Skip to main content

India's anti-Pak diplomacy "goes awry": Modi's half-baked "push" for anti-terror drill down others' throat

By Our Representative
Even as what is being termed as “historic” joint military anti-terrorism field training exercise begins at the foreign training node at Aundh in Pune on the backdrop of the recent 4th Bimstec (which stands for Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperations) ummit in Kathmandu, which insisted that fighting terrorism is one of its major goals, a top Russian media house has called it a failed initiative.
Sputnik International, which is the successor of the powerful state-run Russian propaganda state-run news agency RIA Novosti and the Voice of Russia radio service, has said that the Bimstec exercise has suggested “India’s anti-Pakistan diplomacy” has gone “awry”, noting how Nepal and Thailand skipped the military drill.
In an unsigned commentary, Sputnik International says, “Nepal’s decision to skip the Bimstec military drill has posed a big question mark over the Indian government’s diplomatic adventurism pushing for the revival of the seven-member Bimstec in place of SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) in a bid to marginalize Pakistan in the region.”
The commentary comes even as a former Indian diplomat, Bhadrakumar Melkulangara, who has served in Russia, Pakistan and several other countries, has said, “India's Bimstec project splutters. It was a deeply flawed project because regional cooperation cannot be fostered on a platform of negativism -- in this case, geared to 'isolate' Pakistan in its region.”
He insists, “At any rate, Bimstec should have gained traction and acquired a habitation and name before loading it with a military drill. And it now transpires that Modi tried to shove the half-baked idea of military drill down the throat of others at the recent Bimstec summit in Kathmandu even after it became apparent that there was no enthusiasm for it in the region.”
Bhadrakumar adds, “We are living in a fool's paradise to think that the region will side with India to undermine SAARC. The right thing to do is to allow the SAARC summit to be held in Islamabad.”  
Bhadrakumar
The top Russian media outfit notes, “Nepal and Thailand are participating only as observers in the Milex-2018 anti-terror military drill which began in Pune, India on Monday. While Nepal pulled back from the drill following strong protests from political parties in the country, including that of ruling Communist Party of Nepal; Thailand cited ‘prior commitments’ as the reason for not attending.”
It added, “The drill is an initiative proposed by India to strengthen the joint anti-terror mechanism of the seven-member Bimstec that includes India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Thailand. However, many see it as India's effort to further dilute the relevance of SAARC in order to isolate Pakistan.”
The commentary says, “The Nepali Army earlier confirmed that it would participate in the drill. However, only three days prior to the commencement of the drill, Prime Minister KP Oli conveyed to the army that Nepal's participation was being canceled. Oli's decision is understood to have been prompted by strong opposition from political parties including his own Nepal Communist Party (NCP), widely considered pro-China.”
“After pulling out of the drill, the Nepali government clarified that it had been proposed by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi but was not unanimously endorsed by all members during the Bimstec summit”, the commentary says, quoting Nepal's Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Gyawali as saying that "India was free to float the agenda, but we did not endorse it", insisting, Bimstec is “purely a developmental forum.”
The commentary goes to say, “Analysts say that geostrategic imperatives, security dialogues, or counterterrorism cooperation initiatives are no substitute for Bimstec's primary mandate to increase regional connectivity.”
It cites Constantino Xavier, fellow in Foreign Policy Studies at Brookings India, New Delhi, as saying, "(There are) many reasons behind Nepal's decision to pull out of the BIMSTEC military exercise, most of which (are) without merit. But this should also serve as a lesson for India about the limits of security cooperation, bound to weaken the organization."
“Meanwhile”, says the commentary, “Former Nepali Prime Minister Push Kamal Dahal (Prachanda) has made his country's priorities more clear by asserting during his just-concluded Delhi trip that Nepal wants to ‘revive’ SAARC and underlined to New Delhi that Bimstec cannot replace SAARC for regional prosperity.”
It quotes Prachanda as saying, while delivering a keynote address at the Indian Council of World Affairs in Sapru House, New Delhi, "As the current Chair of another important regional process, namely SAARC, Nepal's desire is to revive it and see an environment conducive for the early convening of the stalled summit. We believe that SAARC and Bimstec do not substitute but complement each other." 

