• Friday 20th September 2019

Bhutan prefers SAARC; Pakistan-Russia inch closer; Afghanistan peace discussed

  • Published on: June 18, 2019



  • By NP Upadhyaya
    Environment conscious baby Bhutan, the de facto protectorate of the Indian regime as per the coerced 1949 Treaty with India, appears to have taken a firm decision of late which apparently hints that Bhutan would wish to free itself from the continued grip of the Indian regime.
    Hint to these effects have been made public none less than by the sitting Prime Minister of Bhutan, Dr. Lotay Tsering who while talking to an Indian Daily the Hindu dated June 16, 2019, said that could well be taken as a subtle message to the regional Goliath that Bhutan shall go for SAARC. The Bhutan PM says, “It is too early to call off SAARC and say it isn’t relevant or viable. SAARC has a long history and emotionally connected us all. I believe that we in South Asia need to work together. Geographically, we are grouped together but we aren’t doing well economically”.
    Dr. Lotay, a qualified medical practitioner, has in a direct but diplomatic manner sent pinching signals to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by stating that “geographically” the SAARC has brought the regional countries together and that, in an implied manner, he says that the BIMSTEC can’t replace the SAARC and the Indian tail-the BIMSTEC is geographically placed in a different geographical location.
    He says that SAARC has already a long history which by implication means that Bhutan too considers the BIMSTEC to be a newly formed organization which has yet to take deep roots into the South Asian milieu to which SAARC already has.
    Bhutan was among the first few countries to have joined the SAARC when approached by Nepal King Birendra and President Zia-ur-Rehman — the two founding fathers of the present day almost defunct SAARC which was later much appreciated by President Abdul Gayoom and Sri Lankan President Jayewardene.
    It was their combined efforts which gave a formal shape to what is now the defunct SAARC-the victim of the Indian inferiority complex.
    Mrs. Indira Gandhi was against the formation of the SAARC body for she had in her mind that the smaller neighbors were all working as per the designs of China to gag India to which it was not.
    As if this were not enough, the Bhutanese Prime Minister Dr. Lotay Tsering further advises some countries blocking the SAARC process to allow the resumption of its activities by opening hearts and march together and that too says Dr. Lotay, without “countering each other”.
    “If India and Pakistan don’t work together for the region, nothing can move ahead”, says the Bhutanese Prime Minister.
    He thus speaks that the two important countries of South Asia, Pakistan and India, must remain friendly if SAARC were to work effectively. (He is hoping against hope but yet he has hoped).
    Has Bhutan committed a crime by spelling the name of Pakistan? Will India take penal actions against Bhutan for having talked of Pakistan? Let’s wait and see.
    Reading between these lines one could easily draw a conclusion that he in a subtle manner urges India primarily to allow the SAARC process to continue as it had been working in the previous years and that since there is no such arrogance from Pakistani side so he in a way takes India as the main villain (?) to have been in a mood to kill the regional body as against the institutionalization of its tail-the BIMSTEC.
    He has spoken many a things unspoken while being interviewed.
    A country which has ever remained under the shadow of the Indian subjugation since 1949 could speak this much is simply unbelievable but the fact is that Dr. Lotay Tsering, the Bhutan PM has daringly made it for which he deserved deep appreciations.
    He needs to be appreciated by Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Afghanistan and Pakistan most importantly.
    If Pakistan were smart in acts of diplomacy it would have by this time already appreciated Bhutan for having dared to talk in favor of the SAARC. Pakistani diplomacy perhaps is not at par with India’s, it so appears.
    Nepal PM Oli-presumed to be an India man in Nepali politics-spoke in favor of the SAARC right being in Delhi on June 1, 2019 and here is the Bhutan Prime Minister almost speaking the same language as regards the SAARC body on June 16, and that too by inviting an Indian media right inside his own serene soil-Bhutan.
