India Insight

Insurgency began to gain momentum in Kashmir after the elections of 23 March 1987. Syed
Muhammad Yousuf Shah, a candidate of Muslim United Front, was contesting from Amira kadal
Constituency. As the results were declared, the less popular Ghulam Mohiudin Shah of opponent
National Conference was declared as the winner from Amira kadal constituency. The election was
widely perceived to have been rigged. People further lost hope in electoral politics and initiated the
armed resistance in Kashmir against India. India responded to the armed resistance which lead to
various war crimes like gang rapes, murder, torture, disappearance, snatching of civil liberty and
violation of Human Rights. On 26 May 2008, the agreement of Central Government and State
government to transfer 99 acres of forest land to Amarnath Shrine board for Hindu Pilgrims escalated
massive protests and demonstrations largest of which saw more than 500,000 protestors in a single
rally.

Inhabitants do their best to play a role in the decision-making.

The Resistance leadership termed it as a conspiracy to change the demographic structure of
Kashmir. Curfew was imposed to stop protestors from gathering and forces opened fire on civilians
which resulted in killing of 14 civilians. The killings gave rise to another indigenous uprising. The
beginning of the second uprising by local groups and youths lead to massive redeployment of Indian
security forces followed by countless incidents of violence and killings. The death of Burhan Wani, a
commander of armed group Hizbul Mujahideen, gave rise to another uprising which led to protests in
all 10 districts of Kashmir resulting in killing of around 120 civilians. The mobile telephone networks
and internet services remained dismantled to prevent further agitation. Newspapers failed to publish
for five consecutive days due to raids on their offices and printing presses, till they started again on
July 21. The apparently indiscriminate use of allegedly “non-lethal” weapons like pellet guns to control
crowds have resulted in almost 43 civilians having lost their lives so far. Hundreds have been blinded
and a few thousand injured.

United Nations Human Rights Office published first ever report in June 2018 on Human Rights
situation in Kashmir calling for international inquiry into multiple violations. UN High Commissioner forHuman Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said, “The political dimensions of the dispute between India and
Pakistan have long been centre-stage, but this is not a conflict frozen in time. It is a conflict that has
robbed millions of their basic human rights, and continues to this day to inflict untold suffering. This is
why any resolution of the political situation in Kashmir must entail a commitment to end the cycles of
violence and ensure accountability for past and current violations and abuses by all parties, and
provide redress for victims. It is also why I will be urging the UN Human Rights Council to consider
establishing a commission of inquiry to conduct a comprehensive independent international
investigation into allegations of human rights violations in Kashmir. It is essential the Indian authorities
take immediate and effective steps to avoid a repetition of the numerous examples of excessive use
of force by security forces in Kashmir”.

The U.N is not liked by Indians about Kashmir.

In response to the report, India blamed the United NationHuman Rights Council for being prejudiced and building fake narrative. The Official Spokesperson ofMinistry of external affairs of India said “India rejects the report. It is fallacious, tendentious andmotivated. We question the intent in bringing out such a report. It is a selective compilation of largelyunverified information. It is overtly prejudiced and seeks to build a false narrative.

In June 2013, Former Union Minister of external affairs of Government of India, Salman Khurshid
inaugurated a 3 days International conference at the University of Kashmir. While addressing the
gathering of politicians, diplomats and academics, he said, “We want dialogue within Afghanistan that
should be led by Afghans. They must choose their own destiny…We want Afghanistan to be
controlled by Afghans”. But when it come to Kashmir, India has either avoided or denied any attempt
by the International community towards the resolution of Kashmir issue in a democratic way. In India,
it is illegal to exclude Azad Kashmir in its map while in Pakistan; it is illegal to not include Jammu and
Kashmir as a disputed territory. An impartial Plebiscite, if conducted, would out rule all the disputes
and bring all parties to a consensus. Opportunistic Preconditions create an environment of mistrust in
which sincere efforts towards the resolution fail to flourish. India’s refusal to conduct plebiscite,
despite being a democracy with faith in democratic values, continues to be a hurdle in the path of
peacefully resolving a longest pending territorial dispute between the nuclear countries with a
potential to disrupt the peace and stability of entire Asian subcontinent.

The year of 2018 was one of the deadliest years in the history of Kashmir with 586 People killed, 160
of which were civilians including 31 children and 18 women. According to the Reports, 120 cases of
Damage to the civilian property were reported, 31 houses were completely burnt and 94 partially
damaged. Hundreds of People suffered Pellet injuries resulting in Partial or complete blindness. Since
2010, pellet guns have killed more than two dozen people. There have been cases of deaths caused
by suffocation due to Gas shells used to disperse the crowd. Violence is not something new for the
people of the Vale; it is a part of their daily life, which is both psychologically and politically alarming.

Kashmir, a princely state, shares its border with three neighbouring nuclear countries, each
claiming a chunk of its land and having fought multiple wars over the unresolved territorial disputes.
It’s strategic location, natural resources, potential for tourism, Forests, Rivers and Hydro electricity
generating potential and its link with ancient silk route add to its geopolitical importance. So, what is
the Kashmir issue basically?

Kashmir issue is an Issue of unfinished partition and incomplete accession. Kashmir doesn't
demand a new solution but completion of unfinished business of past. Unification is the ultimate goal,
denial of which has led to escalation of violence. People of Kashmir, unlike the minority, have refused
to accept the controversial status of unfinished territorial dispute. Britain, as it became clear after the
Second World War, was going to quit India very soon. Princely India consisted of more than 562
princely states of varying sizes, populations and statures, Jammu and Kashmir being the largest
Princely state sharing boundaries with Afghanistan and China.

Geography makes war

Britain departed in 1947 and the British suzerainty over the princely states lapsed as per the Indian
Independence Act. The state of Jammu and Kashmir, with other princely states, enjoyed a brief and
temporary period of independence followed by a choice to accede with any of the two newly created
dominions of India and Pakistan as per the same act. Except Jammu and Kashmir, Junagarh,
Hyderabad, Manavadar and Mangrol, all other princely states had decided their future by 15 August,
1947. Hyderabad was annexed by India by applying economic pressure and Military might. Junagarh
being a Hindu Majority area ruled by a Muslim Nawab acceded to Pakistan followed by Manavadar
and Mangrol. India did not recognise the Nawab’s accession; India forced entry into Junagarh and
enabled Plebiscite which turned into their favour.

