N. P. Upadhyaya, Kathmandu: India’s fake “Neighborhood first” policy has died a natural death in that the policy as such was in itself a fake one and had been largely crafted to delude the smaller neighbors of the artificial nation born 1947.
With the visible and pathetic degeneration of the Indian clout-ever if it had in the South Asian nations, India’s arch rival and declared enemy China-has made greater inroads in these South Asian countries albeit by default.
Needless to say, India’s loss is China’s political and diplomatic victory by all measuring political standards.
Except baby Bhutan and the Maldives, the rest of the countries, for example, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal have all at the moment bitter relations with the artificial nation-that today’s India is.
Very freshly Iran too has said good bye to the Indian establishment. Delhi must have been in panicky state.
After Nepal having bitter land disputes with the expansionist India born 1947, Bangladesh too has kept India at a comfortable distance simply because Bangladesh prefers now not to be called as a proxy of the Indian State beginning the time of late Mujibur Rehman-the father of Sheikh Hasina-the sitting Prime Minister of Bangladesh.
Remarkably, Bangladesh is a country which appeared in the world map with the Indira Gandhi sponsored bifurcation of the then East Pakistan in the early 70s.
However, after the death of Mujibur Rehman, Bangladesh and China inched closer to each other and the expanded bilateral ties between the two countries have settled down to and “all weather friend”.
A noted Bangladesh-American research scholar Zainal Abedin talking to a webinar organized by Institute of Policy Studies of Pakistan dated June 26, 2020 bluntly accused the Indian RAW agency to have deeply penetrated into the body politic of the country resulting Bangladesh in being taken as India’s Proxy state.
Scholar Abedin out of sheer frustration demanded that Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh and the Maldives should urgently form a formidable political alliance of sorts to counter India and its RAW agency’s heavy infiltration in these countries.
While Abedin was talking for the formation of an alliance against India at the Islamabad seminar then around the same time in a “significant show of economic diplomacy” in South Asia, China announced grand tariff exemption for 97% of exports from Bangladesh.
And diplomatic sources have described, according to Indian media reports, the Chinese move as a “major success in Dhaka-Beijing relationship”.
Hopefully, Delhi rulers may have sleepless nights since then.
The climax is yet to come.
China offered tariff concessions to Bangladesh just one month later of a meet in between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and President Xi Jinping.
Needless to say, Bangladesh is a prominent partner in the China’s flagship project Belt and Road Initiative-BRI.
These political overtures tend to suggest that some sort of special relationship is in the making in between China and Bangladesh.
Big jolt to India which made Himalayan efforts in the creation of this country, to recall.
This reminds the South Asian observers of Prime Minister Modi’s promise that he would isolate Pakistan and now it seems like Modi has already succeeded in isolating his own country not only from the neighborhood but also from the entire world.
For the record, Modi has wasted billions in Afghanistan to open the second front for Pakistan, wasted money with Iran only to be recently replaced by China.
Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka are, as the political luck would have it, with China.
China’s quiet diplomacy has won over India’s coercive diplomacy.
India’s intimidating and expansionist policy has miserably failed rather backfired which is why the neighboring countries prefer to align themselves with China.
How unlucky India is with its feku Prime Minister Modi.
The fresh jolt from Iran to India was so high that Indian congress leader Rahul Gandhi ( popularly known as Pappu) had to admit that “ India’s global strategy was in tatters and that India has been losing power and respect everywhere and the Government of India has no idea what to do”.
India in series is losing friends in the immediate neighborhood and a bit far flung Iran as well.
According to Dawn Daily dated July 15, 20202 Iran and China have finalized a $400 billion strategic partnership deal, and a significant political casualty is the Chabahar to Zahedan rail project with India, which Iran has called off citing delayed finances, The Hindu reported early this week.
The Iranian Transport and Urban Development Minister Mohammad Eslami last week inaugurated the track-laying process for the 628km Chabahar-Zahedan line, which will be extended to Zaranj across the border in Afghanistan.
The development comes as China finalizes a massive 25-year, $400bn strategic partnership deal with Iran, which, the Dawn paper said, could cloud India’s plans.
Observers in Nepal believe that Iran may have dumped India for Prime Minister Modi’s excessive hobnobbing with the US administration over these years.
Iran for the US is an enemy country and vice versa.
The Foreign Minister of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif said early this week that Iran has been negotiating a 25-year accord with China whose terms will be announced once a deal is struck.
According to a New York Times report, writes the Hindu daily, the countries (China and Iran) are in an advanced stage of finalizing the agreement that would allow China to expand its presence in the banking, telecommunications, ports, railways and several other sectors in the Islamic Republic of Iran and in return China will receive heavily discounted oil supply for all along twenty five years.
This news must pull the carpet from under the Indian feet.
Replacing India, China has thus entered into the West Asian political space.
Very close to Zainal Abedin’s appeal for a coalition/alliance against India, a top secret meeting was being finalized behind the curtain in between Pakistan and Bangladesh in Dhaka whose details have not yet come to the fore.
However senior diplomatic sources in South Asia hint that such an Islamabad-Dhaka meet must have been held only after when Prime Minister Imran Khan and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina held long hotline telephonic conversation over the obtaining regional and world issues that necessarily included the Kashmir occupation by India and the atrocities being mercilessly carried out by the Indian occupation forces.
