Is US Playing the "India Card" Against China With "Indo-Pacific Quad"?

Has Asia-Pacific become Indo-Pacific? Is George W. Bush's Quad back again? Is this Trump's version of Obama's Pivot to Asia? Let's examine what happened during President Donald Trump's recent Asia Trip.

Obama's Pivot to Asia:

President Barack Obama's Pivot to Asia initiative and his efforts to create Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) seemed to have been all but abandoned by President Donald Trump after his inauguration in January 2017. This is part of a pattern of Mr. Trump's campaign to erase the Obama legacy and put his own stamp on all things American. However, it now appears that the Obama legacy is being repackaged by the Trump administration under new names such as "Quad" in "Indo-Pacific" region. Its aim remains the same: To check China's rise.

Trump's Quad in Indo-Pacific:

In a speech to business leaders during his visit to Vietnam, President Trump repeatedly called for a “free and open Indo-Pacific,” describing a region where independent nations could “thrive in freedom and peace” and all states “play by the rules.” Without naming China as the target, Trump also used the phrase repeatedly at the start of a meeting Monday in the Philippines with President Rodrigo Duterte, according to Bloomberg.    Trump also met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Manila and called him a friend and a “great gentleman.”

Trump's Asia trip also saw the revival of a decade-old but short-lived partnership of four maritime nations (Australia, India, Japan and the United States) worried about China’s rising influence in the region now being described as "Indo-Pacific" rather than its usual moniker of Asia-Pacific.  Senior officials from the four countries met in Manila for the first such meeting since the George W. Bush administration, focused on regional issues including North Korea but topped with China-related concerns.

US-India Anti-China Military Alliance?

To some observers, the "Quad" appears to be a throwback to the Cold War era in which the United States wants to use Narendra Modi as a willing ally to check China's rise. They cite lack of confidence in the current American leadership under Trump to follow through on any international or bilateral commitments.

While the US seeks to use India against China, the Indians remain obsessed with Pakistan. They talk about the lack of American concern for India's interests in South Asia and the Middle East. Writing for The Wire, Indian analyst Manoj Joshi complains that "there is no reciprocal US commitment to issues of Indian concern relating to Pakistan and the dangers arising out of the highly volatile environment in the Persian Gulf area which the US has helped create".

India's Pakistan Obsession:

It seems to me that the US policymakers don't fully appreciate the Kautilya doctrine that says "your neighbor is your enemy and your neighbor's neighbor is your friend".

The foreign policy doctrine enunciated by Kautilya, the ancient Indian Machiavelli, continues to guide India's foreign policy vis-a-vis its neighbors, particularly Pakistan. Kautilya's Rajamdala (Circle of States) theory can be seen in action today in India's use of Afghanistan against Pakistan. Unfortunately, the Pakistan phobia in India is so deeply ingrained that the Indian policy vis-a-vis Pakistan is not likely to change in the foreseeable future.

Summary:

President Donald Trump has repeatedly talked about the "Indo-Pacific" region in an obvious attempt to sign up Delhi to counter Beijing in Asia.  However, the Indians remain obsessed with enlisting the Americans to hurt Pakistan. The Trump administration is willing to engage in anti-Pakistan rhetoric but it is not going to act against Pakistan as long as Afghanistan remains important to the US interests. This is where their interest diverge now and likely to remain so at least in the foreseeable future.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Why is India Sponsoring Terrorism in Pakistan?

Ex-Indian Spy Documents RAW's Successes in Pakistan

Post Cold War Line-up: Pakistan-Russia-China vs India-Japan-US

Ex RAW Chief AS Dulat Blames Advani For Agra Summit Failure

Pakistan ISI: Afghanistan's Bogeyman

Trump's Anti-Pakistan Rhetoric

Counter-insurgencyOperation ZarbeAzb

India's Abiding Hostility Toward Pakistan 

India's Israel Envy: Will Modi Attack Pakistan?

Comments

Riaz Haq said…
India has territorial disputes with:

- Pakistan
- China
- Myanmar
- Bangladesh
- Nepal

https://twitter.com/spectatorindex/status/954760444941651969
Riaz Haq said…
#India Folds Under #Trump's Pressure, Halts #Iranian #Oil Imports | India’s oil ministry has asked refiners to prepare for a ‘drastic reduction or zero’ imports of Iranian oil from November 2018 https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/India-Folds-Under-Pressure-Halts-Iranian-Oil-Imports.html?utm_source=tw&utm_medium=tw_repost … #oilprice

In more dour news for Iran, India (the world’s fourth largest oil importer) is planning to cut oil imports from the embattled OPEC member. India’s oil ministry has asked refiners to prepare for a ‘drastic reduction or zero’ imports of Iranian oil from November, Reuters said on Thursday, citing two industry sources.

The news comes as Tehran remains defiant over impending U.S. sanctions renewal and just days after India indicated it would push back against pressure from Washington to halt Iranian oil imports, stating that it did not recognize sanctions the U.S. has threatened to impose on countries that continue to buy Iranian oil after November 4.

"India does not recognize unilateral sanctions, but only sanctions by the United Nations," Sunjay Sudhir, joint secretary for international cooperation at India's petroleum ministry, told CNN earlier when asked whether India would reduce oil imports from Iran. After China, India is the largest buyer of Iranian crude oil.

President Trump said on Tuesday that the U.S. would level sanctions on countries that not did not cut Iranian oil imports.

Though India made an initial defiant stand, it simply can’t afford to alienate Washington since it has to safeguard its exposure to the U.S. financial system, a powerful tool that the U.S. can wield as it pleases since the dollar is the world’s reserve currency. This allows Washington to level crippling sanctions on a wide range of countries all the way from Russia to Venezuela to Iran and anybody else that any sitting U.S. president sees fit to punish.

This economic weapon is also why Beijing is working feverishly to supplement or replace the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency. In September, John Hardy, the head of FX strategy at Saxo Bank said China was “eyeing the benefits of having its own currency play a larger role and to supplant the USD's role in global trade. The initial focus is on the global oil trade, where it has announced the intention of buying oil in yuan and allowing trade partners to settle that yuan in gold." He added that settling in gold is a clever move by Beijing as it provides oil-exporting countries with a greater degree of comfort.
Riaz Haq said…
#India’s foreign policy is up a creek without a paddle, especially in its #SouthAsia neighborhood due to reckless adventurism. #Modi has abandoned non-aligned movement and antagonized #China and #Russia in its pursuit of alliance with #America, #Trump.

https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/is-indias-foreign-policy-adrift/article24343945.ece

The BJP government’s denseness has ended up antagonising both Russia and China. Nothing typified this more than Russia holding antiterror exercises with Pakistan in DRUZBA-2017. Similarly, rather than taking a nuanced position, the ill-conceived boycott of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing in 2017 invited the wrath of China via the Doklam standoff. Notwithstanding government claims, the withdrawal from Doklam was sequential — India first, then China — rather than simultaneous. The sequel was that the Prime Minister had to travel to Wuhan and Sochi to effectively pay ‘court’ to Presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin, respectively.

The worst casualty has, however, been India’s neighbourhood. In the past four years, the BJP government has swung from the sublime to the ridiculous on Pakistan, blockaded Nepal for not declaring itself as a Hindu Rashtra, lost Sri Lanka to the Chinese, been belittled by the Maldives and even Seychelles. Europe, Africa, Latin and South America have fallen off the map.

The list is interminable. The BJP government’s denseness has ended up antagonising both Russia and China. Nothing typified this more than Russia holding antiterror exercises with Pakistan in DRUZBA-2017. Similarly, rather than taking a nuanced position, the ill-conceived boycott of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing in 2017 invited the wrath of China via the Doklam standoff. Notwithstanding government claims, the withdrawal from Doklam was sequential — India first, then China — rather than simultaneous. The sequel was that the Prime Minister had to travel to Wuhan and Sochi to effectively pay ‘court’ to Presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin, respectively.

The worst casualty has, however, been India’s neighbourhood. In the past four years, the BJP government has swung from the sublime to the ridiculous on Pakistan, blockaded Nepal for not declaring itself as a Hindu Rashtra, lost Sri Lanka to the Chinese, been belittled by the Maldives and even Seychelles. Europe, Africa, Latin and South America have fallen off the map.