In Poonch Jagir of Jammu and Kashmir, ‘No Tax’ movement followed by Disarming of Muslims who
fought the World war second and later arming the Hindu and Sikh community and Massacre of More
than a Quarter million Muslims, Rapes and enforced migrations by Hindu Dogras and Sikhs for
religious cum political reasons and aided by Maharaja, RSS and Sikhs from Punjab gave rise to
Junagarh Inspired Poonch Rebellion which led to liberation of what we now call the Azad Kashmir
from Maharaja by the Muslims. Maharaja Loosing the grip over his state or being partially
overthroned, acceded with India on 26 October 1947 by signing a controversial Instrument of
accession, the authenticity of which is doubted by many historians, against the will of the Majority of
his subjects which gave birth to Kashmir Dispute. According to the terms of Instrument of accession,
India’s Jurisdiction was extended to defende, Communication and external affairs. Indian sent her
troops into Kashmir the next day which have increased in numbers up to almost One million till today,
thus making Kashmir the highest Militarized Zone on the Earth.

This conflict is far from being a new one.

India and Pakistan have fought 4 wars in 1947, 1965, 1971 and 1999 respectively; shortly after
gaining Independence and unfinished land disputes have been the dominating factors in these wars.
India approached United Nations Security Council on 1 January 1948. Following the set-up of the
United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP), the UN Security Council passed
Resolution 47 on 21 April 1948 followed by many other resolutions. In 1948, UNSC passed resolution
38, 39, 47 and 51. It passed Resolution 80 in 1950, Resolution 91 and 96 in 1951, Resolution 97 in
1952, Resolution 122,123 and 126 in 1957, Resolution 209, 210, 211, 214, 215 in 1965 and
Resolution 303 and 307 in 1971. The involvement of the Canadian President of the UNSC, General
McNaughton, Sir Owen Dixon, American ambassador Loy Henderson, Dr Frank Graham and various
others to resolve the Kashmir dispute and their proposals proved futile because of India’s
disagreement with most of them and the failure to provide any alternate resolution. The UNCIP was
terminated followed by the establishment of United Nations Military Observer Group in India and
Pakistan (UNMOGIP), after the Security Council passed Resolution 91 (1951), to observe and report
violations of ceasefire. India and Pakistan signed the Shimla Agreement in 1972, followed by the war

of 1971, to define the line of control in Kashmir. Later on the basis of this agreement, India justified
the lapse of UNMOGIP’s Mandate arguing that the body was established to observe ceasefire
according to Karachi Agreement, a UNCIP supervised agreement signed by the military
representatives of India and Pakistan in 1949 to establish a ceasefire monitored by UN observers,
and the ceasefire no longer existed. The United Nation Secretary General however maintained that
the body should continue to function as no resolution to terminate it had been passed. India has,
since then, partially restricted the activities of 45 unarmed observers on the Indian side of the Line of
Control.

Thank you for having read the first part of this article on the Kashmir dispute. The second part comes tomorrow !

 

On July 8, 2010; India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) sent its first “tweet.” This use of the popular social media tool was just one of a series of efforts to bolster and leverage India’s soft power by improving its public diplomacy by engaging with Web 2.0.2 Since then the MEA of India has inaugurated a new web portal for Indian Public Diplomacy; released a string of videos on YouTube and a portfolio of photographs on Flickr; launched a dedicated Facebook page; and, in conjunction with the Center for Media Studies Academy in New Delhi, held its first conference on the theory and practice of public diplomacy.

These ventures follow close on the heels of three other significant recent initiatives: a dedicated Public Diplomacy Division within the MEA in May 2006, a raft of new schemes designed to engage domestic and foreign public opinion, and a series of high-profile dialogues with foreign think tanks, most notably with the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).

These various developments are eye-catching, but they are not without precedent. India has a long history of trying to use public diplomacy and other instruments of soft power to secure its foreign policy objectives. After Independence, India invested considerable resources in high-level dialogues, intellectual and cultural exchanges, and conferences of concerned parties, seeking to influence peoples as well as governments by using open diplomacy and moral suasion. To a degree, India’s new public diplomacy builds upon this tradition, but it also departs from India’s past practice in three key ways.

  • First, India’s new public diplomacy is actively seeking new audiences within India (notably, politically engaged young people at home), in the West (Indian diaspora communities abroad), and in the developing world (key opinion formers in India’s immediate region or resource-rich states in the global South).
  • Second, Indian officials are attempting to render India’s foreign policy-making process more open and democratic by engaging in dialogue with communities outside the New Delhi political and diplomatic elite.
  • Third, the effort seeks to utilize new media rather than traditional methods to reach its various target audiences.

Since the mid-2000’s, India has reformed its public diplomacy, reinvesting in traditional modes of building soft power, such as the cultural exchanges organised by the ICCR, and utilising new methods, including the use of new social media. In part, these efforts are a response to a wider “struggle for soft power” in Asia, stimulated by major investments by the PRC. In part too, they are extensions of India’s long-standing concern with public diplomacy, which stretches back into the Nehru era.

Lastly, these initiatives have been stimulated by a growing interest among India’s foreign policy elite in the possibilities presented by the Internet and especially by Web 2.0. While there is some evidence to suggest that public diplomacy often struggles to build soft power in the ways that states might wish, this article has suggested that there are some reasons to think that India’s efforts in this area might bear some fruit. Views of India’s national “brand” have improved albeit marginally over the past few years and patient public and traditional diplomacy can be credited for some of this improvement. At the same time, as former External Affairs Minister Shashi Tharoor observes that

‘India’s elite has become more “conscious” of its present and latent soft power and the potential it might hold for transforming India’s international relations.’

The key challenge for foreign policymakers, Tharoor rightly notes, will be how to keep adapting its new and traditional public diplomacy to best manage India’s reputation as its politics and society are subjected to greater scrutiny in response to its global “rise”. It is obvious for any country to glorify its assets to their potential audience. Here it is imperative that any nation has to compel their voices to their listeners with provocative tactics. If you can’t convey, possibilities submerge automatically.

From the last decade, the mouthpiece of MEA is very vocal with international and national issues as well. They responded every instance with new tech team abilities in a graphical and pictorial manner. It gives edge to their presence among literati as well as common practitioner. Not only EAM of India Minister’s of State earlier were very proactive to respond officially as a channel of communication. A regular press briefing in every week gives them nook to locate themselves in this fast changing digital world. Several divisional level secretaries also contribute to briefings other than official spokesperson of MEA.

