Uri At­tacks ..............................................................

Diplo­matic Prospects and the Fu­ture

Libertatem Magazine - - Content - By Shub­ham Pa­tel

BE­ING NON OF­FEN­SIVE: DIPLO­MATIC CHAN­NELS AND PRES­SURE

The sce­nario of the present day modern world is that ev­ery nation de­pends upon some or the other na­tions in re­la­tions to fix its needs whether trade re­lated, mone­tary or any other kind. No nation lives or is likely to live in iso­la­tion, this phe­nom­e­non has re­duced the need for an ac­tual armed con­flict to force a nation to do some­thing, and it has come to an al­most end with al­ter­na­tives of diplo­matic chan­nels and pres­sure mount­ing tech­niques that are present. In­dia, in its front has sev­eral of those ways and tech­niques, how well they are be­ing used or can be used has been dis­cussed be­low.

DIPLO­MATIC BLOCK­ADE

Diplo­macy is the best modern day rem­edy to com­pel some­body to act on the de­sired terms, and In­dia has been do­ing this in an im­pec­ca­ble man­ner to block and iso­late Pak­istan, be it in the neigh­bor­ing na­tions of the Subcontinent or the pow­ers of the world at large, which it took to a whole new scale af­ter the Uri at­tacks, the ex­am­ple of which are In­dia along with Afghanistan and other na­tions boy­cotted the SAARC sum­mit which was go­ing to take place in Is­lam­abad, Pak­istan and Sushma Swaraj’s speech in UNGA de­plor­ing the role of Pak­istan in spon­sor­ing and har­bor­ing ter­ror­ism.

In the re­cent pasts, Pak­istan has wit­nessed fail­ure in its for­eign pol­icy with only China to bring a sense of se­cu­rity to Pak­istan., In­dia has con­sis­tently tried to make re­la­tions with the na­tions in the sub-con­ti­nent more peace­ful, eco­nom­i­cal and co-op­er­a­tive, for ex­am­ple the $500 mil­lion in­vest­ment in Iran’s Chaba­har porthow­ever , is a fac­tor in Pak­istan’s iso­la­tion.

In the present UNGA when Pak­istan’s P.M. Nawaz Sharif again raised the is­sue of Kash­mir, and asked for in­ter­ven­tion from the UN, it was met with al­most no re­sponse. In­dian for­eign min­is­ter proved those al­le­ga­tions to be farce on one hand and on the other ap­pealed di­rectly to the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity that if nation states like Pak­istan do not stop from har­bor­ing ter­ror­ists, the best way would be to iso­late them.

The present times are the one which marks a low in terms of for­eign re­la­tions of Pak­istan as U.S.A which once upon a time used to pro­vide sev­eral aids to Pak­istan, has re­port­edly sev­er­ally cut down the amounts of se­cu­rity aid, 73% per­cent to be ex­act [The Dwan, US se­cu­rity as­sis­tance to Pak­istan de­clines by 73pc: re­port, 26/08/2016]; they re­fused to grant sub­sidy to Pak­istan on pur­chase F-16 and also blocked $300 mil­lion aid from Coali­tion Sup­port Fund (CSF) to the Pak­istan Army. A re­cent bill has also been put for­ward in front of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives in USA to de­clare Pak­istan a ter­ror spon­sor­ing state [H.R.6069 - Pak­istan State Spon­sor of Ter­ror­ism Des­ig­na­tion Act, https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house­bill/6069/text].

It can very well be made out that at the Pak­istan is al­most iso­lated in the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity, and the subcontinent.

THE IN­DUS WA­TER TREATY

The In­dus Wa­ter Treaty was signed in 1960 be­tween In­dia and Pak­istan on the in­stance of the World Bank (the then In­ter­na­tional Bank of Re­con­struc­tion and De­vel­op­ment) over the ap­pre­hen­sions of Pak­istan that In­dia might use those rivers to cause droughts or famines in Pak­istan as their wa­ters ma­jorly ac­counted for use in ir­ri­ga­tion pur­poses. In­dia, un­der the agree­ment is al­lowed to use Beas, Ravi and Sut­lej (the east­ern rivers) and Pak­istan was given In­dus, Chenab and Jhelum (the west­ern rivers), with a covenant that In­dia can use 20% of the wa­ters from the lat­ter rivers for agri­cul­tural and other pur­poses.

