US puts pressure on Pakistan on behest of India, says Chinese scholar

September 4, 2018

BEIJING: The United States puts pressure on Pakistan on behest of India on anti-terrorism issues, said Wang Se of Institute of Contemporary International Relations in an article published in the Global Times on Tuesday.

According to Wang, on anti-terrorism issues, India will continue to ask the US to create pressure on Pakistan.

Actually, the US has responded to India’s request by cancelling some security-related aid to Pakistan and adding three Pakistanis with Lashkar-e-Taiba ties to its terror watch list.

But India believes these measures are not enough to ease the chaotic situation in India-controlled Kashmir. But the US has not extricated itself from its dependence on Pakistan in the Afghan issue, so how far it can cater to India’s request is worth pondering.

Foreign and defense chiefs of the US and India will meet on Thursday to hold their first ever 2+2 dialogue. The mechanism was agreed upon by US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the phone in August last year, but will only materialize after being cancelled twice for various reasons in April and July.

Since the US brought the Indo-Pacific strategy into the spotlight, it has been wooing India, hoping New Delhi can become an important pillar to deal with challenges from China.

In its latest National Security Strategy report and National Defense Strategy report, the White House listed India as its important strategic and defense partner in the Indo-Pacific region.

India is very alarmed by China’s projection of power in its perceived “sphere” of influence via the Belt and Road initiative. New Delhi has been accusing Beijing of strengthening its rein on Sri Lanka and the Maldives through its “debt trap” diplomacy. Therefore, India and the US have converging interests in counterbalancing China’s regional influence.

Nonetheless, India does not want to provoke China on some sensitive issues, especially those which do not touch on India’s core interests. In 2017, India rejected Australia’s request to join the Malabar naval exercises. It also ruled out participating in joint patrols in the South China Sea proposed by the US. But the two may contain China’s influence by cooperating economically in a third country. Alice Wells, the principal deputy assistant secretary for South and Central Asia of the US State Department, said the US is willing to work with New Delhi on projects outside India and both had partnered in third countries. INP