Indo-Pak relations have taken a bitter turn in the recent time.
While Pakistan has threatened of carrying out a nuclear strike, India too has stepped up its game by carrying out a ‘surgical strike’ across the LoC last night in wake of the recent ‘war-like’ situations.
The heat of the circumstances is such that the world is now getting polarised into two groups- one supporting Pak and the other supporting India.
However, there is a third angle to it, one which not many have talked about.
Quora user Quaiser Khan explains how Russia and China pose a greater problem in case the two nations go on war.
Here’s the complete text:
I am amused at seeing a lot of answers either being overwhelmed with patriotism or just picking some raw stuff from Internet and loading it while neglecting the important geopolitical factors at play. There is more to the dimension and scope of this question— Russia and USA role — and without those, this question cannot be answered or understood in its complete essence. Pakistan in the present context could expect an all-out diplomatic support from China while the magnitude and extent of the rest will be decided merely by the outcome of events.
The importance of Pakistan for China and vice versa goes without saying and the proverbial notion that Sino-Pak ties are higher than mountains and deeper than seas fits well in the geopolitical context. Pakistan supported China in a time when it was considered as pariah in the world community. The rapprochement between China and USA became possible through Islamabad. Pakistan has tremendous geopolitical importance for China as an economic gateway to the outside world. China energy imports— a lifeline for its survival— presently comes through a very long vulnerable route often called as its Malacca Dilemma. The US navy—in a super domination position at Malacca Islands, Indonesia— could cut it in a matter of no time thereby leaving Beijing at the mercy of International Law which nobody gives a damn shit in a war. The Gwadar port given in the administrative control of China by Islamabad will not only heal the Achilles heels of China, Malacca dilemma, but will also give it a strategic naval depth at the Arabian sea with immense economic benefits as a bonus. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, building of nuclear reactors and joint venture JF- Thunder 17 are the prime examples of a deepening time-tested alliance between Beijing and Islamabad.
Another important geopolitical shift is the diminishing ties between India and Russia and at the same time the warming relations between Islamabad and Moscow.
The Russian troops have started the first ever military exercises in history with Pakistani troops despite objections and reservations from India and even the Indian media reporting cancellation of the joint military exercises.
Russia has also announced the construction of a 960 Km pipeline from Karachi to Lahore with negotiations going on for the financial and technological revamp of the giant Pakistan Steels Mills, originally constructed in 1981 from former USSR. Moscow shift to Islamabad is the reaction of deepening alliance between New Delhi and Washington. USA has surpassed Russia as the largest exporter of weaponry to India for the last four years. The only Indian Aircraft Carrier that was originally to be developed with the Russian support is now being built with the US assistance.
The photograph of Indian and US defence secretaries standing on the deck of the same carrier must have sent the diplomatic signals to Moscow of the rising romance equivalent to an alliance in all measures. Russia is deeply opposed to the US domination in the region and currently looking for new ways to counter the effects of Western economic sanctions after annexation f Crimea. This is the only reason Russia has opened its weaponry market for Pakistan and negotiations are under way for sale of Mi- 35 attack helicopters and Su-35 fighter aircrafts.
The recent tension in South China sea is also coming to the benefit of Pakistan as the two giant neighbours are coming into a military alliance to counter the US domination moves. In the South Asian perspectives, US eyes on India as its strategic partner as a bulwark against rising China and India seems to have abandoned its long-term foreign policy of Non-Alignment thereby forming an alliance with USA. The alliance with Washington is enough to raise the hackles in Moscow and Beijing. Adding fuel to the fire, despite recent trade deals, India recently organised a conference of the Chinese proxies struggling for independence at the border with China— more than enough of diplomatic signals what New Delhi is thinking of China.
The most important player in the whole conflict will be USA as the sole superpower on the earth at present. Most of the people do not grasp her real objectives and priorities in the region and there are grand delusions on both sides of the subcontinent. On the Pakistani side, the importance is not for all better reasons: the main US interests are Pakistan’s cooperation in the war on terror and safety of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. On both the issues, perception of the two countries widely differ and mutual distrust is high. Pakistan’s relation so far has been rocky with Washington throughout its history, marked with persistent ups and downs while the “ups” mainly coined as marriage of convenience by many critiques. On the Indian side, the relations could be best described by continuous luring of USA to trap India in its strategic game while at the same time the prowess of the Indian foreign policy of reaping the advantages from both opposing camps— former USSR vs USA— by marketing itself as the leader of the non-aligned movement. India seems to have abandoned its non-alignment posture and is tacitly coming into an alliance with the USA.
Coming to the question, in the South Asian geopolitics context, new realities are being emerged affecting Pak-India relations and geostrategic calculations. The rising romance between Washington and India, tantamount to a military alliance, is making Moscow wary of India and thereby Moscow putting its weight behind Pak-China nexus. Some serious commentators are even talking about a very powerful future military nexus of Pakistan, Russia and China as a bulwark against US domination and its recent Pivot to Asia. In case of war and a first attack from India on Pakistan, China will diplomatically support Pakistan in all circumstances but the moment, the balance of power shifts in Indian favor in case of some gains on the grounds, China’s direct military interference cannot be ruled out. Russia support for India will most probably not be there and even Moscow could stun the political pundits by its support for Pakistan in the face of new emerging realities. The US and allied camp will of course be on the side of India with a continuous urge on both sides to come to the negotiating table.