I would say that the changing dynamics of XPD Division paves way for great interaction among the world. On my personal experience, I pitch that the special representation by the secretarial level, enhanced steps from new foreign services recruits, and PPP in IT team result them in long run. There is significant impact of Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas on the image of MEA and it is showing more emerged comparatively.

‘Last night was the most horrifying night of my life. Sound asleep, in the middle of the night some noises around your house awaken you up. You turn on the lights and peep from the gap in curtains, see men in boots and uniform marching across the street. Women of your neighbourhood have been lined up against the wall while loading men into armoured jeeps with black masks on their face. Dogs barking and searching the house. You wonder whether my house will be raided too. Uncertainty prevails upon your thoughts. Being a Kashmiri is a curse. Welcome to the cursed heaven’

This happens on every night in Indian Occupied Kashmir. This land has been a lynchpin of the violent struggle between India and 12.5 million Kashmiris fighting for independence since 1947. An armed insurgency that started in May 1989 has led to the enacting of several repressive laws by the Indian government. It is the most heavily militarized zone on the face of the earth. Indian Border Security Force (BSF) and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has converted the life of Kashmiri residents into a living hell. Since 1989, over 95,015 people have been killed, 11 thousand women been subjected to heinous crimes of rape and custodial torture. Incidents like Gawkadal Massacre where CRPF opened fire on protestors killing at least 55, the Zukoora and Tengpora Massacre, Kunan Poshpora killings, Bijbehara Massacre, Sopore Massacre are the examples of brutal sexual abuses, ransacking homes, extrajudicial killings, torture and mass massacres of civilians.

The Sopore massacre took place in 1993.

The draconian public safety Act 1978, provides forces to wreak havoc upon civilians anywhere in the valley without prior warning. India has re-instated the Cordon and Search Operations act (CASO) in order to suppress any dissident voice. Every Indian government from Nehru’s Congress to Manmohan’s cabinet has tried to suppress the rights of Kashmiris who want freedom.

While the previous governments have considered Kashmir as a territorial dispute, Modi government gave it a communal colour fostering violence in powder keg valley. Modi has pulled out of a coalition government tipping the valley into chaos. This tough stance comes on the back of scathing report released by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights which has demanded an international probe into Human Rights violations committed at the hands of state machinery in Jammu and Kashmir. The United Nations has accused the Indian state of widespread violations in Kashmir. BJP government has refuted the statement of the report as it was expected. The Indian government has always denied International approach towards achieving peace in the region.

UN Security Council’s Resolution 47 laid a framework for holding a plebiscite in order to resolve the dispute. It demanded that India must withdraw its troops from Kashmir. The Indian government refused to appoint UN arbiter as Plebiscite administrator and withdrawal of its troops.

If one takes into account the atrocities India has committed in the state of Jammu and Kashmir it is no less than naked acts of state-sponsored aggression and terrorism.

Now it is time that other parties and states of this dispute i.e. United Kingdom who left an unfinished partition agenda and Pakistan who supports the Kashmir cause on humanitarian reasons raise this issue in Security Council not for highlighting But pushing for sanctions against India. Because it endangers international peace and security in this region let alone for humanitarian causes. It is the need of the hour to curb draconian security measures in Kashmir.

India has recently defied Washington by buying anti-defence system to Russia.

The Security Council can take action to maintain or restore international peace and security under Chapter 7 of the UN charter. Sanctions measure under Article 41, encompass a broad range of enforcement options to pursue targeted peace achievement. Ranging from comprehensive economic and trade sanctions to arms embargoes. India has recently purchased S-400 anti-missile defence system from Russia which upsets the security balance apparatus between two nuclear states. The Kashmir conflict conflagration can lead to full-blown war.

Thus, it is the necessity of time that measures be taken on International forum to contain Indian aggression in any possible way of providing Kashmiris with some breathing space.

Source BBC

The Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978 and Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act, 1990, passed by the Indian parliament in September 1990, grant Indian troops absolute authority to curb the civil rights of the Kashmiri people without fear of being prosecuted for extrajudicial killings.

This has lead to torture, custodial deaths, rape, juvenile offences, and hostage killings in a heavily militarised zone where 500,000 – 700,000 troops are stationed. The National Human Rights Commission of India has acknowledged that Section 19 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 severely restricts its powers to investigate incidents involving armed forces.

The first-ever report on human rights’ violations clearly depicts the massive state-sponsored atrocities inflicted upon Kashmiris by none other than Indian troops. The United Nations Security Council Resolution 47 adapted on April 21, 1948, expanded the mandate of The United Nations Commission for Pakistan and India to facilitate and hold a plebiscite.

However, this was never held due to the militarization of the zone by Indian troops. India has been violating Article 5 of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which both require that “no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.

Pressure must be mounted on India for being solely responsible for this crisis. The international community must put India on a watch list under Article 5 of UDHR. Let Robert Wirsing’s proposal to apply international pressure more deliberately, consistently, and impartially in order to resolve the dispute be put into immediate effect.

 

Post World War Two, The USSR and USA emerged as super-powers who later formed their respective military alliances and pitched against one another; the Soviets, having realized the potential of ‘Soft Power’ employed a substantially large public diplomacy program against the west and promoting the Communist system. Subsequently, they succeeded in making East European countries believe in the goodness of Communism, as a result, many of those countries assimilated Communism into their political system. This was largely possible because of the USSR’s ‘Soft Power’ a concept introduced by Joseph Nye – an American Political Scientist – is relatively newer in today’s world. He goes on to define ‘soft power’ as ‘the ability to affect others to obtain the outcomes one wants through attraction rather than coercion’. In today’s world, knowing that public perceptions play a large role in determining a Country’s global image, the concept of soft power has never been as important as it it is today.

Joseph Nye talks of America as a quintessential employer of soft power(1) in a way that it is home to some of the World’s most eminent brands like Boeing, IBM, Levi’s, Starbucks among others which are part of the daily life of people across the globe especially in metropolitan cities and it has largely been the reason why the world has become ‘Americanised’ to a great extent ; this is coupled with America’s global military presence, deft diplomacy and the ability to forge alliances and partnerships to their advantage. These factors can be attributed to America’s success to establish itself as the sole power-house of the world.

