CHINA’S CONCERNS OVER CPEC!

“The CPEC has long been seen as symbolic of Sino-Pakistan economic cooperation. It is unlikely that China will change its supportive attitude on the CPEC in the short term, but the increasing cost of security is becoming a big problem in efficiently pushing forward the projects.”

This is what a piece in the Global Times, official mouth organ of China’s ruling party says.

The piece clearly talks about the need to look for the Southeast Asian opportunity with a gradual shift from CPEC to Southeast Asia. It says, “Beijing should consider giving more attention to its economic cooperation with Southeast Asian countries. The CPEC has long been seen as a flagship project in China’s Belt and Road initiative, but the initiative’s strategic focus may need to shift gradually toward Southeast Asia, where there is a wide infrastructure funding gap but a relatively stable regional environment that will enable China to efficiently push forward ventures under the Belt and Road initiative.”

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor or CPEC, a long term $75 billion project from Gwadar port in Balochistan to Kashgar China’s Xinjiang province, passes though many restive regions of Pakistan including Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) and Balochistan.

Many terrorists groups including TTP and Al Qaeda have threatened to attack the Chinese investments in the corridor to avenge the so-called atrocities against Uygur Muslims in Xinjiang province. A combine of religious groups in Gilgit Baltistan has demanded the complete removal of Pakistan’s Army from its soil. All other states than Punjab, through which the corridor passes, are alleging that the project has been conceived in a way so as to benefit the Punjab province only.

Add to it the international pressure that is expected to mount in the coming days with India’s proactive instance on Balochistan and PoK now, especially after Pakistan’s backstabbing. Narendra Modi gave Pakistan ample chances to mend its ways and stop exporting terror in Jammu & Kashmir but Pakistan didn’t reciprocate and kept on fuelling terror and tension in the state.

Balochistan has an active independence movement ongoing and the stories of Pakistan’s atrocities to crush it are slowly emerging, especially after Narendra Modi, the Indian prime minister, specifically mentioned in his Independence Day speech on August 15 that India will support the Baloch Movement and will highlight the Pak atrocities and human rights violations there. India, in fact, has raised Balochistan human rights violations at UN Human Rights Council.

Simultaneously, for PoK, India has now made it clear that if Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan, then it is only about PoK and the whole state of J&K, including PoK and Gilgit and Baltistan is integral part of India. India, in fact, has requested China to desist from establishing any CPEC project in PoK that is a disputed territory and in forced Pakistani control.

So, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is not going to have a stable regional environment in its large territory, something that is a must for businesses to establish, survive and grow. That is the underlying theme of this article that we can say represents the official Chinese position here. The world knows nothing can appear in the Chinese media unless it is cleared by the Chinese power elite and lawmakers.

How bad is the security scenario in the CPEC regions also reflects in the fact that Pakistan has raised a Special Security Division (SSD) of 15000 soldiers to protect some 7000 Chinese individuals and CPEC installations that are coming up. This is when the project has just begun. The CPEC was proposed in 2013 and an agreement between Pakistan and China was signed in May this year. The security nightmare is only expected to grow as the CPEC spreads in more restive regions.

The Global Times article sums it up logically, “It is unlikely to be plain sailing for China and Pakistan in their attempts to push forward the CPEC due to challenges such as a complex regional environment, and people in the two countries should be prepared for potential setbacks.”

©SantoshChaubey

IS IT INDIAN FAILURE OR PAKISTAN’S OVER-EFFICIENCY THAT THE WHOLE WORLD SEEMS ENGAGED ABOUT J&K BUT DOESN’T GIVE A DAMN TO POK?

Pakistan says India is crushing the innocent Kashmiri voices. Its leaders shout over the top in telling the world community that India’s left, right and centre oppression in Kashmir is now spilling over on streets, shedding youngsters’ blood.

To add to it, people have visuals from Kashmir (the Jammu & Kashmir part that is with India) where people can be seen clashing with security forces on camera – and the lenses recording such scenes roam across the world to tell the stories of the so-called atrocities.

The world can see thousands gathering in funeral processions of terrorists gunned down by the Indian security forces.

The world can see the J&K crowds running amok stone pelting the security forces even if they try to minimize casualties as much as possible. Yes, in the ongoing Kashmir unrest, 55 civilians have lost their lives so far and that is condemnable.