The list is interminable. India’s foreign policy is up a creek without a paddle.

Riaz Haq said…
Here's Michael Lewis, author of "The Fifth Risk" on a potential threat that could destroy US credit and its economy:

"Assuming Donald Trump remains president for a while, I think there's at least the possibility of the risk that he will try to default on the American debt selectively. Like, he'll say, the Chinese are trying to sell their treasury bonds, and it's causing disruption in the treasury bond market; they stole all that money in the first place from us; we're not going to pay the Chinese back."


https://www.npr.org/2018/10/02/653607732/michael-lewis-trumps-approach-to-government-shows-neglect-and-misunderstanding

Michael Lewis, welcome back to FRESH AIR. Explain what "The Fifth Risk" is.

MICHAEL LEWIS: Short answer is it's the risk that you fail to imagine. It's while you're worried about what you're worried about, it's the thing that's actually going to come and kill you. And the longer answer is, when I'm working on this book about the federal government under Trump, I come to see the federal government as really a portfolio of risks that are being managed.

And as I'm wandering around the federal government trying to figure out what these risks are, over and over again when I'm asking people in the Energy Department or the Agriculture Department or even the White House to name kind of the top risks on the tip of their minds, they all come up with kind of three or four, and then they can't think of the fifth. So I thought that's the moment where the mind fails to imagine what it needs to imagine.

GROSS: Since your book is about the federal government under Trump, focusing on the energy, agriculture and commerce departments, why did you name it "The Fifth Risk" now that you've explained with "The Fifth Risk" means?

LEWIS: Well, it was a response to what I'd found about how the Trump administration had gone about taking over the federal government. What kind of lights a fire under me is when I discovered that the Obama administration had spent the better part of a year and thousands of people's lives preparing essentially the best course that had ever been created in how to run the federal government or what was going on inside the federal government and that this course was meant to be delivered to whoever won the election the day after the election - starting the day after the election.

And they were expecting hundreds of people to roll in to receive these briefings, and nobody showed up. Nobody - in many cases, when I go get these briefings, I'm the first person to have got them. And I thought, well, this enterprise that's managing all these risks it imagines but we as a society don't spend much time thinking about. It's being neglected, ignored and is operating on the basis of ignorance. So I thought, what happens when you do that across a big portfolio of risks like the federal government runs? And what happens is you amplify the risks. You increase the probability of these risks actually causing problems.

GROSS: So you write about three different departments - energy, agriculture and commerce. In all three or at least in two of the three, data has been removed, and the public can no longer access it. Can you give us some examples across the agencies of data that's been removed?

LEWIS: Yeah, so this is a theme. You know, trying to - wants to tease out some of the themes of the Trump administration. And one of the themes is it's going dark, or it's got a very loose or sometimes hostile attitude towards the data the government is supposed to collect and make available. Just a couple of the examples - in all three agencies, anything having to do with climate was removed. And then in several cases, it was kind of odd removal of data.

Riaz Haq said…
Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Deng Xiaoping's comments in Beijing to Albanian Communist Party's visiting delegation in 1962 (as quoted in China’s India War, 1962 as quoted in"Looking Back to See the Future: Looking Back to See the Future" edited by Air Commodore Jasjit Singh published in 2013:

"During the last two years it is clear that the American imperialists are helping two forces in Asia: Japan and India. These two forces have yet to form completely. The attempts by the American imperialists to increase the power of India are due to the fact that India is very populous, while Japan is both populous and technologically advanced. Of course, lesser countries of South Asia and Indochina are also included in this plan. Their specific measures are intended to help India become a great power, but its body is very weak. In other words, they are trying to shift India from a policy of neutrality to the side of the American imperialists. Should something like this come to fruition, it would be a blow not only to China, but to the Soviet Union as well. When they help India, they offend Pakistan. The public opinion in Pakistan is now on the side of a change in the government policy, and now Pakistan has a good position towards us. This has yet to be achieved completely. It would take a long time to achieve it."

https://books.google.com/books?id=p026DQAAQBAJ&pg=PT43&lpg=PT43&dq=Deng+Xiaoping++%22During+the+last+two+years+it+is+clear+that+the+American+imperialists...%22+are+helping+two+forces+in+Asia:+Japan+and+India.&source=bl&ots=FChSC5HL2H&sig=ACfU3U1RgRq5sz7kNB9e2DO_iS3hWjZXTA&hl=en&ppis=_e&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjQjrS3nf7lAhUTsp4KHV7uBokQ6AEwAHoECAEQAQ#v=snippet&q=Japan%20India&f=false
Riaz Haq said…
#India angers #Afghanistan, #Bangladesh. Ex #Indian Diplomat: "Our smaller neighbors will look elsewhere in their environs for meaningful friendships, and in today’s circumstances, they do not have to look far in their neighborhood" #CAB2019 #AmitShah https://indianpunchline.com/afghanistan-bangladesh-deserve-our-respect/

This had to happen: The friendliest and the closest neighbour that India ever had since its independence, Afghanistan, has cast aside diplomatic niceties and unmistakably conveyed its indignation and sense of hurt over the churlish imputation by the Indian leadership of alleged religious / racial persecution of minorities in that Muslim country on India’s northern tier.

The interview by the Afghan envoy Tahir Qadiry with India Today TV should come as an eyeopener for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah — and even External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar — namely, that India’s political relations with its three big ‘Muslim neighbours’ are running into headwinds.

The Afghan envoy has taken exception to the very notion of state persecution of the minority Sikh community in his country. As he put it, “In the last few years, since the fall of the Taliban Afghan people and government, especially this government, has been respecting the minorities, like the Sikh community, our great brothers and sisters as we have in Afghanistan. We have huge respect for them, we have seats for them in parliament, seats in the lower house as well, we also have their representative at the presidential palace.”

Qadiry’s remarks constitute a truthful statement of facts. Except for the abnormal five-year period under Taliban rule (1996-2001), the Afghan state has pursued a policy of pluralism allowing various faiths and sects to flourish.

The Sikh community was never persecuted in Afghanistan. In fact, it was well-rooted in the Afghan society and even in the chaotic times under the Mujahideen (1992-1996), the Sikh Gurudwara in Kabul was an oasis of peace and serenity. (I had a most memorable visit to the Kart-e-Parwan Gurudwara in Kabul in 1994.)

When security conditions deteriorated alarmingly in the nineties, many Sikh families moved down to India to wait out the time of troubles. But the enterprising male members of the families mostly preferred to stay put in Kabul and pursue their livelihood, which was mostly trading. In the Afghan setting, they did relatively well too, especially doing trade with India. Of course, with the hydra-headed beast of terrorism around, insecurity prevails in Afghanistan today and the Sikh community has also grievously suffered. But state repression? For God’s sake, no.

Unlike the present BJP government’s approach, successive Congress governments pursued an open-door policy toward Afghan nationals who sought refuge in India. We never differentiated the Afghans on the basis of their religion or ethnicity. The Indian policies were riveted on people-to-people relations and that approach earned a lot of goodwill for our country among Afghans in general.

Arguably, that approach proved to be the mainstay of the India-Afghanistan relationship. Ironically, even the Indian intelligence, which taps into the Afghan goodwill rather lavishly in the recent years, has been a direct beneficiary of the policy of friendship and the vast reservoir of friendly feelings it created through several decades.

How far the Indian intelligence agencies tried to discourage Home Minister Amit Shah from proceeding on such an abrasive track today we do not know, but it seems extremely unlikely that such professionalism exists any longer in our country.

Riaz Haq said…
My wild guess is that Ehsan was instrumental in providing the clues that led to #TTP commanders whereabouts in #Afghanistan and their killing. Ehsan’s “escape” is probably a reward for his valuable help to #Pakistani sleuths

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-51356940

The fatal shooting of two men in the heart of the Afghan capital Kabul - a city unfortunately used to violence - went almost unnoticed.

But then, the dead men had hoped to go unnoticed: according to one source, they were both carrying fake IDs.

Exactly what they were doing in Kabul, and who killed them, remains a mystery that touches upon the murky links between security services and extremist groups in the region.

