Balochistan: Achilles Heel of China and Pak!
SANJAY THAPA JEET :
Braving the rains and water logged roads, US Secretary of state John Kerry's visit to New Delhi cannot come at a more opportune time! Not only has is it succeded in sending ample and clear signals about US priority for India, in the Asian subcontinent but it also cocks and snook at the regional distractors-- namely Pakistan and China.
Coming after the open gesture by Prime Minister Narendra Modi towards the repressed citizens in Balochistan during the 70th Independence Day speech, it has indeed ruffled up more that just feathers for Pakistan! Balochistan has become Pak's Achille's Heel! Last week Pakistan flexed it knees and offered to talk on Kashmir having realised New Delhi's geo-politcal indispensibility in Asia given its warm relations with Pak's immediate neighbours like Afghanistan and Iran.
At yesterday's meeting with Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, Kerry clearly stated in no mean words that it wants Pakistan to bring to book the culprits of 26/11 as well as Pathankot. He emphasised India's and US have deepened its ties as good as to its any ally following PM Modi's visit to the White House in June this year. And that US would further strenghthen its ties in defence areas particularly exchange of logistics and security in South Asia.
Kerry also called on Pakistan to desist from playing double standards in name of terrorism. "...There cannot be bad terrorism and good terrorism..." he said. This is expected to send ample signals to Pakistan as well as its ally China who have rolled up thier sleeves against India after the reference to Balochistan. Since Modi's mention of Balochistan, Pakistan has to gone out to many of the Muslim states to highlight its 'pain in the neck' namely Balochistan.
Not only that it has been on a propoganda overdrive against India but it has also been prodding China against New Delhi. China has been flexing its muscle in the South China Sea as well as in Balochistan --where the former has been working on its US $ 6 trillion One Road One Belt project launched in 2013. Also called the 'Silk Route' corridor, Balochistan has a part of this historic project which is called the China Pakistan Export Corridor (CPEC).
Estimated at over US $ 46 billion the corridor envisages a link between Beijing and EurASia as well as Oceania. The Silk route project involves around 60 countries and is estiamted to give comeptition to the mega US Transpacific and TransAtlantic trade and export project which is the world's biggest trade route. Since India's open gesture towards the Balochistan, Pakistan has been on a 'hotline' with Beijing over the CPEC from a possible 'intervention' by India in Balochistan.
So much so that this propaganda even led to the Chinese thinktank stating that any intervention by India in Balochistan would lead to a Chinese 'involvement'. Even though there has been no clarification over what 'involvement' is expected to mean. Needless to say Pakistan has been using all ways and means to intigate its allies against India. Earlier it along with China opposed India's bid for membership to the NSG. Despite three years of stalemate over the Indo Pak talks over PoK, Islamabad does desist from any covert tactics to malign and instigate trouble for India.