Weaponization Of South Asia – OpEd
By Asad Ali
South Asia has become volatile region due to the warmongering approach of Modi government. The aggressive statements of Indian officials, strengthening its military might by increasing defense spending, hegemonic and Hindutva driven designs of government are putting entire regional peace in jeopardy, creating panic in the region. The BJP and RSS led Indian establishment making the lives of minorities miserable by attacking them and vandalizing their properties.
By increasing arms race, Indian government is playing with fire while creating chaos in the region. It will gain nothing out of it: hence it is likely to create disturb balance of power severely. Nuclearisation of South Asia by India, a deplorable step, permanently endangering the peace of this region and depriving the population of prosperous life due to diversion of resources towards an arms race. This must be stopped right now before its too late. The leaders in India must not forget that Pakistan has more sophisticated nuclear arsenals than India. It has outclassed India many times in conventional and non-conventional battlefield. The recently dog-fight between Indian Air Force and Pakistan Air Force in the aftermath of Balakot airstrikes had proved Pakistan’s strategic superiority over India when Pakistani Air Force shot down two Indian aircraft and captured pilot Wing Commander Abinandhaan. That was eye opener for India its also compelled New Delhi to reconsider its hostile approach towards Pakistan. In addition to this, Pakistan had identified more strategic targets inside India after the New Delhi’s blatant violations of Islamabad’s airspace, but it acted in a mature and responsible way. Pakistan showed its military might in retaliation only in defense. Pakistan had to compete as existential threats were posed by Indian leaders of myopic views. Remember, it was India who violated all diplomatic and international military norms.
Likewise, after facing humiliating defeat in dog-fight, India had decided to further enhance its strategic capabilities and for that matter it approached Russia and France for latest military equipment. New Delhi purchased latest Rafale aircraft from France to beat Pakistan’s JF-17 Thunders and F-16 aircraft. It had also signed deal with Russia worth billions of dollars to acquire S-400 missile defense system and other defense equipment such as Su-35 aircraft. All these Indian actions and deals are against the already existing international and bilateral rules, which are aimed at increasing arms race in the region. The warmongering designs of Indian government are creating hunger and poverty within the country. Instead of improving the basic life style of masses, New Delhi is interested in strengthening military might. Tens of thousands of Indian people are living below the poverty line having no access to basic necessities of life. They are dying of hunger. But, Modi government is more interested in warmongering.
Indian liberal political elite, academicians and human rights watchdogs have vehemently denied Modi government’s priorities. They have been asking the government to focus more on health, education and human development instead of wasting money on defense sector. Even, Pakistani government asked India many times to join hands, end animosity and work for peace and stability in the region. Recently, former Prime Minister Imran Khan had asked Premier Modi to come forward and fight against hunger and poverty. He also offered to reduce defense spending and use of that money for human development. Indian government must understand that investing massively in defense sector is not good omen for human and economic development of the region. This will only create further security threat in the region. It must abandoned this approach and come forward to work for the overall economic and political integration of South Asia.
To conclude my argument, I must say that Indian Army’s prevailing doctrine leaves the military with two main choices: do nothing or risk wars it cannot win. The Indian Army needs to rethink its use of force and must work in a professional way like Pakistan Army is working to maintain regional peace and stability.