INDIA-ISRAEL RELATION OVER THE YEARS: TEN DEFINING DEVELOPMENTS

The article originally appeared on India Today.

PRE-INDEPENDENCE

Mahatma Gandhi had clearly spelled out that though he was sympathetic to the Jews and was aware of their persecutions, he was not in favour of a forced settlement between Israel and Palestine, which was already home to the Arabs.

Although he blamed the Christian community for wronging the Jews, he believed that Palestine belonged to Arabs in the same way as England belonged to English and France to French. Mahatma Gandhi was of the firm opinion that the Jews had erred grievously in seeking to impose themselves on Palestine with the aid of America and Britain.

1947: THE INDEPENDENCE YEAR

India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru held the same belief and followed the line taken by Mahatma Gandhi in saying no to Israel if it was not with the permission of the Arabs of Palestine. He even refused Albert Einstein’s appeal to vote in favour of the partition of Palestine, an event that later led to formation of Israel on May 14, 1948. Other factors, too, weighed heavily on Nehru’s mind when he said no to Einstein and when India voted against the United Nations General Assembly’s (UNGA) resolution on partition of Palestine on November 29 1947.

India was already facing the trauma of partition on religious lines, ravaging its geographies, and Nehru, probably, could not support another country’s partition on religious lines. To add to that India had a sizeable Muslim population that was traditionally opposed to creation of Israel on the Palestinian land. Also, an immediate war with Pakistan was looming large and Nehru needed the global community’s support including the Arab nations.

AFTER INDEPENDENCE

India formally recognised Israel post independence in September 1950. However its Israel policy was driven by the principled stand of solidarity with the Palestinian cause and India’s international approach on issues as aligned with its domestic needs. Nehru had mentioned this in his reply to Einstein that national leaders needed to be selfish to see the interest of their countries first when it came to geopolitics. So India continued with its pro-Palestine policy in line with its principled stand and the sentiments of its large Muslim population, coupled with the fact that more and more Indians were heading to the Gulf nations and it was fast emerging as a major source of remittances.

In addition, India was also dependent on the Arab nations for oil supply to meet its energy needs. Emergence of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in 1950s, of which Nehru was a founding member, further drove India away from taking any pro-Israel stand openly. NAM had its origin in the Cold War which had divided the world in two blocks, pro-USSR and pro-USA. NAM countries proclaimed they would have neutral stand in global affairs instead of going with any block of the nations.

1962 INDIA – CHINA WAR

The 1962 India China war was the first occasion when when Nehru wrote to Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion for shipments of arms and ammunition. Nehru had requested Ben Gurion to ship weapons without the Israeli flag as it could have adversely affected India’s ties with the Arab nations. Though expressing sympathy and solidarity with India, Ben Gurion refused help. Israel sent shipments to India only when India said it would accept them with the Israeli flag. And that is when when Israel and India started communicating at strategic levels.

1971 INDIA PAKISTAN WAR

The 1971 war between India and Pakistan that led to formation of Bangladesh was the next significant step in taking forward India-Israel strategic cooperation. Srinath Raghavan’s book 1971, quoting Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s adviser PN Haksar, says even if Israel was not in a position to supply arms to India, its Prime Minister Golda Meir diverted the shipment meant for Iran to India. Israel also provided India with intelligence support. In return, Golda Meir asked for full diplomatic ties.

1992 ESTABLISHMENT OF FULL DIPLOMATIC TIES

It was in 1992 when India finally established full diplomatic relations with Israel but only after taking Palestinian President Yasser Arafat on board. Arafat was in Delhi and after meeting Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, he announced that establishing embassies and maintaining diplomatic ties were India’s sovereign decisions and he respected it. There were two reasons behind it.

The first was the peace process between Israel and Palestine was in an advanced state at that time. State of Israel and Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) recognized each other for the first time with the US mediated Oslo Accord signed in Washington in 1993. For their peace efforts, Arafat, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin were jointly given the Nobel Peace Prize of 1994.

The second was the pressure from United States. The version in bureaucratic circles is as India needed now a global interface for its economy after it decided to follow economic liberalization in 1991 as well as new markets for to meets its defence needs after the USSR collapse, its main defence supplier, it found America as the obvious choice. But in return, America asked India to accommodate Israel in its foreign policy. And the timing was opportune as the ongoing peace process helped India in convincing Arafat, something that helped India in dealing with the Arab nations. What was sought by Golda Meir from Indira Gandhi in 1971 finally became a reality on January 29 1992 and Indira’s foreign minister Narasimha Rao, who was now the prime minister, drove the development.

