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Lunching peace initiatives? Pakistan, China show ‘little evidence’ of policy change

By NS Venkataraman* 

The sudden peace moves between India, on one hand, and China and Pakistan, on the other, appear to be surprising. Surely, peace-loving people of India and Pakistan, even China, would be pleased to know about these peace initiatives, as confrontation and tension between these countries have been counter productive to their economies. Thanks to these tensions, especially India and Pakistan have to spend their scarce resources in procuring military equipment.
However, it is well known that Pakistan, which is a theocratic state, has a large number of Islamic extremist groups. Of late, even the Government of Pakistan has admitted the threat they pose to their country. Pakistan itself has been a victim of Islamic terrorist attacks in the past. However, the government is unable to fight the threat because Pakistani politics is a mixture religious fanaticism, corrupt administration and excessive military control over the government.
The result is, the Pakistan economy has been shattered, with debt burden reaching alarming proportions. In such confused scenario, China has multiplied its grip over Pakistan. The view has gone strong that Pakistan has become virtually an extended territory of China.
Given this framework, the Pakistan government, even while highlighting the Kashmir issue, cannot make any peace moves with India without the approval of China, and it is difficult to believe that, overnight, Pakistan would shed its animosity towards India.
China has a totalitarian communist regime. It is known to have unconcealed ambition and greed to become the superpower in the world. Today, expanding its territory and becoming a dominant player in the global trade seems to be the only objective of China.
As part of its territorial expansion plans, China forcibly occupied Tibet, a peaceful region with religious minded people, several decades back. The atrocities committed by China in Tibet are condemned around the world by many people, but China would not care.
China is claiming Indian territory and also has territorial disputes with several countries such as Japan, Philippines, Vietnam and others. China says that it would occupy Taiwan forcibly any time that it would choose. With least care for the world opinion, China is suppressing freedom movement in Hong Kong and is reported to be oppressing Ughurs living in China.
In such a condition, peace moves by China with India not only cause surprise but suspicion about its ulterior motives.
Meanwhile, political researchers are debating what could be the reason for China and Pakistan initiating peace moves with India without any evidence of Pakistan shedding its claim on part of Kashmir and China occupying large areas of Indian territory, further demanding its rights over Arunachal Pradesh, an Indian state.
Given the fact that it is under the influence of China, Pakistan, in today’s conditions, cannot have friendly relations with India. Worse, any move on its would be severely opposed by Islamic extremists. It appears, Pakistan is being forced by China to create the impression of being interested in peace with India. It is no coincidence that China is also talking about the need to have peaceful relations with India.
Lunching peace initiatives with little evidence of change in policy and approach with regard to disputes with India raise more suspicion than hopes. Perhaps China wants to create the impression around the world that it would stand for peace as its objective. Apparently, this is a ploy to gain acceptance in the world about it’s “superpower status”.
If China really wants to improve its global image as a responsible country, it has to admit that it has occupied Tibet unjustifiably and should restore independence to Tibet. Similarly, if Pakistan wants to change its image as a terrorist-ridden country, it has to show proof that extremists will not have the last say in Pakistan.
As of now, prevalence of immediate peace between India, on one hand, and China and Pakistan, on the other appears to be a Utopian expectation and nothing more than a mirage. While the present scenario is a subject of great interest to the observers around the world, this could end up as a matter of mere sensation after some time.
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*Trustee, Nandini Voice for The Deprived, Chennai

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