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December 4, 2020

Indian tactics in South Asia

Opinion

December 4, 2020

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

India, which once carried the responsibility of anchoring peace and development in South Asia, has gone exactly the reverse.

The reason has not been a conscious departure from the Nehruvian secularism but a slow caving in to atavistic tribal notions, rooted in a mythical past and its esoteric traditions. These myths and traditions hallowed with religious sanction have been cleverly married with a muscular Hindu nationalist creed known as Hindutva. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is the neo-Nazi organization clothed in Saffron Hindu religious nationalism that is driving Indian politics.

The RSS and its political wing the Bharatya Janata Party (BJP) led by Prime Minister Modi operate in a parallel universe of their own. It is a universe which panders to exclusivism and stratification in Indian society at the cost of minorities like Christians, Jews, Sikhs and Muslims. The corporate world and business elite are the main beneficiaries of the current mercantilist model of governance in India. Small wonder that the policy results in domestic injustices like deprivation of citizen rights for minorities through the infamous Citizen Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizen that targets Muslim community especially in West Bengal and Assam.

The illegal annexation of Kashmir and crude attempts to change the demographic character of the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir has landed India in trouble vis a vis China due to claims of Chinese land in Aksai Chin area as Indian territory. The Indian government, instead of embracing a cooperative paradigm of economic engagement, has preferred to be pressed into the service of a global power as a regional surrogate. That regional surrogacy compels India to confront China constantly and act as a bulwark to regional connectivity. India unfortunately is willing to pay the price because of its myopic leadership. At a time when ASEAN-RCEP free trade initiatives have launched with countries like Australia, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand, India has unwisely decided to opt out of it. The above behaviour is not normal for a state that values the cost of economic benefits in this age of geo-economics.

So, what is driving India in this lemming like destabilizing proclivity, sinking itself and its neighbors down? It is in fact a misguided notion of revanchism and irredentism that drives India when it closes its eyes to current regional realities and economic potentialities to grasp a nebulous mythical concept of ‘Akhand Bharat’. By what means is this notion being manifested would be clearer through some of the policies and strategies being followed by India vis a vis Pakistan. In order to destabilize Pakistan, Indian intelligence and military have devised a long-term strategy under the direct patronage of the political government.

The destabilization strategy is led by Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Duval and operationalized by RAW. The objectives of that strategy are to keep Pakistan destabilized through acts of terrorism, economic strangulation, and by fomenting of insurrections in parts of Pakistan. Recently Pakistan has made public a scathing indictment of Indian depredations in the form of a dossier of crimes that clearly points out Indian attempts to foment uprisings and unrest in Pakistan. The dossier is so comprehensive and explicit that its presentation could render India as international pariah. At a time when the entire world looks at Afghan peace prospects with optimism, India is the only country actively attempting to destabilize that process from Afghan soil.

India is said to have established 87 terrorist training camps along Pak-Afghan border to launch attacks on Pakistan soil through its proxies. Indians have adopted terrorism as an instrument of state policy, as openly admitted by its NSA Ajit Doval in his various statements. Those statements are now being operationalized and funded generously to wreak havoc in Pakistan’s deprived and poverty ridden areas and also to destabilize a great economic initiative like the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

RAW is also said to be actively trying to establish linkage of Pakistan’s militants with ISIS in the shape of Daesh Pakistan. Recently, 30 ISIS militants have been relocated to Pakistan-Afghan border and handed over to two Daesh commanders.

This viscerally hateful Indian policy bodes ill for regional as well as global peace and the sooner the world community takes note of this egregious violation of international law as well as norms of civilized diplomatic conduct the better.

India’s conduct merits strong international censure and perhaps a fit case for censure by the UN Security Council Counter Terrorism Committee.

The writer is a PhD scholar at Nust.

Email: [email protected]