RUBRICHUS WITH PUMAXIT: BLOCK THAT IS GOING TO SHAPE GEOPOLITICS

Geopolitics is always shaped by few global powers, especially the US so far, even if it has been an increasingly multi-polar world.

But with the recent developments that have revolved around inward looking protectionist and autocratic powers taking central position not just at their homes but in the overall flow of geopolitics, the world order is increasingly going to be shaped by a block of four countries – RUBRICHUS (Russia-Britain-China-US) with their leaders – PUMAXIT (Vladimir Putin-Theresa May-Xi Jinping-Donald Trump).

The US still wields enormous military power. Russia and China are big military powers in their region.

The US is also the world’s largest economy and will remain so with its clout to greatly affect the trade blocks and negotiations.

But then autocratic China is also there with its economic might and a production model back home that is antithesis of the values that the US and major economies of the free democratic world promote.

There is absolute protectionism and labour laws heavily tilted in the favour of businesses. And with that model, China has become the world’s second largest economy. Further, with the new US President Donald Trump’s inward looking and protectionist views that aim to seclude the US economy in domestic shackles, the Asian economic giant is trying to take a global leadership position with its president Xi Jinping saying that China is ready to fill the space vacated by the US.

The US under Donald Trump has effectively dumped the biggest global trade dead proposed – Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with a potential to regulate 40% of the world’s trade. Trump’s next target is NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement) and no one knows what comes next. No one knows where he will stop in the name of preventing jobs and businesses going out of the US. But signs are not good. He is threatening businesses with counterproductive measures

Russia is a big military power and big economy of its region of influence in Europe and Asia with an autocratic president in Vladimir Putin who believes in the unbridled run of power, military expansionism and has increasingly displayed a tendency to interfere in the theatres of conflicts like it is doing in Syria. And as Putin is sitting comfortably at home, crushing all the dissent, if he goes about pursuing his global designs, it will be a development that was about to happen. The erstwhile USSR was one pole of the once bipolar world and Putin has not forgotten that.

Britain, once the reigning colonial superpower of the world with economic and military might, has reduced to being just a small country with no influence to affect the geopolitical matters. Yes, but it remains a symbolic superpower of values that define the existing free democratic world order – free men, free markets and a freer world.

Many in Britain fought hard and championed to create the world’s largest economy and single, border-free zone of countries in the European Union (EU) – inspiring the world to create such free zones for men and economies to flow freely. But that is not the case anymore. Britain, under its new leader Theresa May, in a bitterly fought referendum that divided the country, has said that it will exit from the EU and the legal process has already begun.

What happens to RUBRICHUS and PUMAXIT, only future can tell but the flow of geopolitics is going to be dependent on their movements.

©SantoshChaubey

THE TRUMP QUESTIONS

SO FAR.. 

As @realDonaldTrump is being inaugurated, the world looks even more volatile now. He may prove disastrous, for the US foreign policy and for the world.

Immediate @realDonaldTrump threats:
Nuclear proliferation
South China Sea dispute
Israel-Palestine and the prospects of two state solution
Protectionism and trade wars
Xenophobia, bias against immigrants and racial minorities, the Mexico prejudice
Taiwan and One China policy

As @realDonaldTrump is being inaugurated, people are obviously asking when he is going to be impeached?

What is the main problem with @realDonaldTrump?
Too straight?
Foul mouthed?
Too casual?
Too shallow?

Is @realDonaldTrump really real? How real he is? His time begins now. Soon we will know.

Going by the state of affairs, in the US and the world, @realDonaldTrump has an extremely narrow window.
80% he is going to fail.
He has just 20% to make it.

Repealing Obamacare will unravel @realDonaldTrump. He simply can’t give what he has promised – universal healthcare!
Beginning of the end?

Which US President before @realDonaldTrump had seen so much protests? Probably none.

Will @realDonaldTrump make the US another island nation in isolation? Is that what people cheering him have in mind?
This @POTUS is going to be ‘make or break’ for the US.

Will @realDonaldTrump as the @POTUS will be the beginning of the end for Trump and American global prominence/dominance as we know it?

If @realDonaldTrump and @POTUS become synonymous, what would be the long term communication and branding consequences?

Does @realDonaldTrump/@POTUS have time, liberty and scope to go ‘trial and error’ in running the US and handling geopolitics?

©SantoshChaubey

TRUMP ERA BEGINS NOW: WORLD WILL CLOSELY WATCH HOW HE HANDLES THESE FIVE ISSUES

The article originally appeared on India Today.