The 2018 ‘Soft Power 30’ index has placed the UK at top followed by France and Germany. India does not figure separately in the list but the report features a chapter solely on Asia, listing ten countries in the region, ranking India’s soft power as eighth. The report is certainly not satisfactory vis-à-vis India knowing that therein lies a huge yet largely unidentified prospect of harnessing India’s soft power and channelizing it our advantage. In India’s context, everything from Buddha to Bollywood(2) may be used as a tool to advance and employ its soft power. India’s rich cultural heritage, status of being the largest democracy, palatable cuisine, bollywood film industry among other factors may rightly be termed as our soft power assets. An example of successful usage of soft power is reaching global consensus to observe 21st of June as International Day of Yoga. It is at least one day that every informed citizen of the world would think about India in a positive way, as a result, India’s global image gains momentum. I would now like to shift focus to Afghanistan; both India and the USA have been involved in rebuilding Afghanistan’s ravaged infrastructure for some time now. India may not have contributed as much as the USA have in monetary terms but in the eye of common Afghani citizens, India enjoys a much better image than the USA; it won’t be an exaggeration to say that it has largely been possible because of the soft power that India wields in Afghanistan in form of people-to-people contacts, promoting cultural linkages and undertaking gestures like inviting Afghanistan’s cricket team to play their first Test Match in Bangalore, goodwill visits et alia. India’s relations with Bangladesh have been going through ups and downs ever since Bangladesh’s inception; apart from the fact that issues concerning both countries need to be sorted out in a way that the outcome is acceptable to both India and Bangladesh, a gesture by India’s External Affairs Minister Mrs Sushma Swaraj is worth mentioning. While on her official visit to Dhaka, few months ago, she presented Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Ms Sheikh Hasina with the weapon of the then GoC-in-C of erstwhile East Pakistan Lt Gen AAK Niazi, which was captured by the Indian forces as a result of Pakistan’s surrender during Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. The gesture was very well received by Bangladesh’s citizens and has gone a long way in cementing India’s relationship with Bangladesh. However, there are certain domestic bottlenecks which do not help India leverage its soft power across the global spectrum; in 2012 the awful rape of a young woman in Delhi created global headlines showing India in extremely negative light(3) and even dubbing Delhi as the ‘rape capital’ of the world gave a significant jolt to India’s global image bringing down the number of foreign tourists after the above-mentioned incident took place. Every time an incident of lynching takes place in some nook or corner of the country, it sends an unpleasant signal to the world that India and its establishment have been fostering radical elements in the society contrary to the image of what India has been known for historically; its composite culture, deep-rooted secularism and one of very few countries in the world where every person has the fundamental right to practice, profess and propagate any religion. India does not only preaches but practices the principle of ‘acceptance’ which is many steps ahead of the western concept of ‘tolerance’. However, every time an untoward communal riot takes place it poses a big question-mark whether India has failed to remain on the moral high ground that it has attained over centuries. The essence of Soft power may be summed into what Shashi Tharoor, an Indian Politician and former UN Under-Secretary General said ‘In today’s World it’s not the side with bigger Army that wins, it’s the country which tells the better story that prevails’(4).

According to many eminent economic think tanks across the globe, India is set to become the world’s third largest economy by 2030 after the USA and China. China is constantly pitched against India along with a question that who wields the better prospect to establish itself as the next super-power of twenty first century; undoubtedly China has been faring better than India in economic and military domain and therefore its chances to establish itself as the next super-power are much brighter than India’s. However, one of the domains where China lags behind India is the potential to harness and use soft power to its advantage. China is a relatively closed society where people do not enjoy liberties beyond a certain limit; the historical baggage of Mao’s brutal tenure; ethnic cleansing of Tibetans; lack of religious freedom especially vis-à-vis Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang province; Tianamen square massacre are some factors which limit China’s capacity to wield influence on people across the globe. India, even though it had its share of political upheavals, is seen with a more positive view. It is not only for the Government but also for the civil society to lend a helping hand in identifying and employing India’s soft power assets to its advantage.

References

Pax Indica – Shashi Tharoor
Communicating India’s Soft Power – Daya Kishan Thussu
The Oxford Handbook of India’s Foreign Policy – Rani D Mullen
Pax Indica – Shashi Tharoor

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the global stage as a phenomenon that gripped India with approval ratings that have surpassed most Indian and international political figures. The rhetoric and ideology he espouses, however, pose a much more profound threat to the very democracy they pledge to protect.

BY: ANDREA GARCIA RODRIGUEZ

The 2014 Indian elections are already a reference point in the marketing world for the remarkable materialization of Narendra Modi as a brand. As David Aaker explains, the recipe had three main ingredients: making a regional brand national, cleaning the dirty past and connecting with urban and young voters, for in 2014, 150 million Indian people would have voted for the first time. These three lines were supported by extensive literature and propaganda, even featuring comic books where guided by a heroic behavior, a young Modi would save animals, pray in the temple or would prepare Ayurvedic medicine for his mother.

His many successes as the Chief Minister of Gujarat gave him the necessary political prestige. Touted as a good administrator with vivid ideas on development and economic growth, he won his nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) the majority in the lower chamber of Parliament; a feat that has not happened in 30 years. Almost four years have passed since, and Narendra Modi continues to be the most popular Indian leader, with 88% on average favoring him, exceeding 90% in the Southern statesand even in Punjab, where the majority of the population profess the Sikh faith.

Data from the Pew Research Centre and the World Economic Forum revealed that only a year after the 2014 election most of the country believed India was on the right track, a still-present upward trend, versus the 29% existing in the pre-Modi era. Before Modi took office, India’s political scene was a sum of the Congress Party, the left who sought to represent the impoverished segments of society, and the BJP, apostles of Hindutva. The vacuum of power generated by the declining morale and appeal of the Congress Party amid the corruption scandals was the perfect breeding ground for the BJP victory in 2014; a party that rules in 19 out of 29 states after the Gujarat elections of December 2017.

The BJP has always criticized the secular policies of the Congress Party, advocating for the establishment and recognition of the Hindu culture for India. Accordingly, one of the landmarks for the party was in 1992 when the demolition of the Mosque of Bābur, where the concept of cultural nationalism overtook the ideological nationalism. The fall of the Babri Mosque, which was located in an area considered sacred by Hinduism, was the culmination of the Ram Janabhoomi (literally translating to Ram’s birthplace) movement with many BJP leaders at its helm. Albeit the party, due to criticism, later conceived Hindutva as a renaissance – abstract, engaging, to be developed organically – and less as a goal to be achieved by active means, the fall of the mosque marked a decisive shift towards identity politics. Since then, the lack of a serious condemnation of violence towards minorities by PM Modi was even noticed by then-President Barack Obama in 2015, who condemned the persecution of people “for their beliefs and heritage” in recent times. Modi, whose unapologetic attitude towards the 2002 Gujarat riots that saw the death of thousands, resulted in him being denied entry into the United States.