    But how come PM Oli and Dr. Lotay Tseriing’s concerns on SAARC match? Or was it a combined brain of China and Pakistan?
    Nepal’s views on SAARC has matched with that of Bhutan in a surprising manner which must have been so because Nepal and very lately Bhutan must have in reality realized that India was the real villain and someone had to speak the truth. Thanks Nepal and Bhutan both have spoken on this issue which has remained the hostage of the Indian arrogance.
    The Sri Lankan President too has already spoken favoring the resumption of the SAARC process.
    What is more than interesting is that both the countries speaking in favor of the SAARC body were trusted and tested allies of India. So the question is that whether it is the Chinese brain or these countries took the risks themselves to speak more or less against their political master though in an undeclared way?
    Yet another jolt to India is from baby Bhutan when the Prime Minister Dr. Lotay talking on Bhutan-China ties claims that “our each meet allows us to know each other better”.
    It is here again that Bhutan wants to hint China that “we want to know you more ” which means that Bhutan would wish to take to a new height to the existing Thimpu-Beijing relations which could later pave for the final step for the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
    Though Bhutan says it has no ambitions to establish diplomatic ties with the big five nations of the world.
    Bhutan’s courage has to be admired in that this interview from the Bhutanese Prime Minister has come close on the heels of Mr. Shankar’s visit to Thimpu which was his first trip after assuming the post of the India’s foreign minister.
    (The Indian minister was gracious enough to meet the Bhutan Prime Minister as the meet photos of the meet hinted. He gave the impression as if he was the new viceroy for Bhutan from India. Thanks he found some minutes for the Bhutan Prime Minister).
    Now the ball is in Beijing’s court and that “secret” diplomatic initiatives should be taken by China if it were to bring Bhutan out from the perennial grip of India-better recognized as the regional bully.
    China must understand the pains of Bhutan and act accordingly because Bhutan can’t express its inner feelings.
    Though Dr. Lotay is bit concerned with the accumulation of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in the recent days in and around Doklam-the disputed land that invited a long drawn standoff in between India and China in 2017.
    Needless to say, India was about the invite a war with China on Bhutan’s behalf as per the most humiliating 1949 Treaty with Bhutan. Thanks the war was averted and India got a chance to distance itself from yet another humiliating defeat.
    China’s understands Bhutanese inner pains but has little space to maneuver given the 1949 treaty with India remaining in force.
    Whatever may have been the interpretations in the political circuit, the fact is that China is afraid of India led by Prime Minister Narendra Bhai Modi-the trouble maker in this part of greater South Asia?
    Is China weaker than India with once again Modi assuming as the new India’s Prime Minister? China is weaker than India in Nepali politics. Indian agents have dominated the political scene of the Nepali state. India leaning political men are talked to be ruling Nepal.
    On the contrary, the men believed to be close to China too act double.
    Or else why the Indian establishment under Modi would have dared once again to ignore the China designed belt and Road Initiative, BRI, as the South Asian regional bully had done so while meeting the Chinese President in Quingdo sometime in the year 2017 or 2018?
    Or is it that China prefers to avoid the second war with India as per its quiet diplomacy?
    And while India continues to exhibit its objections for the China’s BRI, the Chinese President Xi Jinping just a day ahead of Indian rejection of the BRI as usual, said in BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan that “India and China were good friends and they pose no threats to each other”.
    President Xi said this while greeting the freshly elected Indian PM Modi on the sidelines of the 19th meet of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in the Kyrgyz capital BISHKEK.
    Most of the countries invited at the SCO meet, endorsed the Chinese brain child-the BRI, but India rejected the BISHKEK declaration which talks high of the Belt and Road Initiative.
    India has strong reservations with the BRI because New Delhi thinks that the CPEC-in some way or the other is the splinter of the BRI which ignores the Indian sovereignty and territorial integrity and thus India has the right to reject the very initiative of the Chinese regime which at the moment involves multiple countries and encompasses massive infrastructure development spanning Europe, Asia and Africa to enhance trade routes to and from China.
