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Battle For Pakistan


Nov 15, 2009
Somewhat interesting read, it shows the changing perception of Pakistan not only across the border but well beyond that..ofcourse the bias will always be there


The battle for Pakistan

C. Raja Mohan Posted online: Mon Jun 21 2010, 00:13 hrs
As India seeks to re-launch its dialogue with Pakistan this week, Delhi must come to terms with the enduring geographic significance of our special neighbour to the west and the unfolding contest for the control of its territory and political soul.

China’s decision to expand its nuclear cooperation with Pakistan in defiance of the international norms and the American reluctance to vigorously challenge it, underline the unique value of the Pakistan army for Beijing and Washington.

Further, the many challenges of our time — the changing relationship between a China that believes in its own unstoppable rise and a United States that is brooding about its relative decline, the spread of nuclear weapons, and the challenge of violent religious extremism — all come together in Pakistan.

The American and Chinese stakes in the relationship with the Pakistan army headquarters in Rawalpindi are high and rising amidst the expectations of a rapid political evolution in the ****** theatre in the near future and gathering confrontation between Iran and the West. Whichever great power can shape the politics of the territories along and across the Indus that the Pakistan army holds will gain a decisive influence over the developments in the subcontinent, inner Asia and the Persian Gulf and the orientation of violent religious extremism.

India’s problem with the Sino-Pak nuclear deal is not that it might add to the strength of Pakistan’s atomic arsenal. The Pakistan army is well on its way to rapidly expand the size and sophistication of its nuclear deterrent. India’s difficulties do not lie in the numbers of Pakistani nuclear weapons or the kind of delivery systems it has; they are rooted in the fact that the Pakistan army has used the constraining effects of its nuclear deterrent on India to pursue a sub-conventional war that Delhi is yet to find effective ways to cope with.

The Sino-Pak nuclear deal is only in part about the non-binding guidelines of the Nuclear Suppliers Group that Beijing has chosen to disregard. Beijing has bet, correctly, that Washington has no stomach to challenge it and the rest of the international community will simply give in after a bit of grumbling. The technical discussion of the Sino-Pak deal, if there is one, at the NSG meetings this week in New Zealand could mask the strategic nature of China’s nuclear partnership with Pakistan.

Beijing well understood the strategic consequences of the Subcontinent’s Partition and the perennial value of Pakistan as a trip-wire against India’s great power ambitions. It is no surprise then China went to such extraordinary lengths — including the supply of a nuclear weapon design that had already been tested — to help Pakistan acquire an atomic arsenal.

Worse still, some in Delhi would argue that without a Chinese backed nuclear deterrent, the Pakistan army would not have dared to sustain the provocative support to anti-India terror groups. Ever since India and the United States announced the civil nuclear initiative in July 2005, Beijing has signaled that it will either prevent the grant of a special exemption to India from the global nuclear rules of the global nuclear order or will try and win Pakistan a similar concession.

South Block’s challenge is not about stopping the sale of Chinese reactors to Pakistan. It is about finding ways to address the source of the problem — Beijing’s belief that it needs to contain India in South Asia and that its support to Rawalpindi has no costs in Delhi.

If Delhi cannot get Beijing to redo its sums on the subcontinent, there will be a lot more than civilian nuclear technology flowing from China into Pakistan. China’s capacities today to strengthen Pakistan are larger than ever before. As a consequence, Beijing’s ability to leverage its Pakistan connection in dealing with the United States, Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and India is also growing. Amidst the prospects of American withdrawal from Afghanistan, Beijing probably senses a defining moment at hand in South-west Asia and values the alliance with Pakistan army to enhance Chinese weight in this pivotal region.

India is aware that China’s interests in Pakistan are enduring and strategic, while American focus on Pakistan is transient. Not surprisingly the Pakistan army complains that Washington uses it when necessary and discards when inconvenient; in contrast, Rawalpindi never stops celebrating its “all weather partnership” with Beijing.

Instead of objecting to the Sino-Pak partnership, India must begin a frank dialogue with China on the future of Pakistan and Beijing’s oft-stated fears of a possible Indian hegemony over the subcontinent. While addressing China’s genuine concerns and offering to work with it in stabilising Pakistan, Delhi must leave Beijing in no doubt that India will do all it can to prevent or undermine outcomes in the north-western subcontinent that are inimical to its interests.

To change the policies of Beijing and Washington towards Rawal-pindi, India must necessarily intensify its own outreach to Pakistan — its army, civilian government and the full spectrum of political forces across the border. Delhi’s main objective should be to try and alter the internal and external environment of Pakistan in order to change the cost-benefit calculus of its army which has acquired a long-term lease on one of the world’s most important pieces of geopolitical real estate.

This in turn means developing a serious dialogue with both Beijing and Washington on the future of Pakistan and on how India might contribute to it. In the past, India has tended to deal with Pakistan, China and the United States separately and on a strictly bilateral basis. The time has come for Delhi to turn that approach on its head and get a grip on the interconnections among its ties with Rawalpindi, Beijing and Washington.



Apr 6, 2010
This is the view being proposed by many , to which the government has turned a blind eye or had no stomach till now due to Mumbai Massacre.

The problem is whenever India starts a 'dialogue' called serious or path breaking all it does is , throws the serious issues like terrorism or trust deficit below the rug and goes all out with unilateral concessions and gets hot with expectations stated as facts thinking 60 years of hatred, animosity and suspicion are a thing of the past.

True engagement is where both parties first strike at issues troublesome , however unpleasant they are. Calling a stick a stick good sometimes, not only there would be no communication gap but also it shows others our seriousness at engaging them.

With Pakistan there is no other way than to first engage their Military than their Civilian government. Since the present situation shows that China would go to any lengths to empower Pakistan its better to engage with both, if possible arrange trilateral meet too. There is nothing wrong in coming to terms with reality than to live in dream land , since China and Pakistan are a reality to this Country.

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