The vision that Narendra Modi has for the domestic India is complemented by international projections of power. He sees the military as a way to modernize and strengthen the country, as well as a  strategy to counterbalance the growing presence of China in the region, directly affecting the country by its northern border. Since Modi took power, military expenditure has expanded by an average of 10% per year, recently making India the 5th country in the world with the highest investment in the military. This trend breaks with that of the previous administrations that increasingly cut the budget allocated to this sector.

Moreover, the Prime Minister has also become the champion of the fight against corruption. The demonetization strategy of November 2016 left the 86% of the circulating banknotes useless overnight when all 500 and 1000-rupee bank notes were declared null. This measure sought to eliminate fake currency and force people to pay taxes, as well as a transition to digital money – though the latter was more of an organic reaction to the measure than one of the stated objectives. While some hailed demonetization as a genius move, others have pointed out its crippling effects on the lower classes. The impact of such policy continued to remain high as India still remains a cash-based economy. However, Modi’s brand of success masks the threat his rhetoric poses to the very foundations of democracy.

One can be a great manager, a superb speaker and a devoted Democrat. However, democracy implies the respect, recognition and admiration of the role of the opposition. “Congress-Mukt Bharat” is the slogan Modi used in the 2014 elections to attack India’s Congress Party and that has been recently revitalized by the BJP leader. Modi defends himself by labelling “Congress” as synonymous with a culture of corruption, of treachery and of casteism that seeks to keep complete control over power. His claim has been identified as a general call to end the Congress Party by its explicit reference and impossible-to-miss background of use. To define the opposition as dissidence, in the words of former Czech President Václav Havel, is the first step towards authoritarianism.

Were the BJP of Narendra Modi to obtain the majority in both chambers of the Indian parliament after the 2019 general elections, the new wave of nationalism could endanger the quality of Indian democracy, statically rated as 77/100 by Freedom House every year for, at least, the past decade. Provided that this brand of Hindu nationalism gains enough support to continue its ride in front of the executive, the minorities would surely have a tough time ahead. Religious violence could increase being the ratification of the BJP’s initiatives shown in the chambers, and its ideas could expand to India’s area of influence, namely, Southeast Asia, especially in fellow Hindu countries such as Nepal. Multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multilingual India, should not compromise its values and consolidated Democracy for an ideology that aggrandizes one group over another, for nationalism, quoting Tom Nairm in 1977, is “the pathology of modern developmental societies […] a similar built-in capacity for descent into dementia”. Let India react and correct this drift before it is too late.

Andrea G. Rodriguez is an international security analyst. She holds a B.A. in International Relations from the Complutense University of Madrid. She has been part of several mobility programs, including at Charles University in Prague, where she studied Geopolitics and International Security, and at the National Taiwan University, where she focused on Asian security issues.

This article was originally published by Political Insight and is available Here.

 

How the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tactically strategizes the conduct of important political events at critical junctures of time to ensure maximum political gains. The article reflects a plethora of incidents and examples to elucidate the theme – if the much talked of and apprehended simultaneous elections in 2018 in India (a year earlier than the completion of the regular general election cycle) are also an inherent component of this complex nexus of timing.
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“NaMo’s Timing”

One thing that is undoubtedly mention-worthy about the incumbent central government is its acute sense of what is called “perfect timing”. Be it sweeping the 2014 general elections on a “pro-development and anti-corruption” manifesto ‘exactly’ when the Indian populace was strongly disappointed with the then  incumbent UPA government being regularly embroiled in several corruption scandals, or inviting US President Barack Obama as the Chief Guest of the Republic Day function right before the 2015 Delhi Assembly elections, or the 2016 demonetisation stunt which, in addition to stealing half of the newly-elected US President Donald Trump’s limelight, is also said by many, to have been a very fine political move before upcoming elections in 5 major states, the Prime Minister Modi-led NDA government is indeed a ‘master in strategizing’. And may be that is one of the reasons, why it continues to retain a firm grip over its popularity among the masses.

It’s not even been a quarter of a year since PM Modi celebrated his grand victory in the 2017 state assembly elections that he has yet another occasion to rejoice – the 3rd anniversary of his biggest victory ever in an election that India will never forget (2014 elections). But as they say, ‘soup is a dish for starter or for the sick”, seems like the day which must have given some a reason to commemorate, ended up giving goosebumps and nightmares ‘to be wiped off from memory ASAP’ to others.

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PM Modi changed the reason why the world “will remember” 08/Nov/16

New Delhi is 09 hours 30 minutes ahead of Washington DC. Seems like it’s just not the sun which embraces the east earlier but also political tremors which shake the east prior. Just hours before all the Americans stepped out of their homes to re-create history by electing their 45th President, the people in India were taken aback with the Prime Minister of India announcing the ‘policy of demonetization’ taking effect from midnight on the said day. Within a bat of eyelids, currency notes of bigger denominations like 500 & 1000 became officially ‘nonlegal tender’ and, to put in layman’s terms, basically ‘useless’.

The noble vision of the Indian Government behind giving a nod to this idea of blowing the then already foggy country with an overnight blizzard of demonetization was (as was then said !) the ‘elimination of the operation of the parallel black economy’.

But like former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram rightly pointed out – “how could demonetization check black money?”. The government and its ministers claimed and still do that this new scheme is a decisive war against black money but have so far failed to explain  ‘how’. Let’s think logically for once.

Is all the black money hoarded in cash? It’s too kiddish to assume that the people who could carve master plans to dupe the hawk eyes of the tax department and sneak away with a galore of illegal wealth, never to be declared and thus, not liable to be taxed ever, would have hoarded them in gunny bags full of banknotes. In today’s world, to exhale the stress of getting caught and be fined for black money, people have explored refined ways of laundering money which include but may not be limited to converting the ‘black’ money into ‘gold’ and billions or stashing it away in benami properties, offshore bank accounts and foreign currency. Only the small fish keep their ill-gotten wealth in domestic currency notes and the impact on black money will therefore be very limited in this exercise.

We will not go into the deeper questions of the current economic growth slowdowns for 6 consecutive quarters, the massive economic burden on the government treasury to manufacture (additional, unapprehended yet gigantic expenditure) newer notes and alter ATM panels (economic burden again !) to make them receptive of the new note pattern plus the domestic currency mints which suffered huge losses due to this sudden decision and hence, their demand to be “compensated” (economic burden) adequately, the rapid decline in investments in India, and et cetera. No. We won’t talk about that.

