The discussion in this blog is based on a penetrating article by Sri. V,Sudarshan in the Sunday Magazine of the Indian express of 13th Nov. 11. It is really very thought provoking article. I propose to have a series on this and I expect all students to participate thoughtfully. We shoud be really grateful to the learned scholar and to Mr. Devirupa Mitra who interviewed him and to the esteemed newspaper The New Sunday Express.
Every day sees a little mutation of India’s geostrategic environment. The signs are discernible: One day Pakistan bestows the Most Favoured Nation status to India, then nuances it the next with sophistry; a Chinese energy corporation distributes a brochure in the presence of Indian and Chinese diplomats with maps where parts of Kashmir and Arunachal are missing, and when questioned, the Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yan snaps back: “shut up!” New Delhiwhich equivocated between Tamil and Sinhala interests in the belief that outright victory of any one side was not in the national interest, now solidly backs Mahinda Rajapakse’s dubious human rights record at international fora.Delhi ensures a soft landing for the Maoists into the political structure in Nepal and the next thing we know is that Nepal begins to slide into a Chinese embrace.India signs a strategic partnership with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, whose writ does not run beyond the Presidential Palace and who will do anything to stay in power, including sharing power with the Taliban. After voting a couple of times against longtime ally Iran and earning its wrath, New Delhi is beating a hasty line to Tehran, trying to claw its way back into favour. Gone are the heydays when India decisively stepped into East Pakistan to create Bangladesh; signed an accord with SriLankain 1987, staved off a coup in the Maldives and generally took a leadership role at various non-aligned fora. Now the very charges that the Congress levelled against the previous NDA regime are coming back to haunt it: the government has failed to deal effectively with Pakistan, failed to contain terrorism from that country, has been reduced to a subordinate relationship with the US, given its propensity to cosy up to Washington … Precisely two-and-a-half years after the UPA came back to power, the foreign policy flux is on all fronts, and the struggle to re-establish India’s influence is there for all to see. What is going on?
First answer the questions and then give your opinions.
73 thoughts on “18. India’s Strategic Environment Part One”
What is the Most Favoured Nation Status? What is the flip flop of Pakistan on this? Why did Pakistan support the execution of Kasab at the recent SAARC conference (Nov 11)?
The MFN is a World Trade Organisation rule under which countries are required to give equal treatment to their trading partners. This MFN issued to enhance relation economically and politically.
Even though Pakistan’s Cabinet had announced on November 2 its decision to grant India the MFN, there was confusion thereafter as there was no official announcement from statesmen till Nov 12.
According to me, Pakistan support in SAARC 2011 to execute Kasab could be no loss to Pakistan and try to motivate India to bargain in J&K issue.
MFN is a concept from WTO which can be applied by a nation to another to have a favourable trading atmosphere without any discrimination compared to any other nations.
Pakistan Cabinate had approved MFN status to India on nov 2, but as I said it was not formally announced till Nov 12 2011, the reason for delay could be pakistan consulting its army and industrialists about possible consequences.
As on the reports of India and USA on mumbai blast, which proved that kasab is a pak origin and was funded by ISI.
to carry out terrorist attacks in india.so if pak support kasab’s sentence just to prove them self as innocent.
The drawback of providing the MFN status is that when a particular nation exports any goods to its most favoured nation,it as to grant the same to all other members of WTO . so PAK is in state of filp floping..
With regards to Mohan’s reply i agree that Pak has the habit of Flip Flopping most of the time. The country had a military coup, followed with the emergence of a democracy and the govt consistently supporting China at an upper cost and then claiming for an MFN with India at cost of all the estarined relations with India!! Thought of Bewilderment indeed.
MFN Status(in bilateral economic relations) means that a country accords non-discriminatory treatment to the companies/investment from another country.
Pak has been talking big about MFN, but doing little to implement it. A point of view is that Pak has economic concerns in implementing MFN–more inflow of goods from India->cheaper rate->Pak domestic industry will suffer loss!
Talking about hanging of Kasab is a bargaining chip for Pak. The politicians want to make us believe that it is not the Army that is controlling them, and that ISI and terror are two separate entities, which alas, is not true!
As per Aneesh’s reply , I feel Pak is trying to evolve a sense of Liberalization and Globalization zeal into itself. Thats why go for the kill!! leading to the point you have stated.
