The significance of India-Pakistan animosity in the world of geo-politics

When India achieved independence from Britain in 1947, it split along the religious line: the Hindu India and Islamic Pakistan. The split was encouraged by the Anglo-Americans. The British did not like Mahatma  Gandhi or Jawarhal Nehru, and preferred Muhammad Ali Jinna, the founder of modern Pakistan.

When the split occurred, Hindu India, a much bigger country, ended up with Jammu Kashmir, a  beautiful Himalayan valley populated mainly by the Muslims, but ruled by a Hindu who sided with Hindu India. The fight over Kashmir persists to this day and will persist into the future.

Both Pakistan and India are multi-ethnic. In 1971, Pakistan split into West Pakistan, a larger region west of India, and East Pakistan, east of India, the so called Bengal. Its new name is Bangla Desh, land of Bengalis. Bitter war was fought in East Pakistan by West Pakistan to keep  East Pakistan in union with West Pakistan. Three million Bengalis lost their lives. Under the leadership of Indira Gandhi, the daughter of Nehru, India helped East Pakistan to become independent. The US sided with West Pakistan, and President Nixon sent the 7th Fleet from the western Pacific into the Bay of Bengal to intimidate the Indians. It did not work, as the Soviet Union sided with India. In December of 1961, Russia sided with India over the annexation of Portuguese Goa, while the US and Britain sided with Portugal. India considered Russia an “all weather friend”. How things change!

India is much bigger with a population of over 1.25 billion people and land area of around 1.2 million square miles. Pakistan, on the other hand, is much smaller with a population of over 200 million and a land area of around 300,000 square miles. Strategically speaking, Pakistan is holding more pivotal connections of Asia. Pakistan borders China on the North-East, India on the East, Afghanistan on North-West, Iran on the West, and the Indian Ocean on the South. India is considered a subcontinent of Asia jutting out to the Indian Ocean. Its land borders are Nepal, China in the North, Bangla Desh, Mayanmar to the East, Pakistan to the West.

Pakistan has a strategic relationship with China and a subservient role vis a vis the US. India has a rather cool relationship with China because of its’ border disputes in the Himalayas, a warming relationship with the US, and a geostrategic relationship with Russia.

As China enters the global stage, it is developing trade routes with South-West Asia and Europe via Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, the Balkans and into Europe, and if Turkey achieves rapprochement with Russia, the process will accelerate. Also, Pakistan is a transit country enabling the US to invade Afghanistan, maintain military operations against the Taliban, and control the opium trade, a highly profitable enterprise that helps maintain the dollar as the Reserve Currency of the world. It is self-evident that Pakistan is extremely important, geo -strategically speaking, to US and China; it is also a nuclear power.

As mentioned, India is a large and important country of the Asian Subcontinent and the center of Hindu Civilization. It has had a very independent foreign policy, first as the co- founding member  of the Non-Aligned Movement, and now as the co-founding member of BRICS, { Brazil, Russia, China, India, and the Republic of South Africa.) It is a nuclear power, and the 6th or the 7th economic power of the world.

India is drifting West, buying high tech weapons from Israel, Rafale jet fighters from France. It is entering some sort of military basing arrangements with the US which has never happened before. US wants India to be a keystone in the Wall of Enmity that the US is building from the Baltics, Poland, Ukraine, Black Sea, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Persian Gulf, India, Philippines, Japan to South Korea. The Wall would hem in Iran, China, North Korea, and Russia. The gate keeper with the keys would be the US.

If India joins the Wall of Enmity though, it would lose its privileged geostrategic relationship with Russia, and its moral influence in the world. It would also lose its influence in BRICS, and would never be able to participate in the Silk Roads that China and other countries are building. India would become the odd man out on the Afro-Eurasian land mass. India, most likely, will not join the Wall of Enmity. However, the only certainty is uncertainty.

Pakistan, on the other hand, would like to break out from US subservience. It has sent feelers to Russia. Russia and Pakistan will hold some kind of military exercises very soon. India is upset, understandably so, but India should understand that if it has the right to choose its partners, then so do other countries.

Afro-Eurasia and Latin America are coalescing, as more and more of its’ countries are abandoning the strict subservience which the US dictates. They are using their own currencies in two way trade, thereby avoiding the dollar and trade is growing amongst them  as a result. India, Pakistan, Iran, and Venezuela want to join the Shanghai Co-operation Organization. Other countries are also trying to re-assert their independence: Turkey, Philippines, Japan, plus France, Germany, and Italy are in the game.

The animosity between India and Pakistan might impede the coalescence of Afro-Eurasia. An India connected to the West would not be interested in Afro-Eurasian coalescence and a geo-strategic relationship with Russia. Pakistan, on the other hand, because of its geo-strategic position would enhance the coalescence of Afro-Eurasia especially if it joins the Shanghai Co-operation Organization and BRICS, minus India, and possibly, Brazil. So history is implying that with or without India, Afro-Eurasia and Latin America are coalescing. Only time will tell.

 

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