    India is the odd man out for China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
    While India rejected once again the China’s BRI, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization meet just held June 12-14 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, in a joint statement has stated that “the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan reaffirm their support for China’s Belt and Road Initiative and praise the results of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing, 26 April 2019.
    Indian Prime Minister speaking at the SCO meet consumed much time in talking on terrorism caring little of India sponsored terrorism in and around South Asia.
    Modi wanted to corner Pakistan during his speech at Bishkek but the SCO member countries knew better as to what India meant to its smaller South Asian neighbors like Nepal.
    Notably, Nepal is a dialogue partner at the SCO. But Nepal perhaps was not invited for the meet in Bishkek.
    He would have done well had he accepted that India exported violent Maoists to Nepal who have been ruling Nepal obeying to the instructions of the Indian regime.
    Making the Pakistani version clear to the attending SCO members States, PM Imran khan said that “We are among the few countries to have successfully turned the tide against terrorism,” and added “Pakistan remains ready to share its experience and expertise in counter terrorism.
    He further stated that “We will also remain actively engaged in SCO’s counter-terrorism initiatives.”
    While assuring the SCO members that his country fully supported any “efforts for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process, PM Khan said there was “finally a realization” that there was no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.
    It is here that Pakistan must bring in the support from the SCO member states to peacefully settle the overly stretched conflict in Afghanistan and Kashmir.
    And he sought the SCO support by stating that “SCO’s support for post-conflict Afghanistan will remain crucial,” he said while appreciating the contributions being made by China, Russia and Afghanistan’s immediate neighbors to the process.
    He should also have talked of the pains of the Kashmiris.
    Once again here the Pakistan’s diplomatic acumen shall be tested if this country becomes able to bring in the good offices of the Russian Federation, China, the SCO member states together with the states housed in the OIC and convince these powerful countries to double their efforts aimed at restoration of peace in Afghanistan then, for obvious and good reasons, its Cold war time ally will in all likelihood wish to establish the same sort of ties that the US used to have with Pakistan in those now forgotten days. Observing such positive developments the Russian federation too from its side shall come forward in easing the problems of Pakistan which it is facing simply because of it being the immediate neighbor of Afghanistan.
    A joint and common formula could be in place if and when these countries come to help assist Pakistan in solving the Afghanistan conflict.
    In fact, peace in Afghanistan is what is perhaps the need of Pakistan than any other country else in the vicinity.
    Observers in Nepal remain convinced that an axis comprising of Pakistan-China and Russia must take a formal shape at the earliest that shall bring in peace not only in South Asia, but would also bring in a peaceful settlement to the Afghanistan problems whose combined effect would be felt in the Central Asia and beyond. Such a collective friendly approach of the nations in favor of Pakistan in its own way would exert pressure on India to listen to the appeal of the Kashmiris residing in India controlled area.
    PM Khan also talked of South Asia at the SCO meet in the Kyrgyz capital wherein he stated that the South Asia region continued to be challenged by “common enemies” of poverty, illiteracy, disease and under-development.
    “Political differences and unresolved disputes further compound the predicament,” he further said.
    In saying so he apparently hinted that the Kashmir issue which has remained in a tensed state since the second day of the partition, 1947, needs the attention of the world leaders who should now build pressure on India and settle the Kashmir dispute as per the demands of the Kashmiri population.
    “Enduring peace and prosperity in South Asia will remain elusive until the main dynamics in South Asia is shifted from confrontation to cooperation.”
    In saying so, PM Khan desires and lobbies for cooperation in South Asia as against the coercive policies being practiced by the BJP dangerous tool led by PM Modi.
    Clearly, South Asia is trembling with fears with the re-emergence of PM Modi in India for understandable reasons. He has yet to unfold his inner Hindutva cruelty.
    Clearly, Pakistan favors the resumption of the SAARC activities as usual.