The MFN status is nothing more than a ploy by the Pakistan government offered as CBMS whenever there is a thaw in the relationship between the countries after along cold shouldering. The first step of the announcement and later embarrassment of not able to grant such a status shows that there is no longer a viable government in Islamabad and it is fiefdoms that are at work. there is no cohesion between the intelligence, army, government and the regional satraps on peace policy with India. From its inception, Pakistan’s primary ideological enemy has been India. Hence, the latest MFN yes or no debacle shows how we are viewed still by large powerful part of the Pakistani establishment. India must realise that her neighbor’s policy is not of peace but of constant warfare to disintegrate the Indian state
In the case of Kasab, It must be noted that Pakistan has neither confirmed nor denied his citizenship. Kasab is the sole surviving link between Pakistan’s intelligence and 26/11. voicing his death sentence simply cuts the link and the deniability factor gets strengthened
As pakistan cabinet annouced orally on 2nd nov for its acceptance to the grant MNF to India whereas it still remains in the confusion state
MFN stands for most favoured nation if this status is provided by one country to other then they cant descriminate them in the trade. this status act an road way to improve the bilateral relationship between two countries.
as per my opinion its just a step taken by pakistan to show the other countries that they are also trying with india to improve their relationship.
The MFA is a world trade organization rule which countries are required to give equal treatment to their trading partners.
pakistan’s primary ideological enemy has been india. more inflow of goods from india cheaper rate, pak domestic industry will suffer loss.
MFN status grants a country the privileges like lower tariffs, high import quotas.
15 years after India provided Pakistan MFN status, Pakistan at least shows a public face of reciprocating the same treatment. Pakistan has said that in order to protect the domestic trade suggestions from major stakeholders were invited and a list of trade sectors has been prepared. But quite fascinating to see that it took Pakistan 7 years to do that, considering SAFTA was signed in 2004 SAARC summit where Pakistan had agreed to grant MFN status to liberalize trade. Evidently, too little effort has been made in that direction.
For Pakistan’s consensus on the case of Kasab, I agree with the views given above. Kasab’s disposal would serve twin benefits. Till date he has been found the only link in 26/11 case. And this would prove Pakistan’s innocence to the world.
It is well know that Pakistan is terrorist supporting country, is, this was proved by assassination of Osama in Pakistan nearer to military base and to capital . This assassination have confirmed the whole world that, the Pakistan was giving shelter to the terrorist. After this incident, the pakistan may have feared that, it may lose the relationship between united states and even other countries in whole world.
So to regain it past status with United States for aiding and funding, the Pakistan is ready to do anything
So it may be supporting India with the Kasab matter
Most Favoured Nation Status [MFN] as rightly described by my fellow bloggers like Aneesh, Jnanamurthy have stated id a status that can be described as follows:
1. One state accords the other state as “favoured” for availaing “status” rights in terms of international trade.
2. The recipient state which receives favours from the “MFN State” claims for equal trade advantages as the MFN state through an agreement. It can be accliamed as ” like chaps sink together in a same level of understanding”.
Pakistan always plays a “double game approach” – favoring itself for the need of its hour and relatively changing its opinion all the time. That why the term “nexus” used for its actions.
Pakistan suppoting the hanging of Kasab:
” lets look at it a from a common man’s point of view:
will it matter to them if Kasab is hanged?
will it bring sore relations between the 2 countries?
What would be the responses of the innocent victims who succumbed to this babaric act? It is easy to make a judgemental statement by Pakistan (with due respect) to hang Kasab.
The key point is we must understand that relations of peace-talks need a critical, think-tank approach and incidents as such should awaken the policy makers to think what would be strategic enough to counter such incidents? well the saying goes time heals wounds!!! Did Pakistan say this statement on Nov 2 to support the MFN status to India or what is the motive behind this!! Lets wait and watch
The granting of MFN status to India by Pakistan has been a good intiative although prompted by current diplomatic-economic secnario in Pakistan. The decision to grant India “Most Favored Nation” status would enable Pakistanis to export more goods to booming India at a time when Pakistan’s own economy is in the doldrums. Much of the current trade is illicit — products go through Dubai, where they are repackaged and are smuggled into both countries, meaning higher prices and less tax revenue. It could also be one of Confidence Building Measures ( CBM) from Pakistan side since India already granted this status to Pak in 1996.
Regarding Kasab issue, Pakistan’s image which has already maligned before the international community as hotbead of terrorism has come under more jeopardy since American raid on Osama Bin Laden at Abbotabad. To prove its innocence and restore its image internationally in general and with US ( since Pak economy is heavily dependent on U.S aid) in particular it is a ‘Big Must’ for Pakistan.
