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India hurts itself with border war



Activists of the People’s Party of Pakistan (PPP) Kashmir protest against the recent killing of Indians-controlled civilians in Karachi, Pakistan on July 4. Photo: AFP

The Pakistani military said Sunday that one civilian was killed and four others were injured when Indian forces fired indiscriminately along the Line of Control (LOC) in the disputed Kashmir region, according to media reports. An army statement noted that Indian troops committed “unprovoked ceasefire violations along the LOC, targeting civilians with automatic weapons and mortars in the Hotspring and Rakhchikri sectors”.

Tensions between India and Pakistan have escalated since 2019. After India revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019, New Delhi has been worried that Islamabad will infiltrate regions and that more protests and uprisings could emerge there. Therefore, India has imposed austerity policies in the region. It is not surprising to see India opening fire on the civilian population. New Delhi suspects that all Pakistanis in the region are so-called terrorists.

Pakistan has been quite restrained towards India’s movements since August 2019. Pakistan is not as strong as India militarily, but the Kashmir issue is essential for Pakistan. If the Pakistani government does not show a tough stance on the disputed territory, it would lose public support. As a result, Pakistan reacts harshly to any offensive moves from India and takes countermeasures when necessary.

While conflicts with China have not been effectively eased, why has India remained offensive to Pakistan? This is mainly because the Indian military and government have a sense of superiority over Pakistan. Such a feeling leads India to make preliminary blows to its neighbor. Moreover, the growing Hindu nationalism is another factor that results in India movements.

In addition to disputes with China and Pakistan, India also has border disputes with other neighboring countries, such as Nepal. The Indian military can boast that it is fully prepared for a two-and-a-half year war – against China, Pakistan and internal security threats – it is in fact incapable of meeting such a challenge. A multi-front war is a big challenge for any country.

In an effort to boost its military capability, India is buying advanced weapons from Russia and Western countries. Meanwhile, New Delhi is trying to gain support from the international community, especially from Western countries. In recent years, India has moved closer to the US, engaging in increased military cooperation and the signing of more military pacts with the US and its allies.

However, these measures will not meet India’s expectations in relations with China and Pakistan at the same time.

If India were to wage massive armed clashes or even war with China and Pakistan simultaneously, no country would help India except to provide some weapons conditionally.

India’s current neighborhood policies, particularly those regarding China and Pakistan, have put the country at a disadvantage.

Why India can not develop positive and friendly relations with its neighboring countries? India has a great power mentality. He considers himself a hegemon in South Asia and believes that all neighboring countries should follow her example.

Several factors contribute to its negative relations with China. First, his failure in the 1962 China-India border war was seen as a fiery shame of the Indians. Second, China has a close relationship with India’s enemy, Pakistan. After India revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, China called for a discussion on the issue at the United Nations Security Council, which amassed pressure on India. Moreover, China has recently conducted increasing cooperation with South Asian countries. India sees this as China violating India’s sphere of influence.

For any country hoping to advance its development, a peaceful and stable environment with its neighbors is essential. India has become a destroyer of regional peace and stability, which has played a negative role in its advancement, and that of other countries. If India aspires to achieve its dream of becoming a great power, it is vital that we improve ties with neighboring countries.

The author is the general secretary of South Asia and the China Center at the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies, a visiting member of the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China and a distinguished member of the South Asia and Southeast Asia Institute of China ( Kunming). [email protected]

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