Day 58 – Q 5.“Bleeding India through the thousand cuts” has been the strategy of our neighbours to undermine the India’s integrity and security. In this regard critically evaluate the response of the Indian government. Shouldn’t India play a more proactive role in Baluchistan?
5. “Bleeding India through the thousand cuts” has been the strategy of our neighbours to undermine the India’s integrity and security. In this regard critically evaluate the response of the Indian government. Shouldn’t India play a more proactive role in Baluchistan?
- Introduction- The policy of bleeding India through thousand cuts.
- How it has been the strategy of our neighbors- Contours of the policy.
- India’s response- Baluchistan angle.
- How can India counter it?
India and its neighbors mainly Pakistan and China have been in a state of covert and overt aggression against each other. These two neighbors have been following a policy of a “thousand cuts,” against India. Pakistan lacks ability to beat India in conventional warfare. Thus, the strategy of proxy war through jihadists while keeping the main resources safe, sound and gearing up for main war.
Contours of the policy:
- Fueling separatism and militancy in India, mainly Kashmir. Religious animosities between various groups in India is encouraged by both China and Pakistan.
- Promoting terrorism in India- It is alleged that China provides arms and weaponries to separatist groups in India especially those in North-East.
- Cross border smuggling, drug menace and fake currency to destabilize the economy.
- Doklam standoff, CPEC passing through India’s territory etc.
- Not holding formal talks until Pakistan stops using terrorism as an instrument of state policy against India.
- Retaining the right of retaliation against those elements and locations along the Line of Control (LoC) that are complicit in perpetrating cross border terrorism- as seen after the attack on Indian army base in Uri.
- India has made a concerted attempt to expose Pakistan’s complicity in employing terrorism as state policy. For instance, the Delhi declaration with 10 ASEAN countries issued in January 2018 mentioned the “cross border movement of terrorists” in an obvious reference to Pakistan. Earlier, the 2017 BRICS statement included the LeT and JeM as terrorist groups of concern. These efforts were supplemented by Pakistan’s inability to rein in terrorist groups, which have preached the message of hate, collected funds and undertaken strikes with impunity from within Pakistan. This was recently acknowledged by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an independent regulatory body which guides anti-money laundering (AML) and countering terrorist finance (CFT) procedures.
Shouldn’t India play a more proactive role in Baluchistan?
India in August 2018 said Pakistan should stop “state repression” and “gross violation of human rights” in Balochistan. Balochistan is one of the four provinces of Pakistan. It is the largest province in the country, covering 44 percent of the total area. Most of the inhabitants are Baloch; other communities include Pashtuns and Brahuis.
Its location is extremely strategic as the province shares borders with Punjab, Sindh, FATA, as well as Afghanistan and Iran. Pakistan’s economy has been largely powered by ageing gasfields in Balochistan and today it has begun importing natural gas because even the low-level Baloch insurgency of the past decade has stalled attempts to explore for new gasfields. The economic corridor could become at least financially wounded if India plays it cards with care. The way Pakistan has been interfering in Kashmir, the same can be done by India in Balochistan.
Other ways of countering the policy:
- Economic cooperation- Improving economic relations with the country will increase Pakistan’s dependency on India. This would make the country more responsible against ill-founded policies.
- Increasing vigilance across border, deploying more forces. Intelligence sharing
- India needs to change its policy towards Kashmiris. Socio-economic development of border areas, generating jobs and building of infrastructure is much required.
- Pressure from global forums- Finalisation of UN Convention to Counter Terrorism. This convention will not distinguish between ‘bad’ and ‘good’ terrorism. Boycott of Pakistan from global forums. Platforms like SCO (which has both China and Pakistan as members) should be leveraged to iron out the issues.
- Apart from above, bilateral dialogues should continue. Focusing on people-to-people relations.
If Pakistan and China persist with the policy of, a “thousand cuts,” against India, the relations will remain strained. It is time for India to make it clear to Pakistan that terrorism and treaties cannot go hand in hand. The conflict with neighboring countries is like a cancerous growth, a malignant organism growing unchecked. Hostile state-sponsored propaganda on both sides must end. The road to peace has narrowed but remains open.
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