If Chinese President Xi Jinping’s two-day visit to Pakistan was about celebrating Beijing’s friendship, his presence at Bandung, Indonesia is likely to see an assertion of the Chinese claim to leadership in Asia.
Chinese President Xi’s travel to Islamabad, coming three weeks before Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to China, raises interesting questions about New Delhi’s changing approach towards Beijing.
Islamabad is under pressure from Saudi Arabia to join military operations against the Houthi rebels in Yemen, but there is little popular support in Pakistan for jumping into a sectarian war.
Squeezed between the Sunni extremism of the Islamic State on the one hand and the rising political clout of the Shia Iran on the other, the Saudis are apparently eager to cash in their many IOUs in Pakistan.
Having suspended talks with Islamabad last August, the Indian government needed a diplomatic device to renew the engagement with Pakistan.
Cricket has always come in handy to the leaders of India and Pakistan to break political ice at difficult moments in bilateral relations, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent outreach follows this trend.
As Modi and Obama expand the scope of the India-U.S. partnership, they have a rare opportunity to strengthen bilateral engagement on regional issues in the subcontinent, including the stability of Pakistan.
Partition has given Pakistan the power to disrupt Afghanistan, but not enough to construct a stable order. This tragic story of the Great Game is unlikely to change in 2015.
Pakistan’s ambivalence towards economic integration and the minimal gains from the South Asian summit in Kathmandu need not necessarily be a setback to India’s agenda for regionalism.
Delhi and Tehran see the Chabahar port as a means to improve their geopolitical leverage with Pakistan and pursue their common interest in providing Central Asia alternative routes to the Indian Ocean.