India and Israel have a deep rooted strategic partnership ever since the 1990’s. Initially, India did not recognize Israel in 1950 because India did not want to ruin its relations with USSR as USSR was at good ties with the Muslim states around Israel. So Israel did not keep much significance for India. However, it was not until 1992 when India established full diplomatic relations with Israel since she was prevailing politically and strategically and also became a nuclear weapon state. Not only India but Egypt, Syria, Bahrain, UAE and Turkey have also recognized it despite their stance on Palestine.
Ever since India and Israel opened their embassies in each other’s state that was the beginning of Indo-Israel partnership. One of the theory also suggests that this partnership was well-planned even before 1990’s because few of MOSSAD’S agents were suspected in Kashmir premises. Today, India is one of the largest arms importer of Israel and it constitutes around 50% of Israel’s defense exports and approximately 30% of India’s imports as India also imports from Russia and United States.
Economically, as soon as India and Israel enhanced their ties they signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) which was expected to raise the annual trade from $5 billion per annum to $15 billion per annum. Moreover, Israel has already started investing in Indian states including Bihar, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana, Tamil Nadu and Punjab. This will boost India’s economy and also help the underdeveloped states to develop.
India is also known to be the second-largest Asian economic partner of Israel. In August of 2012, India and Israel signed an academic research agreement which was worth $50 million. This enhanced India’s research institutes as well. Furthermore, the two nations are also negotiating on an extensive bilateral free trade pact which would be focusing on areas such as information technology, biotechnology and agriculture.
The arms race between India and Pakistan is mostly propagated by Israel as it has a much modernized military and what gives India an edge is that Pakistan has still not recognized Israel as a state. Furthermore, the most important project on which India and Israel are working on is the RISAT-2 Spy Satellite. If India acquires this technology then India would be able to check on the adversary’s movement, deployment, size, mobilization pattern and strategic sites from the space which would result in a big trouble for Pakistan because there will not be any confidentiality. It has day and night viewing capability and will keep a continuous watch over Pakistan even when the landmass is covered by a thick cloud cover.
After 1999 Kargil War, India started purchasing UAV’s from Israel to keep a check on the disputed areas. It is basically a supply of lethal drones to India which can assist in taking out high value targets like radars, military installations and missile deployed sites. Heron TP and Armed UAV’s are an example. India is also planning to acquire Electronic Warfare and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle from Israel and this will not only enhance its capabilities of reconnaissance, communication, information, and coordination between its military nevertheless, it also poses a grave threat to the security of Pakistan.
India purchased LOROS from Israel to place it on Kashmir border since it detects people from coming and going along with thermal imaging. Moreover, Israel also helped India in improving its Special Protection Group which is appointed for Prime Minister and Jewish lobby has also promoted India diplomatically in the international community.
Indo-Israel strategic partnership is increasing day by day and is bringing technological revolution in India’s military. This is threatening for Pakistan as it does not have enough budget to afford all the modernized technology on which India is spending billions. Pakistan severely needs to improve its bilateral relations with other militarily strong countries like USA, France, Germany, Russia and China.
Pakistan needs to keep in mind how strong Indo-Israeli strategic partnership is so Pakistan has to develop and equip its military with latest weaponry. It has to rely on its indigenous defense industry for the maintenance and development of its military machine. Since Pakistan does not have a very stable economy so it has to maintain strategic parity with India within the resources that are available.
India is following a similar model in Kashmir which Israel follows in Palestine issue. India is practicing ethnic cleansing and forced conversions just like Israel did in Palestine. Both the states have an anti-Muslim agenda which again is a threat to Pakistan’s national security. Israel’s presence in the Middle East is creating scuffles for the Muslim countries around it along with illegal annexations of areas like Golan Height and West Bank. Now it is interfering in Syria and in the long term plans to enter Iraq. Similarly, India is amending the citizen’s bill and abrogating the articles related to Kashmir which portrays the similar ideology. It will impact Pakistan’s foreign policy as well as its internal security as both the states have an influential image in the international community.