The details of this Dhaka-Islamabad telephonic call remains yet a secret, however what is for sure is that the Pakistani High Commissioner based in Dhaka, Imran Ahmad Siddiqui met with the Bangladesh foreign minister AK Abdul Momen and the two diplomats talked for quite a long time wherein, as per the Turkish media man Md. Kamaruzzaman who on July 8/2020 told that “the two sides briefed each other on the Covid-19 situation in their respective countries and precautionary and preventive measures being taken”.
In a separate talk with Md. Kamaruzzaman of the Anadolu Agency, the Pakistani High Commissioner told that “both sides agreed to promote bilateral relations with a forward looking approach”.
What makes this secret meet of the Pakistan HC and the Bangladesh foreign minister that took place in Dhaka on July 1st, 2020 so important and significant is that Dhaka preferred to keep a stoic silence about this secret meet with the Pakistani High Commissioner.
This is meaningful. The question is thus Why Dhaka remained tight lipped in making any comments on this meet?
Needless to say, the two countries who have had some sort of frosty relations in the initial years of Bangladesh creation, but appear now to have not only normalized their friendly ties but also begun talking possibly on the need to strengthen their bilateral ties keeping India at a comfortable distance.
The secret talks that Dhaka and Islamabad have had this July would not have been possible had late Mujibur Rehman been alive for obvious political reasons.
However, with the entrance of China in Bangladesh over these years through bilateral development cooperation schemes does tell that Bangladesh too has slipped from the firm grips of the Indian Union.
It is more or like a situation wherein as China has made greater inroads in Bangladesh, the Indian establishment unwillingly had to vacate the seat for China in Dhaka.
Two tigers can’s adjust in the same jungle?
Bangladesh’s sudden “secret” decision to distance itself from the Indian establishment, say political pundits in Nepal, may have begun from the time when India made a sudden resolve for the enactment of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019, the Bangladeshi regime perhaps got annoyed to the hilt and had instantly cancelled several high level meetings to be held in India which included the visits of foreign minister A. K. Abdul Momen, the Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan among others.
Reports say, out of anger perhaps, Dhaka also boycotted the Raisina dialogue conference which was held in Delhi early this year. A junior minister from Dhaka Shariar Alam was to address the Raisina dialogue meet.
Bangladesh got annoyed when India announced that the new citizenship law aims to give rights to the minority communities of Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
This brought a new concern for Bangladesh, as India indirectly implied the poor treatment of religious minorities in Bangladesh which in an oblique manner brought negative publicity for Dhaka.
Making a short comment on the India’s enactment of the new citizenship laws, Sheikh Hasina said while talking to Gulf News in Abu Dhabi that “we don’t understand why (the Indian government) did it. It was not at all necessary”, wrote Kallol Bhattarjee for the Hindu daily as back as in January 20 this year.
“A feeling of detachment” instantly was formed between Dhaka and Delhi which resulted in various demonstrations against Delhi in Dhaka.
Writes Mozammil Ahmad for the Diplomat dated July 8, 2020 wherein he says confidently that “it is safe now to say that Bangladesh is tilting towards China”.
Mozammil refers the fresh China’s grant of duty free access to back his claim that Dhaka has really tilted towards China.
The July 1st meet of the Pakistani HC and the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, South Asian diplomatic sources say “concentrated on how to deepen their bilateral ties and also made a review of the entire South Asia’s security situation and the would be impact of the Kashmir occupation by the Indian military forces.
Interestingly, the Pakistani High Commissioner Imran Ahmad Siddiqui held highly secret meeting with Bangladesh Foreign Minister A. K Abdul Momen on July 1st which coincide with the day when China’s concessional tariffs came into force for the Bangladeshi products.
Moreover, the secret meeting coincided with India’s serious involvement in multiple war fronts with China and smaller neighbors like Nepal and Sri Lanka and that Delhi has always counted Sheikh Hasina’s Bangladesh as a trusted friend”. Was it a betrayal by Bangladesh?
A bolt from the blue for India expectedly must have been the Pak-B’desh secret meet.
Diplomacy doesn’t go the Delhi desired way all the time.
This is the message to India under feku Prime Minister.
Needless to say, China now has two strong nations in South Asia to back its flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative-the BRI.
Nepal too by the way is being excessively pushed by India towards China over these two months.
Nepal-India ties have entered into a new low with the calculated announcement of Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli that Lord Rama was born in Nepal but not in India as is being propagated the world over.
Notably, PM Oli though is a communist but yet he is the Prime Minister of a Hindu majority country who has tentatively fired ballistic missiles on the Indian regime which came to power with the sole agenda of building Lord Rama temple in place of the Babri Mosque which was primarily built by Ibrahim Lodi instead of the mosque being built by Babar from Bukhara who ruled the then Hindustan.
Professor Subraminyam Swamy and PM Modi have now abundant reasons to weep/cry in private recalling the Nepal PM”s abrupt announcement on Lord Rama’s actual birth place.
With this unexpected Nepali claim, the Hindu fundamentalist government in India is in a fix.
Concluding remarks: Writes Mark Vince, a Human Rights activists and Editor at the New York Times on Kashmir. He says, “Kashmir is not India.
India is responsible for the bloodshed and chaos in Kashmir and Pakistan has all along been instrumental in raising the voices against the human right violations in Kashmir…Another Srebrenica like genocide is just around the corner if the world bodies don’t take proper notice”. He made these comments on Kashmir from his Twitter accounts dated July 15, 2020.
The New York Time media veteran Mark Vince has also made an announcement that is a pleasing news for the people of Kashmir. He says, “ we are working to establish an independent international organization on Kashmir pertaining to look into the matters of gross HR violations by the Indian soldiers like target killings and destruction of properties of the Kashmiri people”.