1998 NUCLEAR TESTS

India’s second series of nuclear tests in 1998 saw the US and other western countries imposing sanctions. However, it didn’t affect India much as Israel filled the gap effectively delivering the US arms as it had close military ties .

1999 KARGIL WAR

The 1999 Kargil war was a leap in terms of India-Israel military cooperation. Israel provided India with mortar ammunitions, surveillance drones and laser guided missiles along with intelligence inputs that helped in winding up the war with a befitting reply to Pakistan. It is said that the Kargil War pushed India to introspect on its security loopholes and the country decided to modernise its forces. Next year, in 2000, India’s Home Minister LK Advani and Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh paid a visit to Israel beginning the series of ministerial level visits to Israel.

2003 ARIEL SHARON VISIT

In 2003, Ariel Sharon became the first Israeli Prime Minister to visit India. Strengthening the bilateral ties, the Delhi Statement of Friendship and Cooperation was signed. Though Sharon had to cut short his visit due to terror attacks in Tel Aviv, his Deputy Prime Minister Yosef Lapid had, for the first time on record, accepted that “India and Israel had closes ties in defence and Israel was the second largest supplier of weapons to India.”

2017 MODI VISIT

Though ministerial and other bilateral visits between India and Israel continued unabated all this while, it is said that the Manmohan Singh led UPA government was not in favour of speaking much about India-Israel defence and strategic ties and rather focused on agriculture, science and technology for mutual areas of cooperation.

Confirming this line of thought, Israeli Ambassador to India, David Carmon, had said last year when Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj was leaving for Israel that “though India-Israel ties had evolved over the last 25 years, it had been more visible under the Modi government.”

And now to take that “visibility” to the next level of bilateral cooperation, Narendra Modi is visiting Israel in the first ever prime-ministerial visit to Israel and what is the defining moment here is he has dehyphenated the Palestine ties with the Israel ties, unlike any previous official visit when Indian leaders made it a point to include both Palestine and Israel in their itinerary. During his visit in October 2015, first by an Indian President, Pranab Mukherjee first went to Palestine and then to Israel. Sushma Swaraj followed suit during her January 2016 visit.

©SantoshChaubey

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WHY MAHATMA GANDHI SAID NO TO FORCED SETTLEMENT OF ISRAELIS IN PALESTINE

The article originally appeared on India Today.

India and Israel established full diplomatic ties on January 29, 1992 and in the first ever prime ministerial visit to the nation, Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Tel Aviv from July 4 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the diplomatic ties. In these 25 years, Israel has emerged as India’s most reliable defence partner and India as Israel’s largest defence market, accounting for 41 per cent of its arms export.

But it was not like this always. In fact, if it took 45 years after the independence for India to allow Israeli Embassy in New Delhi, it was because of India’s principled solidarity with the Palestinian cause that was against the forced settlement of Israelis in the Palestinian territory. And the origin behind this principled stand can be traced back to Mahatma Gandhi, our Father of the Nation, who believed that Israelis could settle in Palestine only with the permission from Arabs and it was wrong for them to enter with the might of the British gun.

Writing in Harijan on November 26, 1938, Mahatma Gandhi says that his sympathies are with the Jews some of whom have been his friends since his days in South Africa. Thus, he knows about the age-long persecution of the Jews. He refers to the Jews as the untouchables of Christianity, like the untouchables of Hinduism and that religion is used in their persecution, as was happening then with the Jews in Germany.

But, he draws a line here saying his sympathy for the Jews cannot blind him to the requirements of justice.

He says in his write-up, The Jews, in Harijan, “The cry for the national home for the Jews does not make much appeal to me.” He says that “Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French and it is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs.”

Mahatma Gandhi says the settlement of the Jews in the Palestinian territory is akin to a religious act that rules out use of force, “The Palestine of the Biblical conception is not a geographical tract. It is in their hearts. But if they must look to the Palestine of geography as their national home, it is wrong to enter it under the shadow of the British gun. A religious act cannot be performed with the aid of the bayonet or the bomb. They can settle in Palestine only by the goodwill of the Arabs.”

In this article written in 1938, before the organized massacre of the Jews in the German concentration camps began, Mahatma Gandhi argues that the Jewish people are the citizens of the world and they should be treated as such, a Jew born in France as French, a Jew born in Germany as German. He advises the German Jews to use the civil movement through non-violence to take on the German persecution.