Who they really were, at least, has become clear. According to sources in Pakistani intelligence and militant circles, the men were senior members of the Pakistani Taliban - a group that has killed hundreds of Pakistanis in suicide bombings and other attacks.


One of the dead men was Sheikh Khalid Haqqani, who held a key position in the Pakistani Taliban's leadership council, and formerly served as the group's deputy leader.

He had been accused of involvement in several high-profile attacks on Pakistani politicians and linked to one of the country's deadliest militant attacks, the 2014 assault on a school in Peshawar, which left more than 150 people - mainly children - dead.

The second man was Qari Saif Younis, a military commander within the group. In a statement on Thursday, the Pakistani Taliban confirmed the men's identities and their deaths but gave few other details.

According to one militant source, the men had been due to hold a secret "meeting" in Kabul, on the direct orders of the group's leadership, apparently travelling from the eastern Afghan province of Paktika.

Their bodies were found near the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul
The militant would not say who they were meeting. According to a source in Pakistani intelligence, the men's bodies were discovered in the vicinity of the high-end Intercontinental Hotel - the site of two deadly attacks in recent years.

The deaths occurred last week, but the source in the Pakistani Taliban said the group's leadership had initially ordered the news to be kept "secret", partly as they were rattled by the assassinations, and partly to avoid awkward questions about why the men were in the city.

It is highly unusual for senior members of the Pakistani Taliban to be travelling to Kabul. The group is an entirely separate entity from the Afghan Taliban, with different aims and different supporters. The Afghan Taliban have been fighting a long-running insurgency against the Afghan government, which is backed by US-led forces, while the Pakistani Taliban have focused their attacks inside Pakistan.

---

The source within the group acknowledged it was also possible that gunmen or militants linked to Pakistani intelligence services were responsible.

They have in the past conducted other audacious assassinations, targeting figures wanted by Pakistan who were living in Afghanistan. For example, in December 2018 a suicide bombing in an upmarket district of the southern city of Kandahar killed a separatist Pakistani leader who had been living there in exile.

Conversely, figures linked to the Afghan Taliban have previously been killed in Pakistan. In 2013, one alleged senior Afghan militant figure was shot dead in a bakery in Islamabad.

According to sources within the Pakistani Taliban, the bodies of the men killed in Kabul, Sheikh Khalid Haqqani and Qari Saif Younis, were handed over to the group, and a large funeral was held for them on Monday in their stronghold in eastern Kunar Province.

Of course, how the bodies ended up back in the hands of their militant group remains another part of the intrigue.
Riaz Haq said…
#Indian woman Amulya Leona held for chanting 'long live Pakistan' at #CAA_NRCProtests. Her comments were immediately condemned by a local #Muslim politician. #Muslim politicians in #Hindu-majority India are often targeted as being "pro-Pakistan" #Pakistan https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-51531988


An Indian woman has been arrested and charged with sedition for chanting "long live Pakistan" at a protest in the southern city of Bangalore.

Amulya Leona was participating in a demonstration against a controversial citizenship law, which critics say discriminates against Muslims.

Her comments were immediately condemned by a prominent local Muslim politician.

Asaduddin Owaisi, who was at the rally, said neither he nor his party supported India's "enemy nation Pakistan".

Muslim politicians in Hindu-majority India are often targeted as being "pro-Pakistan" by political rivals, particularly in the last few years. The neighbouring countries have a historically tense relationship, fighting three wars since Pakistan's formation following the partition of India in 1947.

After the incident at the protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) went viral, Ms Leona and her family were the target of massive outrage.

Clips of her comment were circulated widely, and her father has complained that a group of people came to his house and forced him to chant "hail mother India". They also told him that he had not brought his daughter up properly and threatened him against getting bail for her.

Police in the district told BBC Hindi that they are investigating his complaint, adding that Ms Leona would be produced before a judicial magistrate in 14 days.

What is the CAA?
The law offers amnesty to non-Muslim illegal immigrants from three countries - Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

It amends India's 64-year-old citizenship law, which currently prohibits illegal migrants from becoming Indian citizens.

It also expedites the path to Indian citizenship for members of six religious minority communities - Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian - if they can prove that they are from Muslim-majority Pakistan, Afghanistan or Bangladesh. They will now only have to live or work in India for six years - instead of 11 years - before becoming eligible to apply for citizenship.

The government says this will give sanctuary to people fleeing religious persecution, but critics argue that it will marginalise India's Muslim minority.
Riaz Haq said…
#Indian Occupied #Kashmir DSP #DavinderSingh, now suspended, has said he was part of a covert #intelligence operation that required him to ferry militants including #RiyazNaikoo who was recently killed by #India's military. https://theprint.in/india/how-jk-cop-davinders-covert-mission-lie-was-exposed-by-militant-he-was-ferrying/351052/ via @ThePrintIndia

The arrested J&K deputy superintendent of police (DSP), Davinder Singh, has told investigators that he was part of a covert operation that required him to ferry militants to Jammu.

In his interrogation, DSP Singh has claimed that after ferrying Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Syed Naveed to Jammu, he intended to bring another of the organisation’s commanders, Riyaz Naikoo, there as well.

Sources told ThePrint that the arrested officer wanted his investigators to believe that he was part of a covert mission whose goal was the arrest or killing of the Hizbul militants.

The DSP is said to have told his interrogators that he was “building faith” with the militant group’s leadership, eventually prompting them to travel all the way to Jammu, which he wanted them to believe was safe for meetings.

Given his reputation as a counter-insurgent operative, investigators might have given the DSP the benefit of the doubt had it not been for the testimony of Naveed, whom the officer was ferrying, and the intelligence gathered by the Jammu and Kashmir Police on the morning of his arrest.


Investigators are said to have indulged Singh during interrogation and even tried to find out if he indeed was part of an operation by finding out if the arrested officer had kept any of his superiors updated about the so-called operation.

His call records revealed that Singh was in touch with his superiors but even as information was being collected to find out if Singh’s superiors knew what the officer had been up to, a revelation by Naveed, who was being interrogated separately, undermined the officer’s narrative.
Riaz Haq said…
After #spypigeon, #Pakistan sending #locust army to India? #Indian media warn #NewDelhi not to let its “guard down just yet” citing declassified #CIA files of its Cold War in which animals were used to photograph sensitive sites in the former #USSR. https://tribune.com.pk/story/2231962/1-tribune-fact-check-spy-pigeon-pakistan-sends-locust-army-india/

Indian media has claimed that Pakistan is behind the locust attack that has swept the country.

Arnab Goswami, an anchor at Indian news channel Republic TV, made the bizarre allegation on air alleging that the locusts were sent from across the border as a plot to “destroy the country’s agriculture and in-turn the economy”.

Goswami went on to claim tthat the locusts would target Pakistan soldiers.

Indian news outlet The Economic Times, also ran a story probing how the possibility.

The article went as far as to warn New Delhi not to let its “guard down just yet” citing declassified CIA files of its Cold War in which animals were used to photograph sensitive sites in the former USSR.
“As CIA also trained ravens and dolphins, Pakistani locusts should merit closer examination too,” the report states.

The short-horned grasshoppers invaded agriculture fields in both Pakistan and India decimating crops and risking famine in the region.

The locusts entered into the southwestern Balochistan province, from neighboring Iran.

These insects, mainly originating from deserts, eat anything from bark to seeds and flowers while traveling up to a speed of 93.2 miles (149 kilometers) a day.

After destroying crops in western Indian states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Maharashtra, the locusts’ swarms are heading towards national capital Delhi in large numbers.

Indian police also released a pigeon belonging to a Pakistani fisherman after a probe found that the bird, which had flown across the contentious border between the nuclear-armed nations, was not a spy.

“The pigeon was set free yesterday (May 28) after nothing suspicious was found,” said Shailendra Mishra, a senior police official in Indian occupied Kashmir.

It was unclear where the bird was released and whether it flew back to its owner.