US President-elect Donald J. Trump is now the US President Donald Trump. He was sworn in this afternoon as the 45th US President, taking over from his predecessor Barack Obama. He is one of the most controversial people in the US history to move the White House because of his background and the values that he looks to espouse.

He looks comfortable in his skin, a flamboyant but controversial businessman, be it his divisive and derogatory campaign rhetoric or his days since November 8, 2016 when he stunned not just America but the whole world by registering an impressive victory over his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, former First Lady and the US Secretary of State.

His campaign rhetoric and post-election remarks have stirred the whole world and people the world over are waiting to see how he is going to handle his Presidency once he settles in the White House, because creating a mess around any of the issues that he has so casually talked or tweeted about can turn the whole world or a large section of it upside down.

NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION

Donald Trump has ratcheted up war and nuclear rhetoric to newer heights. US is considered the big daddy when it comes to enforcing international non-proliferation and disarmament measures but Trump’s campaign rhetoric and his post election words have instilled a fear that the world could see a renewed race for arms among the most powerful nuclear nations of the world, especially the US and Russia.

The world cannot easily forget the ominous tweet by Donald Trump post his victory in the US presidential polls where he asserted that “the United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes”.

TAIWAN AND ONE CHINA POLICY

Like his victory, this signature Trump decision made the global headlines when he chose to talk to the Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen post his election victory. It was a first for any US President or President-elect to speak to the Taiwanese President since 1979 when the US had closed its embassy in Taipei and severed its diplomatic ties recognizing the Mainland China as the sole Chinese voice.

After a growing global debate and Chinese displeasure, Trump’s transition team issued clarification that it was just a courtesy call. But nothing is seen as casual or ‘by-chance’ in geopolitics. The rift has deepened further with Trump’s recent statement that the One China Policy is open for negotiation.

ISRAEL-PALESTINE

Jerusalem is contentious. Both Israelis and Palestinians consider in their capital. Though it is where Israel’s power corridors are, no embassies are here but in Tel Aviv because doing so would compromise the peace process and would damage the prospects of the ‘two state’ solution beyond repair. Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem has been a campaign rhetoric in the US Presidential polls. It never went beyond that.

Now, like his Taiwan move, Trump says he doesn’t break promises and will move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Protests have begun against it and if Trump’s designs materialize, it will force an entire region in flames again, something that even many Israelis are not in favour of, even if the Israeli leadership is encouraging it. A New York Times report writes, “It would only set off new fighting with the Palestinians as well as the rest of the Arab world, a big price tag for a symbolic change that would hardly move the ball on the broader conflict”.

ETHNIC DIVIDE

Trump’s campaign and his transition team have been harsh on immigrants and minorities. He has not desisted from issuing offensive statements against immigrants including Muslims, Black Americans and racial minorities. They talked of creating a Muslim Registry to humiliate them even further. His election saw protests not just in America but in many other parts of the world. Before and after his election, Trump has made clear his intention to build a wall along the Mexican border using choicest of words for Mexican immigrants.

The world had never seen society in the US so divided, at least in decades, since the days of segregation and counterculture. Okay, there is always this division, a group chooses this, the other one goes for that, but this all is at an electoral level. What happened in the US after Donald Trump’s victory is suggestive of deep fissures in the US society that Trump likes to flare up even if he talked of a united US society today – of Black, Brown and White Americans. After Trump, people are fearful of rising White supremacist tendencies in the US society.

If things really go out of control as the scenario looks now, its repercussions would be seen across the world because US has been a cosmos of ethnicities from across the world.

TRADE WARS

The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting was held in Davos from January 17 to 20. China tried to make a big presence there this time but the whole Chinese focus revolved around sending Trump a message that protectionist approach would lead to trade wars which would hurt everyone. Targetting increasing anti-globalisation, Chinese President Xi Jinping reminded Donald Trump and the world that “no one will emerge as a winner from fighting a trade war” and that China would pitch in to counter Trump’s moves.

Donald Trump has threatened to create protective barriers to stop businesses and jobs moving out of the US. He has been a harsh critic of outsourcing and the US under him would potentially see a much declined numbers of professionals heading towards the US. He has vowed to impose tariff barriers to check inflow and outflow of goods in the US.

Trump’s plans to go ahead with his promises took a large part of his inaugural address today. He said, “We have spent trillions and trillions of dollars overseas while America’s infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay. We’ve made other countries rich, while the wealth, strength and confidence of our country has dissipated over the horizon. But that is the past. And now, we are looking only to the future. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs. Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength. I will fight for you with every breath in my body and I will never ever let you down”.