Though, we can see a change in approach in the later writings of Mahatma Gandhi on German persecution of the Jews after the German concentration camps massacred millions of Jews, his stand on Israeli occupation of the Palestinian land remains the same.

In another Harijan article titled “Jews and Palestine”, written on July 21, 1946, after the Second World War and the German massacre of the Jews were over, he says, “I do believe that the Jews have been cruelly wronged by the world. “Ghetto” is, so far as I am aware, the name given to Jewish locations in many parts of Europe. But for their heartless persecution, probably no question of return to Palestine would ever have arisen. The world should have been their home, if only for the sake of their distinguished contribution to it.”

But in the next paragraph, he reiterates his long held stand on the forced Jewish occupation of the Palestinian land, “But, in my opinion, they have erred grievously in seeking to impose themselves on Palestine with the aid of America and Britain and now with the aid of naked terrorism.”

And he held this view on the Palestine-Israel problem till his death, blaming Christianity for singling out and wronging the Jews, “Their citizenship of the world should have and would have made them honoured guests of any country. Their thrift, their varied talent, their great industry should have made them welcome anywhere. It is a blot on the Christian world that they have been singled out, owing to a wrong reading of the New Testament, for prejudice against them. If an individual Jew does a wrong, the whole Jewish world is to blame for it. If an individual Jew like Einstein makes a great discovery or another composes unsurpassable music, the merit goes to the authors and not to the community to which they belong.”

©SantoshChaubey

CONTINUING DOUBLESPEAK, NOW CHINESE MEDIA WARNS OF GEOPOLITICAL GAMES IN KASHMIR

How rattled is the Chinese media on the Dalai Lama’s Arunachal Pradesh visit is visible from the flurry of threats, warning and even advices that are appearing in its official publications. After calling India’s stand on the Dalai Lama’s Arunachal visit an undignified and obstinate stand damaging to the India-China bilateral ties or summoning the Indian envoy in Beijing to lodge its protests, it is now the Kashmir issue that China has threatened to rake up.

A latest editorial in China’s official publication Global Times that has been at the forefront of anti-India tirade on the Dalai Lama’s Arunachal visit, warns India that the use of the Dalai Lama card is ‘tactless’ and at the same time, threatens to use the Kashmir card against India.

While repeating the oft quoted patronizing tone of the official Chinese publications that how big and powerful China is, militarily and economically when compared to India, the editorial writes, “With a GDP several times higher than that of India, military capabilities that can reach the Indian Ocean and having good relations with India’s peripheral nations, coupled with the fact that India’s turbulent northern state borders China, if China engages in a geopolitical game with India, will Beijing lose to New Delhi?”

But China is already playing the Kashmir card against India with its ambitious China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project that passes through Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK). India considers PoK as its integral part and has lodged strong protests over the Chinese presence in PoK but the CPEC is going ahead in full steam. Here, China goes on bulldozing, mutilating India’s sovereign claims in PoK, but starts making overtures when it comes to even an innocuous Dalai Lama visit to Arunachal Pradesh, that China considers a disputed territory even if the Indian position has been clear to the world that the state is an integral part of India. China expects India to respect its sensitivities, but conveniently forgets to do the same when it comes to the Indian sensitivities.

The editorial, like a doublespeak, writes that the Indian concerns on China blocking India’s entry in the Nuclear Suppliers Groups (NSG) or China vetoing proposals in the United Nations to ban Masood Azhar are international multilateral issues while ‘the Dalai Lama is purely a China’s domestic issue’.

Well, to remind the Chinese strategists writing such doublespeak editorials here that even Masood Azhar is a pure diplomatic issue for India because India has been facing terror acts of terrorists like him or Hafiz Saeed for decades while they have been under patronage of Pakistan and even now China. China’s obstinate stand on Masood Azhar validates it.

It is India’s unchallenged right to hunt down or corner such terrorists and if China considers India as a friendly neighbour and partner, as the editorial says, then it should, in fact, come forward and help the Indian efforts to ban terrorists like Masood Azhar and should put pressure on Pakistan, India’s pestering neighbour that claims to have brotherly ties with China, to stop sponsoring terror in India.

But no. While the Masood Azhar issue is a technical one for China, the Dalai Lama issue is such that ‘India’s attitude towards the Dalai Lama almost affects the entire relationship with China’, the editorial writes.

This screenshot from the Global Times tells us how obsessed and rattled China has been over the Dalai Lama’s Arunachal visit where ‘India’s Dalai invites’ figure’s among the hot topics.

