Indo-US Strategy in South Asia
Those interested in international relations are familiar with the age-old Middle East plight. Different forces active there have been exercising their own interests while to them the value of human life has meant little. Among the prominent players in the Middle East, the United States has clearly sided with Israel, the chief buyer of US weapons and other military products. Although decades have gone along with innumerable efforts for peace in the region, the industry of massacres and violence has continuously ascended its ladder. The Arab forces have been divided and ruled.
The Pentagon has openly sold to Israel satellite-guided bombs worth billions of dollars. It has sold similar weapons to Saudi Arabia as well. In the the region, babies get born insecure. If they survive the early years of birth they grow insecure. During their growth years, they are forced to live insecure. And should they escape death in the first half of their mid-youth, they are forced to take one-another’s life as per the patterns under which they are structured.
A more or less similar situation of human insecurity exists in different parts of the world, be they in Asia, Africa or Latin America and definitely in the United States, where there is no calculation and proper information dissemination of how many children, youths and seniles are killed daily in dozens of cities and counties. Amidst a growing scale of international insecurity and militarism, South Asians today have a logical worry. They definitely do not want their region to fall into the impasse of a Middle East kind. They do not want an automated death machine to be implanted into their own heads and their region, already weakened through political instability and fundamentalism.
Indeed, South Asia is trapped between home-grown crises and foreign impositions. Despite being a world’s large democracy constitutionally and procedurally, India has yet to democratize itself. All-pervasive corruption, violence, murders and robberies can never be considered the theories of democracy. Similarly, the unhindered de-humanizing practices of caste untouchability and discriminations cannot be synonymized with democratic characteristics. How can the existing caste apartheid in India and Nepal be understood as a local issue in the age of information and communication revolution in the global village? Such contradictions keep on dividing the majority of people, who, at the same time nurture their mutual misconceptions. They ultimately further exacerbate conflicts and violence. It is amidst such sharp contradictions that fundamentalism finds a fertile soil. In particular, intractable conflicts even invite foreign intervention. So many political and socio-economic contradictions existing in India have a great degree of commonness among the contradictions in other SAARC countries. This situation should be considered with much importance since the US Administration has sought to build up its intelligence base in the region.
The US Administration has obviously viewed China and India with special attention. Almost all American think tanks most usually depict China as the closest challenge for the US in the 21st century. Several US senators voice for designing appropriate strategies to curb the growing Chinese influence in the international arena. This concern among US journalists and analysts indicates that the US cannot remain without doing something to neutralize or at least to undersize the Chinese influence. For this, the US Administration requires a suitable geopolitical station, and such a place cannot be other than South Asia. The US tactics based on regional cooperation and soft-cornered negotiation-based approaches can be seen in South Asia. It, on the hand, collaborates with India for the proliferation of nuclear weapons and, on the other, uses Pakistani political structures for establishing the US command in Afghanistan. Quite scantily discussed in this context is the geopolitical significance of Nepal where the US Administration is suspected of planning to setup a major regional infrastructure for the operations of intelligence and civil-clothed US security forces.
What is largely glamorized but little studied in this context is the case of Pakistan. Power-mongering Pakistani President Musharraf has facilitated a ground both for domestic fundamentalists and the US Administration. Today, Musharraf has become a person picked by the US Administration. Tomorrow, one of the current US-hunted fundamentalist leader in that country may be the US choice if genuine democracy based on the original aspirations of the Pakistanis comes to the fore with people’s independent and integrated struggles. Because such a democracy established through people’s original efforts may be incompatible with the Pentagon patterns. In this context, the world generally knows how the CIA nourished Iran’s Shah, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and Saudi Arabia’s Bin Laden for use purposes.
Today, Musharraf may appear a hero to many. It has been historically evident that the US Administration has been campaigning for preparing a battalion of its lackeys from among political leaders of all the countries. India, though it appears to be a global power, is a nation highly plighted by its scattered civil wars, armed separatism and social cruelties that have maintained extreme disparity and poverty. Medieval evils such as caste apartheid have weakened its collective strength. Informed about this, the US Administration, without touching such issues, has adopted a silent strategy of cooperating with India in order to bring the whole South Asian region under its control. Once the region is under full US control, it will be much easier for the Pentagon to cope with the Chinese politically, economically and militarily. Only intelligence exchange and logistical cooperation will not suffice for the US need in South Asia. What it requires as soon as possible is a base equipped with multiple facilities, including military and intelligence facilities.