What was in the brochure issued by China’s Energy Corporation? Why did India protest? What was the Chinese raction?
China’s Energy Corporation TBEA brochure showed India map without parts of Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh.
India protest against contraversial china map which includes Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh.
Chinese raction is “Chinese diplomats are not so well-trained in handling the media and they have a certain kind of arrogance. Their language skills are limited, which is another reason why they tend to lose their cool”.
China has been a sure case of a smiling enemy trying to deny India’s territorial integrity. the Maps show that china has territorial ambitions against India and mights be waiting for an opportune time. lets accept it , china wants the Indian republic dead . it wants to be the sole great power in the region.hence engagement with china should be pragmatic, strategic as well as offensive. the same way china deals with us. the economic relationship is Pragamatic. Issues of common interest in the UN and Economic summits are strategic while such acts and sending soldiers across the border is offensive. its like the dragon is waiting for the tiger to ail so as to kill it and not before.
Beautiful analysis Verghese! I agree. China wants to forge a bipolar world order with US as the other pole…while we think of a multipolar world.
These acts are first steps in its ambition of acquiring regional hegemony.
Very beautifully quoted by Vargese.
The pamphlet maps reflect China’s desire; or rather its subjective consideration of not accepting sects of J&K and AP to be a part of Indian republic. The advancement of troops in these regions, exploration of controversial South China Sea reflect that China wants to abate the chances of emergence of any other economic power in South Asian region, as opposed to Indian objectives of synchronous progress.
china is slowly expanding its territories by which its trying to occupy the place of super power nation in the world. china’s energy corporation broucher is highlighting the china’s territorial appetite for Indian states
The brochure issued by China’s Energy Corporation through one of its sources in the presence of Indo-chinese diplomats contained maps which had parts of Kashmir and Arunchal Pradesh missing. This was a huge embarrasement for India. This is not the first time China has done it. The images shown by Google maps a couple of months back and was in the news had stated the foul play done by the Chinse counterparts. Infact we must realize that the Nation that we are talking about is one of the prime competitors in terms of economic growth and industrial development is keen on over talking the Asiatic zone as a powerful “America like state”.
The indian diplomats protested regarding the events that sourced in the meeting. It highlights to say that the policies that the Chinese had during this event and also do have are inhumane in nature. This cannot come with force!!
Territorial and Political domination has been in basic nature of China and with the economic slowdown in U.S , the sole superpower and Eurozone Debt Crisis in powerful European world , the cherished dream seems true with one thing in way – Indian republic. This is not the first time China demotivating/disrespecting Indian soverign principles ( issue of stapled visas, supporting projects in POK to name a few )but it is really a thought provoking facts that how come china is openly addressing its evil guilled ambitions and are its diplomats so ill trained and arrogant. If this is so it is a clear indication of its open challenge to India. With permanent seat in UNSC , 2nd largest military and billions of foreign reserves and top of that Pakistan like loyalists at the helm, it will be not easy to tackle the chinese challenge. Indian diplomats and politicians should put tight seat belts and engage china diplomatically, we should not let give easy way to china to confront us like it did during oil exploration in south china sea.
What is the flip flop of India in regard to SriLanka? What should be the main objectives in SriLanka in regard to the SriLankan Tamils, Indian fishermen, the LTTE demand for Elam, integrity of SriLanka?
Since independence Sri Lanka has pursued a policy of Sinhala majoritarianism, chauvinism. Lankan Tamils have been denied their rights, political dues. While India wanted to maintain friendly relations with Sri Lanka(and so sent IPKF to fight LTTE) it also wanted to safeguard Tamils’ interests in Lanka. This ambiguous vision proved to be a failure, because LTTE had sympathisers in India(even among our political classes), so our soldiers were forced to fight Lanka’s war with their hands tied back!
The flip-flop between supporting Lankan government and sympathising with Tamils cost us heavily.
Lankan Tamils: We must pressure Sri Lankan govt to implement 13th amendment plus provisions. LEt them get their rightful dues.
LTTE: Sri Lankan unity must be supported.
Indian fishermen: We can and must get stern with Lankan Navy. Bilaterally, both nations must have some kind of a real-time monitoring and communication to avoid fishermen drifting across the maritime borders.