©SantoshChaubey

MODI SAYS WALK AWAY FROM TERROR, NAWAZ SHARIF SHIELDS BEHIND K-RANT..AGAIN!

The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is bit modified.

As expected, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has chosen not to answer Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demand that to resume dialogue with India, Pakistan must walk away from terror. Instead, he has picked the Kashmir rant again to blame India.

Nawaz Sharif is in Davos to attend the World Economic Forum. According to the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation’s Radio Pakistan report, Sharif, while talking to the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, said that Pakistan invited India for talks but India did not respond.

The report says that Nawaz Sharif said that resolution of all outstanding issues between Pakistan and India including the core issue of Kashmir is imperative for durable peace in South Asia. Exporting terror in Kashmir while continuing his double speak, Nawaz Sharif said that “peace in the region is in the best interest of the people of the region”.

While playing the victim Nawaz Sharif did not forget to polish his credentials by mentioning Indian violations of the Indus Water Treaty and that how India has been thwarting Pakistan’s sincere efforts ‘for durable peace in the region’, the foremost priority of his government. While he spoke of all outstanding issues including Kashmir, he did not mention terror and India’s only demand to resume dialogue with Pakistan.

While delivering the inaugural address of the 2nd Raisina Dialogue on January 17 in New Delhi, PM Modi said that if Pakistan wanted to resume dialogue with India, it must first renounce terrorism. Modi said, “Pakistan must walk away from terror if it wants to walk towards dialogue with India”.

While saying that a thriving well integrated neighbourhood was his dream, Modi said, “My vision for our neighbourhood puts premium on peaceful and harmonious ties with entire South Asia. That vision had led me to invite leaders of all SAARC nations, including Pakistan, for my swearing in. For this vision, I had also travelled to Lahore. But, India alone cannot walk the path of peace. It also has to be Pakistan’s journey to make. Pakistan must walk away from terror if it wants to walk towards dialogue with India.”

Prime Minister Modi’s unscheduled Lahore stopover in December 2015, while returning from Afghanistan, had left everyone stunned and his unilateral move to improve ties between the South Asian neighbours was appreciated globally.

This was his one of many initiatives to improve relations with a country that has behaved as India’s sworn enemy ever since its birth in 1947, beginning with Modi’s invitation to the South Asian leaders including Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for his swearing-in ceremony on May 26, 2014.

But Pakistan, continuing its tradition of backstabbing India, gave Pathankot airbase attack and declared Hizbul terrorist Burhan Wani a martyr and fuelled and supported the latest round of unrest in Kashmir.

Pakistan’s actions forced India to put forward the condition that the future India-Pakistan dialogue will be on the issue of terror only. Pakistan, the main sponsor of terrorism in India, obviously could not have accepted it and chose to escape, shielding behind its Kashmir rant. It said it would not go for dialogue with India until Kashmir is on the table.

Raisina Dialogue is organized jointly by the Ministry of External Affairs and the Observer Research Foundation (ORF). It is India’s geo-political conference and is aligned with India’s foreign policy priorities. Its second edition is being held in New Delhi from January 17 to 19. More than 250 global leaders from 65 nations are slated to speak at the conference which has ‘the New Normal -Multilateralism with Multi-Polarity’ as its theme this year.

©SantoshChaubey

CHINA SAYS IT WILL NOT SIT IDLE IF INDIA SELLS MISSILES TO VIETNAM

The article originally appeared on India Today.

Global Times, the mouthpiece of the Communist Party of China (CPC), has threatened India once again, after its sabre-rattling and economic supremacy rants aimed at demeaning the successful test launches of Agni V and Agni IV missiles by India recently. India’s first Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (Agni V) has a range of over 5000 Km while Agni IV has a range of 4000 Km. Both are nuclear capable and can reach China effectively.

This time it is about India’s proposal to sell Akash missiles to Vietnam. India has offered Vietnam ingeniously developed surface-to-air Akash missile system. The system has an interception range of 25 Km to keep an effective check on any incoming hostile aircraft for area defence and deliberations are said to in an advanced stage.

In an editorial titled ‘Indian arms sale to Hanoi disturbing if aimed at China’, the state run newspaper warns India that ‘if the Indian government genuinely treats its enhancement of military relations with Vietnam as a strategic arrangement or even revenge against Beijing, it will only create disturbances in the region and China will hardly sit with its arms crossed’.