Pakistan will be in a state where it will be suffering from response dilemma. However, this will put a restrain on Pakistan’s budget as Pakistan is already a weak economy with many internal security issues. If Pakistan only focuses on the arms race with India then it will become a hindrance in Pakistan’s capacity to industrialize and create employment opportunities for its citizens. The unemployed youth then has resentment issues against the government.
The restrain on economy will also lead to management issues as the citizens will have grievances so other foreign enemies of Pakistan utilizes it as an opportunity to hire mercenaries. Hybrid warfare strategy being practiced in Baluchistan through BLA is basically an exploitation of the naïve and sentimental people. It is pretty evident that BLA is backed and sponsored by India. The internal insurgencies like these create security threats and destabilization of the state.
India also has good terms with the US and although Pakistan is a declared ally of US, but it is more tilted towards India and Israel. All the Israel’s military transactions are first approved by US then they are further proceeded and unfortunately US approves and would approve all these transactions without considering Pakistan’s future. This is because of the weak foreign policy of Pakistan.
India conducted five nuclear tests in May 1998 out of which two were for Israel and this imposes a greater threat to Pakistan’s security because conventional gains of India is already a big challenge for Pakistan and with that, the collaborative nuclear attack would destroy Pakistan and would eliminate the state from the global map forever.
India and Israel might have actually thought of attacking Pakistan, but circumstances of the nuclear deterrence are different for Israel as well as for India which is why Israel is inhibiting in keeping this option open. Moreover, if Israel provides India with anti-ballistic missiles then the deterrence factor of Pakistan would be of no use.
US is very passionate about Israel so India takes the advantage to pursue strong lobbying in the US against Pakistan because the Jewish lobby is so far the most influential with over seven million members. For example in the case of FATF Pakistan requires abundant international support but it does not have it because of the anti-blocks like India and Israel. As long as Pakistan stays in the Grey List then foreign direct investments and funding would continue to decrease, however, not to ignore that the investments are Pakistan’s right because it also actively participated in Global War on Terror but the continuous decline in the international standing would take a toll on Pakistan’s foreign policy.
As analyzed above Indo-Israel strategic partnership is beyond limits. Their bilateral trade and agreements keeps on progressing. The continuous export of weaponry from Israel to India has become an element of surprise for Pakistan. However, this poses great threat to Pakistan’s national security because Pakistan has always been conventionally weak from India that is the reason Pakistan developed its nuclear weapon in the first place, to deter India from it. Moreover, India quite frequently resorts to border skirmishes so she will not be hesitant in using modernized weaponry and technology against Pakistan.
Pakistan needs to strengthen its ties with its allies especially China. The rivalry between India and China is an opportunity on which Pakistan can cash on. Pakistan should not just tilt itself towards one bloc but it should also make ties with US and Russia as it will open a room to maneuver and avoid security issues. Moreover, Pakistan’s reputation has already been distorted and associated with terrorism and extremism so Indo-Israel close partnership is a threat to Pakistan’s foreign policy. Pakistan should initiate indigenous weapon development and ageing fleets including warships or tanks. It should replace and enhance the rusted weaponry because if there is freedom only then Pakistan can prosper.
Pakistan and Germany are keen to Sustain Multifaceted and Mutually beneficial Cooperation
Pakistan has varied history of relationship and cooperation with other countries in international arena. Despite of proactive foreign policy Pakistan has been struggling to acquire global or regional status as a major power. Now in the age of globalization, the foreign relations between states have become more significant than before. Global and regional organizations, societies, economic zones and countries have network to attract and develop relationship among them. A major goal of Pakistan’s foreign policy is to develop good relations with international community and to handle global and regional issues. Activism of Pakistan‘s foreign policy reflects on the domestic socio-economic development. The national interest of Pakistan also support to regulate inputs from the external atmosphere into internal situation and to strive security and territorial integrity in the region and glob which always remained top concern of Pakistan. As bearing geo-strategic position, Pakistan seeks good relations with regional and global powers like America, China and European Union. Within European Union Germany has emergence as the developed economy in Europe. It is not only playing vital role within European Union but at the global level. Pakistan is also enjoying cordial relations with Germany on the base of common interest and perception on all international issues. Germany is also very keen to see sustainable development in Pakistan and acknowledges that the Pakistan is playing constructive role for regional peace. Germany greatly values Pakistan intense to strengthen multifaceted and mutual beneficial cooperation. Both the countries have been engaged on political, economic and socio-cultural partnership.
