China’s support for ‘Pakistan’s quest for peace through dialogue’ with India articulated in a joint statement issued after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s first bilateral visit to Beijing after assuming power is a clever ploy on the part of both to look reasonable and peace-loving.
This is not the first time Imran has made peace overtures to India. But even as he does so, terror groups backed by his country’s army have been setting up new launch pads along the Line of Control in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK).
Clearly, all such ‘overtures’ lack the will and in Imran’s case the power to work for peace by dismantling training camps for terror recruits and not infiltrating those recruits for subversive action in Jammu and Kashmir. According to intelligence sources, some 250 terrorists are waiting to infiltrate into J&K from 27 launch pads in POK.
Imran is really talking without due sincerity and the Chinese are looking to convince the world that they mean well for India which they do not. It is all an eyewash that must be taken with more than a pinch of salt. Imran indeed has realised that the Pakistan economy is in doldrums and needs huge injection of funds for which it feels Pakistan needs to look as though it has broken with the ‘terror haven’ past and seem peace-loving under Imran.
The Pakistan Army also is willing to go along with the sham of Imran’s reasonableness to attract more funds from the likes of China, Saudi Arabia and the International Monetary Fund. Yet, it is not ready to stop subversion in India as a price for peace in the sub-continent.
Significantly, as a trial balloon, the joint statement called for a greater role for China at the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation which was dominated by India but turned inactive and dormant over the last couple of years as New Delhi deprecated Islamabad’s negative role in the grouping. By seeking to admit China into the group, Pakistan is clearly looking to replace India’s supremacy with China’s. It goes without saying that India is not so naive as to succumb to such obvious stratagem.
Also, the Chinese supported Pakistan’s engagement with the Nuclear Suppliers Group even as it has been cold-shouldering India’s bid for greater acceptance by the NSG. Indeed, China is all sugar and honey with the Pakistanis because Imran has shown a predilection for going slow or even abandoning some of the projects associated with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor which he feels are driving Pakistan into a debt trap slowly but surely.
It is inconceivable that New Delhi would bend over backwards to ingratiate itself to China but since Chinese prime leader Xi Jinping has staked everything on making a success of the CPEC and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), it is relentlessly wooing this country to come round to at least a level of non-hostility towards these masked neo-colonial initiatives.
China is indeed desperate to draw India away from a US-Japan-Australia-India axis which has the potential to frustrate Chinese designs of becoming a maritime power which would substantially control trade through the sea-lanes of the world.
The Chinese have consistently blocked efforts to designate the Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar as an international terrorist at the UN Security Council but cleverly acquiesced at the grey-listing of Pakistan at the Financial Action Task Force to stave off being isolated. At the talks with the Pakistanis the Chinese sought Pakistani action on Uygur Islamic terrorists who are proving a headache for it in its Muslim-majority province of Xinjiang bordering Pak-occupied Kashmir.
All in all, the first official Imran visit to China brought him many goodies and promises but the real proof of the pudding would be in whether Pakistan allows the Chinese to tighten their grip on the Pakistan economy at grave cost to itself.
For more Opinion: Click Here