The Pakistani owner of the pigeon had urged India to return his bird, which Indian villagers turned over to police after discovering it.
Riaz Haq said…
One hard truth that Indians have to contend with is that America has also had difficulty treating India with respect. In recent years, many Americans have proudly proclaimed that America and India have a friendship built on a strong foundation since both are fellow democracies. This argument cuts little ice among thoughtful Indians since most of them remember well that America stood shoulder to shoulder with communist China and dictatorial Pakistan for several decades during the Cold War and beyond. One of the critical weaknesses of Washington, DC, is that the administrations and their officials change regularly; they have poor memories. Many Americans, like many of their fellow Westerners, have a higher degree of respect for Chinese civilization than they do of Indian civilization. Many Americans will deny it because it is an uncomfortable truth. They will proclaim loudly that they respect India as much as they respect China. But you cannot feign respect: it is best demonstrated not through words but in deeds. Every country in the world demonstrates its respect for another country by the amount of time and attention it gives to that country, and America has devoted far more time and attention to China than it has to India. If America wants to develop a close long-term relationship with India over the long run, it needs to confront the deep roots of its relative lack of respect for India. Is it a result of a perception among Western scholars that Indian civilization is not as impressive as Chinese civilization? Is this a result of the fact that the American media has broadcast a steady stream of stories about poverty in India, so much so that just as Americans naturally associate Africa with poverty, they may also do the same with India? Or were America’s condescending cultural attacks a result of romantic fascination with British dramas set in British India, with Indian culture presented as inferior? Unless Americans reflect on the roots of their lack of respect for India, they will fail to develop a strong partnership of equals. The tragedy of this failure is that such a partnership would bring massive benefits to both countries. As the American century gradually fades away in the coming decades and an Asian century emerges in force, America will need to build bridges to engage the new self-confident Asian societies. Clearly, China cannot provide America a bridge to the new Asia as China will be perceived as the main challenger to America for the coming decades. However, India can, as there are several common links to build upon. The first is the exceptional success of the Indian community in America. America’s free enterprise system is, in many ways, the most competitive market in the world for human achievement as the best minds from nations all over the world migrate to America. The pool of migrants in America represents the highest achieving segments of societies around the world. When the best brains of the world compete on a level playing field, which ethnic community does the best? The data show it is the ethnic Indian community in America.


Mahbubani, Kishore. Has China Won? (pp. 239-241). PublicAffairs. Kindle Edition.
Riaz Haq said…
#US sees opportunity in #India’s increasing focus on #China — a turnaround from the days when #Pakistan claimed most of India’s attention. Others fear #US support for #Modi worsens persecution of #Indian #Muslims. #Ladakh #Islamophobia —The New York Times


https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/03/world/asia/india-china-trump.html

India’s border dispute with China has accelerated its relations with the United States. Others worry that warming ties ignore India’s persecution of Muslims.
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“Both the U.S. and India have recognized the importance of the other,” said Nisha D. Biswal, President Barack Obama’s assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs. “It’s not a surprise that the Indians are looking for like-minded strategic and security partners, given concerns around a destabilizing environment in the Indo-Pacific.”

But social justice advocates worry that the Trump administration is turning a blind eye to India’s rights abuses against Muslims under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, prioritizing military and geopolitical alliances over all else.

“They are warming relations under the same authoritarian banner,” said Wasim Dar, who campaigns for rights of people in the disputed territory of Kashmir. “They’re prioritizing military, or hegemony, over any kind of human rights or political freedom.”

The United States and India have increasingly soured on China in recent years.

A looming presidential election in the United States — and President Trump’s eagerness to paint China as a rival — has caused Washington to sharply shift its policies toward Beijing. The Trump administration has taken a series of economic, political and diplomatic actions against China, citing its crackdown on democratic protests in Hong Kong, human rights abuses against the largely Muslim Uighur minority, unfair trade practices and aggressive expansion into the South China Sea.

At the same time, India and China have engaged in increasing aggression in recent months.
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Washington’s relationship with India has a rocky history. During the Cold War, the United States grew closer with Pakistan, India’s border rival, and Russia with India. U.S. relations with India started to warm in 2000, after President Bill Clinton became the first American president to visit the country since 1978. Since then, every American leader has made the trip to India and extolled the virtues of teaming with the world’s largest democracy.

Still, the United States and India have not signed a formal alliance. India, which for years has maintained a stance of nonalignment, has been reluctant to engage.

But the Himalayan crisis is helping change that.

India’s increasing focus on China — a turnaround from the days when Pakistan claimed most of its attention — is a welcome sign for American diplomats, who believe the shared anger can draw India into a strategic partnership that will help neutralize China’s growing influence in the region.

Of most interest, experts say, is whether the border dispute will move India closer into a regional partnership with the United States, Japan and Australia — known as the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or “Quad.”

The forum — proposed in 2007 by the Japanese prime minister at the time, Shinzo Abe — was billed as the Asian “arc of democracy.” China has seen it as a threat to its dominance in the region, saying the Quad is a U.S. attempt to create an Asian version of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization directly aimed at counterbalancing its interests.

In the past, India was hesitant to fully engage in the partnership, spurned by Australia’s exit in 2008, and fearful of upsetting China and ruining its trade ties with the country. Australia has since rejoined.
Ghazi said…
The biggest symbol of Indian obsession is the sheer number of them on Pakistani forums, news sites and even social media content about Pakistan. It is understandable that people might be curious, but those with outright hatred towards us are obsessed by us.

Look at this forum, of the Indian membership how many positively engage and how many are trolls? How many Pakistani's do you find on their forums? Next to none.

Look at the news sites. Dawn's comments section is inundated with Indians, yet how many Pakistani's comment on ToI?

Their national identity is fabricated, which in itself is no bad thing. Most nations are a mix of cultures, ethnicities, religions and political identities. However the HUGE discrimination and inequality in their nation makes it very difficult for people to bind to a national identity. Thus we have the hatred of Pakistan - the glue that binds. The "other" who is behind all the problems.
Riaz Haq said…
Has New Delhi's abject failure in containing the coronavirus pandemic finally done what Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's extreme brutality and open hatred against Zakaria's fellow Indian Muslims could not do? Has he really had it with Hindu Nationalist government? While he has not used his perch on CNN to do it, it appears that he has started expressing his disapproval of the performance on other platforms.

Here are a few of the key points Fareed Zakaria made while speaking with Shekhar Gupta:

1. There’s no doubt in my mind that the Indian government, and by that I mean the Delhi government, has handled this crisis (COVID19) very poorly.

2. Indian government functions very poorly, even in comparison to other developing countries. Coronavirus has highlighted that reality.

3. In a way, India seems like roadkill for China’s obsession with absolute control over their borders. I do think there is an opportunity here for diplomacy. I don’t think India needs to be confrontational about it (the LAC issue), but of course it should push back.

4. It is now a bipolar world. US and China are way ahead of the rest of the world. For the long term, India needs to decide it’s position with China.

4. Turkey under Erdogan has become more confident and independent. It is culturally proud. It is telling Americans to buzz off.

5. Popularity of political leaders around the world is linked to their performance on the coronavirus pandemic. In India, however, the issues of religion and caste are still dominating.

6. What I wonder about (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi is, is he really bringing all of India along with him? How many Muslims in Indian government? Or South Indians in BJP? It is much less diverse than Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's cabinet.

7. I have been very sad to see how Indian democracy has developed over the last few years. It has become an illiberal democracy.

8. The India media is slavishly pro-government. Self-censorship is widespread in India.

9. The Indian courts fold in cases where government takes serious interest.

It has become increasingly clear that India's loudest cheerleaders like Fareed Zakaria are now starting to see the stark reality of Modi's India as a big failure on multiple fronts. Indian state has failed to contain the deadly COVID19 pandemic. India's economy is in serious trouble. The country's democracy is in decline. India seems like a roadkill for China. This turn of events has created serious problems for Pakistani "liberals" who have long seen and often cited India as a successful example of "secular democracy" at work in South Asia.

https://www.southasiainvestor.com/2020/08/is-fareed-zakaria-souring-on-india.html

Riaz Haq said…
#Beijing warns: "Some #US & #Indian #intelligence forces keen to infiltrate into #Pakistan....#China will not only support Pakistan to strike a heavy blow to these #terror forces, but also warn all the external forces to stay away from those terror forces" https://www.newsweek.com/china-losing-pakistan-calls-america-india-enemies-opinion-1622297

Op Ed Gordon Chang


As China makes gains in Afghanistan, the regime is suffering severe setbacks in neighboring Pakistan, where resentment against Chinese interests is widespread.