China has been trying to encircle India by making inroads in its neighbourhood, by offering to develop or developing ports and infrastructure in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Maldives or by reaching out to Nepal and Bangladesh or with its String of Pearls geopolitical theory where it is said that China is developing a network in the Indian Ocean region to encircle India.

Now, of late, if India is realizing the Chinese designs and is pursuing an agenda to answer China in its own geopolitical language by developing bilateral and strategic ties with countries in China’s neighbourhood like Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan and even Mongolia, it is a much needed course correction.

If China can do so, why can’t India? If China can sell weapons to Pakistan, why can’t India do so with Vietnam? The world knows that Pakistan’s missile programme is basically a Chinese import. There are reports that Pakistan is going to acquire its first nuclear attack submarine from China. And it will be from the latest generation of the Chinese nuclear attack submarines it is being said. It will be a Shang class submarine capable of firing cruise missiles and comes with six torpedo tubes.

If China can do so then it doesn’t have any right to preach us that ‘India-Vietnam ties should be built for the sake of peace and stability in the region, rather than stirring up troubles or anxiety for others’.

During prime minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Vietnam in September 2016, India and Vietnam upgraded their ties to a ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ and before the Akash missile system, India has offered to sell Vietnam BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles and Varunastra anti-submarine torpedoes. Also, India is training Vietnamese to operate kilo-class submarines and will soon start training Vietnamese fighter pilots for Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jets.

©SantoshChaubey

NAGROTA: PARTING SHOT BY GEN SHARIF OR INAUGURAL GIFT BY GEN BAJWA?

Though Pakistan’s new army chief Gen Bajwa, after taking the charge yesterday, said the situation along the Line of Control (LoC) between India and Pakistan would be normal soon, indicating a softer approach than his predecessor, developments say otherwise.

The day, when Lt. Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa took baton from the outgoing Pakistan army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif, a proven India detractor, 7 Indian soldiers including two officials were martyred in a terror attack on an army unit near Jammu.

The attack that began early morning and lasted for some 14 hours saw fierce gunbattle and a hostage like situation with terrorists targeting army officials’ mess and residential units in Nagrota, near Indian Army’s 16 Corps Headquarters.

As expected, ugly politics over the issue has pitched in. Political goalposting has started. Debates and opinions are raging on ‘whys and hows’ of this attack that is clearly an intelligence failure but, at the outset, it is clear that it will be linked with Gen. Raheel Sharif’s parting warning to India and Gen. Bajwa ascendance to the throne.

While transferring power to Gen. Bajwa, Raheel Sharif warned India of its stand on Kashmir, comparing it with ‘increased terrorism and aggression’. He said, “India should know that mistaking our policy of patience for weakness would be dangerous.”

We all know that is an empty rhetoric, especially after the fact that the all powerful army of Pakistan had no other option left but to deny the highly successful surgical strike by India deep inside Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir. The Pakistan Army could not have accepted the Indian surgical strike as it would undermine the numero-uno position it enjoys in Pakistan, presenting its weaker character before everyone – whereas Raheel Sharif had curated a ‘hero sort of image’ for himself – riding high on anti-India acts and rhetoric.

Also, doing so, as the Pakistani civilian leadership had done initially, accepting India’s claims till the army told them to toe its line of shameless denial, would have put tremendous pressure on the Pakistani army to reply back to India in a similar manner, something that it was simply not capable of.

But incidents like Nagrota or Uri present reaffirm the clear face of danger due to Pakistan’s proxy war in India. Almost all terror attacks in any part of India are found to have Pakistani links. If Jammu & Kashmir, that was once considered heaven on earth, has now become a living hell, it is because of Pakistan’s proxy war only.

It is this proxy war that Pakistan has adopted as the mainstay of its policy. Raheel Sharif actively extended that tradition. And whatever Pakistan’s military does, its civilian government has to follow that – willingly or unwillingly –  because military is supreme in Pakistan.

So, even if we were yet to hear a word about India from its next army chief, Pakistan’s spin doctors, its politicians, were already on the job. So Sartaj Aziz had said that any dialogue process cannot go ahead with India unless Kashmir is on the table, a prospect that India has officially denied, saying if there has to be India-Pakistan dialogue, it will be on terror only. So Pakistan’s defence minister Khawaja Asif had said there will be no change in Pakistan’s military policy on Indian border under Gen. Bajwa.

Even if Pakistan’s new army chief Gen. Bajwa is yet to speak openly on his thoughts on India!

