FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
Taking sides on CPEC
Updated:Oct 9, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
The comments were incendiary and call into question whether even the so-called adults in the administration of US President Donald Trump understand the extent to which their words can cause damage. The strategic rivalry between the US and China means the latter’s Belt and Road initiative is unlikely to be looked on with great approval by any US administration. But US Secretary of Defence James Mattis has controversially waded into the CPEC debate by claiming that the “One Belt, One Road also goes through disputed territory”, an obvious reference to CPEC’s route through Gilgit-Baltistan. The astonishing comment has seemingly aligned the US with India on CPEC and possibly even the Kashmir dispute — a potentially shocking development with far-reaching consequences that the Trump administration appears oblivious to.
 
Indeed, for a US administration that has remained studiously silent about the atrocities by Indian forces in IHK, it is remarkable that a senior official has decided to weigh in on the Kashmir dispute in a manner that blindly supports the Indian position. When President Trump signalled a South Asia strategy in outlining his Afghan policy earlier in the year, was he really suggesting a plan of pitting India against Pakistan to further US strategic goals in the region? The mere possibility would have disastrous consequences for the region and beyond. Even from a narrower perspective, Mr Mattis’s attack on CPEC is deeply troubling. The corridor’s vast potential of helping Pakistan become a trading hub and grow and diversify its economy is universally recognised. For Pakistan, there is an inherent challenge to ensure that CPEC’s maximum gains accrue to this country and not to outside investors, workers and communities. But CPEC is an undeniably historic opportunity and represents a commitment to Pakistan that is unrivalled.
 
So why is Mr Mattis coming down on the wrong side of history and the wrong side of the true interests of the people of Pakistan in trying to tarnish the initiative? The US has hardly been rushing to Pakistan’s economic assistance in recent times. In fact, its officials have routinely threatened to withhold legitimate economic assistance for all manner of perceived offences. Unhappily, there is a history of the US trying to bully Pakistan into staying strictly inside the US orbit of influence. The Iran-Pakistan pipeline, for example, was opposed by the US at a time of acute gas shortages here simply because the US was then pursuing the economic isolation of Iran. The pipeline ought to have been Pakistan’s right to pursue and was in this country’s clear strategic interest — but the US effectively vetoed it even though it was not apparent that American sanctions at the time necessarily applied to the pipeline. Now it is CPEC that appears to be in America’s cross hairs.
 
Dawn News, October 10, 2017
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina assumed office again in Bangladesh in 2009, bilateral relations between New Delhi and Dhaka have been on a steady upward trajectory.
 
read-more
  Nearly 58 per cent of the about 600,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh are children who suffer from severe malnutrition, a UN report released said.
 
read-more
A unique and passionate gathering of acrophiles, or mountain lovers, took place in neat and picturesque Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram state in north-eastern India in September.
 
read-more
India’s foreign policy under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has attained a level of maturity which allows it to assert itself in an effective manner. This is aimed at protecting the country’s national interests in a sustained way.
 
read-more
With over 100 incidents of braid chopping reported in different parts of Kashmir, there is widespread fear and anger among the people.
 
read-more
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China's GDP expanded 6.9 percent year on year in the first three quarters of 2017, an increase of 0.2 percent above that of the corresponding period of last year.
 
read-more
As political roller coasters go, there is none as steep and unpredictable as the one shared by the United States and Iran.
 
read-more
In West Asia, the end of one war paves the way for the next. Raqqa, the Syrian capital of the self-styled Islamic State (IS), has fallen to a coalition of rebels, the Syrian Democratic Forces that is backed by the United States.
 
read-more
On “Defining Our Relationship with India for the Next Century”
 
read-more
Column-image

Title: The People Next Door -The Curious History of India-Pakistan Relations; Author: T.C.A. Raghavan; Publisher: HarperCollins ; Pages: 361; Price: Rs 699

 
Column-image

Could the North Korean nuclear issue which is giving the world an anxious time due to presence of hotheads on each side, the invasion of Iraq and its toxic fallout, and above all, the arms race in the teeming but impoverished South Asian subcon...

 
Column-image

Title: A Bonsai Tree; Author: Narendra Luther; Publisher: Niyogi Books; Pages: 227 Many books have been written on India's partition but here is a firsthand account of the horror by a migrant from what is now Pakistan, who ...

 
Column-image

As talk of war and violence -- all that Mahatma Gandhi stood against -- gains prominence across the world, a Gandhian scholar has urged that the teachings of the apostle of non-violence be taken to the classroom.

 
Column-image

Interview with Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande, whose book From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy, was released on June 17.

 
Subscribe to our newsletter
Archive