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Analysis: Is South Asia next confrontation front?

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Since World War I and II, regrettably, global peace has remained elusive. Notably, the conclusion of armed conflicts often paves the way for new hostilities elsewhere.

Primarily, the arms industry thrives on war, leading global arms manufacturers and powerful entities to frequently instigate and support conflicts.

Historically, imperialists have employed the strategy of “divide and rule,” fostering enmities to strategically fuel regional conflicts and wars.

A glaring example is Britain’s deliberate creation of “unresolved conflicts” between India and Pakistan, such as Kashmir. Similarly, the contemporary discord between Pakistan and Afghanistan revolves around the colonial-era demarcation known as the “Durand Line.”

Since the 1947 partition, India and Pakistan have been embroiled in the Kashmir conflict – an ongoing flashpoint with the potential to escalate into a full-scale war. British journalist John Pilger once highlighted how former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair simultaneously sold lethal weapons to both India and Pakistan, shedding light on the arms trade as “business as usual” even in the 1990s.

In recent discussions, there has been a notable increase in tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan, alongside the escalating potential for war between India and Pakistan over Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir. Interestingly, amid global powers choosing their battles, the Ukraine conflict has taken a backseat, with the focus shifting to America’s new engagement in Palestine.

According to many experts, the United States is perceived to have faced significant challenges in the Ukraine war, while both Israel and the U.S. are encountering multifaceted setbacks in Gaza. This perceived need for a new war is attributed to the apparent losses in ongoing conflicts. Notably, the substantial arsenal left by the U.S. in Afghanistan upon withdrawal in August 2021 is seen as a stockpile for potential future conflicts.

The current strains between Afghanistan and Pakistan, stemming from the expulsion of illegal Afghan refugees by Pakistan, are raising concerns among experts who see this as a potential pretext for a new conflict in the region. In light of the heightened tensions, a crucial question emerges: Is South Asia teetering on the brink of a major war?

The Greater India Project

Presently, Pakistan finds itself on the precipice of a major arms conflict, navigating challenges on both its western and eastern borders, largely fueled by the Greater India Project fostering proxies in the South Asian region.

The country is currently engaged in a dual-front struggle against terrorists and the emergence of new insurgencies like Tehreek-e-Jihad Pakistan, a new group affiliated with the Pakistan Taliban, claiming responsibility for the attack on the PAF Airbase in Mianwali. The swift activity of this recently formed group raises questions about external support.

However, these unfolding events go beyond surface appearances. The surge in insurgency in Baluchistan since Narendra Modi’s government took office is not coincidental. India’s alleged aim to “sabotage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor” has significantly contributed to the complex landscape.

Back in 2002, Pakistan approached United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, presented him with a “dossier” and requested him to exercise his leverage over India to “desist from its illegal and aggressive activities” and terror campaigns in Baluchistan. Despite India discrediting the dossier, numerous propagandist campaigns against Pakistan have been exposed, including a BBC investigative report revealing India’s plans to defame the country.

Turn on any Indian TV channel or listen to any YouTuber, and a consistent theme emerges: Pakistan is portrayed as the “bad guy” that should be eradicated, echoing the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh party (RSS) mantra of achieving a Greater India and Hindu supremacy.

Indian writer and journalist Samanth Subramanian complied a long-read feature, “How Hindu supremacists are tearing India apart,” revealing the RSS mission of making a Greater India. Likewise, Arkotong Longkumer’s book “The Greater India Experiment: Hindutva and the Northeast” unearths RSS’s hidden objectives, one is to take control of Pakistan’s “Gilgit-Baltistan and Jammu and Kashmir.”

Today, far-right Hindu supremacy ideology has become a global phenomenon that has reached Europe, which is “fuelling rising divisions and the rhetoric in the U.K., U.S., Canada and Australia.”

Recently, the Canadian government presented evidence linking Indian diplomats to the killing of a Sikh activist, earning praise from right-wing Indian major Gaurav Arya. In the context of global powers vying for hegemony in South Asia, the ongoing Israel-Palestine war and growing calls in India to “reach Gilgit-Baltistan,” coupled with the Indian Supreme Court’s recent decision to end Kashmir’s special status, all contribute to the rising prospect of an all-out war in South Asia.

A recent Le Monde report revealed how India’s Hindu nationalists are leveraging the Israel-Palestine conflict to their advantage. Shockingly, the report noted that Hindus were saying: “What Israel is facing today, India suffered between 2004-14. Never forgive, never forget.”

This suggests that India is positioning itself to capitalize on a comparable opportunity to make inroads into Pakistani Kashmir. The developing alliance between India and Israel, which endorses the idea of “State Repression and its Justification,” underscores their shared characteristics, a concerning alignment, particularly as Indian officials openly advocate for the “Israel model” in Kashmir.

In the face of these developments on its borders, how far can a nuclear Pakistan ignore all that is unfolding on its borders? With the Taliban on the western front and Hindu fanatics envisioning a “Greater India Project” on the eastern front, the challenges for Pakistan are escalating.

Love-hate dynamic of Pakistan-Afghanistan ties

Ever since the Taliban have taken control of Kabul, Pakistan has become a recipient of terror. Despite Pakistan’s repeated warnings the Taliban in Kabul have failed to halt the Afghanistan-based TTP’s terrorism aimed at Pakistani civilians, and on military installations.

Recently, a series of distasteful events are an indication that the Pakistani establishment’s Afghan policy has backfired. It is a documented fact that both military dictators Gen. Zia ul-Haq and Gen. Parviz Musharraf’s Afghan policies failed badly.

It is important to note that Afghanistan has historically posed challenges for Pakistan; from its refusal to recognize the newly formed state in 1947 to the assassination of Pakistan’s first Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan by an Afghan. In the current refugee crisis, many in Pakistan believe in good faith that now, Afghanistan is independent, so it’s time to rebuild it, hence Afghans need to be resilient and resolute and they should feel the responsibility.

Regrettably, the derogatory language, threats and irresponsible statements from Afghan Gen. Mubeen are viewed by many in Pakistan as mere point-scoring tactics, especially considering Pakistan’s historical support for Afghanistan’s independence.

Not only Afghans, Arabs and Pakistanis, including Punjabis (whom Mubeen blamed and insulted in the Pashtu language), are martyrs of the battles against Russia and the U.S.

Those fanatics inciting hatred and exporting enmity on both sides are not people’s well-wishers. As global powers are once again active in selling weapons, it’s time to acknowledge the fact that any conflict in South Asia would only bring destruction and never-ending bloody war.

Source: DailySabah

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