South Asia – The tinderbox is alit
Geopolitically, South Asia is the latest ‘CIA’ (?) or is it China’s target. The economic crisis may have brought American giants to their knees, but it has crippled most of South Asian economies. Countries like Bangladesh, Myanmar and Pakistan are heavily dependent on western aid and western economies in many growth oriented sectors. All of which has suffered a setback, leading to a complete escalation of crisis in each region.
Pakistan and Afghanistan were obvious targets. In Pakistan, the jihadis are like those who choose to die. Of course, in most cases the jihadis believe that their war is external. In reality jihad is an internal war that each individual must fight with himself to stop being overcome by vices. However, jihad is the word used when the opium smugglers and the gun fighters want power. US was bound to decimate them.
Sri Lanka is up in flames as the government exterminates LTTE like in pest control action. They fight over fundamental questions which could not be resolved across the table. Adamant groups which continue to demand what cannot come true.
Bangladesh has erupted in a mutiny – plummeting the internal and border security to new lows.
As far as India is concerned, the attack has led to a state of high alert after 72 bomb attacks across the country. What then will be the spillover? The latest Naxalite attacks in southern Bihar are worrying. For the only reason that they are frighteningly close the Nepal border…Nepal, a country where the Maoists are wreaking havoc. If the Naxal-Maoist link is strengthened, then it will affect, Bengal, Assam and even prompt the insurgent movements in Nagaland and other NE states. A very scary situation, as there is no doubt that India will be busy on the western border. As the political scenario warms up, the country is most likely to escalate to a war like situation by May. May is Pakistan’s favorite month for creating border skirmishes and wars, if Kargil was anything to go by.
This situation may be capitalized on by China, which is bound to continue its intrusions on the Arunachal border.
With South Asia in flames, the US will have the necessary opportunity to increase intervention. It already is the power broker in the region. Its next target is Iran and Central Asia where it aims to increase its circle of influence. The US policy of global domination and gendarme or world policing is not unknown to any country in the world.
This then is a chance for SAARC to revive itself and draw up a multilateral peace accord. We need the Nehruvian vision for South Asia to come together again. It must also come together for economic cooperation. To ensure that we survive as a region, and not just as a country, as we are interdependent. A region where, Pakistan will be the first to curb its terror network, and to do that it must seek Indian or regional help, not that of US or Europe. Go local, go regional and then go global. India must lead this drive for reform.