India has traditionally been risk-averse in undertaking military operations on foreign soil. The air attack, crossing the international border, on a Jaish-e-Mohamed (JeM) madrassa/training centre in Balakot surprised the world. The reaction in most countries of the world was surprisingly positive.
Pakistan was stunned and its response with an air intrusion, where an antiquated Indian MiG 21 brought down an upgraded Pakistani F16, only added to Indian satisfaction.
The air attack also brought back into focus the fact that while the JeM had been declared a terrorist organisation by the US, UK, Russia, Australia, Canada, India and Pakistan, and by the UN in 2001, its leader Maulana Masood Azhar was roaming freely, quite obviously with ISI backing.
Backed by the US, UK and France, India again moved, to get the UN to act against Azhar after the Pulwama attack, for which the Jaish spokesman had loudly accepted responsibility. India lobbied actively around the world to seek global support for declaring Azhar as an internationally designated terrorist.
The progress of this diplomatic effort was soon evident. A Security Council Resolution naming Azhar was cosponsored by 13 of the 15 members of the Council.
While Russia did not agree to cosponsor the Resolution, it agreed to vote in its favour. China alone opposed the Resolution and ultimately vetoed it. But, the fact is that 14 of the 15 members of the Security Council formally backed a move to outlaw a major terrorist grouping in Pakistan, which obviously enjoyed ISI support. China acted as Pakistan’s partner in terrorism. This is unquestionably a notable success in India’s effort to isolate Pakistan internationally, for its sponsorship of terrorism and, in the process, expose China as a co-conspirator!
This development should now be used by India to squeeze a cash-strapped and bankrupt Pakistan. Past diplomatic efforts have already led to a situation wherein the International Financial Action Task Force has served notice on Pakistan on its inaction, in seizing existing financial resources of designated terrorist groups.
India should now embark on a comprehensive effort to ensure that Pakistan is kept on the verges of bankruptcy. Pakistan is desperately in need of assistance, with its foreign exchange reserves having fallen to levels as low as $6-8 billion. Stabilising its economy would require massive foreign exchange inflows.
Such assistance can only come from the IMF, World Bank and Asian Development Bank, which are largely controlled by the US and its OECD allies such as Germany, France, the UK and Japan. Oil/gas-rich Arab States such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait are another source of finance.
It is evident that the US and its allies have lost patience with Pakistani falsehoods and the US Congress is even more sceptical. Moreover, Arab Gulf States such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which now show high regard for India, will not be generous to Pakistan, if the US calls on them to link their doles to good behaviour by Pakistan in its relations with Afghanistan and India. Sadly, for Pakistan, its “all weather friend” China is not “Father Christmas”.
Beijing does not dole out large amounts of foreign exchange for others to spend, just to keep their economies afloat! India needs to follow up on such issues, even as the country remains engrossed in forthcoming elections. email@example.com