India: ‘Swing power’ of Asia?
use US facilities. Manohar Parrikar may be croaking with joy and rejoicing at the agreement but the fact remains that India has blown its own sovereignty. India’s founding fathers had prided themselves in joining the non-aligned movement and reaped benefits by acting neutral during the US-Soviet Cold War era. By jumping squarely into the US camp, concluding the nuclear deal and the Logistic Support Agreement, India has chosen sides for its short term benefit. The US is currently the sole super power and it will never permit India to come at par with it. The US lawmakers jealously guard their status. They are wary of China, which in their calculus is a rising economic and military power now. Giving India leverage, allows the US to use India as a bulwark against China as well as engage it in a proxy war with the Chinese.
The US on the one hand eyes the rich and lucrative Indian market for its Military Industrial Complex as well as its civilian goods and services, while on the other, India can help support the urgent needs of the US military, and its strategic plans for alternative logistic support lines for protecting oil supplies and pipelines and to counter the growing maritime might of China. India on the other instance is dreaming of becoming a “Swing Power” in Asia and establish its hegemony. China has reacted sharply to the US-Indian Logistic Support Agreement. During the visit of Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to Beijing, issue was formally taken up by China. Indo-US Logistic Support Agreement is detrimental to peace in region Email: firstname.lastname@example.org with serious implications for India’s neighbouring countries. While analysts in Pakistan may be critical of Indo-US strategic agreement, it is important to consider what Indian analysts are saying about it. Indian opinion builders, who are patriotic and knowledgeable, opine that it is tantamount to India compromising its sovereignty. India will become a client state of US & will be used to perform janitorial tasks on behalf of its master and once its usefulness diminishes, it will be dumped in garbage heap.
Simultaneously, Indian analysts are cognizant of the fact that Russia has been a long time ally of India. Most Indian weapon systems originate from Russia. To dump Russia at the behest of the USA would be imprudent. Additionally, there is an intensified campaign being conducted by Indian Ministry of External Affairs to appease both Russia and China. India is on the verge of being granted full membership of the cherished Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Should India abandon decades of hard work to attain this singular honour on the behest of the US?
China has recently made overtures towards India to settle its territorial disputes as well as invest in Indian development projects. India should not risk igniting Chinese ire only because its master the US desires so. China is a neighbor of India and is extending the olive branch while the US is thousands of miles away and will not be able to come to India’s aid if the situation so merits. While Shushma Suwaraj was tasked to enthrall the Russian, India is trying to cajole China through Defence Minister and NSA Doval’s visits to allay Chinese concerns. These visits are naught but familiar Indian intrigues specially in the context of China.
India is already on the watch list of China because Ajit Doval, Indian National Security Advisor has been clandestinely colluding with the ETIM and Daesh in a bid to destabilize China’s Xinjiang Province and inciting the Uyghurs to insurgency. The recent arrest of Commander Kulbhoshan Yadav, a high level RAW operative and terror leader proves beyond a shadow of doubt that India perhaps with the nexus of the US is hell bent upon sabotaging the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the port of Gawadar.
Kulbhoshan Yadav, who has been singing like a canary has already admitted to RAW establishing a special cell with $ 300 million to scuttle CPEC. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not hide his abhorrence to the CPEC and raised a flimsy excuse that since part of it was to pass through disputed territory in Azad Kashmir, China must stop its construction. The Chinese President gave a befitting response, when he apprised the Indian Prime Minister that the CPEC is a commercial venture and not a military one. India can no longer run with the hare and hunt with the hounds. It should take a leaf out of China’s books and become a team player. One cannot ignite neighbourhood and expect that flames would not scorch it too. The quest for a peaceful region should be in everyone’s interest. —The writer is retired PAF Group Captain and a TV talk show host.