‘China`s influence on Pakistan threatens India’

China`s influence on an "unstable" Pakistan will grow further and the military and nuclear nexus between them will deepen in the coming years posing security concerns for India, a leading think-tank has said.

Last Updated: Jul 18, 2010, 18:03 PM IST

New Delhi: China`s influence on an
"unstable" Pakistan will grow further and the military and
nuclear nexus between them will deepen in the coming years
posing security concerns for India, a leading think-tank has
said.

"In an unstable Pakistan, Chinese influence will grow
further... The Pakistan government and the Army will become
even more dependent upon China," the New Delhi-based Institute
for Defence Studies and Analyses has warned in its report.

The think-tank also said, "India has to be mindful of
the growing Chinese influence in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir..."

China`s state-run media recently reported that Beijing
will go ahead with financing the construction of two 650 MW
nuclear reactors in Pakistan disregarding the concerns raised
by India and the United States.

China also vowed to take its "all weather" military
ties with Pakistan to a "new high", as the two countries are
collaborating in the manufacture of advanced fighter aircraft.

The 156-page report titled `Whither Pakistan? Growing
Instability And Implications for India` said: "It is very much
likely that agencies in Pakistan will continue with their
present strategy of using terror as a tool of pressure against
India."

The report said that an increasingly unstable Pakistan
may manifest in several ways - Lebanonisation (being divided
into several small pockets) or in the worst case scenario, it
may even face disintegration.

"There are important minorities in Pakistan that may
together with the Barelvi Muslims constitute the majority. If
such group engages itself in a bloody struggle with the
Taliban, it may lead to a Lebanonisation of the Pakistani
state," the report said.

Recently, several Barelvis, Shia and other minority
sects’ places of worships have been targeted by the Taliban
militants.

In most recent attack, the Data Darbar Sahib shrine of
Hazrat Ali Hajweri, considered the patron saint of Lahore, was
targeted by two suicide bombers on July 1 that killed 45
people and wounded over 200.

If the infighting within the nation continues, the
report warned then "multiple centres of powers will emerge
with the Army being the most important."

The report said that the Pakistan Army`s behaviour
might become unpredictable due to a variety of factors,
including the increasing radicalisation of a section of it.

"The Army will get more aggressive as it finds itself
fighting to save Pakistan: and its own identity. This could
result in more sabrerattling and brandishing of the nuclear
threat," it said.

"Within Pakistan, the society will get fragmented. The
ethnic, linguistic and provincial fault lines may get
accentuated. Insurgency in Balochistan might get worse. Sindh
and NWFP will not remain unaffected. They will challenge
Punjab`s dominance," it said.

The people in Gilgit-Baltistan, who have suffered at
the hands of Pakistan in the last six decades, look towards
India with some hope and expectation considering that India
regards these areas as its own part.

Noting that ever since the Indo-Pak war of 1971, the
Pakistan Army has for the first time come under serious
domestic and international pressure to perform, the report
said that the military campaign undertaken against militants
in the country`s tribal areas so far demonstrates that it is
yet to evolve a well-thought-out counter-insurgency strategy.

"The Pakistan Army simply lacks the concept to fight
counter-insurgency operations and continues to treat these
operations as low intensity conflicts," it said, noting that
the military outcome so far has been that it still continues
to fight in Swat and South Waziristan, and has yet to make
decisive inroads into North Waziristan.

The Pakistan counter-insurgency campaign has failed to
address the broader grievances of the local population, and
its perceived alignment with the US has constrained its
strategic and tactical options, the report said.

The report suggested that India should open its links
with the Pakistani military and a structured dialogue would
help New Delhi understand the Army`s point of view.

PTI