Alternative Opinion on Central and South Asia

New Age Globalization: Lessons for South Asia

April 13, 2017

South Asia is undergoing an extremely unmatchable time of its politics. In the politics of last three decades, Pakistan has become an island in international politics in the South Asian matters particularly with reference to India and Afghanistan. The internal politics of Pakistan is a contour which today has emerged as cornerstone in the post-China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) cooperation era.

Change of strategic strength

India by and large has emerged as an Asiatic power and international actor in last a few years. India is Asia’s second important most economy and market after China; militarily India having intern-continental strategic access, in space technology its mission to Mars has placed it fifth among the outer space nations after USA, Russia, EU, and China. Besides, being strategically closer to USA and Russia both at the same time, India has emerged as an alternative to China, if not counter to it, in the politics of world balance of power. The economic growth rate, development pace, and economic planning for at least upcoming two decades has made India a promising power. This has further strengthened India’s chances for rise to United Nations Security Council’s (UNSC) membership.

Temporary rise to ethnic-national politics and localism

Ethnicity, race and migrations have remained focus of modern research of social sciences in UK, EU, USA and Canada in the era of globalization. Multiculturalism and an extensive as well as heavenly blend of immigrants of various ethnic and colour background had concentration in only certain developed countries that has caused reaction into a new political tilt and trend in these societies. Such new political tilt, can be called New age globalization is visible in various societies of West especially of Europe, USA and South America. Hence, globalization in terms of ethno-racial composition of their societies, concentration of ethnic diversity and its impacts on the utilization of resources has set entirely new political agenda. In summary, this can be called politics of challenges by globalization in ethnic, numerical and economic context. This tilt and trend in the politics of West would further become phenomenal gradually.

Asia after Brexit

Brexit of UK from European Union, rise of Trump to Presidency in USA, and similar development simmering up in Europe and elsewhere in first and second world have at least two aspects of impacts – one, directing the process of globalization towards Asia and Africa; and two, re-writing the process as well as transcending steps of globalization that human has to reach so far. This new age globalization perspective will help create new economic and political centers and powers in Asia, Africa and South America. Thus, upcoming one decade’s politics is redirected towards an entirely new course of human epoch. India, South Africa, Japan, Brazil and some other countries their continents would further grow politically and economically.

Future of territorial freedom movements

United Nations Declaration on Indigenous People has necessitated by prioritizing and giving upper hand to the rights including right to self-determination to the indigenous people in any territory. Recently, Pakistan National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz said that future of Kashmir depends on the indigenous movement and the youth of the Kashmir. Hitherto, the violence in the name of Kashmir has two dimensions – movement by non-Kashmiri Pakistani for the secession of Kashmir from India, and violence in the name of Islam. Thus, a non-indigenous and religious-violent movement cannot eke out support from international community. Probably, the old guards at Pakistan might be thinking limiting activism related to Kashmir to the ethnic Kashmiri only. Besides, Kashmir in Pakistan is administratively in three parts – Azad Jamu & Kashmir (AJK); Gilgit-Baltistan; and Muree (annexed with Pakistani Punjab) on which India has already raising objection with reference to CPEC. Movements for the territorial freedoms for Sindh, Balochistan, and Kurdistan are by ingenious populations and these lands have historically remained countries.

Afghanistan in changing politics

Three decades long Pakistan’s intervention and engagement with Afghanistan has by and large proved fruitless for both Afghanistan and Pakistan. After change of guards in USA, Trump has expressed positivity for Russia in the context NATO as well as in the post-Crimea crises. It seems USA and Russia again would join their hands in Afghanistan and on some other similar matters mostly based on cooperation against terrorism in the name of religion. This would further enhance chances for India to retain its key importance in the matter of Afghanistan, and consequently in Asia. India has already supported Iran to develop infrastructure connecting Afghanistan with Port Abass so that Iranian gulf may be used for trade and military movement regarding Afghanistan, Central Asia and rest of the world. It is only this moment, where USA policy approach towards Iran may give a smaller and temporary twist to the scenario. USA, India, Afghanistan and Russia have to think seriously on this route of transport.

Perspective South Asia

South Asian politics mainly was divided in two lines – Pakistan, and India. After SAARC boycott of Pakistan, this traditional division in South Asian politics has become undone in the history of last three decades. Indian better understanding with Afghanistan, Bhutan and Bangladesh, Nepal and Maldev, and developing relations with Sri Lanka has isolated Pakistan in the region. The declaration of Asia Hearts Conference and results of many other such initiatives indicate that world is detaching itself from Pakistan. Pakistan on the other hand has planned its permanent strategic dependence on China through CPEC. Pakistan is promised to give strategic trade route to China in Arabian Sea from Guwadar, Balochistan; and Karachi-Zulfiqarbad Ports of Sindh. This, although gave some economic benefits for Pakistan, has gave permanent strategic and economic loss to Pakistan. Meanwhile, there are strong freedom movements in Sindh and Balochistan. On the other hand, civil-military relation in Pakistan are adverse like historically.

In this situation South Asian nations including rest of the world have to decide carefully about their strategic future, which has to choose certain direction due to the upcoming narrative of the world, Asiatic and South Asian politics. Let a new South Asia be developed on the debris of traditional politics, and let the development, freedoms, and interdependence reign the political fabric of South Asia.

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