Hit Pakistan where it pains the most

Date of Publishing: February 17, 2019

Source: https://indusscrolls.com/hit-pakistan-where-it-pains-the-most/

The legacy of boxing reminds us of the aggressive and gloved sport that requires the players to score points by punching the opponent’s face. The player hard punches in the areas of abdomen and ribs too so that the opponent lowers his arms to expose the ‘sweet face’ where every punch brings points. But there is another way of winning the bout: Knock out! To do that the winner hits the face in such a hard way that the opponent loses consciousness and this is what Prime Minister mostly refers to as “Muh-thod Jawab” which means ‘jaw shattering response’.

Here we are talking about knocking out Pakistan’s face and that is by liberating Baluchistan which is the largest province of Pakistan bordering Iran in the west, Afghanistan in the north & northwest and Arabian Sea in the south where the strategically important Gwadar port is being developed with investments from China. India should liberate Baluchistan just like it did in 1971 to liberate Bangladesh from its erstwhile East Pakistan. We need to show Pakistan once again what the Indian Army is capable of, that if it can send ISI sponsored coward Jaish-e-Mohammed terror modules to the Indian soil in the name of Jihad, then they have to pay a very big political price for it. A state like Pakistan whose government has no control over its army is undeserving to be called as a state. This should not be told in words but must be deliberated through sheer and brutal military action. The current government has shown the boldness to do it.

Jaish al-Adl which is yet another Pakistan based ISI sponsored militant group also martyred 27 soldiers of the Iranian troops in a similar fashioned suicide attack. So the pressure piling up on Pakistan is not just from India but also from Iran, apart from other world nations, because Indian and Iranian armed forces were martyred the same way by ISI operated Islamic fundamentalist terrorist groups within a gap of a week. Not just that, the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria which is on the verge of a defeat at the hands of US backed forces would definitely be looking for another safe haven for sustaining its terror activities and we cannot allow it to establish in the Indian soil. Yet another developing scenario is the visit of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman to Pakistan and the simultaneous willingness of the representatives of Afghanistan Taliban to meet Mohammed Bin Salman. Though Saudi Arabia has condemned the attack on the Indian armed forces, it has also gone ahead with financial assistance worth billions of dollars which is apart from delivering free oil to Pakistan for at least three years. Reuters reports that this is seen as a renewed token of gratitude for Pakistan’s commitment in endorsing and protecting the order of Saudi’s royal family in the Arabian Peninsula and in return Saudi Arabia shall be Pakistan’s strategic friend and a participant in its investments along with China. Doesn’t it smell foul?

But all that India could manage to diplomatically checkmate the crown prince’s visit to Pakistan is by countering it with a stopover visit by India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to Tehran, Iran’s capital, to meet Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Aragchchi and deliver a strong united message against Pakistan’s terror atrocities. What and where India would stand diplomatically with Saudi Arabia when Mohammed Bin Salman visits India early this week is to be eagerly watched upon.

At this instance, the national sentiments in India are for a befitting retaliation and revenge but I opine that we have to give a “Jaw Shattering Response” that is fit to be engraved in Indian history. When you hit the enemy, you hit it where it is weak and pains the most. For Pakistan, Baluchistan is weak, strategic and has witnessed pro-independence sentiments and insurgency by Baloch nationalists for several decades. If China and Pakistan are too interested in Kashmir then India is damn interested in Baluchistan. Let’s not forget Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s support to the people of Baluchistan in his address to the nation from the ramparts of the red fort during his Independence Day speech in 2016. Now is the time to walk the talk.

ISA: India’s quest for the high table in global energy geopolitics

Date of Publishing: MAR 23, 2018

Source: https://southasiamonitor.org/news/isa-india-146-s-quest-for-the-high-table-in-global-energy-geopolitics/sl/26917?title=isa-india-146-s-quest-for-the-high-table-in-global-energy-geopolitics&type=sl&nid=26917

