N. P. Upadhyaya, Kathmandu: The stage is set for a high voltage regional conflict.
The South Asian region is in turmoil.
The probable fight will be a triangular one that includes the US, regional hooligan India and Nepal’s Northern neighbor-China.
If politics further worsens, emerging regional super Pakistan and Putin’s Russia may enter into the conflict.
The venue first is India controlled and subdued Kathmandu and then it will be Kabul– the capital of war torn Afghanistan and then Kashmir which is already a playground for the regional trouble maker-India.
Kabul is about to collapse, media sources claim.
President Ghani is losing control over capital Kabul.
Bluntly speaking, after India illegally occupied Kashmir and its status been changed since August 5, 2019, it is Kathmandu and Kabul that is sure to feel the heat of the “power rivalry”.
Kathmandu could be a hotspot wherein the US’s project MCC (Millennium Challenge Corporation) may collide with China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Kashmir is a seven decades long Indian “occupation” story.
Writing an appealing article on Kashmir in the People’s Review weekly, August 5, 2021, the Pakistani Ambassador to Nepal, Syed Haider Shah says that “Kashmiris, in the territories illegally occupied by Indian armed forces, have been waging a valiant struggle, daily, for the last three-quarters of a century.
Their demand is simple – to let them decide their future as had been promised to them, by the world, the United Nations, and Indian leadership at the highest level itself.
Like other princely states at the time of independence of India and Pakistan from British colonial rule in 1947, Kashmiris also were entitled to their right to decide whether they wanted to join India or Pakistan.
That choice was never allowed to the people of Kashmir. Notwithstanding, all subterfuge and false claims by India, the people of Kashmir continue to demand this basic right to choose their future. The Kashmiris are, therefore, guilty of challenging the claims of their occupiers and for demanding their right to self-determination”!
Notably this article has come out in Kathmandu the day in the year 2019 the Indian regime had changed the status of Kashmir thus turning Kashmir in an “open air jail”.
So on three front’s there will be a fight in the region: Kathmandu, Kabul and India’s illegally occupied Kashmir respectively.
Kashmir though already is a flashpoint which may bring in India and Pakistan to face to face any time.
Kathmandu is likely to see the fight in between the US and China for a variety of political reasons.
While Kashmir issue deals mainly with India and Pakistan then Kathmandu and Kabul has all the regional players plus US and China as it affects these countries plus Iran and Central Asian countries.
Kashmir is currently under India’s brutal occupation which, in many more ways than one has become the largest “open air jail” in the world.
However, India is being shielded even by the US and UN (by not executing its own earlier decisions made on Kashmir and the US not intervening into the issue as mediator) and some more international powers which have a say in world politics.
Look at the turn of events in this part of the world that have taken place in a short span of a week which have sown the seeds of a fierce skirmish in between China, the US and India-the former stooge of the now dissolved Soviet Union for all along the Cold War period.
The reason of the expected ferocious fight is India and India alone- the South Asian menace.
Kathmandu’s political circuit takes India not only as a camp-changer but also is pleased to name this hooligan country a nation being now ruled by world class fools, jokers and fundamentalists, PM Modi for example.
Let’s come to the point and take the first event first.
Xi’s visit to Tibet:
A fortnight ago, President Xi Jinping mysteriously landed in the autonomous region of China Tibet and headed towards that part of Tibet which borders Arunachal Pradesh of India to which China claims that it is the extended territory of Tibet.
Mr. Xi last visited the region ten years ago as vice president. The last sitting Chinese leader to officially visit was Jiang Zemin in 1990.
This visit was taken as a security threat to India and the Godi media are crying, since then, foul against China as is their habit.
On the contrary Chinese media asserts that the visit “underscores China’s concerns over security on the border with its southern neighbor” India where military clashes between the two rivals took place only last year.
President Xi intends to link Lhasa with Kongpo (Nyngchi in Chinese) which, Indian experts believe, would create a security threat to the Delhi regime.
It should be clear to all and sundry that China though is an “authoritarian” country but for Nepal it comparatively is far better than hooligan-expansionist India.
India’s pain is Nepal’s pleasure for so many obvious reasons. For Nepal, India is a permanent curse for the Himalayan nation.
President Xi’s sudden trip to the area that borders India jolted Delhi’s camp changer regime-from the then USSR to the USA in the present time.
India is an inauspicious country as it made the USSR to collapse and is all set to drown the USA time permitting.
The US is suggested to remain alert from the Indian habit of stabbing at the back.
President Xi during his Tibet visit is learnt to have instructed the Tibetan high placed officials to take up the issue of the Rail links to Kathmandu as soon as possible.
This news came no less than an explosion for India’s rulers as the latter concludes that Nepal is a small nation under its pocket and so Nepal has no right or whatsoever to tilt towards China.
Xi’s Tibet visit has worried the US also. One influential Republican lawmaker said Joe Biden was not doing much to stop the Chinese “march”.
