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Posts Tagged Geo-Strategic Importance

Indo-US and Indo-Afghan Relations Security Implications for Pakistan

Indo-US and Indo-Afghan Relations
Security Implications for Pakistan

May 2016

Issue Brief
The following issue brief has been prepared by the NUST Research Team in collaboration with Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly for limited circulation only

Courtesy to Pakistan Think Tank by NUST Research Team

The NUST Research Team (NRT) is an independent, non-partisan and not-for-profit think tank that works in collaboration with the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs with a vision to innovate future prospects for peace, security and security for Pakistan through intellectual discourse, and contribute to sustainable social, political and economic development.
Copy Rights © NUST Research Team (NRT) and the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs of Pakistan (FAC)
Conclusions or opinions expressed in the publications and programs are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the fellows, advisory groups, or any individuals or organizations that provide financial support to NRT.
Authors: NUST Research Team
Acknowledgments: Rushna Shahid, Hamzah Riffat, Ali Tahir
Introduction
Today the world may have come out of its bipolar neurotic race… but it is still composed of a multitude of contesting narratives. Even if limited to simply the state level actors, a mess of ideologies, nationalism, state philosophies and cognitive perceptions and understanding of the world create complex diplomatic narratives. In a world that is ‘widening deepening and speeding up global ‘inter-connectedness’ in all aspects of contemporary life, Diplomacy is no exception.

 

 

 


Pakistan is facing increasingly complex challenges of global influence, in terms of both ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ state tools of power projection. There are only nine states in the world today with nuclear weapons where Pakistan and India are deemed as two of the most critical and strategic members of the group. A 2014 book ‘Power Rules’ categorizes Pakistan as a Mid-Level State in a Global power pyramid. This is justified by our substantial military strength for self-defense, nuclear assets and strategic location for regional influence.iii India however, by virtue of its economic clout in addition to its strategic assets, holds a prominent position as one of the ‘8 Principals’.iv
USA
8 Principals: China, Japan, India, Russia, UK, France, Germany & Brazil
Oil Producing States: Saudi Arabia, Iran, smaller Gulf States, Venezuela, Nigeria
The Mid Level States localized potential as Regional Players: Pakistan, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan Responsible – 50+ states Switzerland, Norway, Singapore, Botswana, Chile etc. Bottom Dwellers/Problem States- 75 states: Afghanistan, Bosnia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Burma, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Chad, DR Congo, Uzbekistan etc.

Non-State Actors: NGOs, International Media, International businesses and TerroristsFigure 1Gelb, Leslie H. Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue American Foreign Policy. New York: Harper, 2009. Print
Henry Kissinger’s famous words “America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests”v, has become the mantra of all diplomatic literature. Even though the channels of state influence have become increasingly complicated and non-traditional, this basic philosophy holds true still. In line with this Pakistan’s traditional India-centric garrison, state policies need to evolve rapidly with the fast-paced globalized diplomatic narratives. Indo-US and Indo-Afghan relations have been steadily increasing over the past few years via multiple channels of state diplomatic as well as strategic economic and non-traditional interactions. It is imperative for us to not only understand this evolving trend but also to develop effective and creative long-term policies that can balance India’s steadily increasing regional influence on multiple fronts. This issue brief thus hopes to foray into the recent developments in Indo-US and Indo-Afghan relations and their strategic security implications for Pakistan.

The Indo-US Strategic Partnership

The Indo- US strategic partnership encompasses multiple dimensions, such as shared principles of democracy and ensuring stability in Afghanistan. Both countries agree that this stability shroud be is realized through investments in human capital and the joint military cooperation. The relationship has cemented itself in line with common foreign policy objectives, ranging from curbing terrorism in South Asia to establishing defense agreements with Israel. Furthermore, India’s robust relationships with the oil-rich Gulf States, which the United States views as a vital cog in maintaining stability in the Middle East Vis a Vis Israel, is another aspect of the partnership which is of strategic significance.
The partnership in contemporary times heavily relies upon around the corporate sectors influence in both economies, where free market capitalism allows the flow of investments and expertise to either state. Furthermore, India’s status as a nuclear weapons state when it conducted its tests in 1974 has ensured that it creates a credible deterrent to ward off threats to its territorial sovereignty particularly in the aftermath of the 1962 border conflict with China. China’s rise as a potent economic power and its influence being recognized by the close relationships it has with countries such as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and particularly, Pakistan; where the latter is a recognized nuclear weapons state and maintains a policy of ‘Full Spectrum Deterrence’ to ward off conventional imbalances with Indian aggression, has meant that India’s relationship with the United States becomes particularly relevant. The United States policy which involves containment of China in sensitive regions such as the South China Sea and South East Asia has meant that both India and the United States converge over the objective of ensuring that China’s economic and military expansion is curbed. China as a factor in the strategic calculus of both India and the United States is extremely important if one has to analyze the strategic disposition of this relationship and partnership.
As of current, India is the world’s largest arms importer with a total cache of $100 million, out of which, $67 million is directed towards Pakistan (Haider, 2016). In the past, this spending has shown an increasing trend when Pakistan has responded to Indian conventional and hegemonic designs through TNWs or Tactical Nuclear Weapons as an option to deploy on the battlefield. The support from lobbies inside the United States which vouch for Pakistan’s containment also allows India to
assume a hardened stance against the country which is characterized by aggressive rhetoric and responding to acts of terrorism allegedly perpetuated through its own soil, with doctrines such as the Cold Start (which involves quick mobilization, punitive strikes on enemy territory and little room for the adversary to respond).
While the Cold Start Doctrine (CSD) might signal an alarming trend that could potentially have an impact on the US- India military partnership where the latter wishes to have strategic stability in South Asia, the fact that constraints have been imposed by the US on Pakistan’s dual-use technologies and weapons systems, buttresses the point of the US tilt towards India. In contrast to Pakistan’s nuclear weapon program which has been viewed with suspicion over aspects such as command and control and nuclear terrorism, the US-India nuclear deal in 2008 has allowed India to benefit from a waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers Group which permits it to gain access to civilian nuclear technology and fuel. This deal has greatly weakened the Non-Proliferation order in South Asia, where undue favoritism towards India leaving Pakistan with little or no access towards such technologies and having to rely on other partners such as China for investment into the nuclear sector.
Currently, the relationship between Pakistan and the United States has witnessed another jolt in the form of limited convergence over stability in Afghanistan. The United States widely accuses Pakistan of doing less to counter the Haqqani Network and the schisms between both countries which emerged regarding the sale of F-16s underlines how the strategic partnership which already exists between India and the United States gains added relevance. This partnership is likely to cement itself even further, where a Post P5+1 Nuclear Iran allows India to encircle Pakistan by forging amiable ties with Iran, investing heavily in Afghanistan and forging strong ties with states in the Middle East. Though the Middle East has historically allied with Pakistan, but due to several issues such as Pakistan’s policy of neutrality regarding the Yemen crisis, relations have soured particularly with states such as the UAE. The United States pushing for India to capitalize on regional dynamics has meant that Pakistan would need to exercise strategic foresight and prudence to avoid being encircled by India. The strategic partnership will thus, gain more relevance with India’s economic expansion, the US reservations over Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and dual-use technologies as well as pushing for more investment and stability in Afghanistan through India’s efforts at the expense of Pakistan which is viewed to have a dualistic policy over terrorism.

The Indo-Afghan Strategic Partnership

The Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) of 2011, between India and Afghanistan, laid the foundations for a long-term commitment to security and development in Afghanistan. It outlines assistance in the field of infrastructural and institutional development, offers educational guidelines and technological aid to developing Afghan Capacity. More importantly, the agreement encourages investment in Afghan natural resources, provides duty-free access to Afghan exports into Indian markets and aims to strengthen an Afghan-led process of peace and reconciliation. Efforts at high level bilateral political partnerships have materialized in agreements, collaborations, and conferences such as the Heart of Asia peace process and ANAASTU. India advocates a “no exit” policy with regards to Afghanistan, which has been endorsed by Afghan leadership (Ministry of External Affairs; Government of India, 2016).
Bilateral trade between the two economies has grown steadily (by approximately 0.20% annually) for the past three years. Despite the lack of direct access, India is the second largest market for Afghan exports with total bilateral trade amounting to $684.47 million in the year 2014-15 (BS Web Team, 2016). Naturally, India sees economic interests in Afghanistan, but its objectives in the region also hold political motives. Threatened by armed struggle for freedom in Kashmir, India benefits by cutting terror roots, their ideology and any networks within Afghanistan, that could aggravate the Kashmiri armed struggle (Baloch & Niazi, 2008). The resurgence of legitimate Islamic independent movements challenges India’s social fabric by providing cannon fodder to oppressed minorities. Moreover, eradication of terrorism helps stabilize the region, promoting trade. India benefits from undermining cordial Pak-Afghan relations; geostrategically speaking, Pakistan would always serve as a more suitable ally and partner for trade and commerce, being closer to Afghanistan (Usman, 2008). Geo-economic motives, of capturing Central Asian energy markets fuel India’s long run pursuit of Afghanistan. India’s push to develop Chabahar port in Iran consolidates earlier fears of Pakistan’s encirclement by India. Its presence isolates Pakistan, both politically and economically and also circumvents it, robbing it off its geo-strategic advantage. Furthermore, it nullifies Pakistan ability to use Afghanistan as an asset of strategic depth (Riedel, 2011). Numerous Indian consulates near the Pak-Afghan border are a legitimate cause of concern for Pakistan for two primary reasons. Generally, consulates protect and promote, commercial and individual interests, and hence are opened in areas that are densely populated. However, the majority of
Indian consulates are found in population scarce areas (Cheema, 2013). Pakistan has thrown multiple state level accusations at the Indian establishment and specifically its Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) for aiding militancy, separatist movements and terrorism on Pakistani soil while using the consulates as ground zero for such operations (Zeb, 2006). Earlier Pakistan has provided intelligence that links Brahimdagh Bugti (son of the late Akbar Bugti) and the Baloch Republican Party (BRP) to Delhi and the former Karzai government (Walsh, 2010). Pakistan’s former Interior Minister, Rehman Malik suspected Brahimdagh Bugti to be responsible for recruiting militants in Afghanistan and went on to accused India and Afghanistan for supporting the insurgent Baloch National Army (BNA) and also charged Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) for abduction of foreign nationals (Major Dr. Khalil-ur-Rehman, 2013). Recently the Kulbhushan Yadav episode has exposed RAW’s intelligence networks aimed towards destabilizing Pakistan and retrospectively speaking this warrants extreme caution on behalf of Pakistan upon any Indian presence near its borders (Ahmad, 2016).
India has pledged over $2 billion to Afghanistan up till now, as part of a reconstruction and development aid package (Fair, 2010). This is inclusive of institutional development, within which India has constructed a new parliament building for Afghanistan (Hindustan Times, 2015). Immensely closes ties with India were previously also enjoyed by the former Karzai government whose embrace of India was a source of great irritancy to Pakistan in light to the 2005 Indo – US civil nuclear deal (ISAF, 2012). Consequently, Pakistan perceived Indian assisted dam construction in the province of Kunar as a way to divert water resources away from Pakistan (Kiani, 2013). Pakistan’s insecurities over the matter have been a cause of concern to US and India, who point fingers at Pakistan of having ties to the Haqqani network, and allegedly accusing InterServices Intelligence Agency (ISI) for supporting the 2008 attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul (CNN, 2008). The U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen has gone to refer to the Haqqani network as, “a veritable arm of the ISI” (Bumiller & Perlezsept, 2011).
From the above qualitative analysis, we conclude that Pak-Afghan relations are negatively correlated with Indo-Afghan relations. While all counties would ideally benefit from holistic, all-encompassing political and economic initiatives for growth, miss -trust and historical animosity has pivoted these regional powers against each other’s best interest (Mir, 2015).

Lessons for Pakistan

The negative correlation between the Indo-US strategic partnership and the Indo- Afghanistan partnership with the US-Pakistan and the Pakistan Afghanistan relationship, clearly suggests that Pakistan must capitalize on opportunities which are present in its region and globally through conducting an appraisal of regional dynamics and capitalizing on its relationship with states such as China which has heavily invested in the country and continues to contribute towards its arms buildup. Exercising prudence requires foresight, but to counter the growing India- US strategic partnership, Pakistani policy makers can undertake the following recommendations at the diplomatic level:
1. Capitalization of the strategic partnership with China: Although the indomitable relationship with China is characterized by a high level of mutual trust and convergence of strategic interests, it is imperative for Pakistan to consider the possibility of similar nuclear agreements in line with the Indo-US Nuclear deal, particularly with a state that has a rising global profile and has been benign as far as its investments to Pakistan is concerned. The strategic partnership between the US and India is defined by economic interests as well as a military cooperation and Pakistan should continue to ensure that its economic and military partnership with China acts as a balance to less concessions and avenues for cooperation with the United States. 2. Capitalizing on the limitations of US/ Indian strategic foresight: While the strategic partnership between the US and India has alarming implications for Pakistan’s security it is critical to understand that the US and India have often failed in resolving key disputes with states through erroneous policies which have encompassed military interventions and neglect. US policies in the Gulf region, particularly with regard to Iran have had an impact on Iran’s ability to assert itself as a dominant player in the Middle East. Yet at the same time, in line with the P5+1 Nuclear Deal, Pakistan can cement its relationship with the Islamic Republic by emphasizing on energy deals and projects which have previously been held hostage to sanctions and time lags. Similarly, states such as Sri Lanka and Nepal have grappled with Indian policies which include interference in sovereign affairs. Sri Lanka’s hostility towards India has historically stemmed from India’s peacekeeping force which exaggerated the ongoing civil war with the Lanka Tamil Tiger Eelam as compared to
Pakistan, where the efforts of the Pakistan Army in assisting the downfall of the insurgency has proven to be fruitful and has fostered goodwill amongst both countries. A multidimensional approach towards Pakistan’s foreign policy in its immediate neighborhood is required for the country’s rising regional profile. 3. Reassessment of Pakistan’s Afghan policy: The India- Afghanistan relationship has fostered on the grounds of joint collaborations between both governments over infrastructural development including education, health sectors and building of intellectual capital. Afghan/ Pakistan trust deficits emerge on the security fronts with allegations over cross border terrorism on either side jeopardizing the relationship. Yet a more innovative approach towards dealing with Afghanistan where competition with India centers on increased investments and energy generation could prove to be vital. CPEC’s opportunities allows Pakistan to address its domestic energy concerns and simultaneously vouch for similar investments in Afghanistan which could act as a counter to growing Indo- US strategic convergence over the subject of sustainable stability in Afghanistan. 4. Economic Profile as a diplomatic tool: In an age which is defined by increased regional connectivity and economic cooperation, it is important that Pakistan’s policy makers focus on generating higher productivity for its domestic markets while simultaneously allaying concerns of potential investors. A critical element of the Indo- US Strategic Partnership has been the rising Indian corporate sector which has allowed it to benefit from the 2008 Nuclear Deal despite the fact that it weakened the Non- Proliferation Order significantly and contributed towards instability in South Asia. While differences over the role of TNWs in the battlefield, nuclear terrorism and Pakistan’s policy of Full Spectrum Deterrence will continue to persist alongside accusations of doing less to counter the Haqqani Network; a rising economic profile while simultaneously addressing its domestic energy concerns will at least give Pakistan relatively more strength in its diplomatic negotiations particularly with global powers such as the United States which it has shared a fractious relationship with. 5. Encapsulating ‘Realpolitik’, as a feature of foreign policy: As a concept and as a theory which gains considerable traction in modern times, policy makers in Pakistan need to be made aware of what a dynamic approach is; of which ‘Real Politik’ or diplomacy based on circumstances of given circumstances and factors becomes important. So far the Indo-
Afghan and the Indo- US strategic partnership has been based upon Real Politik and for Pakistan to ensure that such partnerships can be countered, Real Politik as a concept needs to be understood, where relationships are less about ideology, religion and cultural beliefs, but more about political influence, economic clout and military supremacy.

References
Ahmad, N., 2016. Analysis: Kulbhushan Yadav’s RAW move. [Online] Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/1074812/analysis-kulbhushan-jadhavs-raw-move/
Baloch, Q. B. & Niazi, A. H. K., 2008. Indian Encroachment in Afghanistan: A New Imperialism in the Making, s.l.: s.n.
BS Web Team, 2016. 6 things to know about the India-Afghanistan relationship. [Online] Available at: http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/5-things-to-know-aboutthe-india-afghanistan-relationship-116010400230_1.html
Bumiller, E. & Perlezsept, J., 2011. Pakistan’s Spy Agency Is Tied to Attack on U.S. Embassy. [Online] Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/23/world/asia/mullen-asserts-pakistani-role-inattack-on-us-embassy.html?_r=0
Cheema, P. I., 2013. Afghanistan’s Crisis & Pakistan’s Security Dilemma. Asian Survey, 23(3).
CNN, 2008. Afghan official: Pakistan spies behind Kabul attack. [Online] Available at: http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/07/08/afghanistan.explosion/index.html?eref=rss_l atest
Fair, C. C., 2010. ndia in Afghanistan and Beyond: Opportunities and Constraints, s.l.: s.n.
Haider, M., 2016. India’s growing military spending threatens Pakistan, says NSA Janjua. [Online] Available at: http://www.dawn.com/news/1250121
Hindustan Times, 2015. Modi inaugurates new Afghan Parliament built by India in Kabul. [Online] Available at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/modi-in-kabul-pm-meets-ghani-toinaugurate-afghan-s-parl-building/story-wua2CtN8gj4IQsRnmNknHM.html
ISAF, 2012. State of the Taliban, s.l.: s.n.
Kiani, K., 2013. Pakistan, Afghanistan mull over power project on Kunar River. [Online] Available at: http://www.dawn.com/news/1038435
Major Dr. Khalil-ur-Rehman, (. A. O., 2013. [Interview] (12 Janruary 2013).
Ministry of External Affairs; Government of Inida, 2016. India – Afghanistan Relations. [Online] Available at: http://eoi.gov.in/kabul/?0354?000
Mir, H., 2015. Indian’s Allegation & Pakistan. [Online] Available at: http://www.currentaffairspk.com/hamid-mir-urdu-column-about-indians-allegationpakistan/
Riedel, B., 2011. Deadly Embrace: Pakistan, America, and the Future of Global Jihad. s.l.:s.n.
Usman, T., 2008. Indian Factor in Pak-Afghan Relations. Research Journal of Area Study Centre (Russia, China and Central Asia).
Walsh, D., 2010. WikiLeaks cables reveal Afghan-Pakistani row over fugitive rebel. [Online] Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/nov/30/wikileaks-cables-afghan-pakistanifugitive
Zeb, R., 2006. Cross Border Terrorism Issues Plaguing Pakistan–Afghanistan Relations. China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly, Volume 4.
iGrassie, William. “Seeking Truth in a World of Competing Narratives.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 30 Apr. 2012. Web. 13 Mar. 2014. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/william-grassie/seeking-truth-in-a-world-_b_1452389.html>.
iiCampbell, Francis. “Has Globalization Changed the Nature of Diplomacy?” Proc. of Ethical Standards in Public Life, St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge University, UK. N.p., 20 Feb. 2015. Web. <http://www.vhi.st-edmunds.cam.ac.uk/resources-folder/campbell-2015>.
iiiGelb, Leslie H. Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue American Foreign Policy. New York: Harper, 2009. Print.
iv Ibid

v”“America Has No Permanent Friends or Enemies, Only Interests”.” Goodreads. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2014. <http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/633024-americaIndo-US and Indo-Afghan Relations
Security Implications for Pakistan
May 2016
Issue Brief
The following issue brief has been prepared by the NUST Research Team in collaboration with Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly for limited circulation only

The NUST Research Team (NRT) is an independent, non-partisan and not-for-profit think tank that works in collaboration with the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs with a vision to innovate future prospects for peace, security and security for Pakistan through intellectual discourse, and contribute to sustainable social, political and economic development.
Copy Rights © NUST Research Team (NRT) and the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs of Pakistan (FAC)
Conclusions or opinions expressed in the publications and programs are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the, fellows, advisory groups, or any individuals or organizations that provide financial support to NRT.
Authors: NUST Research Team
Acknowledgements: Rushna Shahid, Hamzah Riffat, Ali Tahir
Introduction
Today the world may have come out of its bipolar neurotic race… but it is still composed of a multitude of contesting narrativesi. Even if limited to simply the state level actors, a mess of ideologies, nationalism, state philosophies and cognitive perceptions and understanding of the world create complex diplomatic narratives. In a world that is ‘widening deepening and speeding up’ii global interconnectedness in all aspects of contemporary life, Diplomacy is no exception.
Pakistan is facing increasingly complex challenges of global influence, in terms of both ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ state tools of power projection. There are only nine states in the world today with nuclear weapons where Pakistan and India are deemed as two of the most critical and strategic members of the group. A 2014 book ‘Power Rules’ categorizes Pakistan as a Mid-Level State in a Global power pyramid. This is justified by our substantial military strength for self-defense, nuclear assets and strategic location for regional influence.iii India however, by virtue of its economic clout in addition to its strategic assets, holds a prominent position as one of the ‘8 Principals’.iv
USA
8 Principals: China, Japan, India, Russia, UK, France, Germany & Brazil
Oil Producing States: Saudi Arabia, Iran, smaller Gulf States, Venezuela, Nigeria
Mid Level Stateslocalised potential as Regional Players: Pakistan, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan Responsibles– 50+ states: Switzerland, Norway, Singapore, Botswana, Chile etc. Bottom Dwellers/Problem States- 75 states: Afghanistan, Bosnia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Burma, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Chad, DR Congo, Uzbekistan etc.
Non State Actors: NGOs, International Media, International businesses and TerroristsFigure 1Gelb, Leslie H. Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue American Foreign Policy. New York: Harper, 2009. Print
Henry Kissinger’s famous words “America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests”v, has become the mantra of all diplomatic literature. Even though the channels of state influence have become increasingly complicated and non-traditional, this basic philosophy holds true still. In line with this Pakistan’s traditional India centric garrison state policies need to evolve rapidly with the fast paced globalized diplomatic narratives. Indo-US and Indo-Afghan relations have been steadily increasing over the past few years via multiple channels of state diplomatic as well as strategic economic and non-traditional interactions. It is imperative for us to not only understand this evolving trend but also to develop effective and creative long-term policies that can balance India’s steadily increasing regional influence on multiple fronts. This issue brief thus hopes to foray into the recent developments in Indo-US and Indo-Afghan relations and their strategic security implications for Pakistan.

The Indo-US Strategic Partnership
The Indo- US strategic partnership encompasses multiple dimensions, such as shared principles of democracy and ensuring stability in Afghanistan. Both countries agree that this stability shroud be is realized through investments in human capital and the joint military cooperation. The relationship has cemented itself in line with common foreign policy objectives, ranging from curbing terrorism in South Asia to establishing defense agreements with Israel. Furthermore, India’s robust relationships with the oil rich Gulf States, which the United States views as a vital cog in maintaining stability in the Middle East Vis a Vis Israel, is another aspect of the partnership which is of strategic significance.
The partnership in contemporary times heavily relies around the corporate sectors influence in both economies, where free market capitalism allows the flow of investments and expertise to either state. Furthermore, India’s status as a nuclear weapons state when it conducted its tests in 1974 has ensured that it creates a credible deterrent to ward off threats to its territorial sovereignty particularly in the aftermath of the 1962 border conflict with China. China’s rise as a potent economic power and its influence being recognized by the close relationships it has with countries such as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and particularly, Pakistan; where the latter is a recognized nuclear weapons state and maintains a policy of ‘Full Spectrum Deterrence’ to ward off conventional imbalances with Indian aggression, has meant that India’s relationship with the United States becomes particularly relevant. The United States policy which involves containment of China in sensitive regions such as the South China Sea and South East Asia has meant that both India and the United States converge over the objective of ensuring that China’s economic and military expansion is curbed. China as a factor in the strategic calculus of both India and the United States is extremely important if one has to analyze the strategic disposition of this relationship and partnership.
As of current, India is the world’s largest arms importer with a total cache of $100 million, out of which, $67 million is directed towards Pakistan (Haider, 2016). In the past this spending has shown an increasing trend when Pakistan has responded to Indian conventional and hegemonic designs through TNWs or Tactical Nuclear Weapons as an option to deploy on the battlefield. The support from lobbies inside the United States which vouch for Pakistan’s containment also allows India to
assume a hardened stance against the country which is characterized by aggressive rhetoric and responding to acts of terrorism allegedly perpetuated through its own soil, with doctrines such as the Cold Start (which involves quick mobilization, punitive strikes on enemy territory and little room for the adversary to respond).
While the Cold Start Doctrine (CSD) might signal an alarming trend that could potentially have an impact on the US- India military partnership where the latter wishes to have strategic stability in South Asia, the fact that constraints have been imposed by the US on Pakistan’s dual use technologies and weapons systems, buttresses the point of the US tilt towards India. In contrast to Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program which has been viewed with suspicion over aspects such as command and control and nuclear terrorism, the US-India nuclear deal in 2008 has allowed India to benefit from a waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers Group which permits it to gain access to civilian nuclear technology and fuel. This deal has greatly weakened the Non Proliferation order in South Asia, where undue favoritism towards India leaving Pakistan with little or no access towards such technologies and having to rely on other partners such as China for investment into the nuclear sector.
Currently, the relationship between Pakistan and the United States has witnessed another jolt in the form of limited convergence over stability in Afghanistan. The United States widely accuses Pakistan of doing less to counter the Haqqani Network and the schisms between both countries which emerged regarding the sale of F-16s underlines how the strategic partnership which already exists between India and the United States gains added relevance. This partnership is likely to cement itself even further, where a Post P5+1 Nuclear Iran allows India to encircle Pakistan by forging amiable ties with Iran, investing heavily in Afghanistan and forging strong ties with states in the Middle East. Though Middle East has historically allied with Pakistan, but due to several issues such as Pakistan’s policy of neutrality regarding the Yemen crisis, relations have soured particularly with states such as the UAE. The United States pushing for India to capitalize on regional dynamics has meant that Pakistan would need to exercise strategic foresight and prudence to avoid being encircled by India. The strategic partnership will thus, gain more relevance with India’s economic expansion, the US reservations over Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and dual use technologies as well as pushing for more investment and stability in Afghanistan through India’s efforts at the expense of Pakistan which is viewed to have a dualistic policy over terrorism.