With the initiation of a solar movement worldwide, India has gained an opportunity to exercise its diplomatic ‘soft power’ and lead global collaborative and renewable energy geopolitics, from India’s point of view, writes Sabareesh P.A for South Asia Monitor.
By Sabareesh P.A
India’s initiative, along with France, to form the International Solar Alliance (ISA) at the Conference of Parties 21 (COP 21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on 30th November, 2015 was aimed at attracting investment and the world’s attention towards India while portraying it as a viable destination for investment in the renewable energy sector.
The goals of the ISA are to achieve a target of 1 TW of solar energy by 2030; promote solar technologies, new business models and investment in the solar sector; and formulate projects and programmes to promote solar applications. India’s solar quest is to effectively use the sunshine streaming over 121 nations between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn to bring about a ‘universal orange revolution’.
On March 10, 2018, New Delhi hosted heads of state and government and ministerial delegations of over 30 nations at the first ever ISA Summit. The ensuing document stated that the challenge of clean solar energy being costlier than thermal power could be faced with more private commercial players entering the renewable energy sector under the supportive shade of government. They could initiate research and develop solar technologies and efficient solar components. The ‘solar cooperation movement’ is being currently spearheaded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron.
The ISA Summit not only reminded world leaders about the most abundant renewable source of energy but also that a rapid shift must be initiated for them to meet their respective Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). The alliance also outlines the importance of solar energy in achieving the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
Though the India-led global alliance is a first at the international level, India has been locally working on the solar angle through the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) which was launched in 2009 to achieve the earlier target of 20,000 MW of solar power by 2022. The Modi government has recently revised that target upwards, to 100,000 MW.
It is important that India formulate a viable solar policy to execute massive solar projects to achieve the target of 100 GW. This also requires an estimated investment of a massive six lakh crore rupees, initially from the public sector, to provide a boost to the solar manufacturing sector.
The most important outcome of a successful solar mission in terms of climate change mitigation is that it can reduce the filthy smoke emissions from thermal power plants (about 170 million tonnes of carbon dioxide over its lifecycle).
There are always challenges during any paradigm change. Recently India was dragged by the United States to the World Trade Organisation over a trade dispute related to the ‘local procurement’ clause in the procurement of solar panels for solar projects, which is in contempt of world trade obligations. The precise and devoted focus at the policy level and multilateral interaction are now required.
According to the Economic Times, “The International Solar Alliance is … India’s contribution to enabling developing countries to make the transition to a low-carbon economy. In diplomatic terms, it was a game changer for India, when it emerged as a proactive partner in the transition to more sustainable development.”
With the initiation of a solar movement worldwide, India has gained an opportunity to exercise its diplomatic ‘soft power’ and lead global collaborative and renewable energy geopolitics, from India’s point of view.
(The author is Chief Coordinator at http://www.scienceindia.in, a web portal which provides scientific mentorship programmes for Indian school students. He can be reached at sabareesh.pa@gmail.com)

Changing political dynamics in South Asia and India’s defense strategy

Date of Publishing: December 11, 2017

Source: https://indusscrolls.com/changing-political-dynamics-in-south-asia-and-indias-defense-strategy/

Ever since the partition and Independence of India, the world has looked upon India’s development by coping up with its multi socio-cultural, multi ethnoreligious and multi-linguistic society adorning diverse cultural traits. The historical shaping of Indian Subcontinent, politically comprising Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka is unique in terms of polity, economy, and socio-cultural dimensions. The contemporary South Asia’s ‘buzzing epicentre’ of ‘concentric geopolitics’ is indeed the beginning of shift in power axis from the ‘Northern Atlantic Sub-hemisphere’: United States of America (U.S.A), European Union (E.U) and its allies towards South Asia comprising China and India.

The existing friendly relationship between U.S.A and E.U is a result of historic conflicts, disputes, diplomacy and spheres of agreements. South Asia being a diverse theatre, a non-bipartisan relation can ensure sustained peace and development. The rising Chinese influence in South Asian region with the ‘Dragon’s Paw’ reaching to West Asia till Europe and to the neighbouring countries of India. The ‘String of Chinese Silk’ (String of Pearls – Maritime Silk Road)strives for massive infrastructural projects, some being reached out to Pakistan, it’s all-weather cosy friend, through the disputed territories of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Icing the ‘cake of menace’ for India is the twin threat of Pakistan exported terrorism and the increasing radicalization of local Muslims in India, particularly in Jammu & Kashmir. The ‘epicentre of global terrorism’ is a reality of this notorious neighbour. India’s foreign policy over the decades has shifted with the changing dimensions in South Asian politics with the ‘yet to revive’ Afghanistan being cared post withdrawal of U.S special forces.

The past one decade saw the Government of India increase aid and assistance to its neighbouring countries. However, China has stood at the periphery of nations neighbouring India. At this instance, India’s emancipation of ‘Act East Policy’ focusing on the Asia-Pacific region for strategic dialogue and economic cooperation aims to strengthen ties with ASEAN countries. The policy gains attention at a time of China’s hegemonic agenda to ‘wall’ the South China Sea. The recent milestones to consolidate relationships with a ‘cherry of trust’ may not work with all the countries, but it emphasizes India’s seriousness to take forward SAARC nations together as a bloc like the European Union.

The current Government hints at the future strategic ambitions to tilt the opportunities of the ‘Asian Pivot’ in favour of India and bring the ‘cusp of change’ in ‘diplomatic and geopolitical winds’ from diverse landscapes adjoining the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal in favour of India. India’s bilateral relationship with neighbouring countries comes with ‘pie and thorns’. Amidst such a hotspot, India’s defence measures and preparedness and strategic relationship with South Asian nations take the limelight.

India’s assistance to Bhutan for development of hydropower projects; expertise for the Constitution of Nepal; energy cooperation with Bangladesh; assistance to build the Afghan Parliament; quick humanitarian assistance for supply drinking water in Maldives and much importantly the ‘SAARC satellite’ are just a few ‘sweet-toothed’ strategies to strengthen India’s relations with the immediate neighborhood in return for their support to leverage India’s strategic role in International politics particularly India’s permanent membership at the United National Security Council.