The Trump era begins now. He is officially now the most powerful person on the Earth. Let’s see where his domestic and geopolitical priorities take us. Trump says “the time for empty talk is over. Now arrives the hour of action”. Indeed!

trumpinaugural-whyoutube

©SantoshChaubey

Featured Image Courtesy: Donald Trump delivering his inaugural speech – The White House’s YouTube screen-grab

TRUMP EFFECT: US NAVY LOOKING FOR BIGGEST EXPANSION SINCE THE COLD WAR DAYS

According to an Associated Press report, the US Navy, emboldened by the remarks made by Donald Trump, the US President Elect, has revised its expansion plans to make it the biggest such exercise since the Cold War days.

Trump has advocated to build new fleets to address the potential threats from Russia, with a more powerful than ever Russian President Vladimir Putin and from China, with Xi Jingping emerging as the most powerful Chinese President since the days of Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. Both of these leaders have successfully exploited nationalist segments in their respective countries to build their credentials as strong nationalist leaders and they base their foreign policies on the contours of their images cultivated back home.

The AP report says that ’emboldened by the promise, the US Navy has revised upward the number of ships it needs to 355, more than the number used by Trump during his election campaign’.

“The proposal calls for adding another aircraft carrier, 16 large surface warships and 18 more nuclear-powered attack submarines, among other ships”, the report says. Though there are questions being raised on funding this expansion that is expected to cost additional $5 billion to $5.5 billion annually, with backing from the US President, it should not be a problem.

Donald Trump has ratcheted up war and nuclear rhetoric to newer heights. US is considered the big daddy when it comes to enforcing international non-proliferation and disarmament measures but Trump’s campaign rhetoric and his post election words have instilled a fear that the world could see a renewed race for arms among the most powerful nations of the world, especially the US and Russia. The world cannot easily forget this ominous tweet by Donald Trump post his victory in the US presidential polls.

‏@realDonaldTrump: The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes
trumpdec22tweet

On the same day, Russian President Vladimir Putin thumped his chest about the Russian advances in Syria and Ukraine and proclaimed that Russia needed more and advanced nuclear weapons.

©SantoshChaubey

AFTER TRUMP’S TWEETS, CHINA REACTS CAUTIOUSLY ON HIS PHONE CONVERSATION WITH TAIWANESE PRESIDENT

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

Yesterday, the US President Elect Donald Trump spoke to the Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, who is ideologically opposed to the Chinese Communist Party’s ‘One China’ vision. It was a first for any US President or President Elect to speak to the Taiwanese President since 1979 when the US had closed its embassy in Taipei and severed its diplomatic ties recognizing the Mainland China as the sole Chinese voice.

Since the call was made public by the Taiwanese media and the Trump transition team, there was a growing global debate over it as China is vehemently opposed to any move that challenges its territorial sovereignty and always registers strong protests, be it the US arms sales to Taiwan or call for democratic voices in Hong Kong or the Dalai Lama’s global outreach efforts for Tibet’s sovereignty.

Initial reports did not make it clear that who called whom – whether it was Donald Trump who has promised to fundamentally shake up the political administration of the US – or the Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen – until Donald Trump made it clear in a tweet that says, “the President of Taiwan CALLED ME today to wish me congratulations on winning the Presidency. Thank you!”

Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump
The President of Taiwan CALLED ME today to wish me congratulations on winning the Presidency. Thank you!
6:14 AM – 3 Dec 2016

Trump further clarified his act by saying that he didn’t see any wrong in accepting a congratulatory call from a country whom the US sells billions of dollars of military equipment.

Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump
Interesting how the U.S. sells Taiwan billions of dollars of military equipment but I should not accept a congratulatory call.
7:11 AM – 3 Dec 2016

It means Donald Trump may not have done it purposefully as was being widely speculated before his tweets and Trump speaking to the Taiwanese President may be a courtesy call only.

As expected, China’s initial reaction was a firm opposition, because international relations between the worlds’s biggest economic and military powers are always sensitive and here every act matters. People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, tweeted quoting Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs that “China firmly opposes any official interaction or military contact between #US and #Taiwan.”