But equally condemnable are the development like where a security personnel (CRPF commandant Pramod Kumar) had to sacrifice his life in an encounter with the terrorists on the day that is very essence of the sovereign India, i.e., its Independence Day. And he was not the first.

If civilians have lost their lives in the Kashmir unrest, the Pakistan driven and Hizbul Mujahideen terror phase that began in late 1980s, so have the security forces. According to the figures available from the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), if over 14,000 civilians have been killed by the terrorist violence in the state since 1988, the Indian establishment has also lost over 6200 security forces personnel.

The world can see the Twitter, Facebook and YouTube feeds of separatist leaders like Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Ashiya Andrabi and many others. Syed Ali Geelani, one of the prominent separatist leaders and chairman of the separatist outfit All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC), is free to abuse India on Twitter and Facebook. He regularly posts tweets, posts and videos of clashes, of Pakistani flags and of funeral processions eulogizing terrorists. See these twitter handles yourself – that is self explanatory – @sageelani; @MirwaizKashmir; @aasiyehandrabi. They openly humiliate India by chanting pro-Pakistan rants and by indulging in anti-India activities.

And they do so while staying in India. Can an oppressive nation tolerate that? We all know what China does with its dissident voices, be the Peace Nobel laureates like Liu Xiaobo or the students massacred at the Tiananmen Square of Beijing.

The world can see wanted terrorists like Hafiz Saeed, Syed Salahuddin or Masood Azhar threatening India to launch a full blown war. Hafiz Saeed carries a US bounty of $ 10 million and is main perpetrator behind many terrorist acts in India including the November 2008 terror attack. Syed Salahuddin is the man who started the ongoing phase of Pakistan sponsored terrorism in 1980s that has killed thousands so far yet his bloodlust is very much the same. It is when his family still lives in India and its members are employed by the institutions of the Indian establishment. Masood Azhar was in Indian jails when he was swapped against the innocent civilians hijacked in the Kandahar plane hijacking incident of December 1999. Terrorists like them are the Pakistani patrons for the J&K separatists and we all know the communication channels between them always remain active. Yet it is propagandized that India chokes the voices of dissent in Kashmir.

The world can see the debate that ensues every time whenever such developments take place in J&K. The world can see the Indian Parliament discussing the issue intently for the whole day. The world can see the India’s political opposition charging the Indian government of mishandling the situation and the government defending it.

But can the world say same about Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir including Gilgit and Baltistan and Baluchistan?

Does the world know who the main separatist voices of PoK and Gilgit and Baltistan are? PoK is called Azad Kashmir yet Pakistan implants its puppet governments there and exploits its territory like its own – as is the case the China Pakistani Economic Corridor (CPEC), a $ 46 billion project of which PoK is a vital part of. A simple Google search with tag words ‘J&K separatist leaders’ will return with lots of pages and loads of information but when we repeat the process with ‘PoK or Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir separatist/rebel leaders’, we are going to have tough time.

An obvious argument may be proposed that there are none – that the so called PoK is so heavenly that everyone wants to be a part of the state and its Pakistan driven administration. Well, we all know what the reality is. Pakistan uses the so called Azad Kashmir as a terror backyard for India where it trains terrorists in dozens of camps. Some PoK voices that do speak on international fora speak of how Pakistan is exploiting PoK and abusing its people. Extrajudicial killings and disappearances are common. An India Today report from March 2015 gives a detailed account of how bad the situation is in PoK. The report quotes Kashmir affairs expert, Dr. Shabir Choudhry, who says, “We in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir cannot even complain that we are occupied or expose Pakistani abuses and exploitation of our resources.”

Why the world doesn’t rush to hear those voices? Is it Indian failure or Pakistan’s over-efficiency that the whole world seems engaged about J&K but doesn’t give a damn to PoK?

©SantoshChaubey

SEEING THROUGH PAKISTAN’S AND KASHMIR SEPARATISTS’ SHAM

Pakistan says India is crushing the Kashmir voices. Its leaders shout over the top in telling the world community that India’s left, right and centre oppression in Kashmir is now spilling over on streets, shedding youngsters’ blood.

To add to it, people have visuals from Kashmir (the Jammu & Kashmir part that is with India) where people can be seen clashing with security forces on camera – and the lenses recording such scenes roam across the world to tell the stories of so-called atrocities.

The world can see thousands gathering in funeral processions of terrorists gunned down by Indian security forces.