In past, East and West Germany had tilted towards forming alliance with India in 1950s but in 1960s, President Ayob Khan‘s visit to West Germany established economic relation between both the countries. Post Pak-India war 1971, East Germany was the first country of the Europe who recognized Bangladesh. During 1990s, Pakistan and Germany established Pakistan German Business Forum and Germany had become the fourth largest trade partner of Pakistan in 2000. Germany also was ally of Pakistan in the war against terrorism in the north-west part of the country. Since the last few years, both the countries developed trade relations as well as Germany invested in the field of science and technology in Pakistan. On August 24, 2014, Germany built Pakistan Gate in Berlin to provide business and trade facilities to the businessmen of both the countries.
In November 2018, Pakistan offered Germany to join CPEC and to invest in the Special Economic Zone (SEZs). The mutual trade between both the countries enhanced to 3.0 billion euro in 2019.In 2021, Both Pakistan and Germany are celebrating 70th anniversary of establishment of bilateral relationship. Both the countries are planning to undertake several activities in this regard. Last month German Ambassador visited Karachi Chamber of Commerce and industries to call German companies, entrepreneurs and investors to earn from the potential and opportunities which are available in Pakistan and to bring business communities of both the countries more closer as well. Foreign minister of Pakistan has visited to Germany and meeting with business and members of Pakistani community. The foreign Minister held meetings with the leadership of Germany and repeated the desire of expansion of bilateral economic activities and exchange of technology. Both sides also discussed rapidly changing situation of Afghanistan and South Asian region. During the discussion, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Foreign Minister of Germany Heiko Mass, Pakistan and Germany agreed to review the entire gamut of Pakistan-Germany relationship and tools of further deep bilateral cooperation in the field of trade, investment security and defense, health, education, tourism. The mass of both the countries want to utilize the potential of good relationship but it is observed that both sides have lack of political hierarchy, dedication and sincerity in past. The development and expansion of bilateral relationship lies on the path of peaceful coexistence and serious changes in the socio-economic structure is needed. Peace process with the neighboring countries like Afghanistan and India may attract Germany to invest in CPEC projects and other local project of education, vocational training, dam construction, tourism and economic activities in Pakistan. There is a need to organize a forum for the students and scholars of both the countries could interact and exchange their expertise for academic, economic and technology growth. There is potential of people to people interaction and development of cooperation between Pakistan and Germany. Pakistan may be more benefit from the relationship with Germany if the serious efforts be made on government level.
Modi’s Illiberal Majoritarian Democracy: a Question Mark on the Future of Indian Minorities
The word majoritarian is an adjective which relates to or constitutes a majority, majoritarian politics, or majoritarian democracy. It can be defined as a traditional political idea, philosophy or a practice according to which any decision whether political, social, or economic of an organized society should be made by a numerical majority of that society or it can be defined as a traditional political philosophy that stresses that a majority usually branded by religious, language, social class that also includes other recognizing factors of individuals in a society are subject to a level of superiority in a society because of which they have a say in every affair of a society. The concept of majoritarian dispensation in India under Narendra Modi has deep links with four other political philosophies i.e. Populism, Nationalism, Authoritarianism, and Sultanism. Before exploring Narendra Modi’s majoritarian policy of governance in India and its effects on the future of Indian minorities, I will first uncover the link of majoritarianism to political philosophies as mentioned.
