by Monotapash Mukherjee

The diplomatic world, post-Corona phenomenon, is in an extremely fluid state with friends becoming foes and foes turning friends. China, the world over, is being accused as the creator of the corona virus. It is facing investment hurdles from a number of countries in Asia, Europe and Africa. The US & Germany are going to sue China for corona damage. Japan is encouraging its companies to leave China. Moreover Australia, the largest trading partner of China, has become most vocal and has sent its warship in the South China Sea to join the US fleet against China. India is likely to head the WHO executive body and pressure is likely to mount on India to order inquiry into the origin of the corona virus. India so far has not gone against China. Pakistan as a colony of China is facing isolation. In this situation, Pakistan is under tremendous psychological pressure not only because of the plight of China but also due to India’s reiterated statements from the topmost levels of the govt .and the military declaring resolve to capture the PoK.

Tension level has gone up more after the successful anti-terror operation in J&K (Operation Jackboot). The successful abrogation of the Article 370 in J&K, India’s successful engagement with the Islamic world and the rise of India in the diplomatic order of the world is fuelling Pak anxiety even more.

India is eyeing the PoK not only as a lost part of the country which needs to be integrated but also as a territory of immense strategic and economic significance which one can easily sense if he goes through Google and Quora.

But it is not that Pakistan is the only state to be apprehensive of the Indian move on PoK. China is equally wary because it has Aksai Chin & the Saksgam valley which are territory of the same landmass under its control. Besides, it has invested heavily in the disputed region of PoK in its ambitious CPEC & hydroelectric projects .China is already wary of the 370 abrogation & the direct control of Ladakh by the Indian govt. Therefore China has deployed heavy artillery in the Tibetan plateau. China has virtually opened up its entire arsenal for Pakistan to take on India.

Compared to China, India is riding the diplomatic ladder very fast. Initially left out of the Afghanistan-Taliban talks, India is being wooed both by the Taliban and the US to help in peace restoration in the war-ravaged country. China eyes Afghanistan as a source of mineral resources like copper, lithium & rare earth minerals and wants to utilise it as a transit to central Asia and Europe. Pakistan is extremely wary of Indian presence on the Afghan soil.

In short, India has many strategic cards to play against China and Pakistan in its hands. Militarily, it has formed its Integrated Battle Groups to swiftly take on China and Pakistan in the event of war. Moreover, China is not likely to join Pakistan in near future against India. If that happens, India will garner sympathy from the world and China will face war on several fronts including South China Sea and Taiwan. Besides, India will join the Quad operations against China. India can block the Chinese ships in the Malacca Straits hampering its fuel supply line.

Pakistan is not in a better position either. Saudi Arabia, its backer in the Gulf, is economically ravaged after the oil war with Russia. Besides it has befriended India. Moreover the Islamic world is watching India’s rise as a major economic and military power and is not likely to anger India by siding with Pakistan.

So the time seems to be ripe for India to capture the PoK. However, the appropriate moment will be decided by the authorities concerned. But one thing is certain that after decades of policy paralysis, the current govt. has turned the tables on Pakistan .After the surgical strike and Balakot, the Pakistani policies of Kashmir, nuclear blackmail and terrorism have backfired and it is living under the shadow of another Bangladesh moment. So rejoice India!!!

Mir Arif is a journalist based out of Jammu & Kashmir. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of IDN and IDN does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same