US Backs Indian Hegemony in Asia
International politics is passing through transitory period, as rapidly developing geo-political differences among global powers in Asia show that the next Cold War is likely to be waged between the Russia-China alliance and the US-led bloc in Asia, while Pakistan has already become its arena.
In this regard, US still backs Indian hegemony in Asia to counterbalance China. During American President Barack Obama’s visit to India, on January 25, this year, the US and India announced a breakthrough on a pact which would allow American companies to supply New Delhi with civilian nuclear technology. On November 2, 2010, US agreed to sell India the most expensive—the new F-35 fighter jets including US F-16 and F-18 fighters, C-17 and C-130 aircraft, radar systems, Harpoon weapons etc. Besides acquisition of arms and weapons from other western countries—especially Israel, America is a potential military supplier to India. US also pressurized International Atomic Energy Agency and the Nuclear Suppliers Group to grant a waiver to New Delhi for obtaining civil nuclear trade on larger scale. However, US President Obama also announced $4 billion of new initiatives aimed at boosting trade and investment ties as well as jobs in India.
In this respect, Indian Foreign Mistier Sushma Swaraj was on a maiden visit to China since January 31, 2015. Along with sideline commitments, she attended 13th trilateral meeting between China, India and Russia held in Beijing on February 2, 2015. She was having series of meetings with Chinese leaders in the backdrop of recently concluded visit of US President Obama to India.
In the joint communiqué of their trilateral meeting, the foreign ministers of Russia, India and China have emphasized cooperation to maintain international and regional peace and stability and promoting global economic growth and prosperity. But with the support of America, New Delhi has been playing double game with Beijing and Moscow.
The warming up of Indo-US relations, especially in the nuclear domain poses a direct threat to Chinese national interests, and both China and Russia feel uneasy over Indian overtures towards US. Consequently, as part of duplicity, Indian leadership is launching intense diplomatic activities to conciliate Beijing and Moscow that their overtures to US will not be at the cost of bilateral relations with Russia and China.
In fact, US in the garb of this controversial deal is enticing New Delhi to assume anti-China role and would have footprints in India to eavesdrop Chinese activities. China is apprehensive about the emerging threat, as the intent of President Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi was quite clear, while mentioning about free sea lanes and air passages in the South China Sea. Russia, however, remained quiet over Obama’s comments at a press conference in Delhi slamming President Vladimir Putin’s role in Ukraine.
It is notable that in 2013, during his visit to New Delhi, and after meeting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang said that the two emerging Asian economies were going to enhance cooperation. No doubt, Beijing wants cordial relationship with New Delhi. But, India which apparently emphasizes mutual cooperation with China, showing lethargic approach in the solution of border dispute, has been increasing military build near the Chinese border, coupled with secret support to the Tibetan insurgents as part of its overt and covert maneuvering.
In the recent, part, tension arose between India and China when Indian army erected a military camp in Chumar Sector of Ladakh at the Line of Actual Control (LAC)-disputed border, situated between the two countries. Similarly, Indian soldiers crossed over the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir on January 6, 2012 and attacked a Pakistani check post, killing one Pakistani soldier. Afterwards, Indian troops shot dead more Pakistani soldiers on the LoC.
It is mentionable that under the Pak-China pretext, Indian ex-Army Chief, General Deepak Kapoor, revealed on December 29, 2010 that the Indian army “is now revising its five-year old doctrine” and is preparing for a “possible two-front war with China and Pakistan.”
Particularly, fast growing economic power of China coupled with her rising strategic relationship with the Third World has irked the eyes of Americans and Indians. Owing to jealousy, America desires to make India a major power to counterbalance China in Asia.
Besides, it is due to the fact Pakistan has a strategic geo-political location at the corridor of world’s major maritime oil supply lines, and has close proximity to oil rich Central Asian countries. Its location could influences Central Asia, South Asia and the Middle East. Besides, Balochistan’s mineral resources and geo-strategic location with deep Gwadar seaport, entailing Islamabad’s close ties with Beijing pinches the eyes of the US, India, Israel and some western countries. Beijing has already invested billion of dollars to develop Gwadar seaport. It is owing to multiple strategic designs that the US backs India in destabilizing both Pakistan and Iran. Notably, by rejecting US growing pressure, on March 11, 2013, Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari inaugurated the gas pipeline project with Iran.
Taking cognizance of the enemy’s intensions, during his trip to Beijing, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang signed eight agreements on July 5, 2013 in various fields. The most important one envisages the establishment of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) between deep Gwadar seaport of Balochistan and the historic Silk Road city in western regions-Xinjiang of China—connecting to Gilgit-Baltistan through Khunjerab Pass. Beijing has also offered to build an international airport, while the roads infrastructure in Gwadar would be connected with the communication network of rest of the country to facilitate transportation of goods. By rejecting US growing pressure, Pakistan has handed over the control of Gwader seaport to China.
While, in May, 2013, a day before Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Islamabad; Chinese engineers being driven through Clifton Block-1 in Karachi escaped a major bomb attack. As regards anti-China diplomacy, Afghanistan has become a hub from where external secret agencies like Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad have been assisting subversive activities in other parts of Pakistan—especially in Balochistan through their affiliated militant groups at the cost of Pakistan, China and Iran. In the past few years, they abducted and killed many Chinese and Iranian nationals in Pakistan.
It worth-mentioning that during China’s visit of Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff Gen. Raheel Sharif, on January 25, this year, China’s Vice Chairman of Central Military Commission Gen. Fan has assured that China will assist Pakistan in every challenge.
Taking note of US supported Indian plans; Pakistan has also cultivated its relationship with the Russian Federation. In 2012, Moscow and Islamabad agreed to enhance bilateral relations in diverse fields. Addressing a joint press conference with Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar in Islamabad on October 4, 2012, Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov said that the two countries agreed that they had common goals on regional and current global challenges. Lavrov stated that Russia supports Pakistan’s stance on Afghanistan by pointing out that any solution imposed from outside would not work there.
In 2010, the then Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin publicly endorsed Pakistan’s bid to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which includes the former Central Asian republics as permanent members. Putin also remarked that Pakistan was a very important partner in South Asia and the Muslim world for Russia.
The then President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari participated in the 12th summit of the SCO held in Beijing. While addressing the summit, hinting out towards Indo-US secret designs, Chinese president Hu Jintao said, “The international situation has been complex, thus bringing many uncertainties to the regional situation.” He explained that only when SCO member states remain united can they effectively cope with emerging challenges. President Putin said, “The SCO should enhance security cooperation.”
In fact, China, Pakistan, Russia and Iran know that after the withdrawal of most of the NATO troops from Afghanistan, the US-led NATO has been maintaining military presence in that country, having eyes on the energy resources of Central Asia, while encouraging Indian role in Afghanistan.
It is noteworthy that on July 20, 2011, while hinting towards Pak-China ties, the then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged India to be more assertive in Asia, saying that as American ally, the country should play more of a leadership role. She explained, “India has the potential to positively shape the future of the Asia-Pacific.”
Nonetheless, US approach of backing Indian role in Asia would cause imbalance in the region with serious implications for global security, and will embolden India to attain her hegemonic designs at the cost of modern world trends such as peaceful settlement of disputes, economic development and disarmament.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations.