The news of China and the Jamaat e Islami having signed a formal agreement, which should have all Indians worried, almost coincides with another piece in Time, parts of which should be music to our ears. Certain salient paragraphs are reproduced below.
However, with Pakistan's security situation growing increasingly volatile and economic conditions turning dire, there may be a turn in tide between these once intimate friends (China and Pakistan). "The situation is much different now than once upon a time," says William Kirby, T. M. Chang Professor of China Studies at Harvard University. "India has emerged as a much more powerful force in the region and Pakistan has not succeeded in the way that hopeful and loyal supporters had once imagined. It is now one of the great security risks in the region."(Emphasis mine)
Instead of increasing assistance to its old ally, Beijing has apparently been keeping a distance from Islamabad. During Zardari's visit in October, the Chinese snubbed the Pakistani President's request for a full-blown economic bailout.
"The cooperation we saw during the Musharraf era just isn't there anymore," says Sayem Ali, an economist with Standard Chartered Bank in Karachi. "China would rather develop better relations with India and the U.S., which is not great news for Pakistan because it has always relied on China's help."
We are now looking at a situation where China and India are on their way to becoming global powers(Emphasis mine) and Pakistan is really in a position of endemic crisis," says Kirby. "China can longer afford to make any unconditional guarantees — particularly where Pakistan is concerned.
Pakistan’s ceasefire agreement with the Taliban in SWAT valley is certain to raise eyebrows globally. In all probability, the full import of this development has not sunk in fully across global powers. Neither is the Taliban likely to be satisfied with its control of the SWAT in NW Pakistan. The agreement would surely have come as a huge shot in the arm to them and it’s only a matter of time before they start looking to expand their influence to other parts of Pakistan. And that for Pakistan would be a step towards Anarchy, which surely is neither in India’s or the world’s interest.
Isn’t it about time the UN woke up from its somnolent inactivity towards Pakistan and intervened?
There was never a better time for India to seek to improve relations with the Red Giant. In times to come, China is sure to be a force to reckon with both economically and militarily. Unfortunately for us, with elections round the corner, our leaders are way too busy trying to woo their vote banks.
Hope this opportunity does not pass us by.