My Views

Troubled Neighbours

Posted in Foreign Policy, India and World, Pakistan, Relations with neighbours, Terrorism by dullar on February 27, 2009

The latest developments in east has added to the worries of India, who is already having tough time dealing with its western state and non state actors. Mutiny by Bangladeshi Rifles (BDR) might have dangerous consequences for not only Bangladesh and its government but entire South Asia. The episode has shown some deep seatd fissures within and acrosss the security establishments. The mere size and the unity that the lower rank officers and soldiers of  BDR has shown during the whole operation indicates towards a long standing anguish and frustations inside the ranks of force. Their main demand was low salaries and inferior service conditions vis-a-vis the Bangladesh army. They also voiced their anger against the control that Bangladesh army exercise over BDR. Although Sheikh Hasina government has done a visibly decent  job by pressurising the mutiniers through warnings of strong lawful actions. Matter is soon expected to be over albeit with many important lessons.

The internal conditions of Pakistan are also in a rapid flux, both politically and strategically. With latest judicial decision of barring Sharif brothers of contesting polls, the political environment is very much heated up and there are many allegations on the incumbent government of influencing the judgement. In the north and west the situation is, as always, grim. The influence of taliban and many fundamentalist outfits is slowly gripping up. On one hand where Pakistani government has shown undesirable weakness in compromising the internal security and democracy in the SWAT valley, Obama administration is sooner or later going to increase its military influence on the western and northern frontiers adjoining Afghanistan.

Where does India’s role lie in all this series of so called dangerous developments in our neighbourhood. India can no longer afford to wash away its responsobilities as the largest democracy in world and biggest country in South Asia, by merely declaring everything happening in the neighbouring countries as their internal affairs. The poison that is spreading in east as well as west is slowly going to cross the borders in a more visible manner. We are already facing fundamentalist terrorism in its worst form. Even international community expects India to play a major and proactive role in such related matters. Sheikh Hasina’s goverment’s friendly relations with India should be capitalised in a better way. BDR’s mutiny has some very deep security concerns for India as we share a long boundary with Bangladesh and BDR is the guard of Bangladeshi borders. As far as Pakistan is concerned we have been seriously pursuing the case of 26/11, but a more broder policy is required to deal with Pakistan and its uncontrollable non state actors. We have to get our equations more straight and aligned with US in this matter. In Afghanistan as well, time has come when we increase our presence beyond humanitarian and reconstruction areas.

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India’s Standing (Kneeling) on Tibet

Posted in Foreign Policy, India and World, Insight, Relations with neighbours by dullar on April 1, 2008

In continuation to the earlier post i m trying to summarise India’s standing or say no standing on Tibet. India’s relations with China are guided by the “five priciples of of peaceful existence” better known as Panchsheel. Nevermind that China broke this pact in 1092 when it attaced India. The relations between the two countries has been unfriendly since then, only to find a reconciliation in 1988 when Rajiv Gandhi went China. resently border talks are going on to find an amicable solution to the boundary dispute in Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh. India has already(in 2003) recognised Tibet as integral art of China, taking a long to realise that it can do little on this front and has no choice. But Tibet has proved to be a thorn in its foot yet again. Now what is India’s stand, what is the credibility of that stand, what are the future or present repercussins of it?

Indiais again treading a soft line true to its nature of soft power in the international arena. India does not allow political dissent to be raised from Indian soil towards China. It supports the religious and spiritual activities of the tibetan monks in India. But again it has allowed Dalai Lama to make Dharamshala its “capital in exile”, whether that is political or religious is for anybody to guess. India wants the political issues of Tibet to be solved by dialogue between Dalai Lama and China and is against any form of violence used from either side to put their points across.