People’s Daily,China
‏@PDChina
China firmly opposes any official interaction or military contact between #US and #Taiwan: China MOFA, Fri
6:23 PM – 2 Dec 2016

But the latest reaction from Wang Yi, China’s Foreign Minister, indicates that China would like to treat the waters cautiously and would like to see the phone call by the Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, who is ideologically opposed to the Chinese Communist Party’s ‘One China’ vision, to Trump as a small trick giving Trump the benefit of doubt that he accepted the call out of courtesy.

People’s Daily,China
‏@PDChina
Taiwan’s small trick will not change one-China principle, the cornerstone of healthy #China-#US relations: Wang Yi responds to #Trump’s call
9:30 PM – 2 Dec 2016

On November 13, Chinese President Xi Jinping had called Donald Trump to congratulate on his victory pushing his point that ‘cooperation was the only correct’ way ahead for the countries. Responding to the call, a statement from the Trump transition team said that the leaders developed a ‘clear sense of mutual respect’ during the telephone conversation, “During the call, the leaders established a clear sense of mutual respect for one another, and President-elect Trump stated that he believes the two leaders will have one of the strongest relationships for both countries moving forward”.

Probably the muted Chinese response to an otherwise disturbing act from the Chinese point of view follows that ‘clear sense of mutual respect only’.

©SantoshChaubey

DONALD TRUMP DOES THE UNTHINKABLE, BREAKS FROM TRADITION, SPEAKS WITH TAIWANESE PRESIDENT

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

According to the news reports rapidly flooding the global media, the US President-elect Donald Trump has spoken with the Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen over the telephone on Friday.

It is a departure of mammoth proportion from the established practice where it is believed that no US President or President-elect has ever spoken to a Taiwanese President ever since the US severed its diplomatic ties with the island nation in 1979.

China is bound to be furious over it as it considers Taiwan a part of its ‘One China’ vision and doesn’t take any move lightly that questions its right over the patches of territories it claims.

The world sees how China angrily reacts on Dalai Lama’s global outreach efforts for Tibet or when it issues stapled visa to Arunachal Pradesh residents in India as it considers Arunachal its own territory.

The Financial Times which first reported about the call wrote, “Although it is not clear if the Trump transition team intended the conversation to signal a broader change in US policy towards Taiwan, the call is likely to infuriate Beijing which regards the island as a renegade province.”

But in geopolitics, nothing is seen as by chance, as the Financial Times report further says, quoting Evan Medeiros, former Asia Director, White House National Security Council that ‘the Chinese leadership will see this as a highly provocative action, of historic proportions’.

According to a report in the New York Times, the White House was informed about the call only after it had happened. The report further says, quoting an Obama administration official that in past China had reacted bitterly on US arms sales to Taiwan.

Let us wait and see how China reacts this time.

©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

KASHMIR ADMISSION AND KASHMIR ASSERTION

Sushma’s UNGA speech that won wide praise was well balanced in content, addressing themes of this General Assembly session (sustainable development goals), as well as hitting back at Pakistan for its duplicity and terror streak.

But two things stand apart – that also show how India is going to conduct its diplomacy and how it going to speak its mind in future.

THE KASHMIR ADMISSION

When Sushma Swaraj said that those who have glass houses should not throw stones on others, she was making an honest statement and was issuing a stern warning.

We all accept that Kashmir is going through a bad phase. Even our prime minister has accepted it and the Indian establishment is sincere to make things normal even if it is all because of Pakistan sponsored terrorism and separatism. We in India know where we erred and we accept it. To India’s credit, Kashmir unrest has seen a raging national debate and everyone has spoken his mind, including the so-called separatists.

When we can do so here, back home, why not across the world? It will, in fact, help India in building a water tight case against Pakistan. Sushma’s speech had this admission during her United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that the situation in Kashmir is bad. Its global admission will put the root-cause of it in the limelight – that is Pakistan sponsored. The admission also conveys a sincere intent to correct any wrong on the Indian part.

At the same time, she also said that Pakistan has many weak points and if India starts speaking for them or if starts supporting the separatist voices like Baloch or Sindhi, Pakistan will find it hard to control.

It was a bold move and fearless expression of a global power.

THE KASHMIR ASSERTION

The other thing that is remarkable about Sushma Swaraj’s speech is that it made it clear before the world that the whole Kashmir is an integral part of India and Pakistan can never take it, even if it wages a war for it.

Now we all know the positions here.

The whole Kashmir, including Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, are integral part of India and Pakistan is in illegal occupation of PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan. We Indians know it.

Pakistan says India is forcefully occupying the Kashmir Valley while its people want freedom from India.

