New Delhi, June 30: Was there a larger game involved when China decided to bail out its all weather friend Pakistan at the United Nations. China blocked a move by India seeking action against Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the 26/11 mastermind who was released from jail in Pakistan.
China showed to the world that it would back its all weather friend, Pakistan to the hilt no matter what. However is this all about friendship or is there more to it?
The China Pakistan Economic Corridor or the CEPC and the Gwadar port in Baluchistan are two other factors that could have made China back Pakistan so fiercely. However what one also needs to bear in mind is the interest that China is taking in the Kashmir issue at the behest of Pakistan.
Is China interested in the Kashmir issue?
A few days after China backed Pakistan on the Lakhvi issue at the UN, the Hurriyat Conference was quick to state that China must come out and resolve the Kashmir issue. China is already seeking to become an economic superpower and the CEPC would do just that. While it would look to challenge the US as a superpower economically, interfering in the Kashmir issue would also give it a geo-strategic advantage.
China had said 6 years back that it would like to play a constructive role in Kashmir. However at that time it called both India and Pakistan as friends. However over the years a lot has changed and the CEPC would be a game changer in a lot of respects.
The CEPC was objected to by India on the ground that it passes through disputed areas. However Pakistan was quick to reject the objections and even went on to state that the disputed territory, Gilgit-Balistan is very much part of Pakistan. Further it was also stated that Azad Kashmir is also very much part of Pakistan.
Why is Pakistan showing spine?
Be it the Lakvhi issue or the CEPC, Pakistan tone has sounded very different in the recent months. There has been arrogance and defiance in the matter that Pakistan has spoken. They just refuse to acknowledge any suggestion or objection by India. This is a lot to do with the fact that they have a silent backing in the form of China.
Chinese and Pakistan officials have held a series of meetings in the last year and a half. In each and every meet, China which recognizes Pakistan as an all weather friend has backed it to the hilt. China appears to find China geo-strategically more suited and hence this relationship has become stronger over the years.
Pakistan has gone about rejecting every objection raised by India. The construction of the Karokaram highway which is part of an undivided Jammu and Kashmir has been handed over to China. India had raised an objection in this regard with both China and Pakistan, but the same was rejected with a great deal of audacity.
The problem of local politics:
The BJP and the PDP would need to get its house in order in Jammu and Kashmir. For many it is a divided house and this division could play havoc with separatists taking advantage of it. Indian security officials say that Pakistan is bound to play these games to tell the world that the disputed areas in Kashmir belong to them.
India will counter those moves and will not let China or Pakistan walk over us, the official also says. However a large number of officials do agree that the government in Jammu and Kashmir needs to stand united with one strong policy. If there are altercations that continue, then many are bound to take advantage of that situation, the security official further states.