India does not have a cohesive policy on Sri Lanka. In spite of arming the rebel Tamils and lending them support in terms of money and arms we burnt our hands in Lanka. We should have made sure that the reality on the ground was taken into consideration before jumping into it. We invested our political mileage in the wrong person. Prabhakaran was the wrong choice in investing our political aims. He was more bothered about being the numero uno of the Ealam . He wanted to be dictator at the rate of India’s backing.The LTTE stabbed us because we did not go by Prabhakaran’s equation.On a far hunch our strategic goal should have resulted in the division of the island and its subsequent merger with the mainland. Ealam could have been merged with the state of Tamil Nadu. This position would have been far tenable than preserving the integrity of Sri Lanka. It still did not pay us the dividends we expected. Infact by appeasing Mahinda Rajapaksa our enemies, Pakistan and China have gained a foothold in the region. this would have been the same outcome if we had favoured the outcome of Ealam. however, our flip flops have cost us the enmity of the ealam loyalists, lost an enterprising young leader and have our enemies at our footstool.How short sighted can we get?
@Verghese: “this would have been the same outcome if we had favoured the outcome of Ealam.”
I did not undstnd…”same” outcome? could u kindly explain?
I am unable to find the unit wherein I had made the statement. Kindly paste the unit you are referring to and then I should be able to respond.
@ aneesh what i meant was even if we had accommodated Ealam into tamil nadu and divided sri lanka. Lanka would have anyway established security ties with china and pakistan from stopping us from taking over the whole island. the present situation is also the same . both of them have security ties with lanka.
@Verghese: Thanx for clarifying.
Sir, the statement was in Verghese’s comment, hence the doubt.
Since independence, policies in Sri Lanka have always favored Sinhalese over the minority Tamils. India trying to safeguard the rights of Tamil has tried to engage in peace keeping efforts, though a total disaster. IPKF unwantedly had to fight LTTE, which was supplied ammunition by the Sri Lanka. IPKF was even alleged to have made human rights violations.
Post that incidence, although India has been promoting a peace process but has resisted calls to get involved again.
The peace talks with the Sri Lanka and promotion of bilateral trade show a positive progress, but not being able to negotiate terms on providing Tamilians their rights and on fishermen issue leads to a flip flop.
The objectives of Indian govt. for Sri Lankan Tamils should be to pressurize Sri Lankan govt to provide their rights.
Regarding LTTE demand for Elam – it will only increase the divide between Tamils and Sinhalese. Creation of a Pakistan in Sri Lanka should be parried. Then only unity & integrity of Sri Lanka can be preserved.
Indian Fishermen – The fishermen should be trained and if possible provided with GPS enable devices to avert future crossings of maritime borders.
The Srilankan Tamils are backed by many in both he DMK and the AIADNK who dream of Pan Tamil Nation stretching from Sri Lanka to Bangalore. Dangerous fellows if you ask me and their murderous LTTE which has agreement with the Pakistani terorists. We want the rights of Tams in Srilanka to be protected but at the same time as you have said there should not be a Pakistan in Sri lanka.
Thats we call a game of “double diplomacy”
According to me India didn’t have any official flip flop with Srilanka. Even though India trained 6 Srilankan Tamil Militant Group for various geo-political reasons from 1983 to 1987, but after this period India’s role is clear for Srilanka in 1987 by sending peacekeeping force to disarm tamil militants and recently backing Mahinda Rajapakse’s human rights record.
According to me Srilanka should follow India in handling different caste, religion and race of people. Also Srilanka should treat neighbouring country fisherman with good relation. Srilanka must eradicate any militant group in its soil including LTTE, otherwise Srilanka will reach worst situation than Pakistan(State sponsored terrorism).
People living in srilankan soil are intergral part of that country, if any disputes should be sorted out with harmony.
With regard to the topic as stated, let’s look at 2 context view:
A: View of India
B: View by SriLanka
The controversy of “claiming of a separate state” within a country is the scenario. The Indians do have their “Tamil bretheren in the Southern state of Srilanka” residing alonmgside with the Sinhalese people. India especially Tamilnadu had this strange political “gimmick”of claiming for a “separate entity” like attitude, which always plays a crucial game in the poilitics of TN. Keeping in mind that their fellow bretheren are in Srilanka, based on the inmate sentiments of the political fervor prevailing in TN immediately caught up as “sea sickness” with the LTTE folks in Srilanka. With immense backing from the likes of Vaiko enabled a Tamil Outfit/Organization to spruce up which is now known as “ LTTE” with the late supremo Prbhakaran in the picture. Agreed that there were atrocities caused to Indian citizens prevalent in Srilanka, the DMK , Vaiko had created that political sting in the Indian Politics to Intervene into the resolvement of a peaceful settlement. But these methods did not provide for a smooth transition to evolve. Rather, fund the organization from unknown sources, make the unit believe that they are fighting for a cause to gain freedom and claim as a “separatist state” angers the fervors of the local inmates of the particular country.
