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

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Don't agree on domestic subsidies, ensure food security at WTO meet: Farmer leaders

Counterview Desk  The Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements (ICCFM), a top network of farmers’ organizations in India, in a letter to Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, has asked him to “safeguard food security and sovereignty, even as ensuring peasants' rights" at the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO MC 13), to take place from 26 to 29 February 2024 in Abu Dhabi.

Sharp 61-85% fall in Tech startup funding in India's top 'business-friendly' States

By Rajiv Shah Funding in Tech startups in top business-friendly Indian states has witnessed a major fall, a data intelligence platform for private market research has said in a series of reports it has released this month. Analysing Tech startup data of Telangana, Maharashtra, Delhi NCR, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, Tracxn Technologies Ltd , the Bengaluru-based research firm, finds that except for Kerala, funding witnessed a fall of anywhere between 61% and 85%.

Students, lawyers, professors detained in Delhi for demonstrating in support of farmers

By Our Representative  About 25 protestors, belonging to the civil rights network, Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), a coalition of over 40 organisations, were detained at Jantar Mantar for holding a demonstration in support of the farmers' stir on Friday. Those detained included students, lawyers and professors, including Prof Nandita Narain and Prof N Sachin. 

Maize, bajra, jute, banana cultivation banned off West Bengal border: Plea to NHRC

Counterview Desk  West Bengal-based human rights defender Kirity Roy, who is secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Manch, and is national convenor of the Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity, in a representation to the chairman, National Human Rights Commission, second within few days, has bought to light one more case of trespassing and destruction of a fertile banana plantation by BSF personnel along the Indo-Bangladesh border, stating, despite a written complaint to the police has taken "no initiative".

Solar energy funding dips 9% in 2023; 2024 'kicks off' with US$1 billion investment

By Lakshmitha Raj*  Solar energy tech companies have already secured slightly over US$1 billion in funding in 2024 (till Feb 7, 2024) after total funding into Solar Energy companies in India fell 9% to US$1.55B in 2023 from US$1.7B in 2022. A total of 39 $100M+ rounds have been closed till date, with Delhi leading the city-wise funding, followed by Gurugram and Mumbai.

India second best place to invest, next to UAE, yet there is 'lacks support' for IT services

By Sreevas Sahasranamam, Aileen Ionescu-Somers*  The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the best place in the world to start a new business, according to the latest annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) survey. The Arab nation is number one for the third year in a row thanks to a big push by the government into cutting-edge technology in its efforts to diversify away from oil.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

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".

Mahanadi delta: Aggressive construction in flood plains, reduced fish stock, pollution

By Sudhansu R Das  Frequent natural calamities, unemployment, low farmers’ income, increase in crime rate and lack of quality human resources to strike a balance between growth and environment etc. continue to haunt the state. The state should delve into the root causes of poverty, unemployment and natural calamities.