Whatever little he spoke yesterday didn’t give much – but at least, from that little – we can give him the benefit of doubt – that this cowardly act in Nagrota, targeting residential units of an Indian Army base, was a parting shot by a frustrated Raheel Sharif, who, despite all his tall claims and boastings, would have to live forever with the fact that it was during his tenure only that India conducted a highly successful surgical strike deep inside his territory of influence and owned it before the world and he could not do anything.

©SantoshChaubey

CONTINUING ANTI-INDIA RHETORIC, PAKISTAN’S FS WARNS INDIA OF ITS BELLIGERENT ATTITUDE

The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is a bit modified and extended.

Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry has warned India against the ‘harms’ of its hostile ‘tendencies’ against Pakistan, implying it’s a ‘dangerous’ territory.

According to a report published in The News International, Chaudhry, in a TV programme, said ‘India, with its belligerent attitude, was treading a serious path’.

Pakistan’s new army chief, Lieutenant General Qamar Javed Bajwa, is assuming office tomorrow. His predecessor, General Raheel Sharif, has had the notoriety of pushing India-Pak ties to a historically low point with war-like situation prevailing along the border between the two neighbours.

Now it is a well-established fact that Pakistan’s army chief is its most powerful person. Gen. Raheel Sharif is leaving the Pakistan’s most powerful office with anti-India designs, something that reflects in the statements of every Pakistani politician, be it its prime minister or defence minister or foreign affairs minister.

If we take a cue from that, India is going to handle the same, belligerent and backstabbing Pakistan as it was during Raheel Sharif’s time.

Continuing the tradition of anti-India rhetoric, Pakistan FS said ‘Pakistan had very sagaciously reminded it (India) of such dangerous tendencies’.

While emphasizing that India and Pakistan needed to talk, he further added that ‘Pakistan’s defences were fully impregnable and it could not be intimidated with volleys of bragging talks’.

Pakistan’s leadership has been more livid ever since India conducted its surgical strike deep inside Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir in September eliminating dozens of terrorists and terror launch-pads. What has been more humiliating for Pakistan and its military leadership is that they cannot accept on any platform any such military exercise by the Indian army inside the territory of its influence.

And so they are resorting to such ‘volleys of bragging talks’ like Pakistan’s FS has just said or like other ruling elite of Pakistan say about India every other day or like the continued shelling across our border areas ever since the surgical strike.

Ever since the surgical strike on September 29, Pakistan has violated ceasefire over 300 times and brags about how many Indian soldiers it has killed in the cross-border firing to appease concerns of its internal politics. But as the Indian forces have been given a free hand to give befitting reply to any Pakistani misadventure, the scale of damage on the Pakistani side in the Indian counter-firing has been manifold.

Last week we saw a glimpse of it when the Pakistani DGMO had to call his Indian counterpart for talks after India’s retaliatory fire in response to an Indian soldier’s beheading inflicted heavy damage on the Pakistani side. We can gauge the extent of damage by the fact that it was the first time since the surgical strike that the Pakistani DGMO had to speak to the Indian DGMO about bringing normalcy along the LoC.

©SantoshChaubey

WHY OCTOBER 25, 1971 IS IMPORTANT FOR INDIA

25 October is an important day for China. It was on this day that China was voted in by the United Nations General Assembly and Taiwan was thrown out.

It was on this day in 1971 that China, as we know the country today, started on the path to become a global power in a true senses – with its place as one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) – and a roadmap laid before it where it would have access to geopolitics and global markets.

October 25, 1971 is also important for India. It was on this day that India was officially pushed to the league of nations that didn’t matter, nation who had no say in the global matters, the pariah nations who were at best tools to populate international organisations like the UN. The process of India’s official downfall had started much before but India’s hara-kiri was cemented on this day.

There are no second thoughts about it that despites being India’s largest trading partner, China is India’s main adversary, has fought a full-scale war with India and is engaged in a bitter border tussle. China, in fact, has illegally occupied a large swath of the Indian territory in Jammu & Kashmir and claims Arunachal Pradesh, an Indian state, as its own.

And it leaves no opportunity to express its displeasure, be it the visits of dignitaries, like it did with US Ambassador Richard Verma’s Arunachal visit yesterday or its practice of not issuing or issuing stapled visas to people having Arunachal Pradesh association.

China, in fact, uses every opportunity to humiliate India. It leverages the highly skewed trade balance in its favour to challenge India to take tough stand on Chinese overtures like opposing India’s move to ban JeM terrorist Masood Azhar in the United Nations or blocking India’s entry to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) or provoking or equipping Pakistan against India.