The issue is still on UN Security Council agenda. Kashmir is seen globally as one of the crisis hotbeds that can become a threat for regional peace.

But the whole world community, barring few, now advocates that it is a bilateral issue and India-Pakistan should resolve it accordingly.

Sushma Swaraj, through her speech, made it very clear that it is now India’s position that is now going to matter – a position that reflected in the surgical strikes carried out by the Indian forces across the LoC to avenge the Uri attack to act on intel to prevent further terror strikes.

These two points, admission and assertion about Kashmir, along with India’s boycott of the SAARC Summit in Islamabad that was followed by others and was in last cancelled and the surgical strike will prove a milestone in India’s diplomacy.

At UNGA, Sushma spoke with authority on Kashmir like a global power speaks and others listen. India is now seen in the front league nations and its policies should be accordingly – including its diplomacy. And Sushma’s bold UNGA speech was just the beginning which saw its follow-up actions soon.

Today, Pakistan is finding hard to prove its point to the world – because it has nothing to tell. In fact, it was always the case. It is just that India has now realized that the only way to handle a rogue state like Pakistan lies in tough measures that can outsmart Pakistan it its own game. And India has started moving accordingly.

©SantoshChaubey

A BOLD, NEW INDIA: SURGICAL STRIKES AFTER INDIA’S KASHMIR ADMISSION AND KASHMIR ASSERTION AT UNGA

SURGICAL STRIKES

This morning brought us the biggest newsbreak of decades and the proudest moment for every Indian. After Pakistan’s cowardly strike, India has struck back and true to its growing global reputation, has owned it before the world. Indian Army has gone 3 kms deep into the Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir territory, a disputed area that is under the intense cover of bayonets and AK47s of the Pakistani army and terrorists, has carried out many surgical strikes on terror launch-pads with perfect precision, killing dozens of terrorists and some interfering Pakistani soldiers, has inflicted heavy damage, and has come out with flying colours. And with no damage, no casualty.

And India has fully owned it, informing Pakistan and the world community that it has carried out these surgical strikes, even if many of them were still pushing us to go for talks to a backstabbing nation that has always worked to bleed us, including the latest Pakistan sponsored terror strike at the Indian Army base camp in Uri. We lost 19 of our soldiers in an act of cowardice since most of our soldiers were sleeping. Yes, there were lapses, but the Army has avenged it and in style – and with substance.

And ever since the attack, Pakistan and its leaders look shocked. Pakistani military was on high-alert, its F16s were doing sorties for war preparedness. Its leaders, prime minister, army chief, everyone was busy issuing all sorts of threat against India, including nuclear threats. But now they don’t know what to do and what to say. Pakistan’s prime minister Nawaz Sharif said it was an act of ‘naked aggression’ by the Indian Army. Its defence minister Khawaja Asif initially said yes there were such incidents over the night but if India did so again, we would give a strong reply. So they admit the surgical strikes.

And now see the foolishness and chaos inside Pakistan on it. Since its all powerful army has denied (or desperately tried to downplay – to save its face) the surgical strikes, the whole Pakistan is now trying to toe the line away from what its prime minster and defence minister said initially. They say no surgical strike took place and it was a mere Line of Control (LoC) aggression.

Well, the body language of Pakistani politicians and the meek response of its Army show that the realization that India would strike back has come as a rude shock and they are in a state of disarray on how to respond because they realize that Pakistan is no match to India. And with its new bold, foreign policy – with its traditional upper hand – in economy, in military, and in technology – they are finding hard to respond – going for silly bravados like ‘we will defend our country, we will give befitting reply to India in case of future attack or we are in a state of war preparedness’.

Yes, it’s the same India that was here all these years, especially in this Century, but with a bold new face that speaks its mind, based on its requirements, irrespective of what the police-masters of the world say. And it began with India’s diplomatic offensive against Pakistan in the aftermath of the Uri terror attack.

SUSHMA SWARAJ’S UNGA WARNING

Even if it was not a masterpiece, Sushma Swaraj sure dealt a body-blow to the blabbering of Nawaz Sharif and other Pakistani leaders and officials. While her speech was eagerly awaited after Nawaz Sharif’s pathetic show on September 21 in UNGA where he churned out falsities after falsities about India and Kashmir for 8 minutes during his address of 19 minutes, Sushma’s was a balances, well-drafted reply that again showed the world community why Pakistan should not be trusted.

Sushma’s UNGA speech that won wide praise was well balanced in content, addressing themes of this General Assembly session (sustainable development goals), as well as hitting back at Pakistan for its duplicity and terror streak.