Comments

TRENDING

Nobel laureates join international figures, seek release of Bhima Koregaon accused activists

Nobel laureates Olga Tokarczuk,  Wole Soyinka Counterview Desk  As many as 57 top international personalities, including Nobel laureates, academics, human rights defenders, lawyers cultural personalities, and members of Parliament of European countries, have urged the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India to ensure immediate release of human rights defenders in India “into safe conditions”.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Russia, China to call the shots in Middle East, as Muslim nations turn into house of cards

By Haider Abbas* Only a naive would buy that the ‘situation of ceasefire’ between the State of Israel and Hamas would continue, as if the foiled attempt to demolish Al Aqsa this time, is not be repeated, if not in any near future then in sometime to come. Israel already has spurned the ‘ceasefire’ by storming Al Aqsa after the Friday prayers on May 21.

Hunger, lack of food security behind India's 'slip' in UN's sustainable development rank

By Dr Gian Singh*  According to a report released by the United Nations on June 6, 2021, India's ranking of achieving Sustainable Development based on the 17 Social Development Goals (SDGs) set by the 193 countries in the 2003 agenda, which was 115th last year, has slipped to 117th position this year. India ranks not only the lowest among the BRICS countries -- Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China, and South Africa but also below the four South Asian countries -- Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

Collapse of healthcare system? Why 90% of Covid patients treated at home survived

By Bobby Ramakant, Sandeep Pandey* Well known Hindustani classical singer Padma Vibhu shan Channulal Mishra, chosen as one of the proposers of Narendra Modi in Lok Sabha elections, lost his wife and elder daughter to Covid in private hospitals in Varanasi. Younger daughter has accused Medwin Hospital of charging Rs 1.5 lakh for treatement of her sister and not being able to explain the cause of death. Pandit Channulal Mishra has asked for a probe into his daughter’s death from the Chief Minister. The family has also asked for the CCTV footage of the ward where deceased daughter was admitted for a week.

Rooted in mistrust? Covid-19’s march into rural India is a very different ball game

By Sudhir Katiyar* As the Covid-19 virus penetrates rural India, the rural communities are responding very differently from their urban counterparts who rushed to the hospitals. The rural communities are avoiding the public health facilities and any mention of the disease. The note argues that this supposedly irrational response is based on a deep-seated mistrust of the state by the rural communities. It can not be resolved with routine Information, Education and Communication (IEC) measures suggested in the Government of India SOP for tackling Covid-19 in rural areas.

Courageous, in-depth attempt to confirm common spiritual values of Christ, Buddha

By RB Sreekumar, IPS*  All religions, both theistic and atheistic designed conceptual and practical architecture, for holistic and comprehensive elevation and enlightenment of humanity. PK Vijayan, in his novel “Nirvana of Jesus Christ” (Notion Press, 2020) through creative imagination portrayed personality evolution of the two progenitors of God-centric and sagaciously logical major religions – Jesus Christ of Christianity and Gautama Buddha of Buddhism.

Covid fear? Cremation rituals gone upside down, Dalits asked to do Brahminical rituals

By Abhay Jain, Sandeep Pandey*  As Covid consumes human life in a very conspicuous way we are confronted with additional problem of disposing of human corpses. Cremation grounds are lit with continuous pyres, graveyards are running out of land and now Ganga has become a mass grave potentially polluting its water.

Why hasn't Govt of India responded to US critique of freedom of religion under Modi?

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* About two weeks ago, on May 12, 2021, the US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken released in Washington the ‘2020 International Religious Freedom Report.’ This official annual report of the US Government details the status of religious freedom in nearly 200 foreign countries and territories and describes US actions to support religious freedom worldwide. Mandated by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, this report highlights the fact that ‘religious freedom is both a core American value and a universal human right’.