Because a bigger question is here – with polls “then” approaching in five states (Punjab, Manipur, Goa, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh – where the BJP later won and subsequently formed governments in 4 out of 5 states, the only exception being Punjab), was this an economically overt yet politically covert move, with an undisputably remarkable example of “well-timed coincidence” ?

08/Nov/16: India “lost” big cash, Trump “missed” 100% limelight, BUT PM Modi…he “won”.

Unfolding and probing into the “already known” scandals

The NDA government stated that, “May 17, 2017 was the day of accountability for the “corrupt”.” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley stoutly asserted that the “day of reckoning” has come for many and they will be held accountable for their misdeeds.

These statements flowed following the CBI and I-T raids on former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and former Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav respectively. While CBI raided 14 properties connected to Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram in Chennai, the I-T department raided 22 premises in Delhi and Gurugram in connection with benami land deals and tax evasion to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore allegedly made by former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad’s sons and daughter.

CBI confirmed that the raids in Chennai were related to INX Media, formerly owned by the allegedly sordid duo, Peter and Indrani Mukerjea. The agency alleged that Karti received kickbacks from this company when his father was the finance minister in return for his help in allegedly getting the finance ministry to overlook irregularities. Specifically, INX Media crossed the approved limit of foreign direct investment (FDI) by bringing in Rs 305 crore as FDI, as opposed to the approved FDI of Rs 4.62 crore.

On the other hand, the I-T department raids come after some BJP leaders alleged last week that Lalu Prasad’s daughter Misa Bharti and his two sons were involved in benami land deals to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore.

But the question here is – “why NOW?” (since the scandals were/are already in the public’s knowledge, that too since a good long period of time).

PM Modi’s Colonial Inspiration

After years of sovereignty and democracy, the one menace that’s still got India in its clutches is our people’s crave and craze to “stick” to rotten roots, even while “superficially” campaigning to uproot those. The Constitution, the people, the country – everybody wants an end to caste-based discrimination but how ? By time and again, addressing “them” as “Dalits” and thus, “begging” for votes for them ?

Am I expected to underline the legitimacy or competency of a candidate only and exclusively because s/he is from a historically under-privileged background (but now no longer so due to the extensive usage of government sponsored benefits) ? I don’t remember of the Constitution mentioning this qualification of “being a Dalit” as a criterion to be the President of India. Caste-in-politics is such a vice. But unfortunately both the ruling party and the opposition fielded their respective candidates for the 1st citizen of India, the President of India, by introducing them as “Dalit faces”, whereas both the candidates had achieved distinctiveness in their respective career paths. Mr. Kovind, the incumbent President, has been an eminent lawyer and the Governor of Bihar while Ms. Kumar, his opponent, is, by education a lawyer, and by profession an Indian Diplomat (Indian Foreign Service Batch of 1975), a former cabinet minister, five-time Member of the Parliament and the 1st woman Speaker of the Lok Sabha (Lower House of the Parliament) of India. Why couldn’t they be presented as “distinguished and qualified professionals” ??

Nominating Mr. Kovind, hence, meant 3 fundamental victories for PM Modi.

  1. BJP now has THE foolproof minority appeasement card. Because as Ms. Kumar pointed out – the Presidential Polls were announced at a time when the incumbent government was facing charges of being anti-minority post the incidents of religious intolerance and lynching. Posing a man from the Minority community as its Presidential candidate was the most welcoming and perhaps the only option left with the ruling party so as to perform the required ablutions to cleanse the anti-minority charges stamped on its head.
  2. Another plus point with choosing Mr. Kovind was his being the Governor of “Bihar”, the state where the BJP had tasted a humiliating defeat in the previous elections and the state ruled by a staunch anti-BJP alliance led by Nitish Kumar, PM Modi’s direct rival and critic “then”. Plus, Bihar accounts for nearly 8.2% of the country’s total “Dalit” population as revealed by the 2011 census. So, BJP can now look forward to a riper vote bank in Bihar in the next election.  
  3. Because Unity is strength, so, “Divide and Rule”. Nitish Kumar, Bihar CM, and PM Modi may have had a difficult equation in the past, but there are no permanent enemies in politics but only permanent interests. The “Grand Alliance’s” another prominent leader AND Nitish Kumar’s decades-long personal arch-rival, Lalu Prasad Yadav was used as a pawn in this game of power and politics where Mr. Yadav was roped in by Mr. Kumar when he came to power in Bihar in 2015 with the support of his “anti-Modi” alliance but seems like they couldn’t let go of their rivalry. A strong team needs loyal team members but in Bihar, teams are more likely to change their allegiances even with the slightest sight of a bait of power – Mr. Kovind’s candidature was a strong enticement that Mr. Kumar could not resist. Thus, the Presidential Nominee’s being the Bihar Governor could not have been a mere coincidence but rather, a very well-planned step to divide the already bitter and frictional Nitish-Lalu alliance. Now the alliance has been shattered into smithereens and Nitish Kumar is back in PM Modi’s team which clearly emboldens the fact that PM Modi has successfully wiped out his biggest rivals and the possibility of even the most negligible opposition to his rule.

So, it’s all win-win for PM Modi this time !

The NEW Rajya Sabha Hegemon !

It is for the “first time” in the political chronicle of India that all the four top constitutional posts are held by people affiliated to and owing allegiance to the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP). After Mr. Kovind’s decisive victory in the Presidential polls, Mr. Venkaiah Naidu, popular BJP leader and former Union Cabinet Minister, was nominated and later elected to the office of the Vice President of India. Although it was officially stated that Mr. Naidu’s experience as a four-time Rajya Sabha MP made him well-versed with parliamentary proceedings and hence, the suitability of his candidature. But the fact that the main objective behind selecting Naidu (who then held important ministerial portfolios like that of Information and Broadcasting, Urban Development and Housing and Urban Poverty alleviation) and pitting him against Opposition candidate Mr. Gopal Gandhi – a former bureaucrat, West Bengal governor and grandson of Mahatma Gandhi – “may” have been a rather strategic move to tame the belligerent Congress-led Opposition in the Rajya Sabha where the government is in minority, cannot be entirely ruled-out.

The second reason that weighed in favour of Naidu was his being from the South. After the selection of Uttar Pradesh (North) born Ramnath Kovind for the post of President, the BJP may have prioritised a regional balance “this time” in order  to woo the voters from South India, where the party is a little far from a remarkable presence.