A majoritarian leader is actually a populist leader who works hard for the concerns of people that who thinks are being ignored by the established elite groups in a society, and who always present himself as a new man mostly of a modest and plebeian background against old political establishment, in spite of the fact that who is a seasoned political figure, but usually not centre stage. This is exactly what Narendra Modi is, because in his 2014 election campaign, he presented himself as a new man against the Ghandi’s family’s old political system despite the fact he was CM Gujrat at that time. He also presented himself as someone who belongs to a very plebeian background that he had to work in his father’s tea shop when he was a child. Whereas, nationalism is a political idea or a philosophy that promotes and protects the interests of a particular nation, nationalism is the bedrock of most of the populists and NarendraModi is no exception. NarendraModi is a majoritarian national-populist leader who since his childhood has been the member of RSS, and now is a full time pracharak of RSS ideology that stresses that Hindu are the true and only sons of this Indian soil.
Majoritarian national- populist leaders like Narendra Modi are basically authoritarian leaders who reject political pluralism, and this is exactly what Modi is doing in India.Modi and the BJP has made it clear that no other party should compete with it, or is even needed, as indicative from its slogan of a ‘Congress Mukt Bharat’ (a Congress-free India).Whereas, Sultanism is a form of authoritarian government and according to Max Weber NarendraModi is a new sultan of India who is pushing India towards illiberal democracy by rejecting all kind of civil liberties particularly of Indian Muslim minority.
Modi’s majoritarian policy of governance in India is basically the promotion of majoritarian democracy that asserts Hindus a special and superior status in India because they constitute 80.5% of total Indian population and that this majoritarian policy protests Hindutva ideology that stresses that Hindus are the only sons of this soil and that strengthen the Hindu community. This majoritarian democracy is a big question mark on India as the world biggest liberal democracy because continuous violence, rejection of civil liberties, and crimes against the minorities that are Muslims, Sikhs, and Christians have been on the increase. About 1.8 million people who are minority communities are tortured in police custody every year. The word murder of minorities has been replaced by the term encounter killings. Torture have increased to such a huge extent that it questions the credibility of the rule of law and criminal justice. Hindu nationalists are revolting all around India especially against Muslims because they are the largest minority in India constituting 13.4% of total population and because Hindus have resentment toward their religion, Christians and Sikhs are no exception to their violence because they too constitute 2.3% and 1.9% of total Indian population.
Unfortunately, India under Narendra Modi is crawling from the world’s biggest liberal democracy to illiberal majoritarian democracy which is promoting and safeguarding only Hindu’s civil rights and liberties and that which is negating minority’s civil liberties and civil rights especially rights and liberties of Muslims of India. One such example of this is the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB).Under the act, for the first time in India, religion is a basis for granting citizenship. According to some this citizenship amendment bill by BJP is an intentional act in order to marginalize Muslims from mainstream politics. In addition to this, Muslims are not only being tortured at their religious places for their religious affiliations, but they are also being tortured at their educational institutions which is evident from a video of 15 December 2020, where Delhi police brutally tortured Muslims students of Jamia Millia Islamia university.
Keeping in mind Narendra Modi’s illiberal majoritarian democracy, the future of liberal democracy or pluralistic India appears to be gloomy, where the future of Indian minorities especially Muslims is a big question mark.
CoVID-19 Control: Can Pakistan Learn From China?
It has been over a year since the first case of CoVID-19 was confirmed in Pakistan. The tally has reached 721,018 confirmed cases, 15,443 have died and 4,143 critical cases by 11thApril2021. Across many countries, since January 2020, a massive surge of research into CoVID-19 had enabled the scientific and medical community to better understand how to manage and eliminate the virus through public health interventions. Today, we have learned, CoVID-19 causes acute symptoms and death. We have learned, immunity lasts at least eight months and we also have five licensed vaccines. We have learned, the long-term effects of CoVID-19 and the morbidity attached to having this virus. We have learned, virus transmission occurs through droplets and aerosols spread through coughing, sneezing, breathing and speaking. We also have learned, stopping the spread of CoVID-19 requires people to avoid mixing though restrictions on social life. We have learned, the virus can mutate into various strains that can be more transmissible – and we also have understand cat-and-mouse game between vaccine and variants.
