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NP Upadhya

Potential threat illusion in India: China’s broad commitment in Pakistan irks US

NP UpadhyaThe US President Donald Trump is now being equated with Mikhail Gorbachev who engineered the breakup of the then Soviet Empire then in the same “Gorbachevian” manner President Trump, has been rapidly pushing his country towards unimaginable decline. The slide perhaps shall continue in the days ahead under Trump.
To get details of what President is and how he got elected as the President and what he even eats during the evening read the book titled Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff. The book paints real Donald Trump as a man-child who did not actually want to win the Presidential election, and who spends his evenings eating cheese burgers in bed.
The book has been rated as one of the best sellers in the United States in the recent years.
“I think one of the interesting effects of the book so far is a very clear emperor-has-no-clothes effect”, says the author of the book Michael Wolff in an interview with the BBC world service last Saturday.
The author claims that the President elect was visibly fighting with his wife who seemed on the verge of tears and would return to New York. The two reportedly have separate bedrooms “(the first time since the Kennedy White House that a Presidential couple had maintained separate rooms”).
So this perhaps explains how the present day US President Works and behaves with sovereign nations. Let’s see how he conducts his foreign policy issues. Yet, we mean no harm to US Presidential chair.
President Trump has been notably taking policy initiatives which have been considered by many, even inside of his own country like Michael Wolff, as unreasonable to the US values which have, as a result, distanced the melting pot of the recent decades with its real and tested allies and partners here and there to a degree that were unimaginable before.
Friends have become foe.
President Trump remarkably has taken his country away from ( what the US once championed for the notion of globalization and internationalism), opted now that subtly speaks of what may be taken as protectionism and nationalism in his bid to build America Great Again. In the process, its former partners and allies have begun going in search for some reliable contacts on whom these countries can rely and repose trust.
Instead of joining hands with Pakistan, a friend of the US since the then Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, President Trump has preferred India under BJP leader PM Modi to go along with. In fact India sided with the US during the period of Barack Obama. Then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is on record to have encouraged India during her last trip while making a speech at the Mumbai University, if one were to recall.
Nepal preferred to remain non-aligned during the Cold war era while maintaining cordial ties with the two blocks.
While the US President Trump forgets the past that India have had a peace and friendship treaty with the then Soviet Union lasting for two decades, Pakistan as a country felt the entire brunt of the Afghan refugees, the refugees of the old past perhaps remain still inside Pakistan since the time of military President Zia Ul Haq.
To put it straight while India was with the Soviet bloc during the cold war period then Pakistan sided with the US for all the troubled years and decades.
As if this were not enough, very freshly President Trump has in no uncertain terms scolded Pakistan through a first 2018 New Year tweet wherein he states, (sic), “The US has foolishly given Pakistan 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years and they have given us nothing but lies and deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. He further writes that “they give safe haven to terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help, no more”.
It could well be thought that such a tweet message to sovereign and independent Pakistan must have enraged the nation’s scholars and media men alike not to talk of the government.
Delhi has been as usual accusing the other side of providing shelter for the terrorists in each and every forum that she speaks, surprisingly coincides with the fresh US allegations, which is not supportive of fighting terror that Pakistan has initiated with sincere commitments that the latter has been doing all she can to eliminate the menace of terrorism in any form or manifestations.
President Trump’s threat loaded tweet may eventually push Pakistan to the wall and the latter may even become closer to the newly emerged powerhouse-China and finally to Russia. With these countries, Pakistan already enjoys cordial relationship much to the chagrin of the New Delhi.
When no options remain, a country is then free to find friends near and far.
In such a scenario, and if that does happen in case, China will certainly come to the rescue of Islamabad at least to advance its clout in this part of the world which may in the long run may disturb the minds of the New Delhi’s erratic foreign policy controllers. (Global Times and the Weekly Mirror weekly).
Nepal too is wooing China for infrastructure development.
Neither China nor Pakistan shall presumably tolerate the dictates of the Delhi regime with which the border disputes of late have heightened with the offensive visit of Raj Nath Singh to the Indo-Tibetan border police” camp establishment in Matli on the India-China border on last Sunday evening to greet the coming of the New Year 2018, which according to Deng Xiaoci who quotes Wang Dehua, the head of the Institute for South And Central Asian Studies in Sanghai, as saying that it “is essentially a provocative move after Doklam standoff in 2017, for the so called “Indo-Tibetan border police”, which recruits multiple nationalities that have strong connections with the Dalai Lama clique”.
Sensing the largely looming trouble close to the border said Qian Feng, the research fellow at the Chinese Association for South Asian Studies says “India will continue to cause drama of sorts on the border so China should not relax its vigilance”.
This means that China’s PLA is already stationed in the China-India border. No further delay.
Such statements coming as it does from Beijing, one could easily comprehend that India and China remain still far from settling their long standing unsettled border disputes but instead the issue may take even a dodgy dimension should India, as is its habit, doesn’t control its temptation and make efforts that infuriate China with the illusion of the possible US backing to meet any eventuality that may arise out of it.
If and when such repeated standoff of the sort of DOKLAM takes place unfortunately, India is sure to face the same debacle that she has had to gulp in 1962, if one were to recall. Great humiliation that it was then for India.