But two things stood apart – that also show how India is going to conduct its diplomacy and how it going to speak its mind in future – something that reflected in the midnight surgical strikes by the Indian Army in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir.

THE KASHMIR ADMISSION

When Sushma Swaraj said that those who have glass houses should not throw stones on others, she was making an honest statement and was issuing a stern warning.

We all accept that Kashmir is going through a bad phase. Even our prime minister has accepted it and the Indian establishment is sincere to make things normal even if it is all because of Pakistan sponsored terrorism and separatism. We in India know where we erred and we accept it. To India’s credit, Kashmir unrest has seen a raging national debate and everyone has spoken his mind, including the so-called separatists.

When we can do so here, back home, why not across the world? It will, in fact, help India in building a water tight case against Pakistan. Sushma’s speech had this admission during her United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that the situation in Kashmir is bad. Its global admission will put the root-cause of it in the limelight – that is Pakistan sponsored. The admission also conveys a sincere intent to correct any wrong on the Indian part.

At the same time, she also said that Pakistan has many weak points and if India starts speaking for them or if starts supporting the separatist voices like Baloch or Sindhi, Pakistan will find it hard to control.

It was a bold move and fearless expression of a global power.

THE KASHMIR ASSERTION

The other thing that is remarkable about Sushma Swaraj’s speech is that it made it clear before the world that the whole Kashmir is an integral part of India and Pakistan can never take it, even if it wages a war for it.

Now we all know the positions here.

The whole Kashmir, including Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, are integral part of India and Pakistan is in illegal occupation of PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan. We Indians know it.

Pakistan says India is forcefully occupying the Kashmir Valley while its people want freedom from India.

The issue is still on UN Security Council agenda. Kashmir is seen globally as one of the crisis hotbeds that can become a threat for regional peace.

But the whole world community, barring few, now advocates that it is a bilateral issue and India-Pakistan should resolve it accordingly.

Sushma Swaraj, through her speech, made it very clear that it is now India’s position that is now going to matter – a position that reflected in the surgical strikes carried out by the Indian forces across the LoC to avenge the Uri attack to act on intel to prevent further terror strikes.

A BOLD PERSPECTIVE IN DIPLOMACY

These two points, admission and assertion about Kashmir, along with India’s boycott of the SAARC Summit in Islamabad and today’s surgical strike will prove a milestone in India’s diplomacy. India was not alone and it got support of other countries that saw the SAARC Summit cancelled that was to be hosted by Pakistan – and the consensus was that with Pakistan’s terror record, it was not possible to hold peacetime summits in that country. This well can be the very first visible signs of Pakistan’s diplomatic isolation.

At UNGA, Sushma spoke with authority on Kashmir like a global power speaks and others listen. India is now seen in the front league nations and its policies should be accordingly – including its diplomacy. And Sushma’s bold UNGA speech was the beginning.

And then came this surgical strike that has told the world that India has fully arrived on the world stage now. India never needed permission from any world power to respond to cowardly terror attacks inside its territory. And now it is walking the talk. We needed to go beyond Pakistan. We needed to shed our Pakistan obsession. And with this surgical strike, we just have showed that.

India had started with a non-aligned foreign policy but it could seldom act independently on foreign policy matters. There was always this or that global power pressure and there were only a handful of instances like Indira Gandhi’s decision to send Indian forces to liberate Bangladesh in 1971 or to carry out nuclear tests in 1974 and 1998, when India acted on its own, firmly shutting down those interfering voices.

And like this surgical strike that was beyond anyone’s imagination, in India, in Pakistan and across the world – until it happened this night. Like a front-league global power, India needed to show something now, beyond its economic advances, that could tell the world community this India is not the India of yesteryears – that it was well prepared not only to defend its territory but also to strike back in case of proxy wars or terror attacks – like all the global powers do.

To back India’s might, it has what it needs. Even if dragged by many problems including poverty, illiteracy and disparity, India is undoubtedly now major global power – in economy, in military and in space. And if India is a global power, it should exude confidence and authority and should command respect. Yes, nothing comes for free, especially in the realpolitik of geopolitics that is propelled by selfish motives. And India knows what it has – the largest middle class of the world. India is projected to have the largest middle class in some years. Middle class is the main consumer of marketing forces and therefore is its pivot. So this market will be dear for companies from across the world, including India’s traditional opponent China. No one can ignore it.

©SantoshChaubey