Af­ter­math of the Uri at­tacks saw the gov­ern­ment tak­ing a de­ci­sion that In­dia would “ex­ploit to the max­i­mum” limit, the wa­ter of the west­ern rivers which it is al­lowed to use via pro­vi­sions of the treaty and also re­voked the meet­ing of the Per­ma­nent Com­mis­sion for In­dus Wa­ters (this is per­ti­nent to note that the com­mis­sion met ev­ery year be­fore this even in times of all three wars af­ter the treaty). This ac­tion has raised a lot of con­cerns for Pak­istan be­cause they have a se­ri­ous im­pli­ca­tion as ma­jor­ity of its ir­ri­ga­tion for agri­cul­tural pur­poses is pro­vided by th­ese rivers only.

Pak­istan due to this has reached out to the World Bank, ask­ing them to help and re­solve the is­sue in hand,, They called for ar­bi­tra­tion un­der Ar­ti­cle IX of the Treaty which re­lates to dis­pute in in­ter­pre­ta­tion or ap­pli­ca­tion of the treaty, which most likely is to turn to fa­vor of In­dia, as none of the steps still taken, amounts to vi­o­la­tion of treaty and

ac­tions taken there­fore are within the four walls of rights granted.

The treaty was signed in good­will and spirit of friend­ship as per the Pre­am­ble of the treaty, when no such treat­ment is re­turned from a party to the treaty the en­tire ob­jec­tive of the same can be ques­tioned. But, a ma­jor im­pli­ca­tion to take note is that China has an ef­fec­tive con­trol over the river Brahma­pu­tra, which is cru­cial to In­dia tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion the North-east. The wa­ters from In­dus and the treaty can be used very well as a tool to mount pres­sure on Pak­istan, but at the same time China which is a close as­so­ciate to Pak­istan, can do the same with Brahma­pu­tra (China blocked a trib­u­tary of Brahma­pu­tra on 2nd Oc­to­ber, rea­sons pro­vided are that it was done as a part for con­struc­tion of Lalho hy­dro project.), is a thing of con­cern pro­vided In­dia does not hav a treaty with China.

TRADE AND MOST FA­VORED NATION STA­TUS

The for­mal trade be­tween In­dia and Pak­istan is an ap­prox­i­mate of $2.61 bil­lion; with al­most dou­ble in in­for­mal trad­ing i.e. trad­ing which in­cludes for­eign coun­tries, this is due to the rea­son that Pak­istan has a rel­a­tively closed mar­ket and trade re­ac­tions with In­dia.

Most Fa­vored Nation is a trade treat­ment ac­corded to an­other trade part­ner coun­try to make sure that trade would be non dis­crim­i­na­tory. This is done un­der the Gen­eral Agree­ments on Tar­iffs and Trades (GATT) whereby mem­bers of WTO agree that no dis­crim­i­na­tion would be done to other mem­ber coun­tries. In­dia has granted MFN sta­tus to Pak­istan, Viet­nam and Bangladesh. In­dia granted MFN to Pak­istan in 1996 but the re­cip­ro­cal treat­ment for the same is still awaited. In midst of this sit­u­a­tion, In­dia is de­lib­er­at­ing on whether to re­voke the MFN sta­tus granted to Pak­istan . .

Re­vok­ing the sta­tus granted to Pak­istan would not hurt In­dian trade as much as com­pared to all of the In­dian trade, as for­mal trade with Pak­istan amounts for mere 0.4% of the to­tal trade on top which not be­ing granted MFN from them there are no ben­e­fi­cial im­port tar­iffs etc. On the other hand it is likely to cause trou­ble to Pak­istan’s trade as from their side trade amounts to a 3.4% of the to­tal trade, which is bound to go down when MFN sta­tus is re­voked as then the tar­iffs would rise. Thus, MFN and re­duc­ing the trade can be used as yet an­other means to mount pres­sure on the other side of the border, spe­cially tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion the fac­tor that it is not go­ing to hurt much to the In­dian side.

