August 7, 2022
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A new geopolitical reality making in South Asia


RAKESH DATTA


Politics has no sustainability. Geography has, but is a great pendulum notwithstanding its marked value. Given the geopolitical trends in South Asia it was divided between USA and erstwhile USSR. While Pakistan was American blue-eyed India kept struggling for US proximity, but was tied to her Foreign Policies compulsions. US indeed wanted her share of pie to which Pakistan readily agreed India didn't.


Since independence to largely beginning of this century status quo prevailed. Meanwhile India also showed some prudence by altering her Foreign policy goals to meet national interests. 1971 was a turning point. We signed strategic alignment with USSR and later it actually helped us shooing off US Enterprise and British Eagle Aircraft Carriers in the midst of war. In fact, as the history goes even in 1949 Eisenhower offered to help Pt Nehru but that was on condition of bargaining our side of Kashmir with Pakistan. Later in fifties when again Washington wanted to help us we lacked focus unlike Pakistan who single-mindedly hogged on with Americans. It i also factually correct that whenever American presidency failed domestically it opened up unexpectedly on global front. First it was China and later entering into Nuclear Agreement with India.


India too changed its political discourse by moving away from Russia. Her defence collaboration extended to western countries besides being active with US. Even Russia chose new partners like China and Pakistan much to our displeasure. Interestingly, the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has opened up new geopolitical realities. The new shift is towards Russia whether Imran visit to Moscow on the day of launching of war which certainly was not without any design or India which too didn't condemn Russia.


While there had been series of visits to India inducing her to be a partner with the western world mainly with the United States. Pakistan however has been left though more down with domestic fissures. The distinction between Imran, opposition parties and Army is much visible.


According to Imran it is US ploy to ensure his removal. But more amazingly the very fact he is successful in putting off his exit and managing it dramatically. It could be Putin's doing. After all both China and Russia may be interested in Imran unlike Pakistan army Generals who seems to be pleading for Americans. So the new geopolitical trends in South Asia are becoming quite obvious highlighting emergence of Russo-Chinese entente at the cost of Americans.

 

But the emerging geopolitics will have impact on South Asia in coming years. Since Russia is now looking towards Asia and Africa more closely, abandoning its Europe enchantment, this is going to strengthen Russia-China partnership as both sides have already declared their joint venture to oppose US and NATO. It is to be seen how India plays its cards and how long neutrality – a brief pause - can work.

 

(The author is an international security expert)