One of the world’s nuclear flashpoints saw a sudden détente when India and China agreed to disengagement at the LAC (Line of Actual Control) on February 17 and India and Pakistan announced a ceasefire on the LoC (Line of Control) eight days later, on February 25. A look at the compulsions that drive these three countries, locked ina two-against-one confrontation in South Asia, and their own national issues they must deal with.
On the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) grey list for failure to do enough to curb terror funding; has sustained losses worth $38 billion (Rs 2.77 lakh crore) since 2008
Economy in the doldrums, dealing with a debt crisis and rising inflation. External debt and liabilities amounted to over $113 billion (Rs 8.24 lakh crore) in 2020. Creditors like Saudi Arabia knocking on its door.
Would like to focus on Afghanistan, where it is a part of the peace process with the US and Taliban, to shed its image of a nation associated with terror. The US troops have promised to pull out by May 1 if conditions are met.
On Feb. 3, Pakistan army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa said, “It is time to extend a hand of peace in all directions,” signalling that the powerful military is supportive of the peace process with India.
Centenary celebrations of the Communist Party of China coming up in July, where Xi Jinping will once again be projected as supreme leader for life
Waiting to assess US President Joe Biden’s policy towards Asia
Peace with Islamabad and Beijing buys New Delhi a temporary reprieve on two military fronts simultaneously live for the first time since Independence. Indian Army has lost lives on the LoC in 2020 in cross-border firing and along the LAC after a deadly clash with China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) during the stand-off in 2020.
Needs time and space to consolidate economic recovery and to carry out its Covid vaccination drive across the country
USA, THE OUTLIER
Under Joe Biden, the US will be just as tough vis-à-vis China as it was under Donald Trump but it will take a different tack; has outlined a high-technology and military alliance pushback against China
The 20th anniversary of the US war in Afghanistan, the longest in its history, is coming closer
President Joe Biden could be wary of withdrawing from Afghanistan as it endangers the pro-Western administration in Kabul. There is every possibility that the May 1 deadline might be extended.
Biden administration wants India and Pakistan to start talking. The US state department spokesperson welcomed the ceasefire between the two countries.