USA grooming India as a regional bully : Pakistani Media

A perceptible change in US relations with China India and Pakistan is obvious. USA’s new protégé is India under likely Modi government. To wean away India into its fold, USA took many steps. United States has offered to sell US$ 3 billion (per one unit) Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) and Patriot Advance Capability (PAC-3) missile defence systems as an alternative (Saudi Arabia signed a deal with the US in November to buy 44 THAAD launchers and missiles – each battery comes with six launchers – for $15 billion). After prolonged negotiations, India had decided to purchase five S-400s Russian S-400s air defence system at cost of US$5.4 billion.

Now the USA ha jumped in. The US too many other steps to woo India_  exerted pressure to list Masood Azhar as a terrorist, ratcheted up pressure for FATF sanctions on Pakistan, obstructed IMF-Pakistan agreement, so on. America, under Trump, does not care a fig for consistent diplomatic `ethics’ in its relations with Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and India. It may continue sanctions on Iran while continuing waivers for India. American policy on Saudi Arabia may remain `soft’ despite Khashoggi’s murder and hard on Turkey. But, India and other countries may not follow American dictates in to-to.

India’s relations with China are changing. There was a 73-day standoff on the Doklam (Donglang in Chinese) plateau near the Nathula Pass on Sikkim border last year. Being at a disadvantage vis-a-vi India, China was compelled to resolve the stand-off through negotiations.  In later period,

China understands its limitations on Doklam, Tibet, as well as in South China Sea and Indian Ocean. China wants to bridge its aircraft-carrier deficiency through anti-ship ballistic missiles and Xian H-6K bomber armed with advanced air launched cruise missiles. Chinese defence systems include DF-, Dong-Feng 21 (DF-21; NATO reporting name CSS-5 – Dong-Feng (literally: ‘East Wind’). Dong-Feng 21 is a two-stage, solid-fuel rocket, single-warhead medium-range ballistic missile developed by China . A variant is DF-26 with range increased to 3,000 km (1,900 mi) to 4,000 km (2,500 miles). China has two supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles, the YJ-12, with a range of 400 km, and the YJ-18, which can hit targets up to 540 km away. But they are no match for US subsonic

Harpoon anti-ship missile, which has been modified to give it a maximum range of about 240 km.  An anti-ship variant of US Raytheon’s Tomahawk land attack cruise missile, with a range of over 1,600 km, has been delivered to the US navy.

At us prodding, India revised its maritime strategy in 2015 to “Ensuring Secure Seas”. The previous strategy was “Freedom to Use the Seas

To implement the new strategy, India built the Chabahar port in Iran, signed an agreement with Seychelles to develop and manage facilities on its Assumption Island, another agreement with Mauritius to develop dual- use logistics facilities in the Agalega Island, obtained berthing rights in Duqm Port in Oman and Maputo in Mozambique. Besides, India took up development of the Sittwe Port in Myanmar as part of the Kaladan multi-modal transit transport project for building a multi-modal sea, river and road transport corridor for shipment of cargo from the eastern ports of India to Myanmar through Sittwe. India upgraded its existing listening post in northern Madagascar. India has obtained access to the US naval base in Diego Garcia, and to the French naval bases in Mayotte and Reunion islands, besides Australian naval base in Cocos (Keeling. Robert Kaplan, in his book, Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and Future of American Power, argues that the geopolitics of the twenty-first century will hinge on the Indian Ocean. Waters of the Indian Ocean reach 28 countries which together account for 35 per cent of the world’s population and 19 per cent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product. Sixty per cent of the world’s oil shipments from the Gulf countries to China, Japan and other Asian countries pass through these waters which host 23 of the world’s busiest ports.

China is currently exploring an area of 10000 Square kilometres in the South West Indian Ocean Ridge through its state-controlled China Ocean Mineral Resources Research and Development Association It is also exploring Clarion- Clipperton Fracture Zone in the Pacific. Simultaneously, it is modernising and upgrading its naval fleet on a massive scale, and is augmenting its indigenous manufacturing capability by empowering its two largest state-owned shipbuilders ~ China State Shipbuilding Corporation and Shipbuilding Industry Corporation through support, technology and financing.

Economic slowdown militates against Pakistan’s desire to modernize according to environmental security challenges. External public debt was US$74 billion as of end-February 2019. It would be whopping US$31 billion in the next seven years, July 2019 to June 2026.

The country’s economic growth rate has slowed down to 3.3 per cent, the lowest in nine years.

The slow pace of economic growth coupled with currency devaluation reduced size of the economy to around $280 billion from $313 billion at the end of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government’s term. Almost every sector has made negative contribution to growth rate of 3.29% during fiscal year 2018-19 ending on June 30. We depend on services. The industrial sector’s contribution to the total GDP growth was only 9 per cent and its weight in the size of the economy was 20.8 per cent. IMF puts country’s growth rate at 2.5 per cent. After witnessing a 4per cent growth rate in the last fiscal year, cotton production declined 17.5%. The production of rice and sugarcane also fell by 3.3 per cent and 19.4 per cent respectively. Even the 65% debt-to-GDP ratio will be higher than the statutory limit of 60% set by parliament in the Fiscal Responsibility and Debt Limitation Act.

All powers in the region are plugging loopholes to meet emerging security challenges. We also need to face emerging socio-economic and security challenges as a united nation.





Source:- Kashmir Watch

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