From the Srilankan point of view, it is merely seen a terrorist group prevailing within and the mission is to “eradicate right from scratch , no concern what sover” which is a dogmatic way of working. Most of the time talks between the island nation and India did fail, but also led to a sting back in India’s Politics with the loss of our then Prime Minister “Rajiv Gandhi”. “What we sow, is what we get!!”- As the proverb goes, the 2 countries must look into the interests of the people as a “Body” and work towards it. Look for the problem and solve rather than go for the plunge.
The atrocities caused by the Sinhalese to the Tamils are no less in nature, as the Head itself feels to eradicate the enemy at large will help in cleaning Sri Lanka for only the Sinhalese is a misnomer. Obviously when we talk about human behavior, it always involves a mix of emotions, behavioral approach and a strong administrial Head to sort out issues.
The flip flop of India is Realpolitik.On one hand,it cannot risk antagonising the southern neighbour,while at same time create Law and order situation in TN.Sri Lanka if it goes out of india’s orbit,will not return to India’s hegemony short of military intervention.What if US establishes a lillypad?(the very reason why IG directed RAW to train LTTE).The same thing can happen with Chinese.Hence,it cannot be seen as popular enemy (as seen in Pakistan).Can it then,appease SL?No.Why?Because of a State TN.Just after Independence,there was a call for seccesion from India from TN.Though no insurgency happened there on the lines of Nagaland,A very very large state in revolt/militancy can destroy the Indian Union (just see how long the Nagaland insurgency has taken,and Nagaland is a tiny state.)This fear of secession and eventual balkanisation of Indian Union is omnipresent.If the issue of language can create a new independent country (Bangladesh),it can very well destroy a country too.Also,any such decision to appease/pursue closer relation with SL may also be political suicide.Short term,india can afford to vote against SL,because the possibility of Foreign base coming up in SL remains remote because nobody wants India,a country of 1 Billion to be angry.India can,in this regard only pursue ‘Humanitarian’ pursuits like development of refugee camps etc.India is not interested in Integrity/Disintegrity of SL.It only wants to maintain hegemony over SL and at the same time drown dissentng voices in TN.Hence,India insists on the 13th amendement which grants federal structure.India,did a major blunder by gifting away the Katchathivu Island to SL.This Irritant of Safety of Indian Fishermen will continue in the foreseeable future unless more and more Coast Guard Vessels are deployed to provide protection.In this regard,there is apathy from the Govt.
What happened to the LTTE? What is the position of the SriLankan Tamils today? How does it affect India?
After complete defeat of LTTE with the death of LTTE Chief Prabhakaran in 2009 against Srilankan Government Armed forces has just terminated the war. It doesn’t mean that all LTTE cadres were killed. Many who were trained are in different countries and still continuing LTTE agenda in small dosage and waiting for right environment to rejuvenate. One best example is LTTE cadre Selvarasa Pathmanathan in Malaysia attempted to succeed Prabhakaran, but got caught by Malaysian government and handed him to Srilankan Government.
After LTTE’s defeat, pro-LTTE Tamilians dropped their demand for a separate state, but favoured federal solution and looking for political solution in Ealam region.
The position/status of tamilians in Ealam region of srilanka won’t affect India except certain hue and cry in Tamilnadu.
Very well said , i affirm what has been shared. The politics created in TN has hurt sentiments of the creator(s) much more than they expected. But when they know that this would happen, the protection of the interests of the Tamils has taken a back seat. The military sort of game has been destroyed, but the “dialogue resolution” could have thought as a source that could have atleast a certain relief for the lives of the LTTE who have been lost.
How did New Delhi ensure a soft landing for the Maoists into the political structure in Nepal and what have been the consequences? How does this affect India’s security?
We did not use any influence to stop maoists from coming to power in the Assembly and get a majority.
Security concerns: Maoists coming to power->Closer to China->China gets more diplomatic and political access into Nepal. (They already have made huge economic investments. eg. development of Lumbini into a tourist destination).
It makes the americans itchy when Maoists/Communists come to power->Only strengthens their case for developing another ‘containment’ doctrine.
Also, it has internal security repercussions if Nepali maoists link up with Naxalites.
But India has played a deliberate and calculated risk in allowing Maoists into power…else, they would have accused us of de-stabilising Nepal and drifted towards China. (The same realism guides our policy in Myanmar).