The world can see J&K crowds running amok stone pelting the security forces who try to minimize casualties as much as possible. Yes, in the ongoing Kashmir unrest, 55 civilians have lost their lives so far and that is condemnable and equally condemnable is the development that a security personnel (CRPF commandant Pramod Kumar) had to sacrifice his life in an encounter with the terrorists. And he was not the first.

If civilians have lost their lives in the Kashmir unrest, the Pakistan driven and Hizbul Mujahideen terror phase that began in 1989, so have the security forces.

The world can see the Twitter, Facebook and YouTube feeds of separatist leaders like Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Ashiya Andrabi and many others.

The world can see wanted terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and Syed Salahuddin threatening India to launch full blown war.

The world can see the debate that ensues every time whenever such developments take place in J&K. The world can see the Indian Parliament discussing the issue intently for the whole day. The world can see the India’s political opposition charging the Indian government of mishandling the situation and the government defending it.

But can the world say same about Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir including Gilgit and Baltistan and Baluchistan?

To continue..

©SantoshChaubey

INDIA SHEDDING ITS ‘PAKISTAN OBSESSION’: PAKISTAN DESPERATELY TRYING TO PROVOKE INDIA

“Narendra Modi contested elections on anti-Pakistan platform and now wants to dictate terms for the dialogue with Pakistan but we will never accept this and we have already conveyed it to New Delhi.” He said Kashmir will be part and parcel of any agenda of talks with India and that the international community has accepted Pakistan’s point of view in this regard. Aziz said that no one could dare to launch any attack inside Pakistan and if anyone did so, he would get a befitting response. He said that Pakistan would not be pressured by Indian threats of an attack at any time, adding that if India even thought of attacking, Pakistan would provide a befitting response.

Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan’s National Security Advisor, Dawn, September 8, 2014

“If the enemy (read India) ever resorts to any misadventure, regardless of its size and scale – short or long – it will have to pay an unbearable cost.”

“Enduring peace is not possible without a just resolution of Kashmir. The issue can no longer be put on the backburner.”

Raheel Sharif, Pakistan’s Army Chief, September 6, 2015

“Undoubtedly Pakistan is a responsible and peaceful nuclear power. Though, we are fully aware of the conspiracies and tactics of the enemies (read India), we desire to have good and peaceful relations with all our neighbours on the basis of sovereign equality. I wish to make it clear that we will protect the sovereignty and security of Pakistan at all cost.”

“Today we are celebrating the golden jubilee of those memorable events, when our brave armed forces not only successfully defended its frontiers but also thwarted the nefarious designs of the enemy (read India).”

Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan’s Prime Minister, while speaking on 50th anniversary of 1965 war between India and Pakistan – September 6, 2015

“September 6 is the day of aggression for India and the Day of Defence for Pakistan and with the Grace of Allah, it became the day of victory for Pakistan and the day of defeat for India.”

Pervaiz Rashid, Pakistan’s Information Minister, September 6

These loud claims cap the prevailing sentiments in Pakistan’s ruling establishment, that is, it’s all powerful military, and a political regime that depends on this military for its survival.

As India is finally shedding its ‘Pakistan obsession’, Pakistan’s ruling elite are getting ever more desperate to look for fodders that words of Indian establishment used to provide to lubricate (incite) the ordinary Pakistani mindsets – an anti-India atmosphere that the Pakistan’s ruling class has exploited since the days of partition.

Irrespective of what Ajit Doval, India’s National Security Advisor meant, India, for decades, practiced the policy of getting engaged in ‘below the belt’ verbal wars with Pakistan. In fact, Pakistan outdid India many times on international platforms while spreading falsities and propaganda about Kashmir – not because Pakistan could do it efficiently – but because India’s sluggishness allowed it do so.

India and Pakistan began their sovereign, independent journeys together. But the similarity ended there. Pakistan is no match for India today. India is a global player while Pakistan is not even a regional power. And it has not happened in a year.

But the realization on Indian part, in the ruling establishment of India, came late.

India should (and should have) dismiss (dismissed) Pakistan as a disturbed nation that is (was) trying to divert attention from its internal problems by targeting India – through words – through wars – and proxy war activities like militancy in Jammu and Kashmir and support to terrorism in other parts of India.

Well, Pakistan has been at it for decades. And has failed to make any significant dent – even after waging many wars – that it all lost – including this one in 1965.