And China has been doing it for long, ever since it betrayed India’s and Jawaharlal Nehru’s trust with the 1962 war. Yes, it was because of the Nehruvian policies that India was forced to trust a deceptive country like China and it was because of Nehruvian policies that China could get what should have been rightly India’s – be it the UNSC membership or nuclear capability.

And it owes its genesis to the Nehruvian foreign policies, especially in regard to China, that pushed India decades back and China decades ahead.

Much before China, India was offered the UNSC seat. For the world powers of that movement, after India and China began their sovereign journeys, India as a democratic nation and China as a communist dictatorship, China was like a pariah. India, in fact, was offered the permanent UNSC membership, in 1950, in 1955 and other times but Pundit Nehru blundered here in counting China’s goodwill in making his mind. Whenever it came to a decision in this regard, Nehru always thought what China would do (and not what such a big change could do to India’s future).

To continue..

©SantoshChaubey

INDIA AND PAKISTAN IN HILLARY’S LEAKED SPEECHES

The set of Hillary Clinton’s paid speeches to the Wall Street bankers leaked by WikiLeaks has been categorized under different sections, i.e., Clinton Foundation, reducing emission, pro free trade, Wal-Mart, Egypt, Syria and terrorism, among others.

Since delivered to the bankers, as expected, the content is basically economic in nature but as the US profile is (entwined globally) and has Hillary’s career has been, it has myriad of political themes and geopolitical interests.

And as expected, China has some pretty frequent mention in terms of frequency – 62 times. The next thing to expect naturally would be about India, the next big thing to happen to the global economy after China. And if India has just 12 mentions, we can see why. When Hillary was saying all these things, China was on top of the mind. Bur China has now started stagnating (and slowing down) while India has become the fastest growing economy with ‘boon to market’ dividends like a young demography and a burgeoning middle class that will be soon largest in the world.

India’s 12 mentions are in four categories – Clinton Foundation, reducing emission, pro free trade and Wal-Mart – basically personal, environmental and financial in nature. As expected, it is both, positive and negative. If Hillary lauds India somewhere, she also cautions us on our trade and economic policies. And she also supports India’s stand on tricky issues like emission reductions.

Clinton Foundation: “So a few examples of what we’re doing at the Clinton Foundation. First, the Clinton Climate Initiative has a solid waste management program that works with governments and with businesses to reduce their dependency on landfills and develop systems to convert waste into new products or into sources of energy. For example, we are working with the city of Delhi in India to develop that country’s first integrated solid waste management system.”

Reducing Emissions: “And at that time you could not get China and India to agree to do anything on their emissions because they, I think understandably, one an authoritarian regime, one a democracy, a raucous democracy, were of the opinion it would interfere with their efforts to continue to grow, a totally rational response if you were the leader of China or India.”

Free Trade: “I thought I was doing pretty well. I’m making the case, making the argument for openness, fairness, transparency, claiming, look, Malaysia manufacturers want access to markets overseas as much as American manufacturers, Indian firms want fair treatment when they invest abroad, just as we do, Chinese artists want to protect their creations from piracy, every society seeking to develop a strong research and technology sector needs intellectual property protection to make trade fair as well as freer. Developing countries have to do a better job of improving productivity, raising labor conditions, and protecting the environment, on and on.”

Indian Ocean Nations (Trade): “More than half the world’s population lives in the vast region from the Indian Ocean to the Island Nations. Here we find some of our most trusted allies and valuable trading partners, many of the world’s most dynamic trade and energy routes. A few years ago, when our country was struggling through the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, American exports to the Asia-Pacific helped spur our recovery. Our future growth will get a real shot in the arm if we reach farther into the burgeoning consumer markets across the region. […] And you are on track here in this state, in this city to take full advantage of a 21st century economy, and to help make sure that the United States remains a strong presence and a power in the Pacific.”

Wal-Mart (Trade): “I think that if India can ever get its regulatory system straightened out, you know, we have gone back and forth on opening up to retailers, large, multinational retailers. Wal-Mart just withdrew and it is a real shame and because one of the things Wal-Mart promised to do was to help set up the supply chain for agricultural products to actually get to the end user consumer. The harvest in India loses about 40 percent because there is no good storage; there is certainly no good cold storage. So if there is a way to get the politics to open up somewhat in India, you know, the market is just overwhelmingly large.”

But our neighbour Pakistan, our historical enemy who believes that maintaining friction and hostility in ties with India is the only way to look at par with India on global platforms, performs poorly even here. The leaked speeches mention Pakistan five times – and all in disturbed categories like Egypt, Syria and terrorism.

