A lot has been going on in the relationship with China. Some developments have been much talked about:
– China building a damn in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir
– China’s heckling at PM Dr. Singh going to Arunachal Pradesh
– China’s getting all worked up about Dalai Lama going to Arunachal Pradesh
– Building of infrastructure by China along the Indian border
To see China and Pakistan in isolation is a mistake. I believe both should be viewed as a “combine”. Also, there is no good in taking either of them on face value. Their past relationships with India have been at best opportunistic and such that do not lend the relation to trust.
Their plans – Pak’s and China’s – have been working fairly well. While Pak has constantly tried to send in Jehadis or create Sleeper cells which have been activated on demand, Chinese have backed up Maoists.
Using Maoists as tools and their own extension, Chinese have CONQUERED Nepal already. You can be assured that within the next 100 years, Nepal will not be claimed by China but indeed acquired. So, status quo on Nepal is NOT in India’s interests. Nepal was a country, which India had under its wings of protection so that it will be effective to push China away and also have our influence intact in the region. If we abandon that, we are very very vulnerable.
Same is the case with Myanmar. There is no reason to engage with it and take measures before it completely falls prey to China. I find no reason why India cannot and should not play an active role in promoting a friendly regime in Myanmar.
Now, with regards to Pakistan. I am firmly of the view that if we are not involved in Balochistan, then we should be. Balochistan is the most ideal place to engage Pakistan if it cannot desist from terrorism. Terrorists, in Pakistani public and government’s eyes are still of two types – those who fight India are “good” and those who fight Pakistan are “bad”. I doubt that the current turmoil will make them realize the folly of their argument. We cannot stake our national interest on an “eventual awakening of Pakistanis”.
Balochistan, therefore, offers a perfect place to engage the Pakistanis. One, its where the maximum reserves of Oil and Gas for Pakistan are. Two, that’s where the Gwadar port is – which Chinese have created with the hope of getting Oil and Gas in times of emergency. If that is paralyzed, then we plug supplies for two players – China and Pakistan – in times of emergency. Three, Balochistan is next to Iran. Its independent relations to Iran may offset any mischief that Pakistanis may be upto on that front. Four, if we have to stop the Taliban then strengthening in that area is crucial. And Taliban needs to be stopped in the FATA area/Afghanistan. Of course, they should not take over Pakistan… and if they ever do, then the world community should be mobilized enough to counter them and neutralize the Nukes.