    Bhutan’ preference of SAARC perhaps has invited unknowingly yet another Economic blockade much similar to the last one which had been imposed by Dr. Man Mohan Singh, 2013, when Bhutan took the courage to bring in some transport vehicles for its use in Thimpu from Beijing.
    Importing few transport vehicles by Bhutan was taken as a crime by the then Indian regime.
    In the mean while Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had “high-level meetings” with Russia President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, respectively, on the sidelines of SCO summit in Bishkek.
    Media agencies say that PM Khan and President Putin may have met each other on the Bishkek sidelines for more than five times.
    This perhaps gives a hint that both the countries feel that it was time to cement their friendship or even expand the existing normal ties.
    If India enjoys the intimacy of the USA then Pakistan has been abandoned by its former ally which is the USA that has embraced the former ally of the USSR. India will finally ditch the USA as well much the same way it did the former USSR.
    Russia understand this ultimate fact.
    Pakistan primarily needs to cement its friendship with the Russian federation for a variety of political advantages. Firstly, the expanded Russian friendship shall enable Pakistan to feel like a matching competitor with India’s enhanced capabilities and then secondly, Russian partnership with Pakistan shall in many more ways than one shall bring in stability in South Asia, Central Asia, the Gulf states and in the vicinity that includes Afghanistan.
    The present day Afghanistan problems to a greater extent has some connections with the Russia which is the real inheritor of the now collapsed USSR and thus Russian presence in this part of the world is more than urgent in order guarantee a complete peace and stability in Afghanistan and its vicinity for long time to come. China too has taken interest in building peace in Afghanistan.
    Russia wishes to enter into the Asian landmass, however, Pakistan is yet to invite Russia whose presence in this part of greater South Asia shall act as a power equilibrium the tilt of which at present is in India’s favor.
    Pakistan must take the initiative in inviting Russia. Earlier the better.
    If Russia shows its presence in Asia then the Indo-pacific Strategy led by the US-India alliance shall have an equally matching force which shall in all likelihood ensure peace and stability in Asia more so in South Asia including Kashmir.
    Talking to Eurasia/Future dated June 17, 2019, Mikhail Khodarenok, a retired colonel who’s held many high-level positions all across the Russian security sphere during his several decades of service bluntly speaks that his country’s Soviet-era partner is “increasingly drifting towards the US and Europe” so Russia “should abandon stereotypes and build closer ties with Pakistan” by selling Islamabad whatever military equipment it requests in response.
    This retired military man in a direct manner urges Russia to come in support of Pakistan for a variety of political reasons.
    It’s clear, writes Andrew Korybko on 2019-06-17 for the Eurasia/Future that Khodarenok’s comments that Russia’s regional “balancing” strategy envisions arming Pakistan in order to offset the destabilizing effect of the Indian-American alliance, with Moscow no longer being shy about its intentions after it’s become obvious that Washington wants to replace it as New Delhi’s primary military supplier. It is therefore for reasons of strategic and economic necessity that Russia is ready to sell Pakistan whatever it can afford to purchase so as to restore the balance of power and compensate for the profits that it’s losing out on to the US in India.
    If this retired Colonel has been speaking the mind of the Russian establishment then Pakistan should immediately approach Russia and invite Vladimir Putin, the strongman in the world today, to Pakistan and open a new chapter in Russia-Pakistan relations.
    Observers in Nepal conclude that if and when Pakistan and Russian federation inch closer to each other would mean much for the establishment of peace and stability in South Asia and beyond which as of now has been completely dominated by the Indian terror machine led by PM Modi. Indo-Pacific Strategy versus China-Pakistan-Russia axis guarantees peace in South Asia and then of the world.
    For the road: Indian Prime Minister ditches US for deeper relationship with China and Russia. But for how long India will ditch thee USA-its Indo-Pacific Strategy partner? And why is the volte face? That’s all.

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