To alleviate the destructive effects of CoVID-19 on the economy, Pakistan has sought debt relief of slightly around $2 billion from its G20 creditors. In addition to the G20 countries, China was the largest bilateral creditor with $9 billion, followed by Japan with $5 billion. By early April 2020, when there were just about 2,000 CoVID-19 positive cases in Pakistan, the World Bank approved $200 million package to help Pakistan. Likewise, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had approved the payout of $1.386 billion as financial support to Pakistan to meet its urgent balance of payment needs halting from the CoVID-19 outbreak. Further, to support Pakistan’s public health response to the CoVID-19 and allow to meet the basic needs of the vulnerable and poor segment of society, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved $500 million emergency assistance loan to Pakistan. Similarly, The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) also provided a $650 million financial package to support Pakistan in its efforts against the CoVID-19. All these grants were provided to Government of Pakistan to assist in effective and timely action in response to the spread of the CoVID-19. The objective was to strengthen Pakistan’s public health infrastructure and to alleviate socioeconomic disruptions due to the pandemic. Despite huge grants and substantial endowments, Pakistan’s response to the CoVID-19 has been unsatisfactory. Lack of basic healthcare infrastructure, disease surveillance and management system, and inconsistent implementation of policies and SOPs resulted in the rapid and incessant spread of third-wave of CoVID-19 throughout the county.
China’s extraordinary organized and preventive risk management approach, established on coalition between government officials, virologists, epidemiologists and public health experts, has demonstrated to be successful in containing and controlling CoVID-19.The experience in China emphasized the significance of listening to science and public health experts during pandemic event. Firstly, China’s response demonstrates the value of national research and public health capability. Huge investment in research and development rendered China much better prepared for CoVID-19. China’s experience indicates the value of investing in national health and research scheme to boost laboratory capacity along with workforce. They are essential to a rapid and effective national response to health emergencies and to national health security. Secondly, a strong foundation of research and development cannot ensure effective control without powerful top-level political dedication to use science to confront the outbreak. Government and leaders must respect science, understand its significance, and act on science-based advice in a way that is best for society. Thirdly, attaining speedy and successful implementation of control measures for CoVID-19 requires extensive community engagement. Public solidarity during the CoVID-19 outbreak in China had been unprecedented. Control measures that could sacrifice personal freedom were accepted readily by the nation.
To be brief, cricket is to South Asia and football is to Europe. In fighting CoVID-19, everyone is equal. Everyone has the identical liability and shares the equal threat. The effective implementation of prevention and control measures in China is a model for Pakistan other parts of world to follow. From the beginning, a science-based, risk-informed and phased approach was taken, with a clear appreciation and enthusiasm. Today, China has restarted its economy, reopened and almost returned to normality. The key of success story is to make everybody responsible, get every single division involved and held executives accountable. These are the most prominent lessons Pakistan could learn from China at national and local levels. After the failure of “Smart-Lockdown” strategy, Pakistan needs to choose a strict strategy, should follow the example of China and continue the lockdown until the number of CoVID-19 infections is brought close to zero; the strategy should then be to maintain infection rates at very low level until vaccination is done. China’s epidemic management provides an important experience from which countries such as Pakistan can learn. This applies in particular to Pakistan, which would risk to lose many of its achievements in case of a severe third wave of the epidemic. Government of Pakistan should involve not only public health experts, virologists and epidemiologists, but also scientist and respect science advice when making any decision that is required to keep the epidemic under control. The rest of the world can also learn from China’s success in bringing outbreak under control.
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