OPPORTUNITY IN CRISIS; Pakistan, India and China

Crisis: Pakistan, India skirting the war line

Terrible things are happening at Pakistan-India border – the lines are not blur but contested. Civilians, even ambulances are not off-limits. People are suffering and dying.

Now if China is really seeking to fill in the big shoes, as hinted by US President Obama, then here is an opportunity in crisis.

Solution? Can’t say. Heart of Asia conference is coming up which will give some face-to-face time to Pakistani and Indian diplomats amid raised concerns from UN, EU and UK to resolve tensions.

Reason: India accuses Pakistan of intervention in Kashmir, including beheading of Indian soldiers. Pakistan accuses India of unprovoked shelling of Line of Control, LoC, (read: border) and state-sponsored terrorism in Kashmir. Kashmir says (or at least tries to): we want to decide for our own. Meaning: it’s a mess.

Opinion: Much ‘blame’ has been laid on CPEC as the main cause of current tension escalations. It is said to be the reason behind reasons. India feels left out of the great Chinese plan of OBOR worth some $890 billion and allegedly wants to cause disturbance which has led to unrest in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province and issues at the border.

Now everyone is whining about the issue, continuing to show (and speak) of power from both sides of the border, and / or expecting somehow for things to settle down. Global players have showed concern but no one wants to get their hands dirty.

Now if China is really seeking to fill in the big shoes, as hinted by US President Obama, then here is an opportunity in crisis. China has the leverage of huge trade and the motive of seeking peace for it. It is in an ideal position to bring India and Pakistan on the table to chalk out solutions. If played well diplomacy on the horseback of trade can pave way to solving the long standing issue of Kashmir even, along side quelling the current tide of war cries. History (8th century Arab traders, East India Company, peace treaty after world war two, bailouts after financial crisis 2008, Brexit and Trump, just to name a few), has shown that economics has an interesting way of getting kingdoms, nations and countries to agree on many a things which seemed impossible at first.


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