Recent ban on Jamaat-ud-Dawa by the UN Security Council has been a very interesting development with China supporting the ban, and in fact supporting India’s position. In the past, China has vetoed earlier attempts to ban the Jamaat and always sided with Pakistan. Is China, now with it’s economical might openly taking the role of regional policeman? Is China looking for a more active role in South Asia along with the United States?
Had China vetoed this move once again it would have turned Pakistan as a battle field against China; somewhat similar battle ground as West enjoyed against Russia in Afghanistan. China has once again bailed out Pakistan and now controls more swaying power over Pakistani establishment. Pakistan has a strategic geographical location advantage as it is the corridor for the West to access Central Asia. However, now it can’t get done without prior Chinese approval. So it is going to be a tit for tat situation between China and USA. If China feels it’s supplies any where in the world are being pressurized by the West, they can always play the Pakistan card.
China’s other interest in Pakistan is mainly from the point of view of containing India’s influence in the Indian Ocean. China has established bases near Andaman & Nicobar Island and is in the process of creating one of the biggest ports for Pakistan at Gwadar in Baluchistan. (This is a deep sea port at the entrance of Persian Gulf on the Arabian Sea) China plans to connect this port with Karachi through a highway and then to the Karakorum highway thus having a direct access to the Arabian Sea. Pakistan, now economically crippled, welcomes all Chinese investments and China no longer needs to cajole Pakistan. Chinese influence has been growing in Africa and in no time will it establish ports in Africa making it a potent naval force in Asia and Africa, from South China sea across the Indian Ocean to the Arabian sea.
India is a large country however is strategically less significant. India will have to strive for good trade relations with China but will continue to counter China in strategic spheres. In the coming years, India will have to walk a tight rope in balancing the relations with the USA and China. India could not have won the UNSC ban on Jamaat had the US or China vetoed it.
Pakistan, by its nature, will go at any lengths not to be seen as geo-strategically useless. Because of its geographical location, Pakistan will continue to be a “rent” state, someone who charges a heavy price – cash, aid, weapons etc – for its location in the sub-continent. Pakistan would be happy being a pawn of the USA or China.
It took both India and Pakistan 60 years to reach where they are. Despite all the challenges related to multiple race, religion and ethnicity, India has reached a position that actually brings some amount of respect from people all across the world. On the other side, Pakistani leadership took all these 60 years to turn their country into a slave of the powerful, nothing more! Instead of investing time and effort to create a functional civil society nation Pakistan ended up creating human bombs. Patience within India and the Western countries is ending slowly given it’s open track record of aiding and abetting terrorism in entire South Asia and the world. Could there be covert re-thinking happening, probably redrawing boundaries of our neighbor nation? China would however like to see India and Pakistan at peace to avoid excessive US influence in the region and especially in India.