The Indo-Afghan Strategic Partnership

The Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) of 2011, between India and Afghanistan laid the foundations for a long-term commitment to security and development in Afghanistan. It outlines assistance in the field of infrastructural and institutional development, offers educational guidelines and technological aid to develop Afghan Capacity. More importantly the agreement encourages investment in Afghan natural resources, provides duty-free access to Afghan exports into Indian markets and aims to strengthen an Afghan led process of peace and reconciliation. Efforts at high level bilateral political partnerships have materialized in agreements, collaborations and conferences such as the Heart of Asia peace process and ANAASTU. India advocates a “no exit” policy with regards to Afghanistan, which has been endorsed by Afghan leadership (Ministry of External Affairs; Government of India, 2016).
Bilateral trade between the two economies has grown steadily (by approximately 0.20% annually) for the past three years. Despite the lack of direct access, India is the second largest market for Afghan exports with total bilateral trade amounting to $684.47 million in the year 2014-15 (BS Web Team, 2016). Naturally, India sees economic interests in Afghanistan, but its objectives in the region also hold political motives. Threatened by armed struggle for freedom in Kashmir, India benefits by cutting terror roots, their ideology and any networks within Afghanistan, that could aggravate the Kashmiri armed struggle (Baloch & Niazi, 2008). The resurgence of legitimate Islamic independent movements challenges India’s social fabric by providing cannon fodder to oppressed minorities. Moreover, the eradication of terrorism helps stabilize the region, promoting trade. India benefits from undermining cordial Pak-Afghan relations; geo strategically speaking, Pakistan would always serve as a more suitable ally and partner for trade and commerce, being closer to Afghanistan (Usman, 2008). Geo-economic motives, of capturing Central Asian energy markets fuel India’s long run pursuit of Afghanistan. India’s push to develop Chabahar port in Iran consolidates earlier fears of Pakistan’s encirclement by India. Its presence isolates Pakistan, both politically and economically and also circumvents it, robbing it off its geostrategic advantage. Furthermore, it nullifies Pakistan ability to use Afghanistan as an asset of strategic depth (Riedel, 2011). Numerous Indian consulates near the Pak-Afghan border are a legitimate cause of concern for Pakistan for two primary reasons. Generally, consulates protect and promote, commercial and individual interests, and hence are opened in areas that are densely populated. However, the majority of
Indian consulates are found in population scarce areas (Cheema, 2013). Pakistan has thrown multiple state level accusations at the Indian establishment and specifically, it’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) for aiding militancy, separatist movements and terrorism on Pakistani soil while using the consulates as ground zero for such operations (Zeb, 2006). Earlier Pakistan has provided intelligence that links Brahimdagh Bugti (son of the late Akbar Bugti) and the Baloch Republican Party (BRP) to Delhi and the former Karzai government (Walsh, 2010). Pakistan’s former Interior Minister, Rehman Malik suspected Brahimdagh Bugti to be responsible for recruiting militants in Afghanistan and went on to accused India and Afghanistan for supporting the insurgent Baloch National Army (BNA) and also charged Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) for the abduction of foreign nationals (Major Dr. Khalil-ur-Rehman, 2013). Recently the Kulbhushan Yadav episode has exposed RAW’s intelligence networks aimed towards destabilizing Pakistan and retrospectively speaking this warrants extreme caution on behalf of Pakistan upon any Indian presence near its borders (Ahmad, 2016).
India has pledged over $2 billion to Afghanistan up till now, as part of a reconstruction and development aid package (Fair, 2010). This is inclusive of institutional development, within which India has constructed a new parliament building for Afghanistan (Hindustan Times, 2015). Immensely closer ties with India were previously also enjoyed by the former Karzai government whose embrace of India was a source of great irritancy to Pakistan in light to the 2005 Indo – US civil nuclear deal (ISAF, 2012). Consequently, Pakistan perceived Indian assisted dam construction in the province of Kunar as a way to divert water resources away from Pakistan (Kiani, 2013). Pakistan’s insecurities over the matter have been a cause of concern to US and India, who point fingers at Pakistan of having ties to the Haqqani network, and allegedly accusing InterServices Intelligence Agency (ISI) of supporting the 2008 attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul (CNN, 2008). The U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen has gone to refer to the Haqqani network as, “a veritable arm of the ISI” (Bumiller & Perlezsept, 2011).
From the above qualitative analysis, we conclude that Pak-Afghan relations are negatively correlated with Indo-Afghan relations. While all counties would ideally benefit from holistic, all-encompassing political and economic initiatives for growth, miss -trust and historical animosity has pivoted these regional powers against each other’s best interest (Mir, 2015).