Two suicide bombings in Pakistan—last week and last month—have taken the lives of 11 Chinese nationals and cast doubt about the viability of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. CPEC, as the $62 billion plan is known, is the centerpiece of Xi Jinping's Belt and Road (BRI), his global infrastructure initiative.

China has blamed both the U.S. and India for complicity in the deadly bombings. Beijing could take action against them, thereby engulfing the world's major powers in conflict.


On Friday, a boy suicide bomber killed two Chinese children traveling in the last car of a convoy on the Gwadar East Bay Expressway, a CPEC project. China is caught in the middle of long-running disputes in Pakistan, especially between the oppressed Balochs and Islamabad, and there is little Beijing can do to ensure the security of its workers and dependents in-country. The Balochistan Liberation Army claimed responsibility for the attack.


Gwadar, a Chinese-built port on the Arabian Sea, has been hit by weeks-long protests that shut down the city. Those disturbances have been directed in part against illegal Chinese fishing in nearby waters.

The Gwadar disturbances follow a suicide bombing, on the 14th of last month, targeting the Dasu dam, another CPEC project. The explosion forced a bus into a ravine, killing nine Chinese nationals. The attack is believed to be the most deadly incident against Chinese interests in Pakistan.

"Recently, the security situation in Pakistan has been severe," declared a statement from the Chinese embassy in Islamabad on Friday.

These two incidents, which have followed a series of attacks, have especially alarmed Beijing. "If you've seen the recent developments with CPEC and the Chinese investments in Pakistan, there's been far more anxiety about the security situation there in the last few months than in the last few years," said Andrew Small of the German Marshall Fund to the Hindu, the Chennai-based newspaper. "They're concerned that effectively, Afghanistan could be used as strategic depth for the Pakistani Taliban, and that would have implications for their investments and security interests in the country."

China should be worried. As Kamran Bokhari of the Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy tells Newsweek, the fall of the Afghan government has energized the Tehreek-e-Taliban, more commonly known as the Pakistani Taliban. The group "will want to take advantage of what they see as a historic opportunity to replicate in Pakistan the emiratic regime," Bokhari says. To do that, the Pakistani Taliban has been targeting Chinese interests to get Beijing to abandon CPEC projects. As Bokhari points out, China's leaving will weaken Islamabad, and that will help the Pakistani Taliban either topple the current government or grab control of territory along the Afghan border.

Pakistani authorities blamed the July 14 suicide bombing on the Pakistani Taliban, but they say the attacker was "trained in Afghanistan" and "received support from Indian and Afghan intelligence agencies."

Riaz Haq said…
The United States, Britain, and Australia have announced what is in effect a new “Anglo” military alliance.

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2021/09/us-uk-australia-china/620094/

The French response has been apoplectic. The country’s minister of European and foreign affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, called the decision a “knife in the back.” Benjamin Haddad, from the Atlantic Council, in Washington, said it had set relations between the U.S. and France back to their lowest point since the Iraq War. Bruno Tertrais, of France’s Foundation for Strategic Research think tank went even further, calling it a “Trafalgar strike.”

Yet behind the soap opera of French anger and the quiet crowing of les perfides anglo-saxons, sits something much more important: the faint outlines of a new world order, or at least an attempt to start drawing one.

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Indeed, in one reading, the formation of an AUKUS military alliance has a sense of deep continuity. As Biden pointed out, the three nations have fought together for most of the past 100 years and are core members of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance, alongside Canada and New Zealand. For France, in particular, the announcement only reinforces its belief in the difference between Europe and the Anglo-Saxon world. So much, so similar. (A senior Biden-administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said last night that Britain and Australia were America’s “oldest allies.” That might be news to France, which was allied to the nascent U.S. as it fought for independence from … Britain.)

But to view the emergence of AUKUS as a sign of continuity—as its architects have presented it—is to miss the point. Although Biden twice name-checked France in his remarks last night, the country on his mind was the one not mentioned at all: China.

The senior administration official said the alliance was designed to strengthen capabilities in the Indo-Pacific region by anchoring Britain “more closely with our strategic pursuits in the region as a whole.” But what is Biden’s strategic pursuit?

In his statement last night, Biden, while far from being particularly eloquent, set out a vision for a “free and open Indo-Pacific”—in other words, one free of Chinese domination. According to a U.K. official I spoke with, this concept first emerged in Japan and has since been adopted by Australia, another Pacific power that has felt pressure from Beijing. It also fits in with Britain’s own stated pursuit of a peaceful and open international order, as set out in its strategic review this year, which is the centerpiece of Johnson’s foreign-policy vision. China’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, said the move “seriously undermines regional peace and stability,” and the country’s embassy in Washington accused Britain, Australia, and the U.S. of having a “Cold War mentality.”

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Biden and Johnson see a world of multiple and complementary alliances. Biden, for example, spoke of “the quad” in his statement, the informal grouping of the U.S., Japan, India, and Australia that is another pillar of Washington’s Chinese-containment policy. This marks a contrast to the 20th-century world, one which centered on a continent-wide military alliance to contain America’s then–rival superpower and a globe-spanning trade body. Johnson sees the emergence of today’s world, more ad hoc and nimble, as perfect for post-Brexit Britain, which has—in his mind—unshackled itself from the permanence and inflexibility of the European Union to enter a more “dynamic” world where Britain can react quickly to events, signing up to new alliances such as AUKUS based on its own national interests. (Critics would, of course, point out that EU membership and global alliances are not mutually exclusive—see France.)
Riaz Haq said…
In Submarine Deal With Australia, U.S. Counters China but Enrages France
The reaction signals a widening rift among Western allies over China. French officials accused President Biden of acting like his predecessor.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/16/world/europe/france-australia-uk-us-submarines.html


Underscoring its fury, France canceled a gala scheduled for Friday at its embassy in Washington to mark the 240th anniversary of a Revolutionary War battle.

“This looks like a new geopolitical order without binding alliances,” said Nicole Bacharan, a researcher at Sciences Po in Paris. “To confront China, the United States appears to have chosen a different alliance, with the Anglo-Saxon world separate from France.” She predicted a “very hard” period in the old friendship between Paris and Washington.

The deal also seemed to be a pivot point in relations with China, which reacted angrily. The Biden administration appears to be upping the ante with Beijing by providing a Pacific ally with submarines that are much harder to detect than conventional ones, much as medium-range Pershing II missiles were deployed in Europe in the 1980s to deter the Soviet Union.

A statement from Mr. Le Drian and Florence Parly, France’s Armed Forces minister, called “the American choice to exclude a European ally and partner such as France” a regrettable decision that “shows a lack of coherence.”

The Australian vessels would have nuclear reactors for propulsion, but not nuclear weapons.

France and the rest of the European Union are intent on avoiding a direct confrontation with China, as they underscored on Thursday in a policy paper titled the “E.U. Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific,” whose release was planned before the fracas.

It said the bloc would pursue “multifaceted engagement with China,” cooperating on issues of common interest while “pushing back where fundamental disagreement exists with China, such as on human rights.”

The degree of French anger recalled the acrimonious rift in 2003 between Paris and Washington over the Iraq war and involved language not heard since then.

“This is not done between allies,” Mr. Le Drian said. His comparison of Mr. Biden to Mr. Trump appeared certain to be taken in the White House as a serious insult.

And France said it had not been consulted on the deal. “We heard about it yesterday,” Ms. Parly told RFI radio.

The Biden administration said it had not told French leaders beforehand, because it was clear that they would be unhappy with the deal.

The administration decided that it was up to Australia to choose whether to tell Paris, said a U.S. official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to address the matter publicly. But he allowed that the French had a right to be annoyed, and that the decision was likely to fuel France’s desire for a European Union military capability independent of the United States.
Riaz Haq said…
PM Narendra Modi invokes Chanakya, Tagore in address to UN General Assembly
Prime Minister Narendra Modi invoked Chanakya, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, and Rabindranath Tagore in his address to the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/pm-narendra-modi-invokes-chanakya-tagore-un-general-assembly-1857210-2021-09-25

PM Modi quoted words of Indian strategist Chanakya, who had said, “When the right action is not taken at the right time, then it is time itself that causes the action to fail.”

