Urgent steps stressed to counter US-India bloc

Defence experts suggest enhancing cooperation with players such as China, Russia

US and Indian officials after 2+2 ministerial dialogue in New Delhi. PHOTO: REUTERS


Defence experts have warned that the Indo-US pact on geospatial intelligence sharing threatens the region’s strategic stability and urged the government to take urgent steps to counter New Delhi’s growing strategic and physical martial capabilities.

This was stressed during a webinar on ‘India-US Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA): Implications for the South Asian Region’ on Thursday. The webinar had been hosted by the Strategic Vision Institute (SVI).

BECA was recently signed by Indian and US defence ministers during their 2+2 Dialogue in New Delhi.

Pakistan’s former envoy to the United Nations in Geneva and Conference on Disarmament Ambassador (retired) Zamir Akram said the growing Indo-US strategic partnership is not only making South Asia but the entire Asia-Pacific region, more volatile and dangerous.

He believed that the strategic partnership between the US and China will continue to grow despite the imminent change in the White House after Joe Biden was elected in the presidential elections.

However, Ambassador Akram suggested that the new US administration may not pursue the kind of aggressive policies against China as its predecessor, but it will also not give up the pursuit of its strategic objective of containing China.

Air University Aerospace Sciences and Strategic Studies Faculty Dean Dr Adil Sultan said that BECA could raise India’s situational awareness, thereby facilitating it in conducting any preemptive strike that it may intend to undertake.

Pakistan, he suggested, should fast track its indigenous space programme and the available option is to enhance space cooperation with China.

Defence Analyst Brigadier (retired) Samson Sharaf believed that the shifting balance of power in the South West Asian region and evolving strategic environment could bring Pakistan and China together into a binding, wide-ranging, mutually supporting, and formal defence arrangements.

He proposed that Islamabad develop its capabilities through urgent acquisitions of systems from China and Russia.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 13th, 2020.

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