Aneesh good one, just to add. We still have influence over the Royal Nepal army or now the Nepal army. Most of the officers and soldiers have been trained in India. But this gamble I am worried about but still there is a a split that has occurred among the Maoist leaders. Though Prachanda is a China sympathiser. The Nepalese PM has good connections with Indians especially with regards with his education in JNU. PM Dr Baburam Bhattarai even threatened to quit if accord with India is not honoured. WIth little strategic intelligence, you need to make sure that there is a powerful pro india group within Nepal maoist camp to keep our interests safe
`a powerful pro-India group’–that is what we need: how do you think we can achieve that one? [Even as we dont antagonise other parties, and don’t attempt to play ‘Big Brother’?]
The prickly thing with Bangladesh and Nepal is that the stability of their bilateral relation with India depends on the party in power. Next elections, there is a chill. This is unfortunate…I wonder why our mandarins have yet to shed elegant rhetoric and do some active diplomacy. Why attach stigma in ‘interfering’ in Nepali politics? Are their citizens not closer to India-civilisational and cultural ties?
Do you think India has remained a soft state? Do we need to adopt a sterner posture?
Correction: Are their citizens not closer to India than to China through civilisational and cultural ties?
India’s concern is more internal than external in nature.The greatest Threat to India are the maoists-so described by PM MMS.If the Maoists continued fighting,some of the fight could very well spill over to India.Nepal is bordered by UP,Bihar where caste divisions are well entrenched.UP,if involved in this conflagaration could very well pose a huge problem.Bihar is already suffering.If the maoists in Nepal could be bought to Political Order,then it might have two effects on Indian Maoists – One,it could deprive them of nepalese Maoist Cooperation and coordination.Two – It could show Indian Maoists that Political order can also be followed by maoists,power does not solely flow out of Gun.Hitting the material and ideological base in one stroke.As for the external threat,China has long shown that its brand of communism is nationalistic rather than ideological.It is doubtful if Chinese cooperation is feasible in the long run.In the short run,it can be used as a bargaining Chip with New Delhi,but the geography and culture is against such a tie-up.Chinese threat is there only if India fiddles while Nepal burned.
Why is Pakistan determined on keeping control over Afghanistan? How is India interested in Afghanistan? What has it done so far?
Pakistan wants to have its ‘strategic depth’ in Afghanistan.
India has got a strategic partnership with Afghanistan(but is it really effective? how effective is Karzai?)–this is the Mandala theory of Kautilya–the enemy of the enemy is a friend.
India-Afghan agreement is important because we have invested billions of dollars worth in Afghanistan, is it not our duty to make sure our diplomats, engineers and doctors are not killed by the Taliban?
I see the 2 views made by you in the light of India trying to seek the friendship of the Taliban as a weak point for the relations between the Taliban and the Pak. But this wont undermine the relations between the 2 aforesaid nations. India tries to help the Taliban regime to understand the need of hour ” Democracy” as theirs such that this realisation would be seen as a victory for India. Point 1 stated by you is highighted.
Money being spent by the INdian Government needs a platform for strengthening ties as the Taliban is seen as a potent source for empowering “terrorism” and also improve the trading in terms of oil and other commodities likewise. Hence India ought to look after the interests of its Diplomats in order to keep their key prospects in mind.
Pakistan definitely has its roots in Afganistan. During the Taliban regime , the key ally of Afganistan was Pakistan who inturn harvested, grew their seeds in the lands of the Afgan land. Pakistan has its role play in sending its military troops, fundng their struggles.From 2010, a report by a leading British institution claimed that Pakistan’s intelligence service still today has a strong link with the Taliban in Afghanistan
During the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, India offered intelligence and other forms of support for the Coalition forces. After the overthrowing of the Taliban, India established diplomatic relations with the newly-established democratic government, provided aid and participated in the reconstruction efforts.India’s support and collaboration extends to rebuilding of air links, power plants and investing in health and education sectors as well as helping to train Afghan civil servants, diplomats and police. India also seeks the development of supply lines of electricity, oil and natural gas. Also to give Afghan Students scholarships.Key to India’s strategy in Afghanistan is to build up transportation links that bypass Pakistan, helping reduce the Afghan economy’s dependence on Pakistan.
India has strong bilateral relations over the few years.
Pakistan(PK) as a policy has followed the idea of strategic Depth in Afghnistan(AFG).
What is Strategic Depth?