The prime minister emphasised, “ If the UN has to keep itself relevant, it has to improve its effectiveness and increase its reliability.”
Riaz Haq said…
Indian analyst argues that “Xijinpingistan” (#China) is why #India should woo #Pakistan. But what gets in the way is “Antipathy to subcontinental Islam, Muslims, anything remotely local Muslim-related (and even Urdu language” #Islamophobia #Modi #Hindutva

https://bharatkarnad.com/2022/01/26/xijinpingistan-is-why-india-should-co-opt-pakistan/

The lament is about the Indian government being so addle-brained it still doesn’t know which is its one true enemy — Xijinpingistan, a fact that, in one sense, is at the root of all our external problems and the country’s subordinate status. As a people, we are so blinded by traditional prejudices and cultural bias, rational strategizing goes out the window. I am referring to the anti-Muslim sentiment, of course.

This factor has shaped India’s foreign policy, undermined vital national interests, and shrunk the country into a dependency and a pawn in the global chessboard of power politics. It offers an object lesson for other well endowed countries on how not to screw things up and connive at one’s own reduction. The real tragedy, however, is that no one — not the people at-large, not the government, and not the policy establishment, has learned from this still unfolding fiasco, because no one thinks anything is seriously wrong!

Antipathy to subcontinental Islam, Muslims, anything remotely local Muslim-related (and even Urdu language)

Riaz Haq said…
#China is poised to militarily dominate the #Indian Ocean w/in a decade, the #US bet on #India is faltering. #China acquiring #military facilities in Horn of #Africa, on #Pakistan’s Indian Ocean coast, in #Myanmar & #UAE with access to Persian Gulf. #QUAD https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2022/03/16/india-china-indian-ocean-00017520

By Sameer Lalwani


Why haven’t China’s increasing Indian Ocean capabilities raised more alarm bells in Washington, given the laser focus on China these days? One reason is that the U.S. has concentrated its efforts on East Asia, particularly the possibility of conflict in the Taiwan Strait. Another problem, however, is that the U.S. has long assumed India would be a counterweight to China in the Indian Ocean. Indeed, a deeper partnership with India — the world’s largest democracy, on an upward economic trajectory, seemingly perfectly positioned to counter China on land and at sea — has been something of a holy grail for at least four U.S. administrations.

Yet what former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a decade ago called a “strategic bet” on India does not seem to be paying off. Indian naval and political power in the Indian Ocean region is faltering, giving way to influence by Beijing. Many of these problems are of India’s own making. But part of the problem is the way the U.S. has managed its relationship with New Delhi. The India relationship has become a case study of a partnership between two nations with naturally aligned geostrategic interests that is nonetheless faltering because of a lack of clear priorities, misaligned incentives, and a frequent inability to understand what the other side really wants.

Ultimately, it’s New Delhi that will need to make the most significant course corrections. But the U.S. can also help ensure this bet pays off, with clearer prioritization, incentives and expectations for what could be one of the most important security partnerships of the 21st century. To check China’s rising influence in the Indian Ocean, Washington needs a comprehensive strategy for the region and a revitalized approach to its partnership with India that prioritizes maritime security, bolsters India’s defense technologies and sets bold expectations for a country whose potential against the China challenge has yet to be realized.

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Part of the reason the Indian Ocean hasn’t received as much attention as it should is that many U.S. defense experts assume or hope they can rely on India to automatically be a “counterweight” to China in this region. For over two decades, Washington has been enamored with the idea that India, at one point exceeding 8 percent economic growth annually, would become a military powerhouse that could “frustrate China’s hegemonic ambitions.” The U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy released in February counts on India to be “a net security provider,” just as previous administrations officially banked on the Indian Navy taking a “leading role in maintaining Indian Ocean security.” Some former Trump administration officials even want to formalize a Japan-style alliance.

But India’s ability to play this role is in serious doubt. Indian officials had targeted a 200-ship navy by 2023, but today, the Indian Navy acknowledges it will be fortunate to reach 170 total ships sometime in the 2030s. Even if it does, analysts worry India may still be held back by a fleet that’s continuously underfunded and 60 percent obsolescent with serious deficiencies in equipment and manpower. As India’s navy slides in the opposite direction of China’s, it doesn’t help that India’s political influence in its neighborhood has also wobbled. Within a decade, India may not even be able to protect its own backyard against Chinese military coercion at sea just as on land.
Riaz Haq said…
#China & #Pakistan launch #naval drills to counter #US Indo-Pacific strategy. Focus is on attacking maritime targets, tactical maneuvers, anti-#submarine warfare, reinforcing damaged #ships, anti-#aircraft & anti-#missile operations & replenishment at #sea https://www.scmp.com/news/china/military/article/3184897/china-and-pakistan-launch-naval-drills-aimed-countering-us-indo

The Indian Ocean is a vital trading hub, and 80 per cent of China’s oil imports come through the Malacca Strait, the ocean’s busiest “choke point”.

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Lin Minwang, a professor of South Asian studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, said the exercise would help China to expand its engagement in the Indian Ocean and counter US efforts to advance its Indo-Pacific strategy, which emphasises India’s “continued rise” and leadership in the region.
“The strengthening of maritime security between India and the United States has led to China’s greater engagement in the Indian Ocean.”
China must strengthen naval cooperation with countries in the region, including Pakistan, Iran, and Middle Eastern countries, Lin said.

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The maritime exercise – the second in the ‘Sea Guardians’ series – will allow Pakistan to test Chinese-made warships
The drills coincide with US-led Rimpac, which has excluded China since 2018

China and Pakistan have launched a joint naval exercise in Shanghai, with an eye on countering the US Indo-Pacific strategy and responding to security threats in the Indian Ocean.

The four-day “Sea Guardians – 2” maritime exercise, jointly held by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy and Pakistan Navy, started at the Wusong military port, state news agency Xinhua reported.

The exercise aims to advance the strategic partnership between China and Pakistan and improve their joint response to maritime security threats, according to Xinhua.

This is the second time China and Pakistan have held a “Sea Guardians” joint maritime exercise. The first was held in January 2020 in the northern Arabian Sea.

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To counter India, it is important for Pakistan to improve its navy by acquiring advanced equipment from Beijing and enhancing its capabilities through these drills, according to Lin.
The drills coincide with the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (Rimpac), a US-led multinational naval exercise joined by 25 other nations. The exercise began in Hawaii in late June and will last until August.
China took part in Rimpac in 2014 and 2016, but was not invited in 2018 or subsequent years as US-China relations worsened under the administration of former US president Donald Trump.


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The Pakistan Navy sent the PNS Taimur – the second of four powerful Type 054A/P frigates built by China – to take part in the exercise. The ship was delivered to the Pakistan Navy in Shanghai on June 23. The first of the frigates, the PNS Tughril, joined the Pakistan Navy fleet in January.
The Chinese vessels and aircraft taking part in the exercise are mainly from the PLA Eastern Theatre Command. They include the guided-missile frigates Xiangtan and Shuozhou, supply ship Qiandaohu, a submarine, an early warning aircraft, two fighter jets and one helicopter.
Riaz Haq said…
Why Are #Indians So Obsessed With #Pakistan? Perhaps because they have been fed an anti-Pakistani and #Islamophobic narrative by their right-wing #Modi government? #Hindutva #BJP #Islamophobia_in_india #Muslim #MsMarvel #Pakistani-#American via @tft_ https://www.thefridaytimes.com/2022/07/19/why-are-indians-so-obsessed-with-pakistan/

Young Indians have been incensed that Marvel featured a Pakistani Muslim character. Perhaps they wanted an Indian Marvel hero? Or, because they have been fed an anti-Pakistani and Islamophobic narrative by their right-wing government? What if… these trolls on both sides of the border can be reasoned with

Generally, Pakistanis mind their own business and focus on their own issues of which there is no dearth. It is a poor country, one-seventh the size of India, with much smaller economic and financial resources. Yet, many have noted time and again how Indian trolls flood Pakistani sites to provide their unsolicited two cents on the latest Pakistani news along with their contempt that is projected by branding Pakistan as a “beggar nation” or as a “failed state”.

