Thaw in relations with China , Pak: India needs to be cautious
New Delhi, March 8:The latest thaw in India’s relations with China and Pakistan needs to be navigated carefully, given the past history. Within days of a planned disengagement of forces from the Pangong Tso area in the midst of an unfinished agenda in other areas in Ladakh, China chose to issue a veiled warning on India’s upcoming meetings with Quad partners, including US, Japan and Australia. Pakistan’s move on the LoC is ostensibly aimed at easing of tensions between the two countries. But its timing raises questions. More so when both China and Pakistan seem to have acted in unison.
China was driven to negotiations for disengagement because India occupied strategic heights in the region. After the forces have withdrawn from these heights, the negotiations on other friction points have slowed down. China is now pushing for resumption of normal relations with India while keeping border negotiations alive. Some of India’s recent decisions have hurt China’s economic interests.
Pakistan’s LoC move comes in the wake of India’s strict border surveilance amidst successful District Development Council (DDC) polls in Jammu and Kashmir recently, firmly stamping New Delhi’s unquestioned authority in the newly created union territory. To make matters worse, Prime Minister Imran Khan had to face anti-Pakistan and pro-India demonstrators in the PoK recently, according to reports.
Like China is attempting to push its own interests by partially easing the border tension, Pakistan has a motive to do the same for its own reasons. Situation in J and K is returning to normal after a year-long turmoil following abrogation of Art 370, to the detriment of Pakistan’s interests. Islamabad has failed to activate even the Islamic nations against India’s steps on J and K. India should be wary of Pakistani designs on easing border tension. It is the summer months when snow melts in the higher reaches that Pakistani infiltrators cross over to reach Kashmir in order to foment trouble in the Valley. This is the reason why India needs to be cautious when accepting Pakistan’s proposal to ease tension at the LoC.
There is a tendency in a section of the civilian elites to lap up any Pakistani move to ease tension between the two countries. This has its root in the subcontinent’s common past and the wounds of partition which divided people of same ethnicity, language and culture. The yearning for people to people proximity has not died down, three wars and bloodshed , notwithstanding.
The Narendra Modi government is acutely aware of the situation, having been a victim itself. Not only did Modi invite Pakistan in his first swearing in as PM in 2014, he made an unscheduled landing across the border to meet Nawaz Sharief in an effort to improve relations between the two countries. But all this produced little result. Both China and Pakistan are untrustworthy neighbours. Any move on their part to normalise relations is bound to be viewed with a degree of mistrust and suspicion. India cannot afford to lower its guard in relation to both of them.
(NOTE: We seek your support—At a time when the news is under threat, we have opted for a different approach with hopes of your support. The purpose of launching newsabode.com is primarily aimed at ensuring the survival of true independent Journalism. We bring news to you from across the world. To support truly independent journalism, please consider making a contribution to newsabode.com or taking a subscription)
We provide a link to another option to back up the initiative —https://mail.google.com/mail/u/