Strategic depth as a concept has evolved during the cold war.It is a concept where all the industries are distributed throughout the country,in order to survive a massed nuclear attack.For this a huge landmass is needed.
Strategic Depth is a flawed strategy because not only the pursuer of this policy has to set up distributed industries which can be uneconomical.Also,if the enemy has a sufficient number of Nuclear Delivery platforms,then the distributed industries can very well be targeted.
This strategy does not work on India.Indian population is very large and sufficiently distributed to cause any such ideas obsolete.
If,however defined as a pathway to energy rich central asian republics and tapping the minerals of AFG itself,it is a sound strategy to establish favourable authority in Kabul.This is the actual reason why India and PK are in the race for AFG.India is the ultimate source market for these raw materials.Any customer wants to eliminate the middleman between the seller and the buyer.
For political ascension in a foreign country,a country needs Economic,military,cultural hegemony.Cultural power of India is overwhelmingly present in India.The AFG army’s officer corps is predominantly Tajik,and India during Northern Alliance days has forged a very close relationship with them.The military alliance may come in handy if the situation deteriorates.India had almost no economic presence in AFG.India is changing this by developing infrastructure like roads,transmission lines etc.The AFG parliament building was constructed by India.India is one of the largest donors in AFG,and unlike investing in the security as other donors are doing,India is quietly building the infrastructure.By rebuilding Infrastructure,it is paving way for economic investment in AFG,and therby not only establishing economic presence but also hegemony by the virtue of a dominant economy.
What is the latest in US-Iran relations? How is Israel involved here? What has been India’s flip flop in regard to Iran?
In November 2011, reports circulated that Israel’s prime minister and defense minister were pressing for a decision on whether and when to strike a uranium enrichment facility at Natanz, the centerpiece of Iran’s known nuclear-fuel production, and related sites across the country.
At the same time, a report by United Nations weapons inspectors presented a trove of new evidence that they said makes a “credible” case that “Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear device” and that the project may still be under way.
Need help with Israel’s role and India’s flip flop. Any views??
Recently, news reports read that Mossad was involved in a blast in Iran. There are rumours that US, Israel are making a plan to attack Iran/end Iran’s nuclear programme.
Now, Iran’s position on Pakistan, supply of oil to India is favourable to India. Yet, during the last 2-3 years at the IAEA under US pressure we voted against Iran. Again, recently, US blocked transactions b/w India and Iran through ACU or any EU banks. But, now we need Iran to support us, as 2014 nears, as US withdraws from Afghanistan. Hope the flip-flop is clear 🙂
Yes Aneesh thanks for the information on flip flop.Appreciate it. Yeah i clearly see why India needs to back up Afghanistan!! What a world of “Flip Flop we live in!!
Israel(IZ) is the dominant power in the middle east.Iran(IR) is the rising power seeking to de-establish IZ as the dominant power.It is in IZ interest that it must do anything and everything to prevent that.Nuclear weapon is the gamechanger.If IR gets Nuclear weapon,IZ will not be the sole nuclear power.And,with greater economy,larger landmass,it will easily be the dominant power,a nuclear armed IZ notwithstanding.
India has a strong Shia Population.It cannot risk antagonising them.Also,IZ is india’s largest defence partner now.It cannot risk antagonising IZ too,as it would affect the defence preparedness.
India’s flip flop taken in this light can be interpreted as walking the path of non alignment.
What is the String of Pearls doctrine? Where does Srilanka stand in regard to this?
String of Pearls refers to the naval policy of China developing ports at strategic locations all over indian ocean-mainly to contain and surround India. It has already got a port in Sri Lanka(Hambantota).
India is THE ONLY neighbour of Sri Lanka, yet we have lost a lot of leverage. They have got ready to embrace the Chinese with open arms!
String of pearl clearly shows that in case if their is a future war with india then they can use this as their safer way to let their trade with other country and also to check the indian naval influence in these regions.
since all the sorrounding countries are not so economically developed compare to india execpt china ,sri lanka explains this in the name of trade .
The String of Pearls doctrine highlights how China has adopted a policy to counter attack its enemy. At a strategic level, this move by China is an eye-opener to India and must look at it as a crucial threat that could emerge. As per the doctrine China has employed a fleet of its Naval vessels alongside the Indian Ocean to tackle on India when “the time arises”. China has its allies with Pakistan
On the other hand it is building a base in Maldives which is just few thousand KM away form South India which is India’s technical hub. China has plans to deploy its nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers there. China is also developing a civil port in Srilanka, How much control will China have on it, no one knows. China is building a naval base In Myanmar’s Coco Is. and is establishing a radar facility to monitor Indian Navy movements and India’s Missile and Space program. India’s missile testing base and India’s space stations are both situated on the eastern coast. China is in talks with Bangladesh also to develop its Chittagong Port.