Moreover, unlike the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha has a galaxy of veteran leaders of substance (in the Opposition) – like P Chidambaram, Ahmed Patel, Kapil Sibal, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Jairam Ramesh – who have been able to keep the government under extreme pressure. The Deputy Chairman PJ Kurian is from the Congress and does not always play ball with the BJP. So, in a smart political move, the BJP fielded Mr. Venkaiah Naidu as its vice presidential candidate, who is the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, “at a time” when the government still lacks majority in the Rajya Sabha to push crucial constitutional amendment bills.

1.3 billion Indians but 13 months to appoint just one Governor? ?

Mr. Konijeti Rosaiah’s term as Tamil Nadu Governor ended on 30 August 2016. Maharashtra’s incumbent Governor Mr. C. Vidyasagar Rao was given additional charge as Tamil Nadu Governor from 2 September 2016 to 30 September 2017 (1 year and 1 month approximately). And Mr. Banwarilal Purohit became the new Governor of Tamil Nadu on 30 September 2017. Question is in a country with 1.3 billion people, why did it take us 1 year and 1 month to appoint a new governor to a state ? That 1 year and 1 month was the exact period when that state, Tamil Nadu, was amid intense political turmoil after their popular political pioneer, Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa; a period when a single man was left to juggle between two of the biggest and most politically active yet strenuous states; a period when two political rivals started washing each other’s dirty linens in public; a period when oath taking and ministerial portfolios became a joke; a period when a 20-year old disproportionate assets case was finally closed with a ground-shaking verdict. A period whose aftermaths still find their ways into the national headlines daily.

But still no one was given the independent, not ad-hoc/additional, charge of being the Tamil Nadu Governor. A state was left to boil and burn post its matriarch’s demise yet nobody from the Centre made a single attempt to recruit a Governor. Why ? The man who appoints the Governor, then incumbent His Excellency The President of India, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee and there’s no dearth of qualified candidates in India then, why this “unexplained” delay ?

And you say, “timing” isn’t one of the many specialities of Modiji ?

Look at the bigger picture – 2019!

Well, no amount of analyses and assumptions can ever advance a concrete theory on the “why this day” question; after all, politics is but understood only by a few. But what a common man can draw from this entire scene is – all of what is happening now and all of what is about to happen is and will always be in line with the 2019 general elections.

Ooops !! Now that the talks of simultaneous elections happening in 2018 are also doing rounds, who knows when the next elections are due !

Now ‘only time’ will explain if NaMo’s ‘theory of timing’ worked !

Ananya Singh
 About the Author :
Ananya served as the Analyst for The Indian Economist and currently, discharge the roles of the Global Ambassador for the Kosmos Journal (USA), the Alumni Ambassador for the Yale Young Global Scholars (Yale University, USA), and the Goodwill Ambassador for the Committee for Legal Aid to Poor (CLAP, India). Ananya isa regular contributor to The Huffington Post , TUNZA Eco-Generation (powered by UNEP & Samsung Engineering), Voices of Youth (powered by UNICEF), and have also been a blogger for The SPAN, the official magazine of the US Embassy in India in the past. Ananya have also been on board of the editorial team of the Novak Djokovic Foundation. In addition, she also worked with the Climate Trackers as an editor- translator where she translated and edited handbooks on Climate Change , which she later presented at COP-22 in Morocco . She has been awarded a silver prize in the senior category of the International Essay Competitiorganizedsed by the Royal Commonwealth Society twice, in 2014 & 2016 respectively, on the merit of her submitted entries & as recommended by the jury panel. She was a special invitee at the International Literary Fest chaired by Ruskin Bond.
 

 

 

 

Both France and the UK have gone into polls in the months of May and June of the year 2017 respectively. Both, being the nuclear powers and permanent members of UNSC, hold a great importance for the world politics in general and specifically, the EU. Elections in these two countries have given rise to several new debates and have lain to rest some prominent issues which could ensue if the results were different. However, in case of France, the results of the presidential elections have brought a sigh of relief with Emmanuel Macron from neophyte ‘En Marche’ (On the Move) party as president, while, in the UK’s case, they led to a weak i.e. hung parliament which cost the Conservative Party its majority in the British House of Commons. Political parties of Pakistan have many lessons to learn from both these elections.

Pakistan’s different districts. Source : http://www.saverwallpaper.com/beautiful-pakistan-hd-wallpapers-free-download/

The Election of Macron: A Great Victory for the EU

Emmanuel Macron during Presidential Elections in France

With Macron in office, the world will have a strongman standing against businessman turned politician Donald Trump

The first round of the French Presidential election was held on 23 April 2017 with no candidate winning with a majority. Thus, on 7 May 2017, top two candidates, Emmanuel Macron of ‘On the Move’ and Marine Le Pen of the ‘National Front’, contested in the second round. France elected its youngest President, Emmanuel Macron, a pro-EU and pro-business who assured to boost investments while dealing with the high unemployment. He secured 66.1% of the votes in a turnout of approximately 65%. This was a great victory for Macron, France and the EU. President Macron had found En Marche, a centrist and liberal party, in the month of April 2016.

France preferred Macron over Marine Le Pen, who promised the opposite of what Macron had promised. “She wanted a Europe of nations to replace the EU,” reports BBC. His victory was celebrated all around the world. Hillary Clinton termed it a “victory for Macron, for France, the EU and the World”. Another reaction to his victory was, “We are not so stupid in France, finally,” insinuating to the presidential elections in the US in the year 2016.  Macron’s victory holds a great significance for the global politics which is shifting to illiberal democracy and has already shifted in some countries. Marine Le Pen had twitted “I give myself six months to negotiate with the EU the return of sovereignty. Then it will be the French who decide.” Her victory would have been another blow for the EU after the Brexit and world would have seen another leader promoting illiberal democracy alongside with Trump and Putin. With Macron in office, the world will have a strongman standing against businessman turned politician Donald Trump along with an unfaltering Angela Merkel-German Chancellor (if she is lucky enough to be chancellor for the fourth term).