India has isloated itself from the international community who has openly criticised the Chinese authorities for using excessive force against the monks in Tibet. Some of them has also threatened to withdraw from the Olymipics. Tibet is a kind of lost opportunity for India when it could have pressurised China through diplomatic means and by aigning with international community. Tibet could have been a sore nerve on China’s body politic in international arena from Indian perspective. It would have given a boost the confidence of Indian when it will sit in front of Chinese authorities for the border talks related to Aksai chin and more so for Arunachal Pradesh.

Where do they stand?

China, most populous nation inthe world, fastest growing nation in the world with above 10% growth rate, (one of)the most authoritative regimes in the world, has once again successful in giving jitters to the world, but (of course) for wrong reasons. With daily updates poured on the news websites related to the excesses of the chinese authorities on the eace loving mnks of Tibet there is something on which the interested readers is missing. What exactly is the bone of contention between the china and Tibet, what is its current status and what, afterall, everybody is trying to achieve or say think what they want to achieve.

Tibet(Dalai Lama)’s stand-

1)Want full blown autonomy on the lines of Taiwan and  Hong Kong under the rule of two authorities one nation. Beijing is not ready for this.

2)Extension of the TAR(Tibetan autonomous Region) to the adjoining provinces which contain sizeable population of monks(upto 60% of the total tibetan monks living in China). Again beijing is against this.

3) Operational autonomy in running the administrative, economic, religious affairs of Tibet.

Apart from refusing to give some breathing space to Tibetans Beijing has lived perfectly upto its image of authoritative, autocratic and communist regime of crushing the demands in some manner or the other.  There are other more subtle ways in which Beijing has undermined the standing of Tibetans in Tibet and world over.

1) Influx of huge numbers of Huns in the TAR who are imposing themselves economically, politically and demographuically.

2)Intrusion in the management of religious affairs of monks.

3) Quietly suppressing the political dissent in the region.

4) Potraying a friendly picture in front of world by promoting tourism and economy of the region whose benefits are reaped largely by the Huns.

5)Connected Lhasa to east by rail in order to facilitate quick and timely transportation of armed forces when required.

6) Pursuing a long termed policy and strategy of unifying and unforming the demographic make up of Tibet, This has seriously undermined the religious nature of the TAR.

7)Having captured the institution of the Panchen Lama, the second-ranking figure in Tibetan Buddhism, Beijing is preparing the ground to install its own puppet Dalai Lama after the present aging incumbent passes away.

And if somebody asks me where does India stand in all this, i would counter ask, does India has a standing at all, a standing which matters? For more curious readers i will try to deal this in a different post.

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Humiliated?

Posted in Foreign Policy, India and World, Relations with neighbours by dullar on March 30, 2008

The whole issue of Tibet and its fallout on India has yet again proved that India is a soft state. What else following instances indicate?

1) Indian envoy summoned and reprimanded in the dead of the night in Beijing for the so called breach  of security in the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi.

2) Indian embassy was not invited for the foreign journalist’s tour to Tibet. It was an attempt of isolating India. Its likeBeijing saying that it doesnt matter for us if you visit Lhasa or not, we know your sympathetic position vis-a-vis Dalai Lama and the ongoing protest. We dont even care if you think that you have any opinion or not.

3) Chinese authorities hinting to New Delhi that the Olympic torch can by-pass this country if the foolproof security cover was not provided for the same. Again the credibility of the security is something which will be decided by Chinese authority and not by the Home ministry in India.

It feels like that India has not come out of the trauma and fear of the events that unfolded the tragedy of 1962 and like we have vowed to be always like never feel guilty of being cowed down by the communist neighbour even if its all such intentions has been proved beyond doubt to everybody from India to US and Russia to Europe. It feels like we are trying to become Asian economic elephant but we are still in some sense political chicken.