This necessitates the question that why are Indians so obsessed with Pakistan.

Maybe this has to do with the wars of 1948, 1965, 1971, and 1999 fought between the two nations. But then people who have seen the horrors of war may have PTSD or generally try to avoid negativity, as they have seen enough to envelop the rest of their lives in misery. This older generation of Indians and Pakistanis has been mellowed by age and the understanding that life is too short to dwell on past grievances.

In contrast, the firebrand responses online often emanate from the younger Indian crowd that has been fed an anti-Pakistani and Islamophobic narrative stoked by the right-wing Indian government in power. It is this demonisation of the Pakistani or the Muslim other that lies behind the seething Indian hatred witnessed in online spaces.

However, Pakistanis of all people should know how narratives lead to bigotry and prejudice, as they have been fed with the Islamisation narrative over the years that has instigated the persecution of religious minorities, including Pakistani Hindus.

Indeed, online Indians comment how the Pakistani Hindu population dwindled from 14 to about 2 percent as the country was made on the basis of religion. Others point out that Jinnah and the Muslim League simply did not want to live in United India, as if the situation prior to Indian Partition or Pakistani Independence (based on the respective narratives) was based on some serene ‘kumbaya’ type co-existence.

Such brash statements require further scrutiny. Dr Vikas Divyakirti elaborates in detail in a YouTube video that the Pakistani Hindu population dwindled because of Hindu migration to India just as many Muslims migrated to Pakistan. The Indian Muslim population reduced from 25 to 14 percent. Additionally, despite clamouring by Indian trolls, Pew Research graphically shows how the Hindu population increased exponentially and far outstripped that of Muslims from 1951–2011 in India.


Riaz Haq said…
As the world lurches through the growing pains of massive geopolitical change, the US’ relationship with India will increasingly take center stage. Washington likes to see itself as providing a geopolitical center of gravity that is inherently attractive to nations like India, especially against regional competitors such as China. As the US is about to discover, however, India and China have a shared ambition about who should dominate the Pacific in the coming century, and it doesn’t include the US. Op Ed by Scott Ritter

https://www.energyintel.com/00000183-21d9-d467-adc7-21fdd54f0000

On Aug. 19, India’s minister of external affairs, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, gave a speech at a university in Thailand where he stated that relations between India and China were going through “an extremely difficult phase” and that an “Asian Century” seemed unlikely unless the two nations found a way to “join hands” and start working together.

For many observers, Jaishankar’s speech was taken as an opportunity for the US to drive a wedge between India and China, exploiting an ongoing border dispute along the Himalayan frontier to push India further into a pro-US orbit together with other Western-leaning regional powers. What these observers overlooked, however, was that the Indian minister was seeking the exact opposite from his speech, signaling that India was, in fact, interested in working with China to develop joint policies that would seek to replace US-led Western hegemony in the Pacific.

Struggle for Leadership

More than six decades ago, then-US Senator John F. Kennedy noted that there was a “struggle between India and China for the economic and political leadership of the East, for the respect of all Asia, for the opportunity to demonstrate whose way of life is the better.” The US, Kennedy argued, needed to focus on providing India the help it needed to win that struggle — even if India wasn’t asking for that help or, indeed, seeking to “win” any geopolitical contest with China.

Today, the relationships between the US, India and China have matured, with all three wrestling with complex, and often contradictory, policies that are simultaneously cooperative and confrontational. Notwithstanding this, the US continues to err on the side of helping India achieve a geopolitical “win” over China. One need only consider the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or “Quad,” conceived in 2007, but dormant until 2017, when it was resurrected under US leadership to bring together the US, Japan, Australia and India in an effort to create a regional counterweight to China’s growing influence.

There was a time when cooler heads cautioned against such an assertive US-led posture on a regional response to an expansive, and expanding, Chinese presence in the Indo-Pacific region. This line of thinking held that strong Indian relationships with Tokyo and Canberra should be allowed to naturally progress, independent of US regional ambitions.

These same “cool heads” argued that the US needed to be realistic in its expectations on relations between India and China, avoiding the pitfalls of Cold War-era “zero-sum game” calculations. The US should appreciate that India needed to implement a foreign policy that best met Indian needs. Moreover, they argued, a US-Indian relationship that was solely focused on China would not age well, given the transitory realities of a changing global geopolitical dynamic.

The Asian Century

The key to deciphering Jaishanker’s strategic intent in his Thailand comments lay in his use of the term “Asian Century.” This echoed the words of former Chinese reformist leader Deng Xiaoping, who, in a meeting with former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1988, declared that “in recent years people have been saying that the next century will be the century of Asia and the Pacific, as if that were sure to be the case. I disagree with this view.” Deng went on to explain that unless China and India focus their respective and collective energies on developing their economies, there could, in fact, be no “Asian Century.”
Riaz Haq said…
The Asian Century

The key to deciphering Jaishanker’s strategic intent in his Thailand comments lay in his use of the term “Asian Century.” This echoed the words of former Chinese reformist leader Deng Xiaoping, who, in a meeting with former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1988, declared that “in recent years people have been saying that the next century will be the century of Asia and the Pacific, as if that were sure to be the case. I disagree with this view.” Deng went on to explain that unless China and India focus their respective and collective energies on developing their economies, there could, in fact, be no “Asian Century.”

While Washington may not have heard the subtle implications of Jainshankar’s words, Beijing appears to have done so. Almost immediately after the text of the Indian minister’s comments was made public, the spokesperson for China’s foreign minister declared that both India and China “have the wisdom and capability to help each other succeed rather than undercutting each other.” The takeaway from this exchange is that while both China and India view their ongoing territorial disputes as problematic, they are able and willing to keep their eye on the bigger picture — the ascendancy of the so-called “Asian Century”.

The fact is that India and China have been working toward this goal for some time now. Both are critical participants in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which envisions the growth and empowerment of a trans-Eurasian economic zone that can compete with the economies of the US and Europe on a global scale. Likewise, India and China are actively cooperating within the framework of the Brics economic forum, which is emerging as a direct competitor to the Western-dominated G7.

While it is possible for India to navigate a policy path balancing the US and China in the short term, eventually it will need to go all in on China if its aspirations for an “Asian Century” are ever to be met. This narrative is overlooked by those in the US pursuing zero-sum policies with India when it comes to China.

Given the destiny inherent in the collective embrace of an “Asian Century” by India and China, the US could well find itself on the outside looking in when it comes to those wielding influence in the Pacific going forward. One thing is for certain — the “American Pacific Century” which encompasses the period between the Spanish-American War and the post-Cold War era, where US military, political, and economic power reigned supreme, has run its course. Whether or not India and China will be able to supplant it with an “Asian Century” is yet to be seen. But one thing is for certain — the strategic intent is certainly there.

Scott Ritter is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer whose service over a 20-plus-year career included tours of duty in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control agreements, serving on the staff of US Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf during the Gulf War and later as a chief weapons inspector with the UN in Iraq from 1991-98. The views expressed in this article are those of the author.
Riaz Haq said…
New Order with a Blend of Western Liberalism and Eastern Civilizational Nationalism | Institut Montaigne


By Ram Madhav Founding Member of the Governing Council of India Foundation (Hindu Nationalist RSS)

"...no one wants the present world order to continue except the US and its [Western] allies."

https://www.institutmontaigne.org/en/analysis/new-order-blend-western-liberalism-and-eastern-civilizational-nationalism

The conflict in Ukraine has begun reshaping the global order. Ram Madhav, Former National General Secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Member of the Governing Council of India Foundation, questions the legitimacy of the Western leadership model for “Ukraine Shifting the World Order”. Shedding light on the increasingly heteropolar nature of our world, he advocates for a new world order based on 21st century realities: one where nationalism and liberalism can coexist and where the Global South is a primary stakeholder.



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The Western leadership model
Two important questions arise. Firstly, is a uniform world order wedded to those three principles mandatory for the world, or can there be diversity? Secondly, who is responsible for wrecking the current liberal order? The Western powers themselves or their recalcitrant challengers like Russia and China?

