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  • Nov, 2017
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  • Editorial

Aristotle is believed to have said, ‘horror vacui’ which stands for nature abhors a vacuum and so the international politics is. A political vacuum appears to be created in South Asia due to the USA’s tilt towards India, that’s laying deep impact on the regional politics. South Asia is the most thin-skinned region where nuclear states border with one another. A glance on world map suffices to reveal that countries with nuclear teeth like Pakistan, India, China, North Korea, Russia and USA are tied with one another in a geographical knot.

How much important is the balance in South Asia? We should determine with the fact that a one fourth population of the world (1.749 billion) dwells in South Asia, also called subcontinent. The region covers about 5.1 million km2, which is 11.51% of the Asian continent or 3.4% of the world’s land surface area. South Asia is home to some of the most populated cities in the world. Delhi, Karachi, Mumbai, and Dhaka are four of the world’s largest megacities.

Pakistan and India are the nuclear neighbours whose relations have been punctuated with three full scales wars and a limited war in the Kargil region during the seven decade long history after independence. The major issues that hinder peace between the two countries include ghosts of past, water disputes, Kashmir issue, extremism, interference in Baluchistan, LOC skirmishes, India’s growing influence in Afghanistan, and terrorism. The seeds of conflict are deep rooted between the two countries and superpowers’ interests have been adding flame to the fire in the region. The USA makes a triangle in Pakistan-India relations.

In 1954, the USA made Pakistan an ally in Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) while India tied its knots with the Soviet Union. The USA remained neutral between Indo-Pak War 1965 while the Soviet Union helped India in disintegration of Pakistan during 1971 War. The USA needed Pakistan’s support to check the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan in 1979. Pakistan helped the USA and Afghan people. The result of Afghan struggle supported by Pakistan and the international community under the USA leadership led to the retreat and disintegration of Soviet Union. No doubt Pakistan supported the USA in Afghan war at the cost of its security but the country received Pressler Amendment in reward which banned Pakistan from 1988 to 2001 in getting military and economic aid from the USA.

India sided with the Soviet Union in cold war but the fruits of disintegration of Soviet Union and a unipolar world were given to India. It is perceived a betray on USA’s part by Policy makers in Pakistan. Then came 9/11 and Pakistan again lent a strategic hand to the United States but in the light of its past experiences. The USA policy failed and it needed a scapegoat to blame of its strategic defeat in Afghanistan. History witnesses Pakistan paid the price instead of receiving reward in lieu of military cooperation with the United States. During heyday of its relations with the USA, Pakistan lost its eastern wing in 1971 a year when Pakistan became a diplomatic bridge between the USA and China.

The US administration under Trump has enhanced the unprecedented pressure upon Pakistan. Recent visit of US Secretary of State Mr. Rex Tillerson to India and Afghanistan and a stopover to Pakistan did not help much to improve the situation despite the fact that the visit was made after a recovery of Canadian-American family by Pakistan security forces for which the President Trump had personally thanked Pakistan. Mr. Tillerson is said to have conveyed strong message of US authority about alleged safe havens of terrorists in Pakistan. While enjoying close military relations with the USA, the Indian leaders and security forces chiefs have started threatening Pakistan.

Recent statement of US envoy to United Nations about keeping an India’s eye on Pakistan is damaging to the regional peace in South Asia beyond the expectations. The USA’s tilt towards India will lay far reaching impact upon the future of nuclear neighbours. It will create vacuum and regional forces like Russia may enter into the region with new economic and military offers to Pakistan. Keeping in view the growing IndoUSA, Pakistan is bound to welcome any such offers. The USA’s intention to broker India’s dominance in the region to counter China’s new role would never be acceptable to Pakistan—a country broken into two halves by India in 1971. Furthermore, India is not successful in keeping its designs secret from Pakistan. Pakistan is the country that arrested Indian secret agency RAW’s agent from Baluchistan. He wanted to commit destructive activities in Baluchistan. Pakistan has also put a question mark upon the India’s growing role in Afghanistan that does not share border with India. Pakistan gives ...

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