UK, Brexit, and Pakistan

Political parties of Pakistan must understand what can bring them majority i.e. being a party for all and restricting itself to a particular region or ethnicity

On the other hand, in April 2017, British Prime Minister Theresa May from Conservative Party called for a snap general election to secure her party’s Brexit mandate. However, 8 June 2017 general elections backfired her motives and led the UK to a hung parliament. With 68.7% turnout, none of the parties contesting the elections could win a simple majority to make its government. Conservative Party led by Theresa May could secure 318 seats while Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn could win 262 seats with 43 and 40 in terms of percentages respectively. Overall, Conservatives lost 12 seats while Labour unexpectedly gained 29 seats. Rest of the seats, out of total 650 seats, were secured by Scottish Nationalists (35), Liberal Democrats (12), Democratic Unionists (10), Greens (1) and others (12). UKIP party could not secure a single seat after accomplishing it Brexit mission. From these results, political parties of Pakistan must understand what can bring them majority i.e. being a party for all and restricting itself to a particular region or ethnicity.

A close look at these two elections would give an impression that liberal democracy won over illiberal democracy.

Jeremy Corbyn, with the manifesto of Labour Party committing to scrapping tuition fees, boosting workers’ rights and reversing a series of benefit cuts, was successful to involve the youth in the general elections. The turnout of the young registered voters made the difference in the UK general elections. The turnout of the youth aged between 18 to 25 was 72% as compared to an overall average of 68.7%. The young mostly supported the Labour. Labour’s success is due to the glistening performance of Corbyn. He tried to address the masses and won their favor. He used public transport to be among the audience while May, on contrary, used private transport. This helped Leader of the Labour Party gain popularity which resulted in its 29 seats gained in the House of Commons. However, a simple majority of Conservative would have left the Brexit on the party’s choice which might have led to ‘hard Brexit’. ‘Hard Brexit’ might happen still but the result gave a serious blow to Conservatives motive in this regard. Furthermore, May’s hate speech and encouragement of Islamophobia publicly have also contributed to her party’s loss of simple majority. Moreover, May has announced to form a coalition government with Democratic Unionists Party (DUP) which could grab 10 seats. Her coalition with DUP would impact negatively her already declining support. For Political Parties of Pakistan, a significant lesson is to be learned from this especially when it comes to making coalition governments with less popular parties.

Trump, Duterte, Orban, Le Pen: The Illiberal Democratic mindset

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Duterte, Putin, Erdogan, Trump , Modi and Orban.

A close look at these two elections would give an impression that liberal democracy won over illiberal democracy. With Trump in the US, Putin in Russia, Duterte in the Philippines, Orban in Hungary; with the victory of hardliner Marine Le Pen in French presidential election, the world would have met with another leader with an illiberal democratic mindset. Things would have gone from bad to worse. In case of UK general elections, one can witness the triumph of popular leadership against an elitist politician who made a move to tighten her grip over Brexit negotiations.

Pakistani politicians must not underestimate the power of public which was mobilized during the last elections by the call for ‘Change’.

With the call for general elections in the year 2018, there are various lessons to learn from these elections for the political parties in Pakistan. It would be naïve to compare the electoral system of Pakistan with that of these two developed European countries. However, Pakistani politicians must not underestimate the power of public which was mobilized during the last elections by the call for ‘Change’. Next general elections would be challenging for various parties, mainly PML-N, PPP and PTI owing to their provincial governments. Parties must address the grievances of the masses and design their manifestos keeping in mind the internal and external issues which Pakistan is faced with. Moreover, it would be harder for the federal ruling party in case if it fails to deliver what it promised before last elections, especially in energy and economic fronts. Otherwise, it might face what Conservatives in the UK and National Front faced in France. From Emmanuel Macron’s victory, novice parties can learn lessons to turn the winds in their favor which seems unlikely though at least for now. Lastly, Jeremy Corbyn’s sparkling performance must be kept in mind to win popularity especially among the youth which comprises 60% of the total population of Pakistan.

By Muhammad Murad 

Karachi, Pakistan 

 

Indo-Us alliance serves the interests of both the parties in the region. US needs a player in Asia to check the growing influence of China which is an all-weather friend of Pakistan.

US support to India in this regard is seen as detrimental to Pakistan’s strategic interests.

India and Pakistan are arch-rivals since the partition of the subcontinent in 1947 so India gets US support in its defense strategies and foreign policy. Both the US and India are implementing the old dictum, “An enemy’s enemy is a friend.” However, US is not in an inimical relationship with Pakistan even after President Donald Trump’s August speech but it cannot be termed as friendly either. It’s more like an alliance to break or weaken a rival alliance i.e. Indo-US vs. Sino-Pak alliance.

Indo-US Alliance:

According to Munir Akram (Former Pakistan Ambassador to the UN), the alliance between India and US include co-production of advanced defense articles, joint research on advanced jet engines and aircraft carrier technologies and strategic cooperation on maritime security. India endorses US stand on South China Sea islands and US supports India on its claims against Pakistan. US under Trump administration seems to be taking the alliance to new heights as Indian PM Narender Modi was the fifth world leader to receive a call from Trump after he took charge of his Presidency on January 20, 2017. That is why; some political thinkers believe that Trump’s rhetoric against Pakistan on Afghanistan strategy speech was actually encouraged by Indian position against Pakistan.

Trump , the most pro-Indian President of the history?

 

In 2008, US Congress approved nuclear cooperation agreement between India and US which proved to be a turning point in Indo-US alliance. It was an embedded recognition of India as a nuclear power. Pakistan does not seem to be receiving any such deal from US. It is pertinent to note here that both India and Pakistan are non-signatories of Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Moreover, US also supports India’s stance on its membership status in Nuclear Supplier Groups (NSG) which was initiated after India’s alteration of nuclear material of conducting nuclear tests in 1974 from its peaceful program. US support to India in this regard is seen as detrimental to Pakistan’s strategic interests.

This alliance supports India’s belligerent conduct against Pakistan politically and militarily. US also ignores India’s developments of fissile material production, long-range missiles and theatre nuclear weapons and opposes Pakistan’s responses in this regard

Impact of Alliance on Pakistan:

Indo-Us alliance has deleterious impacts on Pakistan. This alliance supports India’s belligerent conduct against Pakistan politically and militarily. US also ignores India’s developments of fissile material production, long-range missiles and theatre nuclear weapons and opposes Pakistan’s responses in this regard. India’s relationships with the Middle Eastern Countries, mainly Saudi Arabia, are also encouraged by the US. These relations impact Pakistan’s foreign policy in the Middle East because of Pakistan’s India centric foreign policy. Furthermore, Pakistan maintains minimum credible deterrence. India’s ability to acquire Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology from US would impact Pakistan’s conventional defense capacity. Last but not the least; Pakistan does not get any support from US in its NSG membership stance. Pakistan, however, has a great potential to be member of NSG.

 

Muhammad Murad