After the Second World War, Western leadership villainized national identity. Nationalism was blamed for the two wars and all modern nation-states were mandated to follow the same template: liberal democracy, open market capitalism and globalization. Other forms were condemned as retrograde. When India’s Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru mobilized nations to build a non-alignment movement, the Western leadership disapprovingly dubbed him a "neutralist". The Soviet Union finally collapsed in 1991, and a wave of enthusiasm engulfed the Western world. A unipolar world order based on Western liberal principles seemed inevitable and a fait accompli.

Fukuyama's 1992 book The End of History and the Last Man argued Western liberal democracies would become "the endpoint of mankind’s socio-cultural evolution, and the final form of human government". Samuel Huntington directly challenged Fukuyama with his provocative 1996 "Clash of Civilizations" thesis, stating that far from unipolarity, the ideological world had been divided on civilizational identities, the new source of conflict in the world, with "each learning to coexist with the others". Later years proved that the collapse of the Soviet Union had not moved the world from bipolarity to unipolarity, but to multipolarity. Several nation-states, with long cultural and civilizational histories, like China, Arab countries and India, have emerged as the new poles in the world. We also witnessed the rise of non-state poles - multinational corporations, social media giants, new age religious movements, non-governmental bodies like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Oxfam and CARE, and even terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda and ISIS. With influences beyond the national boundaries of the states, these created a heteropolar world.

The erosion of the liberal democratic world order is a Western failure
The hegemonic nature of the world order is eroding with the rise of the heteropolar world. Lofty ideals that it cherished - liberal democracy, open markets, human rights and multilateralism - have been facing severe scrutiny and challenge in the last two decades. Unfortunately, the institutions created for sustaining that world order have increasingly grown weak and ineffective. The world appears to be moving inexorably in the direction of anarchy. The Ukrainian-Russian war is the latest, not the first, in the sequence of events that have catalyzed the collapse of the old world order. The West wants the world to believe that Russia and Putin were the culprits for ushering in anarchy and attempting to destroy what they had built over the last seven decades. But the West cannot escape responsibility for the failure of its hegemony.
Riaz Haq said…
India Absent, 19 Countries Attend China Forum's Indian Ocean Region Meet
India was reportedly not invited, according to informed sources.

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/china-holds-its-first-meeting-with-19-countries-in-indian-ocean-region-without-india-3555791


Beijing: China held a meeting this week with 19 countries from the Indian Ocean region in which India was conspicuously absent.
The China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA), an organisation connected with the Chinese Foreign Ministry held a meeting of the China-Indian Ocean Region Forum on Development Cooperation on November 21, in which 19 countries took part, according to a press release issued by the organisation.

The meeting was held in a hybrid manner under the theme of "Shared Development: Theory and Practice from the Perspective of the Blue Economy" in Kunming, Yunnan Province, it said.

Representatives of 19 countries, including Indonesia, Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, Afghanistan, Iran, Oman, South Africa, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Seychelles, Madagascar, Mauritius, Djibouti, Australia and representatives of 3 international organisations were present, it said.

India was reportedly not invited, according to informed sources.

Last year, China held a meeting with some South Asian countries on COVID-19 vaccine cooperation without the participation of India.

CIDCA is headed by Luo Zhaohui, the former Vice Foreign Minister and Ambassador to India.

According to the official website of the organisation, he is the Secretary of the CPC (the ruling Communist Party of China) Leadership Group of CIDCA.

CIDCA's official website said the aims of the organisation is to formulate strategic guidelines, plans and policies for foreign aid, coordinate and offer advice on major foreign aid issues, advance the country's reforms in matters involving foreign aid, and identify major programmes, supervise and evaluate their implementation.

During his tour of Sri Lanka in January this year, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi proposed to establish a “forum on the development of Indian Ocean Island Countries.” When asked whether the CIDCA meeting is the same that is proposed by Wang, the Chinese Foreign Ministry here has clarified to the media that the November 21 meeting was not part of it.

At the November 21 meeting, China has proposed to establish a marine disaster prevention and mitigation cooperation mechanism between China and countries in the Indian Ocean region, the CIDCA press release said.

China is ready to provide necessary financial, material, and technical support to countries in need, it said.

China is vying for influence in the strategic Indian Ocean region with substantial investments in ports and infrastructure investments in several countries, including Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

While China has established a full-fledged naval base in Djibouti, its first outside the country, Beijing has acquired the Hambantota port in Sri Lanka on a 99-year lease besides building the port at Pakistan's Gwadar in the Arabian Sea opposite India's western coast besides infrastructure investments in the Maldives.

The Chinese forum apparently is aimed at countering India's strong influence in the Indian Ocean region where India-backed organisations like the Indian Ocean Rim Association, (IORA), which has a membership of 23 countries have taken strong roots.

China is a dialogue partner in the IORA formed in 1997.

IORA became an observer to the UN General Assembly and the African Union in 2015.

Besides the IORA, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has proposed “Security and Growth for All in the Region” (SAGAR) in 2015 for active cooperation among the littoral countries of the Indian Ocean region.

The Indian Navy-backed ‘Indian Ocean Naval Symposium' (IONS) seeks to increase maritime cooperation among navies of the region.

Since the June 2020 Galwan Valley clash between Chinese and Indian armies, bilateral ties have been severely hit.
Riaz Haq said…
China Has India Trapped on Their Disputed Border

Beijing’s military and infrastructure advantage has transformed the crisis and left New Delhi on the defensive.

https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/12/01/china-india-border-crisis-infrastructure-ladakh-arunachal-pradesh/

The widening power gap between India and China—military, technological, economic, and diplomatic—now constrains New Delhi’s options on the border. It also raises tough questions for India’s geopolitical partnerships, such as the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (known as the Quad), and its aggressive approach toward Pakistan. The border crisis will hang over India’s decision-making for the foreseeable future.

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The risk of an accidental military escalation between Asia’s most populous countries—both nuclear powers—has increased significantly since 2020. This will continue unless Modi and Xi find a new modus vivendi. Establishing guardrails in the relationship will require political imagination and an honest appraisal of relative strengths; failing that, New Delhi faces tough geopolitical choices. It has so far eschewed any security-centric step with the Quad that could provoke Beijing, but murmurs from its partners about reticent Indian policy are bound to get louder. Meanwhile, India’s reliance on Russia for military equipment and ammunition now falls under a cloud of suspicion. And an unstable border with China prevents India from targeting Pakistan, a tactic that has proved politically rewarding for Modi.

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This marks the third straight winter that around 50,000 Indian reinforcements will spend in Ladakh’s inhospitable terrain in the northern Himalayas, warding off an equal number of Chinese troops stationed a few miles away. Despite intermittent dialogue between the two militaries, Indian Army Chief Gen. Manoj Pande recently confirmed that China has not reduced its forces at the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Chinese infrastructure construction along the border is “going on unabated,” he said—confirmed by independent satellite imagery and echoed by the latest U.S. Defense Department report on China. Pande said the situation is “stable but unpredictable.” That unpredictability has become structural.

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India’s military and political leaders now confront a reality at the border that should have jolted them into serious action: China has a distinct advantage over India, which it has consolidated since 2020. By investing in a long-term military presence in one of the most remote places on Earth, the PLA has considerably reduced the time it would need to launch a military operation against India. New military garrisons, roads, and bridges would allow for rapid deployment and make clear that Beijing is not considering a broader retreat. The Indian military has responded by diverting certain forces intended for the border with Pakistan toward its disputed border with China. It has deployed additional ground forces to prevent further PLA ingress in Ladakh and constructed supporting infrastructure. Meanwhile, New Delhi’s political leadership is conspicuous in its silence, projecting a sense of normalcy.

Beijing refuses to discuss two of the areas in Ladakh, where its forces have blocked Indian patrols since 2020. In five other areas, Chinese troops have stepped back by a few miles but asked India to do the same and create a no-patrolling zone. This move denies India its right to patrol areas as planned before the border crisis began. The PLA has flatly refused to discuss de-escalation, in which both armies would pull back by a substantive distance. The question of each side withdrawing its additional troops from Ladakh is not even on the agenda. A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson rejected any demand to restore the situation along the LAC as it existed before May 2020. The PLA continues to downplay the severity of the situation, instead emphasizing stability in its ties with India.

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