the Nepali Gorkha soldiers much to the sentimental embarrassment of the soldiers from the other side. Nepal born armed military men were sent to the front line.
# the 1950 controversial treaty should be scrapped altogether and altered, if both sides agree, with a new one suiting to the changed international context.
And now a single tip to China:
The Chinese government now needs to take into confidence the smaller countries, as stated earlier, wherein the countries which have agreed to be of substantial support to China’s several initiatives willingly, like the CPEC and Belt and Road Initiative, that she, read China, will not do anything that in any way or the other undermines the sovereignty of those nations.
This guarantee is needed once again from China and hope China will listen to this fervent appeal. If Beijing does so then it shall shut the bad mouth of Indian media and the mentally retarded scholars scattered here and there who cry foul against China that the latter would in many more ways than one goad the attached countries the Chinese way ultimately. It is here that the Chinese assurance is demanded. Earlier the better.
Happy New Year, 2018, to entire South Asians and beyond. Good bye.
Indian jealousy unlimited; CPEC unstoppable now
BY N. P. UPADHYAYA