India knows it. The world knows it. Pakistan knows it but doesn’t accept it back home.

India was giving undue attention to Pakistan so far. The time is now to realize and move ahead. The time is now to remain silent and act whenever there is any provocation, as is the policy now – inflicting heavy damage whenever Pakistan violates ceasefire (that it does in routine). Destabilizing India and taking J&K from it are beyond Pakistan’s reach. And a growing global stature of India has made things even more difficult for Pakistan.

As India is shedding its ‘Pakistan obsession’, not rushing to react on war-mongering rhetoric by Pakistan’s leaders while replying Pakistan’s armed provocations with twice the force, Pakistan is finding hard to explain back home the failures that are piling up by the day.

Everyone in Pakistan’s ruling establishment is trying hard to provoke India – but India, it seems, is not going to buy the verbal bravado now – or is not going to be trapped there – in a ‘below the belt’ war of words. For Pakistan’s support to armed militancy in J&K and other parts of India – our internal apparatus is strong enough to mitigate hostile developments.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

GOOD THAT INDIA IS FINALLY SHEDDING ITS PAKISTAN OBSESSION

When Nawaz Sharif yesterday said that any talks with India ‘sans Kashmir’ were futile, he was only summing up the line of ongoing verbal volleys – by his other ministers.

After (naturally) expecting it – as we are hearing Pakistani leaders of different hues, including Pakistan’s National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz – Sharif’s version was only a symbolic summation of how the political establishment of Pakistan once again surrendered before its all powerful army (and therefore its real ruler, the army chief there).

And it is good that we, in India, didn’t reach much into it and decided to stick to our position this time – that the whole Jammu and Kashmir (including Pakistan occupied Kashmir) is our integral part and its society and politics will be governed according to the Indian Constitution – and not what some sidelined separatist leaders like the Hurriyat ones say.

It is good, that, we, as a nation, are finally shedding its Pakistan obsession.

Yes, it is political pragmatism that every nation wants a peaceful neighbourhood, especially with democracies. And, irrespective of intelligence claims and counterclaims, we have valid and worldly reasons to believe that India is not orchestrating unrest in Pakistan. Terrorism and other internal rifts in Pakistan are its own making and Pakistan is paying a heavy price for that – now.

We need to see Pakistan at best as a small country in our neighbourhood that shares common cultural elements with us. If any reality, in any comparison of India vis-à-vis Pakistan exists, it ends here, at this cultural context.

India had 17.22 crore Muslims according to figures from Census 2011 and Pakistan’s overall population that year was 17.62 crore. And Muslims are just 14.2% of our population.

Sovereign India and Pakistan started their journeys the same day – two countries that shared a joint geographical patch and culture until then.

India remained a democracy, and with time, in fact, strengthened its institutions and processes. Its security establishment proudly built on its own. Its economy grew. Its middle class swelled. And today, it has become as imperative a market for the global economy as China is. And as China is slowing down, the world is looking to India – the world’s fastest economy – the world’s third largest economy – and the world’s youngest country demographically – with projections to have the world’s largest middle class by 2030.

Yes, India’s democracy has had its internal flaws but in spite of that, we have a healthy electoral system that makes our democratic set-up robustly functional.

But, Pakistan started faltering very early on its sovereign journey. During 68 years of existence, the country has been ruled by its army most of the time. Pakistan’s political establishment could never stand on its own. Military effectively entrenched itself into every aspect of Pakistan’s socio-political milieu – killing democracy in the process.

Pakistan has historically been anti-India, fighting and losing wars since 1948. Pakistan’s Army, in order to remain the most powerful institution in the country, has always resorted to anti-India propaganda to suppress and sideline political voices. The violence in the aftermath of the India-Pakistan partition gave Army a powerful tool to instil fear in Pakistani masses by name-calling India.

Yes, in India, every aspect of society has corruption as malaise, but here, we can raises voices and push for remedies. Pakistan’s military establishment doesn’t allow that – acting on cases based on its self-interest.

Pakistan of the day is failing to handle its internal mess, something that is its own creation, including terrorism, anarchy in tribal areas and separatist movements but the ego (or the compulsion) of its ruling/military dispensations is forcing them to still engage in anti-India activities and propaganda – primarily in Jammu and Kashmir – and in India wherever possible – trying to provoke Muslims in the name of religion – even if India has more Muslims than Pakistan – even if the Muslims of India have registered maximum decadal population growth rate (as the Census 2011 data on growth rate of different religious communities released today says). They are our equal brothers and complete the arch of India’s diverse cultural landscape.