India does not appear to favor the idea of allowing any US base within the Indian territory. As Nepal’s political leaders, including those heading security mechanisms, generally appear prepared even for treason, American intelligence operatives are openly working since the 1990s. It has been customary for the US officials, whenever they visit Nepal, to deliver free political speeches with their instructions on Nepal’s political and constitutional issues. It has equally been too common for the Kathmandu-based US ambassador to frequently meet Nepal’s prime minister and security chiefs. Basically, any foreign power is not to be blamed. Those practicing the politics of treason within the country are to be blamed primarily. As this situation is much more favorable for the US Administration to be active in South Asia, it wants to maintain it. Therefore, it is natural for the White House to make every attempt to prevent any new political force or leadership to enter Nepal’s mainstream politics unless there is a guarantee that the newly entering force or political organization will serve the US interests without a question. In this context, the US Administration will not want to miss Nepal, the most sensitive geopolitical hub of South Asia. Nepal being between the two nations with a major population of almost 2.5 billion, other European nations have equally begun to analyze and interpret Nepal and her issues at a deeper level.
This shows the geopolitical significance of Nepal in the international arena. Perhaps, China through its silent diplomacy, has been examining the ongoings in South Asia. However, Chinese officials have not made their analysis explicit regarding such issues. As to Bhutan, the US Administration has adopted a policy of not irritating India through any different Bhutan policy. It seems to be pursuing the usual policy as in the case of Nepal. Bhutan, though under heavy Indian influence, does not want to miss US favor, especially as regards to the preservation of monarchial autocracy there. The Bhutanese of Nepali origin are the greatest headaches not only to feudal Bhutanese rulers but also to the White House and New Delhi. The reason is clear: the Bhutanese of Nepali origin have been fighting for democracy and human rights within Bhutan for 16 years. India and America have never expressed their support to this democratic movement as they used to extend their support to the democratic movement elsewhere. Because of the protection of Bhutanese dictators by India and America, they have openly dared to violate human rights by expelling the vociferous Bhutanese citizens, who have lived a torturous life in refugee camps in Nepal for 16 years.
Currently, the White House and New Delhi have found one formula for neutralizing the Bhutanese people’s movement for democracy and human rights: to let thousands of Bhutanese emigrate to US, Canada, Australia, Spain and some other European nations . It means that the background masters of Bhutanese feudal rulers have thought of sending Bhutanese refugees far away. If they stay within South Asia, they will not stop giving a headache to the rulers within and outside Bhutan. Although this approach appears humanitarian, most of the Bhutanese themselves, especially people of middle and older age groups, have opposed this as a piece of conspiracy against their repatriation. Instead of deciding to divide the Bhutanese refugees like this, they could pressurize the Bhutanese rulers to establish democracy in Bhutan and repatriate their citizens. Nepal, in the context of Bhutanese refugee issue, has not produced any independent policy. The ruling elites of Nepal have a habit of deciding everything at the gesture of India and America. Therefore, the government of Nepal has supported the US plan of de-Bhutanizing the Bhutanese refugees of Nepali origin. Instead, it could provide Nepali citizenship to Bhutanese refugees and include them in the mainstream development of Nepal. Nepal could also call upon all the Bhutanese of Nepali origin living in Bhutan to join Nepal as citizens. But becoming silent spectators of human rights violations and supporting de-nationalization campaign by the third country is equivalent to a crime against humanity.
But Nepali leaderships, recklessly bargaining their national sovereignty, are still lingering through political deadlocks within home. This seems to heighten the sovereignty crisis. Growing Pentagon influence in India and Pakistan shows the level of sovereignty crisis in South Asia. The peoples of the region have no other alternative except to join hands in preserving their national sovereignties.
Tags: South Asia , Us Intelligence , Militarism , Fundamentalism
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