“An old friend is better than two new friends.” Prime Minister Modi has made his intentions clear in a meet with the Russian president Vladimar Putin, hinting at our neighbors Pakistan and China.
As thousands have left their homes with threat of attacks across the border of India and Pakistan resulting from the constant militancy, the situation has become tense between the two countries. It is clear to the world that Pakistan is a state that nurtures and develops terror.
With countries like France, USA, Canada and Russia showing a zero tolerance policy against terrorism, China has kept its cards close to its chest not sharing much on the topic. The reason is clear, Pakistan is not only the haven for terrorism but also a haven for Chinese trade and here’s why: As China lacks a sea port on its west side, all the sea-linked trade from the Europe, Middle East and Africa towards China has to go around India and the ASEAN in the Indian Ocean, causing a haul of time and money. With Pakistan in China’s pocket, the trade for the country will become open directly from the south-west through Pakistan.
To facilitate the sea routed cargo, China has proposed a fully fledged China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which will connect Pakistan and China through road, rail and air. The project includes hydro power plants, thermal power plants, wind power plants, six/four-lane highways, double lain superfast rail network and a new airport near the coast of Gwadar connecting the two countries. The project is funded by China and not to mention that China will have full control of these routes, so to say that Pakistan might turn into a Chinese precinct is not completely wrong.
The picture below shows the features of this economic corridor,
A minor blotch in this well framed Chinese plan is a part of Kashmir belonging to India that will cause a hindrance in building the ace transport facilities for the China-Paki trades. So expecting a helping hand from China against Pakistani insurgencies is a thought in wane.
Narendra Modi’s diplomatic safeguard:
What option does India have to tackle the constant threat from its neighbors? To declare a war against Pakistan would not be feasible at this stage as it will demolish the Indian economy and bring a huge loss of life for the country, to ask China for help is not in the list of options as the Chinese interest clearly clash with the Indian interests.
Here is what India has done:
1. India strengthened its defense ties with the United States of America by signing Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) with them in August. With this India and USA can support each other logistically, so to say use each other’s training basis temporarily or exchange training methods or help with supplies to each other’s army/navy/air force as and when required.
2. India has signed defense deals with Russia costing north of Rs72,000 crores and the plan is for the joint venture to build a stronger defense nexus against our nosy neighbors.
The deal includes purchase of 200 Kamov light helicopters required by the country’s defense forces, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd will be the local partner of Russian Helicopters and state arms exporter Rosoboron-export as 140 of the helicopters will be made in India.
Agreement has been done to purchase two warships (frigates) for the Indian Navy. Further a deal to purchase Russian radar systems, the S-400 surface-to-air missile system would strengthen India’s defense along its borders with China and Pakistan.
By doing these two acts, Prime Minister Modi has made congenial diplomatic ties with the two super powers- USA and Russia.
Since the very start of his term Modi has made it a point to maintain fruitful relations with the Americans, but Modi has rubbished any rumors of solitary relations with the Russians by throwing a bone worth Rs 72,000 crore right under their jaws.
By cozying up to the Americans, India gets a huge plus on the global PR and a backing like no else. By signing a deal worth billions with the Russians, India has made itself a priority investment for Russia and powered its defense and security calculus.
PM Modi has strategised a wonderful diplomatic cushion by acquiring the two super powers in the modern world towards India and making it an expanse that would be difficult for the any enemy to tread on.
But will this master diplomatic ploy actually deter the enemies of our nation? Only time will tell.
About the Author:
I’m a law student, studying in UILS, Panjab University, currently in my second year. A football lover, enjoy watching the game and an ardent Arsenal FC fan.