ON THE OF­FEN­SIVE SIDE? THE SUR­GI­CAL STRIKES

As the present gov­ern­ment dur­ing its elec­tion cam­paigns, came down heav­ily upon the in­ac­tions of the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment on its stand in re­spond­ing to the ter­ror­ist ac­tiv­i­ties within the coun­try it was thought and ex­pected that the present gov­ern­ment would re­spond to such at­tacks, in terms of a counter at­tack or re­tal­i­a­tion. Dur­ing the im­me­di­ate af­ter­math of the at­tack, the gov­ern­ment con­demned the at­tacks and did not took any im­me­di­ate armed ac­tion, which make it a party to heavy crit­i­cism that it was go­ing back on its in­stance.

On 29th Septem­ber, the DGMO though came pub­li­cally that the Army had con­ducted a sur­gi­cal strike on the ter­ror­ist launch pads, on the Pak­istan oc­cu­pied Kash­mir, claim­ing that it had in­tel­li­gence that those launch pads were go­ing to be used to caused in­fil­tra­tion and that the op­er­a­tion caused heavy ca­su­al­ties to the ter­ror­ists and peo­ple help­ing them, which if read with state­ments from Pak­ista­nis coun­ter­parts that 2 of its Army men were killed, from this it can be im­plied that the forces DGMO talked were in­deed the mem­bers of the Pak­istan’s Army.

Pak­istan has re­futed the claims that such in­ci­dent hap­pened and claims that all this was cross border fir­ing and shelling, though at the first in­stance this seems un­clear that why they are re­ject­ing th­ese strikes when they can use the same to call in­ter­na­tional at­ten­tion, but that case is more likely to cause them harm than good as they would be bound to ac­cept the pres­ence of ter­ror­ists in­side their bor­ders, the ac­tions from In­dia have faced al­most no crit­i­cism and all ma­jor pow­ers, both in­ter­na­tion­ally and na­tion­ally seem to be on the same page.

More­over, In­dia in the present case calls the ac­tions a case of ‘pre-emp­tive de­fense’, a term which is very am­bigu­ous in in­ter­na­tional law, and see­ing the way U.S. has used the same as a de­fense of war on ter­ror­ism, there is hardly any nation that would crit­i­cize In­dia for in­vok­ing it [Sid­darth Varadhra­jan, The Wire, In­dian Sur­gi­cal Strikes Against Ter­ror­ists in Pak­istan: What We Know, What We Don’t Know, 29/09/2016]. The In­dian DGMO par­tially set­tled the mat­ter by say­ing that it was due to ne­ces­sity and would not con­tinue any fur­ther.

Though, the present in­stance was not the only case when sur­gi­cal strikes have been used since the same had been

done by pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ments in the past as well but what sep­a­rates this from past events is that the gov­ern­ment had been vo­cal and reached out to the pub­lic, which was well re­ceived and ap­pre­ci­ated by the masses and boosted the con­fi­dence of both the Army and the masses. But, what needs to be taken into con­sid­er­a­tion is that the peo­ple may re­mem­ber this as a prece­dent and in any such fu­ture events , voices may rise for sim­i­lar ac­tions.

CON­CLU­SION

Af­ter con­sid­er­ing ev­ery as­pect as to how In­dia has re­acted and can pos­si­bly re­act in fu­ture events, it can be con­cluded that the door­ways are mul­ti­ple and each one of them is ef­fec­tive in its own na­ture to bring Pak­istan to its knees, be it be­ing able to cor­ner Pak­istan in the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity or mount­ing pres­sure in trade and wa­ter re­source re­lated as­pects or with ca­pa­bil­ity of be­ing of­fen­sive in na­ture, ul­ti­mately, it falls upon the gov­ern­ment and the lead­er­ship to de­cide as to which path to take.

EPI­LOGUE

Af­ter the in­ci­dents that have oc­curred in Uri, Pathankot and other places, voices raised from cer­tain cor­ners that In­dia should try to be more on the of­fen­sive side, but what one should al­ways re­mind is that “ANY KIND OF WAR IS BAD AND ANY KIND OF PEACE IS GOOD” and all we shall strive for is peace.

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