Amidst altering International Order, our region South Asia (SA) also seemed to be heading for a new Regional order. Historically, SA had a mercantile significance becuase in the centuries old age of sail, natural monsoon, powerful winds and sea currents favoured the sea voyages in Indian Ocean. Indian Ocean remained a conduit for trade between better developed Atlantic and Pacific regions but ironically it itself remained conflict prone and least integrated apparently due to great games and geopolitics of the developed world. In the changed environment, SA would have economic significance as fossil fuels as well as mineral riches were endowed to this region. With the rise of China and contestation of this development by the US, the region once again was coming to the forefront. IOR region was already projected as centre stage of rivalry for 21st century. A day did not pass without a new development in this regard. Sino-India stand off in Ladakh, Indian change in status of IOK & Ladakh, new found US’ love for autonomy of Hong Kong and US desire to declare Tibet as independent country were the moves on the same chess board. Rise of China will never go uncontested and the game was already on. IOK, Ladakh, Aksai Chin and Tibet are getting in focus. The target was rise of China and scuttling of CPEC/ BRI was the mean to that end. Following focators would dictate the new regional order:
– Rise of China was a given reality, while degree and form of contestation would impact the entire region.
– Pakistan for over 4 decades as an ally won the wars for ungrateful US. Thanks God now India was on that route. On behest of the US, India would contest rise of China and would get it’s due share. Happy to see India doing dirty job.
– Incase this contestation went in favour of China which was most likely then the US would further shrink to its home base and India would face the wrath of China.
– For quite some time India had played a dirty role in Afghanistan. With deinduction of the US from Afghanistan, India would be cut to size in Afghanistan.
Prior to 1947 division of subcontinent, major drivers of conflict in our region were presence of Britain in the region, great games of superpowers and prolonged instability in Afghansitan. After 1947, major drivers of conflict were, division of the subcontinent, unfinished agenda of this division in shape of political conflicts and non-reconcilation of India. India thus picked up issues with all its neighbours.
Drawing strength from China erstwhile vassal states of India like Nepal were now staring India in its eyes.
In sum India would have a reduced role in new regional order which would be dominated by China. Last battle of Cold War was won by the US in this region which devastated Pakistan. The US’ Waterloo would also be fought in this region but hopefully this time not Pakistan but India would get the battering.