Naveed Aman Khan
AFTER the commencement of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and China, India, Bangladesh and Myanmar Corridor can India, China and Pakistan join hands and move ahead for prosperous future of 3.5 billion people of the region. Should these countries get indulged in wars or focus on the miseries of their ignored and neglected masses. President Xi Jinping has given unprecedented successful multidimensional revolutionary economic design for the entire region. This design has created opportunities of pleasure and prosperity for all the nations of the region. China-India-Pakistan trilateral understanding under CPEC and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) framework should get planned. If Russia, China, and Mongolia can meet under the SCO, there is no reason why China, India and Pakistan can’t do the same? However, Indian response to opt this way remained predictable. Matters related to India-Pakistan relations are purely bilateral in nature and have scope for involvement of third country and it clearly seems China. Importance should be given to improve mutual trust.. Pakistan is willing to maintain relations with all its neighbours, including India, to strengthen our cooperation for better development and stability in this region. Pakistan and China have concerns that need to be addressed in their relations with India. India should not rule out collaboration with China and Pakistan in the long run.
This is not the first time Pakistan has made several overtures, only to get accepted by India. Just last year, China offered to mediate between India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir issue, which India rejected. India has a number of objections that need to be minimized in its relations with both China and Pakistan. India should not rule out its collaboration with Pakistan and China in the long run. India’s major objections to trilateral cooperation largely stem from its distrust of China-Pakistan relations. India opposes the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) because it passes through Gilgit-Baltistan, which is undisputed territory of Pakistan. With the operations of CPEC there, China becomes a stakeholder, which adds to India’s threat perception regarding the internationalization of the Kashmir issue and increasing Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean. Both Pakistan and China have repeatedly offered India a seat at the regional connectivity table, however India remains skeptical. Further, China’s turning a blind eye to terrorism emanating from Pakistan has also raised suspicion in India. But this terrorism has been controlled successfully in Pakistan.
China’s decisions regarding its South Asian neighbours can be seen as an opportunity for enhancing Sino-Indian relations. China reneged on its initial vote resisting the United States’ motion to “grey list” Pakistan at a Financial Action Task Force plenary session. The reasons for its doing so remain ambiguous, this is a significant development given China’s positive relationship with Pakistan in the past, and its public platitudes on Pakistan’s counterterrorism initiatives. At the informal summit between Indian Premier Modi and Chinese President Xi at Wuhan, though China stated that it would not push India to accept the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), of which CPEC is the flagship project, a formal announcement proclaimed that New Delhi and Beijing would be engaging in a joint economic development project in Afghanistan. First discussed at Wuhan, this was taken further during the Xi-Modi meeting on the sidelines of the SCO Summit. Previously China has tacitly backed Pakistan in Afghanistan, this decision may be considered a snub. China has shown willingness to prevail upon Pakistan to make certain changes to its policy, indirectly at times, and while Sino-Indian relations are improving, there may be a possibility for future constructive engagement at the trilateral level.
Not only does the China-India relationship seem to be on an upswing recently, but the Pakistan-India relationship has also seen some positive signs after Indian Air Force recent misadventures. The Pakistani military has made important overtures towards India, with Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa recognizing the need for dialogue between India and Pakistan in order to establish peace. This has not translated to immediately meaningful changes across the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir, the recent recommitment to 2003 ceasefire agreement can be considered an additional move towards thawing relations between the two atomic powers. Kashmir, being flashpoint, can either bring prosperity or destruction to the region. Kashmir is unavoidable. None of us can close eyes on Kashmir. Solving Kashmir issue once for all means assurance of progress and prosperity of the entire sub-continent along with great China. Following the Trump-Kim summit in Singapore last year, veteran politician and former Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif commented that India and Pakistan should learn from the United States and North Korea, and look towards resolving outstanding issues like Kashmir. Pakistan has a genuine desire for peace with India which is encouraging laudable signs. Further engagement will be determined following upcoming elections in India.
China has shown willingness to prevail upon Pakistan to make certain changes to its policy, indirectly at times, and while Sino-Indian relations are improving, there may be a possibility for future constructive engagement at the India-Pakistan-China trilateral level. Especially given the scope of regional connectivity initiatives, Pakistan cannot view these relationships from a singular prism. Indian serious attention on peace and prosperity of the region can bring economic revolution. China already has given global economic vision. All the Chinese BRI projects are guarantee to peace, prosperity and global harmony to the intermingling nations. This economic vision has engaged all of the nations in positive and productive activities securing future of the generations.