Sino-Pak Ties Not just a CPEC in India’s eye
The CPEC is adding another angle to the ongoing extremism is Kashmir which in itself has been a matter of concern for successive Indian Governments. Right from the time of Independence, we have seen efforts by Pakistan to annexe Kashmir. Maharaja Hari Singh’s Letter in link below makes one wonder how deeply engendered is Terrorism in
Pakistan’s DNA. One’s Upbringing and the Company one keeps definitely does matter. But DNA is hugely potent and in many cases prevails. DNA could also be Destiny!
This post is not about DNA or its impact on Destiny. It is about CPEC . The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor which is a critical project in many ways and could actually be playing a role in all the action that we see in Kashmir. But First Things First. As seen above, Pakistan has always wanted Kashmir, right from the time of the founding of this ‘Islamic State’. Even before the emergence of China as a regional or global power.
Enter, The Dragon
Pakistan and China are collaborating on the $46 Billion CPEC. Developed with assistance by Chinese banks, this corridor connects China’s least populated and developed North-Western province of Xinjiang and the Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea. Gwadar lies in Baluchistan which Pakistan annexed long ago. The CPEC is a massive engineering enterprise.
Benefits for China
It will connect China to the Arabian Sea, providing it easy access to Europe and US (on the east coast) far easily. The CPEC provides an alternate access to sea, in the event of other powers blocking China’s sea routes from its Eastern coast. It may help develop the largely ignored Xinjiang province as well.
Benefits for Pakistan
The CPEC will help improve infrastructure and connectivity between various key provinces and cities in Pakistan. This will help leverage the mineral rich areas of Balochistan.
Where Terror and Kashmir fit in
India has been largely passive about this. But the truth is that the CPEC will pass through parts of Kashmir which India claims ownership. On one hand China has illegally occupied a large part of it, called Aksai Chin, which was traditionally part of the Kingdom of Kashmir. Pakistan controls PoK. The continuous terrorist attacks in the area and Pakistan’s fomentation of Kashmiri unrest could be their pro-active way of ensuring that India doesnot have the bandwidth to think of taking its territories back. Thus the CPEC work can keep continuing.
Cool Chilli’s Comments
The general thinking amongst the average Indian seems to be one of anger. The reaction seems to be ‘How can China and Pakistan do this?’ and/or ‘What can/ Why can’t we do something about it?’. At NewsTikka, we generally like to look at the greater good of the greater numbers (humanity/eco-system at large), unless the price is too heavy in terms of basic principles.
Our view (hopefully we will have others sharing this stand) is that India should look at the CPEC in a constructive way. An economically vibrant neighbourhood is better for the region. Lesser idle minds for the Devil to work upon. Improved productivity means better lives for the common man and whether he be Indian or forcefully confined to Pakistan or PoK, why should India grudge his happiness? The northern markets of India are bigger commercial centres for the output of these neglected Pakistani provinces. Better trade may trigger better ties, hopefully.
India could pro-actively get involved in the CPEC. Obviously China and Pakistan may not welcome it easily. However India could use a multi-pronged approach. One, Showcase India’s proven engineering capability in these tough terrains leveraging the work done by our engineers in Kashmir. Two, showcase CPEC as part of a larger Indo-Sino-Pak eco-system with a large Indian market for both Pakistan and Chinese manufacturers. Thirdly, as a last resort, subtly communicate the threat the CPEC is physically in, were India to become aggressive and attempt to reclaim its lost areas. The first mover here wins because World Powers would intervene to avoid a major escalation anyway. India’s rightful stand and image could help.
We seriously hope the last resort may just be that and not required. There could be some mistakes we have done, thanks to Nehru’s foolishness. Along with trying to correct them (if it is possible), we should be thinking of what next, how we could leverage. How can we convert a possible threat into an opportunity? We should try to live and let live in the larger interest of the region and its inhabitants without jingoism. Mr Modi with his global, futuristic outlook and sharp Gujarati brain must already be ruminating over this, we are half sure. The recent surgical strikes demonstrated India’s readiness to go on the offensive if needed. A small step to give a larger message that ‘do-gooders’ need not be docile!
Story Behind PoK and evidence of Pakistan’s ‘Terror DNA’
<a style="color: #ff0000; text-decoration: underline;" href="https://en visit the site.wikipedia.org/wiki/China%E2%80%93Pakistan_Economic_Corridor” target=”_blank”>The Corridor in detail