All these developments have worried India, as Chinese intention is very clear. So far India is able to establish an airbase in Tajikistan and is also looking forward to build army and air bases in Russia to Surround China. India has good relation with CIS countries, Russia, Mongolia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Bhutan. India needs to give more attention in developing some kind of strategic relation with these countries. Chinese advancement should be controlled to maintain stability in the region.
What is India’s interest in Maldives? What has India been doing about it?
India’s interest in Maldives:
Maldives is strategically very important to India because minicoy islands of lakshadweep are very nearer to it.
Maldives is one of the pearls of indian ocean for china.
*it is one of the SAARC country where india wants to has his influence.
it is providing aid to the maldives, it has set up the hospital,it has signed many agreement with it.
china has already has a string pearl in indian ocean at srilanka if another is formed in maldives then it may be a clear threat to southern part of india which is mainly a technical hub and also to avoid the more chinese influence in these region
Maldives has a unique position as a power established there can effectively cover indian ocean till mallacca straits and till the southern tip of africa.India.as the country after whom Indian Ocean is named,hence has a definite interest in furthuring its geopolitical reach and ascendency.India has gifted military equipment to the govt forces.India is operating Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital as a means of connecting with the general populace.The chinese presence has been preempted and hence diminished.
Between 1970 and 1990 India played a dynamic role in International role. Comment
1970 to 1990 were the years when our foreign policy had clarity and pursued it vigourously. We prevented a coup d’etat in Maldives, signed Rajiv-Jayawardene Accord in Sri Lanka, signed Indo Soviet Treaty of Friendship, did not fear USS Enterprise in Bay of Bengal in 1971 Bangla Liberation War.
We also lived the philosophy of non-alignment although the sheen of NAM was fading.
Post 1990, our policy has been of extra cautiousness, elegant oration and limited achievements-with the sole exception of 1998 nuclear tests.
Very much agree with what Aneesh has stated. India has been trying to spread its influence and garnering as much support from most of the SE Asian nations alonngside contributing to strategeic developments in Maldives..
What have been the flip flops of the USA in relation to Afghanistan, Pakistan and China in recent times?
The US speaks one thing publicly but then we know that it is only a cloak for its realpolitik ambitions in S.Asia. It has been a decade since the US has been trying to get an upper hand in S.Asia, in vain.
In Afghanistan, it is now speaking of “good” Taliban and “bad” Taliban. It publicly condemns Pakistan for terrorism, yet can’t take any action on ISI(Kayani openly dares US!!). Its ambiguity on Kashmir continues. With China it does not speak of human rights, but only accepts investment. It speaks of supporting India to contain China, yet is ambiguous on Chinese territorial claims.
USA in relation to Afghanistan, Pakistan and China in recent times is all a game of ” Diplomacy” and alsoi ensures that its missions are to ensure that the 3rd world countries that it is developing relations with performs smoothly as “it’s own accord” .
Very beautifully said by Aneesh in his blog about te flip flop nature of US. Infact i might call it as a “hip hop enterprise!!. USA wants to pump in foreign aid to Pakistan, just maintains a “business class” factor with China and looks into India as ” a friend in Asia and as an ally in its built. Taliban game plan was to contain the dictatorship and fear of nuclear warfare from the Talibans and instill a war followed with restoration of democratic influences are double edged policies. They need to be concrete but the fact why this shift in its nature is “rule as per the need of the hour with careful interests of the country” is its strategy.
its a agreement between two or more nations which provides equal trade benefits and its given to all the members of WTO.
if pakistan provides MFN status to india which wil adversly affect their markets. so pakistan is not favour of providing MFN status to india.
if kasab is sentenced , pakistan wil get rid of all tensions which points out and shows that pakistan govt supports terrorist activities against INDIA
AS per the reports of india and US on mumbai blast which proved that kasab is a pak origin and was funded by ISI to carry out a terrorist attack in india. so if pak support kasab’s death sentence it show that they are against terrorist activity.
MFN status is consent made by the members of WTO nations in order to enjoy the full extent of trade.
the draw back of the MFN is that when a country export or imports a goods to itS MFN , it as to grant same to all the other members of the WTO. so pak go on filp floping on its statements