A further look on ‘Pakistan’ mentions clearly tells us that whenever she has quoted Pakistan, it is either for breeding terrorists and promoting terror or for illegally proliferating nuclear weapons. See it to reaffirm what you already know.

“We also were very concerned about the breeding of instability in terrorist havens in the Sinai which could be used just as the FATA between Pakistan and Afghanistan had been used by AlQaeda as launching sites for extremist attacks against Egypt, against Israel, against Jordan and further afield in the Gulf.”

“So the free Syrian Army and a lot of the local rebel militias that were made up of pharmacists and business people and attorneys and teachers—they’re no match for these imported toughened Iraqi, Jordanian, Libyan, Indonesian, Egyptian, Chechen, Uzbek, Pakistani fighters that are now in there and have learned through more than a decade of very firsthand experience what it takes in terms of ruthlessness and military capacity.”

“It depends upon how you define national interest. We certainly do with chemical weapons. We certainly would if Syria became even, in part, like the FATA between Pakistan and Afghanistan, a training ground for extremists, a launching pad for attacks on Turkey, Jordan, the non-tetarian elements in Lebanon and, eventually, even in Israel.

“And you know, it is like these terrible plots in James Bond movies where you have got some really creepy guy sitting around saying, I want to get a hold of some nuclear material, and I can bring the west to their knees and they will have to give me a hundred billion dollars in my private account. Well, unfortunately, there are people like that. And we saw what happened with the Pakistani scientist, Mr. Khan, who basically proliferated nuclear knowledge to as many countries as he could. He thought that was part of his religious mission to give the bomb to as many Muslim countries as he possibly could reach.”

Hillary’s words reiterate what we already know yet Pakistan behaves as if it can maintain its equal status with India on global platforms. Yes, it is not about a country’s size but its policies. And Pakistan’s policy of endorsing and promoting terror and proliferating nukes certainly make it one of the most rogue nations on earth.

©SantoshChaubey

KHAWAJA ASIF: FROM ‘ELIMINATING INDIA’ TO ‘NO TO NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST’

Though Pakistan is trying hard to deny India the glory that a successful Surgical Strike by India against terrorists in Pakistan controlled territory of Jammu & Kashmir has brought, we can easily gauge the sentiments in Pakistan, by the pre and post strike body language of its leaders.

After the Uri terror strike, that killed 19 of our soldiers, most of them sleeping, Pakistan had started feeling the heat as there was intense demand in India that the country should take some decisive, concrete against Pakistan this time.

To handle this, and to thwart any serious response by the Indian establishment, (and buoyed by the past precedent, when India had hesitated to take any tough measure), the Pakistani ruling elite started blackmailing and threatening India with their so-called tactical or nuclear weapons. And it reflects so perfectly in the body language and changing statements of Khawaja Asif, Pakistan’s defence minister.

After the Uri attack but the before the Surgical Strike, the favourite line of Khawaja Asif happened to be that it will eliminate India with its tactical (read nuclear) weapons if India tried to impose war on Pakistan. See the body language and carefree attitude here (in this video) while he delivers threat (bluster) to India here.

Now see this. This video clip shows same Khawaja Asif post the Surgical Strike on the intervening night of September 28-29. See how resigned he looks, as if he has been slammed left, right and centre. The look on his face clearly shows that the Pakistani ruling elite had not expected a Surgical Strike from India even in dreams and was in a state of shock, not knowing how to respond. He stutters while accepting that there was an aggression by India and if India tries it again, Pakistan will give befitting reply (and not that ‘Pakistan will nuke and eliminate India).

And what about this tweet on October 3 from Dunya News, a Pakistani news channel.

Dunya News @DunyaNews
India-Pakistan cannot take risk of a nuclear holocaust, we will keep supporting the right of freedom of our Kashmiri brothers: @KhawajaMAsif

Now it is indicator of complete realization (and surrender) in the ruling Pakistani establishment. In just a week, from September 26 to October 3, Khawaja Asif has travelled from ‘we will nuke and eliminate India’ to ‘India and Pakistan cannot risk a nuclear holocaust’.

But old habits die hard.

So it will take some time before Pakistan can recalibrate its strategy and response to a bold, new India who is asserting herself on the global stage and who is ready to take on minnows like Pakistan who have gone rogue with nuclear power, both militarily as well as diplomatically.

Till then, let them say whatever they want to propagandize. Why should we care.

©SantoshChaubey