Neighbour’s Nightmare

Posted in India and World, Insight, Pakistan, Relations with neighbours, Terrorism by dullar on January 17, 2008

Disturbing news from the India’s western neighbour are coming more frequently than ever. With Musharraf’s
loosing grip over the affairs of the country, people given up there trust in the polity and the military, civil
liberties curtailed to their new low, the situation in Pakistan is really grim. The military is seen as unable to the
danger that is bubbling under its western and northern borders. The terrorist activities backed by the Al Qaeda, and
the taliban groups are bleeding the army like never before. Its been yesterday that a fort has been seized by the the
terrorist groups from control of army in the north-west of the country. Army was too demotivated or lacked the power
to tackle the dullheadedness of the armed terrorists. Again few groups of millitia that had been trained by the ISI
have turned their guns to the mentors. Now when Musharraf was under pressure from US to curb the cross border
terrorism that Pakistan’s intelligence agencies were fomenting in Jammu and Kashmir and Afghanistan before 9/11,
the activities of training millitants have tobe slowed and lowered down by ISI. Now the monsters reared by them are
up inthe arms against their own establishment when these blood-thirsty monsters did not find a outlet for their long
reared killing habits.

Internal political and military reforms are the need of hour in Pakistan. But seeing the attitude of Musharraf, who
is not ready to give away his powers, whose unpopularity is all time high in Pakistan, and demoralised military the
hopes are grim. Although the elections are due on 18th Feb but there are few takers as far as their transparency is
concerned. General Kayani is trying to bring back some
discipline
to armed forces in his own subtle ways. Armiy personnels are strongly advised to remain away from the
political and civil affairs of the country. But country is far from the day when armed forces will mind only their
own affairs.

Pakistan being a country which hold nuclear weapons, there has been growing concerns across the world about the
security of the same. With growing influence of terrorist activities in the country and army loosing grip over
internal and border security, al qaeda pose the most potent threat to not only Pakistan’s security but also of
whole world. Although Musharraf dont want to
be dictated by Washington
as far as the secutiry of its nukes is concerned, but world community definately have
some credible responsibilities inthis matter. Pakistan’s nukes cant be taken as its own internal matter. This is
one of the main agenda of various candidates in US Presidential election campaign. World has a very close interest in
the security and peace in Pakistan. One of ways of ensuring that is to create strong international pressure on the
establisments in Pakistan to ensure credible and transparent election process. India seems to be silent in the matter
but it would not suit its long term interests.

Left In Limbo

Posted in Foreign Policy, India and World, Polity, Relations with neighbours by dullar on January 16, 2008

Left is running for a cover and searching a new ideological stand to oppose the Indo-Us Nuclear deal after the latest development in the Indo-Chinese relationship with PM winding up a successful chinese state tour. What India gains from the tour are – 1) Increased warmth in Indo-Chinese relationship in a multi dimensional manner, 2) Assurances from China that it will look Indo-Us nuclear deal from a new, friendly, and optimistic perspective, and not merely as a step in the direction of Chinese containment on the part of Washington, 3) Increased credibility of Manmohan Singh government as upholding the basic principles of India’s independent foreign policy, 4) Boosting of confidence of Government to present the deal to the left coalition in a more emphatic way, when left will listen to it more seriously, 5) Increased chances of bargainning India specific norms in talks with IAEA and guidlines of NSG, 6) With border talks now on being conducted with a new vigour and on practical and friendly terms, India’s policy of maintaining a peaceful periphery will get a new zeal. 7) Calming the political and strategic atmosphere in Asia and China visualising India in a new perspective.

Although Manmohan Singh realises the compulsions of a coalition government and parliamentary democracy, the easing of China’s stand on the nuclear deal will give some breathing spcae to the government and its efforts to bring left on board will definately get a confidence. Left again has a chance to ease their opposition to the deal and help government to bring India at a respectable and deserved place on the nuclear energy map of the world. With China sharing the concerns of climate change, sustainable clean energy, and a shared vision of economic and political well being of two great rising powers of Asia, the leftist politics of oppostion and blackmailing should yield to common good of the country by pulling back all its reservations about the nuclear deal 

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