Talking to Fox news Republican Devin Nunes said: “The Chinese dictator was on the border with India ….also a threat to India…threatening India that he is going to build a big water project , possibly cut off water to India”.
The most unfortunate fact is also that China many a times in the past has cheated and duped Nepal in collaboration with India.
The second event:
The day US Secretary of State Antony Blinken landed in Delhi (July 27), he made his first call to Nepal Prime Minister Deuba and hopefully told the latter to get the US Project Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) parliamentary approval.
The fact is that the MCC doesn’t need parliamentary approval in Nepal but yet some “leaders” have made it a point to get it through the Parliament so that it assumes the status of a law which later can’t be challenged in any Nepali Court.
The UML leader Dr. Bhim Rawal and NCP leader C.P Mainali both claim that some of the articles and clauses contained in the MCC agreement with Nepal government dismisses the authority of Nepali state in an insulting manner and thus Dr. Rawal and Mainali suggest that the US’s MCC project could be accepted only when the other side amicably deletes those provisions which demean the authority of the Nepal nation.
However, PM Deuba and his supporters in the fractured UML led by Indo bend Mr. Nepal and other peripheral political parties that elevated him to power this time prefer the Parliamentary approval of the MCC at the earliest possible.
Talks on MCC was first initiated and brought in by the Maoists led government when K.B. Mahara was the Foreign Minister.
It is rumored in the political circuit that those who strongly favor the early approval of the MCC project may have enjoyed “financial gains” and that is why they need the sure shot approval of the MCC.
While the debate is on, Kathmandu Street is being now captured by those who aggressively oppose the approval of the MCC claiming that the US project not only undermines the Nepali territorial integrity and sovereignty but also pushes Nepal to exist as a new protectorate of the former British colony-that is India which unfortunately borders Nepal.
Lapdog of India? Never.
A section of learned men suggest the US administration to look Nepal through its own lens but not from India’s with whom Nepal have never enjoyed cordial relations.
And the third one: The US dignitary while residing in Indian soil (July 27-28) made some comments that have for sure angered China.
For China, the Dalai Lama is a dangerous separatist. For India the Dalai is a China Card.
The US top diplomat’s meet with the Dalai man in Delhi does speak that the US wants to send signals to China that the US sides with the Dalai and that China in no way can appoint new Dalai on its own but it should be left to the Tibetans to decide.
Antony Blinken met briefly with Ngodup Dongchung, who presented him with a scarf from the Dalai Lama, a senior State Department official said.
Dongchung serves as a representative of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), is also known as the Tibetan government in exile, reports Reuters dated 28, 2021.
The US Congress, to recall, has already passed the Tibet Policy and Support Act which in essence champions the rights of Tibetans to choose the successor to the Dalai Lama, and the establishment of a US consulate in the Tibetan capital Lhasa.
The Tibet Policy Act of the US has already “sensitized” the Chinese regime and the fresh meet of the US dignitary with the Tibetan official in Delhi at a gathering of so called “Civil society leaders” must have heightened anger of Beijing authorities.
Mr. Ngodup’s presence in the civil society group is an Indian ploy to tease China which is clear.
Apart from this meet, Secretary Blinken also met separately, another Tibetan representative, Geshe Dorjee Damdul, who attended a roundtable Blinken held with around seven civil society members, reports the NDTV July 29, 2021.
India used and overused Secretary Blinken to tease China from Delhi itself.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that “Tibetan affairs are purely China’s internal affairs that allow no foreign interference”.
“China firmly opposes all forms of contacts between foreign officials and the Dalai Lama, Lijian said.”Any formal contact between the US and the Dalai clique is a violation of the US commitment to acknowledge Tibet as part of China”.
India will have to pay a very heavy price for this Indian (mis)adventure as it has received several setbacks in the past. Just recall the fresh Doklam incident and the great 1962 debacle.
Far flung America will time permitting patch-up its “vast differences” with the US as both the countries commercially are close to each other. Both can’t afford to linger the dispute.
If the US needs China then equally China too needs the US support for maintaining the Global order.
The fact is that the Nepali population desire that India gets a severe punch from China much of the same magnitude as that of the 1962 war which drove the Indian army back to take shelters inside the Indian Territory and thus the Indian Army saved their lives.
If on the one hand, as the number one champion of the democratic world, the US should have avoided meeting the Tibetan officials in Delhi to lessen the difference with China, then on the other one high profile US official was visiting China at the same time when Antony Blinken was touring the Indian capital-Delhi.
The U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman visited the Chinese city of Tianjin at the end of July last month for high-level talks with Chinese officials.
Wendy met foreign minister Wang Yi and assured the Chinese minister Yi and had “frank and open discussion about a range of issues, demonstrating the importance of maintaining open lines of communication between the US and China.
This is meaningful in that the US has carrot and stick both in its hands. This is the US diplomacy….superb!