Lessons for Pakistan

The negative correlation between the Indo-US strategic partnership and the Indo- Afghanistan partnership with the US-Pakistan and the Pakistan-Afghanistan relationship, clearly suggests that Pakistan must capitalize on opportunities which are present in its region and globally through conducting an appraisal of regional dynamics and capitalizing on its relationship with states such as China which has heavily invested in the country and continues to contribute towards its arms buildup. Exercising prudence requires foresight, but to counter the growing India- US strategic partnership, Pakistani policymakers can undertake the following recommendations at the diplomatic level:
1. Capitalization of the strategic partnership with China:

Although the indomitable relationship with China is characterized by a high level of mutual trust and convergence of strategic interests, it is imperative for Pakistan to consider the possibility of similar nuclear agreements in line with the Indo-US Nuclear deal, particularly with a state that has a rising global profile and has been benign as far as its investments in Pakistan is concerned. The strategic partnership between the US and India is defined by economic interests as well as a military cooperation and Pakistan should continue to ensure that its economic and military partnership with China acts as a balance to fewer concessions and avenues for cooperation with the United States.

2. Capitalizing on the limitations of US/ Indian strategic foresight:

While the strategic partnership between the US and India has alarming implications for Pakistan’s security it is critical to understand that the US and India have often failed in resolving key disputes with states through erroneous policies which have encompassed military interventions and neglect. US policies in the Gulf region, particularly with regard to Iran have had an impact on Iran’s ability to assert itself as a dominant player in the Middle East. Yet at the same time, in line with the P5+1 Nuclear Deal, Pakistan can cement its relationship with the Islamic Republic by emphasizing on energy deals and projects which have previously been held hostage to sanctions and time lags. Similarly, states such as Sri Lanka and Nepal have grappled with Indian policies which include interference in sovereign affairs. Sri Lanka’s hostility towards India has historically stemmed from India’s peacekeeping force which exaggerated the ongoing civil war with the Lanka Tamil Tiger Eelam as compared to
Pakistan, where the efforts of the Pakistan Army in assisting the downfall of the insurgency has proven to be fruitful and has fostered goodwill amongst both countries. A multidimensional approach towards Pakistan’s foreign policy in its immediate neighborhood is required for the country’s rising regional profile.

3. Reassessment of Pakistan’s Afghan policy:

The India- Afghanistan relationship has fostered on the grounds of joint collaborations between both governments over infrastructural development including education, health sectors and building of intellectual capital. Afghan/ Pakistan trust deficits emerge on the security fronts with allegations over cross-border terrorism on either side jeopardizing the relationship. Yet a more innovative approach towards dealing with Afghanistan where competition with India centers on increased investments and energy generation could prove to be vital. CPEC’s opportunities allow Pakistan to address its domestic energy concerns and simultaneously vouch for similar investments in Afghanistan which could act as a counter to growing Indo- US strategic convergence over the subject of sustainable stability in Afghanistan.

4. Economic Profile as a diplomatic tool:

In an age which is defined by increased regional connectivity and economic cooperation, it is important that Pakistan’s policy makers focus on generating higher productivity for its domestic markets while simultaneously allaying concerns of potential investors. A critical element of the Indo- US Strategic Partnership has been the rising Indian corporate sector which has allowed it to benefit from the 2008 Nuclear Deal despite the fact that it weakened the Non- Proliferation Order significantly and contributed towards instability in South Asia. While differences over the role of TNWs in the battlefield, nuclear terrorism and Pakistan’s policy of Full Spectrum Deterrence will continue to persist alongside accusations of doing less to counter the Haqqani Network; a rising economic profile while simultaneously addressing it’s domestic energy concerns will at least give Pakistan relatively more strength in its diplomatic negotiations particularly with global powers such as the United States which it has shared a fractious relationship with.

5. Encapsulating ‘Realpolitik’, as a feature of foreign policy:

As a concept and as a theory which gains considerable traction in modern times, policy makers in Pakistan need to be made aware of what a dynamic approach is; of which ‘Real Politik’ or diplomacy based on circumstances of given circumstances and factors becomes important. So far the Indo- Afghan and the Indo- US strategic partnership has been based upon Real Politik and for Pakistan to ensure that such partnerships can be countered, Real Politik as a concept needs to be understood, where relationships are less about ideology, religion, and cultural beliefs, but more about political influence, economic clout, and military supremacy.

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iiCampbell, Francis. “Has Globalization Changed the Nature of Diplomacy?” Proc. of Ethical Standards in Public Life, St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge University, UK. N.p., 20 Feb. 2015. Web. <http://www.vhi.st-edmunds.cam.ac.uk/resources-folder/campbell-2015>.
iiiGelb, Leslie H. Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue American Foreign Policy. New York: Harper, 2009. Print.
iv Ibid

v”“America Has No Permanent Friends or Enemies, Only Interests”.” Goodreads. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2014. <http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/633024-america

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