Three reasons why India will win out over Pakistan again and become a “trusted ally” of the new US government
While India and Pakistan recently agreed to ceasefires along the controversial line of control, there are telltale signs Pakistan is feeling the heat under the Biden administration.
The unexpected move to reduce hostilities on the de facto border with India indicates that Islamabad can no longer afford to maintain its bellicose stance, as the United States could tighten the noose around the country.
Here is an analysis of three reasons India will bask in glory under the Biden administration while Pakistan will feel left out.
1. United States-India Partnership
The Indo-American partnership which has seen an upturn since the Trump presidency is likely to receive new impetus, with Joe Biden attaching the utmost importance to Washington’s Indo-Pacific policy. For example, the Indo-Pacific leadership will be the largest contingent of Biden’s National Security Council, made up of experts and analysts known for their tough stance on China.
The leading role of the United States in the QUAD block (United States, Japan, Australia and India) could be a new headache for China. The Washington-led group will closely monitor Chinese activity or aggression in the Asia-Pacific region.
– Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 8, 2021
And if China comes under scrutiny, its “iron brother” Pakistan will certainly feel the heat. Needless to say, Islamabad is heavily dependent on China for defense and security. Besides the logic of “the enemy of the enemy is a friend”, Pakistan sees China as its big brother who can stand by its side in times of need.
However, times are changing and Pakistan has been plagued with so many problems that even China might not be able to save it.
And with the United States tightening the noose around China, Pakistan may need to rethink its priorities, especially the China-Pakistan economic corridor, which both countries have hailed as the harbinger of prosperity.
It is clear that the CPEC project has made Pakistan a victim of China’s debt policy. Not surprising, some analysts called it a “trillion dollar blunder,” based on a false assumption that a nation needs these massive economic projects to thrive.
According to an analysis published in Jerusalem post, the result of the CPEC project debt is about $ 80 billion, 90% of which will be paid by Pakistan in the form of national debt. This is a huge burden on the already crumbling Pakistani economy, which could eventually force Islamabad to mortgage the sovereignty of its territory.
2. India – An economic superpower
Economically, India will steal the show while Pakistan will be on its own. With a GDP of 2.6 trillion dollars, New Delhi automatically figures prominently in the American political framework.
India has forged trade and trade relations with several countries. The “Make-in-India” initiative, especially in certain segments, has started to bear fruit. India’s success in the pharmaceutical sector, in particular its supply of affordable drugs to developing countries, has earned it the title of “Pharmacy of the World”.
The country is also displaying its status as the largest manufacturer of the Covid-19 vaccine.
In contrast, the Pakistani economy is at the end of its rope. The long list of negative factors including corruption, money laundering, political instability, among others, has meant that few foreign countries are interested in investing in Pakistan.
If that was not enough, Pakistan will continue to be on the FATF’s “gray list” until June of this year. The global watchdog, headquartered in Paris, is not satisfied with Pakistan’s performance in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. It seems that if things remain the same, Pakistan might even be blacklisted by the FATF.
Successful meeting with the Quad counterparts from Japan, Australia and India in Tokyo. Thanks to the Minister of Foreign Affairs @motage for his leadership in facilitating our productive discussion. The Quad shares a vision for peace, security and prosperity in a free and open Indo-Pacific. pic.twitter.com/b8iJm4BcJv
– Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) October 6, 2020
There is reason to believe that countries like the United States and France have informed the FATF of Pakistan’s continued support for non-state actors, some of whom are UN-designated terrorists. The recent acquittal of the murder of Daniel Pearl accused by the Supreme Court of Pakistan appears to be one of the reasons for the hardening of the FATF’s stance against Islamabad. Pearl, a the Wall Street newspaper journalist, was kidnapped and beheaded by Pakistani terrorists in 2002.
3. The growing weight of India
India’s growing influence on the world stage and skillful diplomacy enabled it to become a member of the United Nations Security Council. India will chair three key UNSC committees in 2021-2022: the Taliban Sanctions Committee, the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the Libya Sanctions Committee.
Pakistan has cause for concern since it will be the responsibility of two of these commissions. With India chairing these panels, Islamabad will have even more problems.
Pakistan, meanwhile, is doing its best to reconnect with Saudi Arabia’s “old friend”, which hit a low last year. Under pressure, Islamabad returned $ 1 billion to Riyadh in December as the second tranche of a $ 3 billion soft loan.
He apparently turned to China in search of a $ 1 billion commercial loan to repay the remaining tranche to Saudi Arabia.
The FATF recognizes the progress made by Pakistan but is concerned about the failure of its action plan to reduce the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing. the #GAFI strongly urges #Pakistanto complete its action plan. ➡️https://t.co/ucVnC2EbQW #FATFweek
– FATF (@FATFNews) February 21, 2020
Pakistan’s precarious economic situation appears to be a primary factor behind its rapidly evolving diplomatic position. It can be a friend one day and the enemy the next or vice versa. For example, after concluding the ceasefire agreement with India, Pakistan would consider restoring cotton imports from the neighboring country. Pakistan’s textile industry is hit hard due to a cotton shortage.
That said, the Biden administration is unlikely to offer economic and military assistance to Pakistan. As Javid Hussain, a retired Pakistani diplomat writes in Dawn, “It would be unrealistic to expect that under Biden, the United States would resume large-scale economic and military assistance to Pakistan or be helpful in seeking a just settlement of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with Council resolutions. security aspirations of the Kashmiri people.
Well, if Kashmir is to be discussed, it has to be between India and Pakistan. But for this to happen, Pakistan must meet several criteria, the first being to sever all ties with “non-state actors”, that is, terrorist elements. Whether Pakistan has the will and the power to do it, only time will tell.