FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
US needs to rein in CPEC musings
Posted:Oct 8, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
The US is feeling the South Asian heat. Not content with berating Pakistan for being a threat to regional peace and security — the Trump White House now appears to be huffing and puffing over our moves to mend regional fences, namely with Afghanistan. Thus it is trying to throw the proverbial spanner into the CPEC works.
 
US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis has raised the Indian concern over the Corridor running through what it sees as the disputed territory of Gilgit-Baltisan. Naturally, both China and Pakistan have been quick to discredit American assertions.  With Beijing pointing out that its One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative enjoys UN backing; while stressing that this economic cooperation is divorced from "territorial sovereignty disputes". For our part, we have reminded Washington of how it  built the Mangla Dam in Azad Kashmir.
 
That, for the time being, India is keeping mum will only serve to further fuel Pakistani fears of the US doing its bidding. After all, it was Trump who had promised New Delhi an active role in Afghanistan. Yet Mattis unwittingly revealed that Washington is out for itself. Its main concern being that the OBOR will afford China undue influence in the Eurasia arena. A shame, then, the apprentice-president on his very first day of office pulled the US out of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Yet Donald Trump knows best how to put "America first".
 
Yet the unquiet American must tread carefully when it comes to China. More than 70 nations have signed up to the OBOR project. And then here, in South Asia, the US is viewed as the the cuckoo quite literally trying to steal those nest eggs belonging to the big boys of the region. A club that is is only getting bigger. Beijing, Moscow and Tehran are serious about engaging with our neighbourhood. We can also add Ankara to this list, given its recent hosting of talks between an Afghan Taliban splinter group and the Kabul leadership. And they will not take kindly to US interference on behalf of the world’s largest democracy.
 
In addition, Washington may well have misplayed the Kashmir card. For most mainstream political parties as well as pro-freedom outfits have indicated that they find the Chinese position on CPEC acceptable. Indeed, Hurriyat Conference leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has gone as far as expressing interest to see further Kashmiri involvement in the project. If the US were serious about resolving this issue — it would back Pakistan’s recent calls to revisit UNSC resolutions as well as the appointment of a Special Rapporteur. It would also call out India over human rights abuses in the region.
 
In short, this sudden concern for the people of Kashmir doesn’t wash.
 
Yet, Pakistan, too, needs to tread carefully. Moves to afford GB provincial status could backfire. Already pro-freedom activists in Indian-held Kashmir — such as the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) — have warned that this would strengthen the Indian hand in the area. Indeed JKLF chief Yasin Malik is said to have written a letter to Nawaz Sharif outlining the group’s fears. He may or may not have a point. For if Pakistan were to unilaterally start dividing up chunks of (an internationally recognised) disputed territory — the Indian retaliation would be immense. And the very real risk of nuclear would drag China into the mayhem.
 
And then where would we be?
 
 
 
 
 
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
Desperate living conditions and waterborne diseases are threatening more than 320,000 Rohingya refugee children who have fled to southern Bangladesh since late August, including some 10,000 who crossed from Myanmar over the past few days, UNICEF 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
  Union Minister Jitendra Singh on October 14 said “militants are on the run” and that militancy in Jammu and Kashmir is in its “last phase”.
 
read-more
China has entered a new era in building socialism with Chinese characteristics. The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China has mapped out plans for the new era.
 
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