It would be in India’s wisdom that the country preferred to settle the border disputes with China than get energized in the hope that US may come to its salvage in any such altercation that may take place in the near future. The far flung US has, at least in the Nepali thinking, been using India as a “tool” to irritate China-its declared rival now in this changed world.
India thinks unfortunately just the otherwise.
It is beyond doubt that U. S and China are strategic competitors on the one hand but they are also engaging each other in wider, deeper cooperation on the other.
The US is not going to come face to face with China for the sake of India for multiple reasons.
Yet President Trump’s new National Security Strategy report published, December 2017, directly highlights the rivalry between Beijing and Washington which might have been a result of changes in balance of power.
The report is a manifestation of Trump’s administration’s hard-hitting posture which counts on US power instead of the established international rules. It showcases USs indisputable insistence on its global hegemony to which neither Moscow nor Beijing will buy it save New Delhi and baby Bhutan of course because such a strategy pounces upon Pakistan-India’s arch rival. Gone are the days of obeying to the US dictates and self declared regional masters.
The rough and tough posture acquired by Washington on Pakistan has something to with the Chinese advancement in Pakistan through the CPEC initiatives to which India dislikes. Under Indian pressure the US may have preferred to gain control over nuclear Pakistan and hence the threat through tweets.
It is quite natural that like New Delhi, Islamabad also wants to be recognised as a responsible nuclear state, the sentiment found expression in an article that appeared in a journal of the British think-tank Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) in January 2015. Rebuffing the British think tank, in a quick response a paper was published jointly by two American think tanks in August 2015 titled “A Normal Nuclear Pakistan” authored by Toby Dalton and Michael Krepon quite expectedly set the “bar” higher for Islamabad which stated, among others, the latter needed to limit the size of its allegedly fastest growing arsenal. (Dr. Tughral Yaman, Research journal).
According to Dr. Yaman, the preconditions for Pakistan were inter alia pledges to give up its Tactical Nuclear Weapons (TNWs), and not letting its territory be used for terrorist attacks against India.
The reaction in Pakistan was understandable enough.
Interestingly, the choices offered to Pakistan under the terms of the normal nuclear state proposal manufactured by the US think tanks,-Dalton-Krepon-did not have similar binding on India in any way to display parallel behaviour.
All that Pakistan needed is to be treated at par with India by the US and other members of the nuclear club, say international observers in Nepal.
Any further pressure on Pakistan would push the latter even more closer to China and Russia as suitable and viable alternatives which are its prerogatives.
The fact is that China is already inside Pakistan engaged in several development projects.
Yet one more thing that may have tempted the US administration under President Trump to penalize Pakistan is perhaps the “extensive engagement” of China in South Asian Affairs along with the current progress observed with the CPEC. Since India doesn’t want the CPEC to take a formal shape at the end, and thus the US irritation that favors India and India alone.
By extension this would mean that the US would now observe other South Asian nations including Nepal through Delhi prism. Too bad.
The CPEC is sure to bring great economic and strategic benefits to Pakistan which means the latter’s increase in military power. Indian PM Modi’s hostility towards CPEC represents a school of thinking in Indian foreign policy circles together with the short sighted ones that sees an economically revitalized Pakistan connected to China as a “potential threat”.
With both the US and India considerably annoyed by the advanced progress already made by the CPEC, they have both found common interest in sabotaging it. Some US scholars have even suggested that in order to contain the likelihood that Chinese activities in Pakistan exacerbate regional tensions, Washington could raise the issue in bilateral dialogues with New Delhi and Beijing or even host a trilateral meet, so writes Dr. Chunyang Jia in one research based article. He goes on to say that for the US, India is “hugely important” in maintaining that balance of power throughout the Asia-Pacific. Former US Ambassador to India, Frank Wisener said that India needs US relationship as part of its ability to secure itself in the long term and manage its own relations with a rising power.
It is these political undercurrents that have prompted the US to acquire a hard posture against Pakistan. For the US, China is a bad boy while India is not. The reverse is true though.
But the Nepali intelligentsia sees Pakistan as a political deterrent to India. A nuclear Pakistan brings in the required political stability in this India tortured region, Nepal included.
The Pakistan reaction has so far been limited to harsh rhetoric, with Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif saying the United States was behaving towards his country as “a friend who always betrays”.
But opposition leader, Imran Khan-the star cricketer, has taken the US stance towards Pakistan in a much aggressive manner. Mr. Khan is tipped as the next PM of Pakistan who says “it was time for his nation to “delink “from the United States.
In the mean while foreign secretary Tehmina Janjua has expressed her serious concerns and apprehensions over the US policy giving India a security role in Afghanistan for, according to her, “India is involved in terrorist attack activities in her country directly or through Afghanistan”.
“Pakistan has contributed and sacrificed most in fighting international terrorism and its security forces have carried out the largest counter terrorism operation anywhere in the World”, so said Maleeha Lodhi, the Pakistan PR in the United Nations. Her statement has just come close on the heels of Trump’s tweet accusing Islamabad of cheat and deceit.
In all, the US has to remain friendly with Pakistan to bring in stability in Afghanistan. No option left. It is a compulsion. And thus the US is advised to behave Islamabad in a manner that suits to a sovereign nation.
Despite the US grudges, China and Pakistan economic corridor shall go unharmed and unimpeded. The US should understand the fact that China is fully supportive of Islamabad political overtures that suits to her national interests. China is here to stay in South Asia for long. At least this is the Chinese mood observed so far. Be it known to all.

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