India and Pakistan started their journeys as independent countries in similar circumstances. India is a global player now – on its way to become a global power in a multi-polar world – and Pakistan is not even a regional player.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

KASHMIRIS NEED TO PRIORITIZE PRAGMATICALLY

While watching Haider on television, the logical, commonsense thoughts on situations in Jammu & Kashmir (or largely Kashmir because terrorism emanates from there) came to me once again.

If we talk of the film-craft, the film, ‘Haider’, is one of the best movies made on the Valley (Kashmir). Yes, it has many debatable points and people on both sides of the spectrum, pro and anti India, debated it when the movie was released last year, but the last scene gives us all a message (including the people from the Valley) that should be a valid referral point for them to go back to the days of peace.

The message is – revenge begets more revenge and it doesn’t work for anyone.

People of the Valley need to think it – within the ambit of the realpolitik of the day. The relevant points accordingly are:

First and foremost point is – and the factual point is – India is not going to cede any ground on Kashmir issue.

India’s is among the world’s largest economies. It is also currently the world’s fastest growing economy and is slated to remain so as China slows down. The country is the world’s largest democracy and globally a powerful country now. On global stage, India has a much bigger stature than Pakistan and the gap is bound to widen in the days to come as Pakistan is trapped in the deadlocks of home-grown terrorists who were once important tools of its state policy. Many reports including the one recently by the US Congressional research say so.

Also, the whole J&K state is strategically vital to the Indian interests in the context of its historical rivalry with China and India will never compromise here.

The next point is – India of the day and future cannot be forced militarily by a proxy war or by armed militancy to let Kashmir go away from its territory. And it is to be seen in the context that every such effort, including the full-scale wars between India and Pakistan, has failed to deter India so far.

Proxy armed war can be waged against India but its strong Army and paramilitary forces, with their heavy presence in J&K, cannot be frustrated to the extent to leave the Valley, or to compromise on the issue.

Instead, people of the Valley have been facing collateral damages for decades. Their trust and they have been misused by separatists, extremists, militants and Pakistan. They need to see the elements behind the reasons that made Kashmir ‘a heaven, a paradise on Earth’ even before insurgency started engulfing it in late 1980s.

So far, if not all Kashmiris, a sizeable chunk has failed to see through the designs of separatists, militants and Pakistan, the ongoing phase of militancy in the Valley tells us. If the separatists still draw political sanction there, it is because they feel there would be people to support them.

Kashmiris need to prioritize pragmatically.

Kashmiris need to think pragmatically that security of their future lies in them remaining in India, a nation with as many Muslim as Pakistan but where ‘Al Qaeda’ finds no recruits as the BBC says or a magazine like ‘The Economist’ deliberates that ‘ why India’s Muslims are so moderate’.

India is a large country with a large market that the world is eyeing for and Pakistan can never be a match to it. It has a sizeable middle class that is projected to be the world’s largest by 2030, a Harvard study says.

People of Kashmir need to think of a life they will get in Indian Kashmir if they decide to grow with India, if they take side of the peaceful days as were in the Valley’s past.

Even now, they have everything available on a better scale if they see the people’s lives in ‘Azad Kashmir’ or practically, in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). Even if the Valley is ‘promoted’ as a ‘disturbed area’ on global forums, its separatists freely criticise India and favour Pakistan. Pakistani flags are waved during rallies and demonstrations. Indian security forces are openly demonized.

The state has its own constitution. People from other parts of India cannot buy property in the state. People of the Valley should think of a day when a strong government of a strong India will remove Article 370 and will push the state into the mainstream of the Indian Constitution. They should think of a day when people from other parts of the country will get rights to settle in J&K. That is a way to culturally integrate the state aimed at strengthening the pro-India voices. If China can do it in Tibet, why not India can do it J&K?

Also, people of J&K need to see and emulate other Indian states on the road to prosperity. Many of them have Muslim population much larger than the Valley. These states are very well the part of the Indian federal system.

Yes, Indian government in Delhi and Indian forces in the state have their share of controversies and high-handedness, but the solution of the problems affecting lives of the people of J&K (especially Kashmir) lies in the realpolitik of the Valley which goes with the rider that ‘Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of India’.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/