India and Pakistan on the same side

India and Pakistan on the same side

It’s patently ridiculous for Pakistan and India to remain at odds in this day and age. So why are they?
On Pakistan’s side, there is the apprehension of India blocking Pakistan’s main water source, the Indus
River with Prime Minister Modi’s lockdown of Kashmir – for daring to be a Muslim majority state in the
brutal face of Hindutva.
And, this fear appears justified when columns like ‘Use coercive diplomacy on Pakistan’ by Delhi writer
GS Aditya appear in such far away dailies as Calcutta’s The Statesman. What this author propagates is:
“To effectively use coercive diplomacy and target Pakistan’s economy, India should focus on long term
strategies and domestic investments rather than short term visible benefits. This would equip the
former with two efficient coercive diplomatic strategies: water diplomacy and cyber-aggression…
India uninterruptedly lets Indus, Jhelum and Chenab rivers to flow into Pakistan as per the Indus water
treaty of 1960. These rivers are major contributors to Pakistan’s economy and agriculture, a disruption
in their supply would severely strangle Pakistan’s economy”.
Why on earth would India want to do that? Is the author looking to marshal a stream of refugees at least
ten million times larger than Burma’s Rohingya foot-loose and fancy-free swamping the sub-continent?
Then there are those who project the view that Pakistan sponsors Islamic fundamentalists to reclaim the
long forgotten Mughal Empire by way of motivating India’s 182 million Muslims to rise in open revolt
against India’s 966 million Hindus.

Is this perspective honest-to-goodness for real?
Not so. The Partition of India is fait accompli. What remains unfinished is the business of the division of
Kashmir, still contested by both sides and, that has come to a head with the entry of China into the
picture.
Here’s the catch: the US, to which India appears to have surrendered sovereignty, is at loggerheads with
China, over its Belt and Roads initiative. This began its forward journey earlier vide the China Pakistan
Economic Corridor (CPEC), which runs through Pakistan and leads to the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea
to end at the deep water port at Gwadar, Pakistan, riling both the US and its new-found ally, India.
To arrest the further advance of China, the US and its more established allies, the United Kingdom and
Australia are alleged in social media circles to be readying for a naval blockade of the South China Sea,
housing China’s principal sea lanes – which China has indicated, it will resist with all the force at its
command.
However, as the mainstream media is silent on the subject, the show could well be no more than sabre
rattling. And yet, if Russia were to back China, Pakistan which is dependent on the IMF and World Bank
for economic bailouts, will have some hard choices to make. So too will India with its longstanding ties
to Russia, leaving both neutral and thereby on the same side – at least in this particular adventure.

By Z. U. Kramet

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