Listen: Pakistan, India And Cleo Paskal discussed on John Batchelor
"Good evening. I'm John Batchelor. My colleague and coast. Gordon Chang of the Daily Beast is here with me, and we go immediately to the other side of the world where it is morning time. The sun is up along the militarized frontier between elements of the Indian forces arrayed against elements of the Pakistani forces in Kashmir talpet with this story, which I've lost track of since Afghanistan fell off the front pages. Gordon is Cleo Paskal an associate fellow of Chatham house who joins us in studio wonderfully for the first time ever, I welcome her Cleo will be with us for some time to address other very critical matters to do with China, certainly to do with the matter of the People's Congress such a gathering in Beijing, but we go to India. Kashmir. And. Pakistan. Kashmir because this is a province that has been ripped in half. At least to my memory since the partition may be prehistoric time, and they headlined Cleo Indian Pakistani soldiers showed military outposts on villages along the frontier in disputed territory and outbreak of new violence despite stepped up diplomatic efforts help the audience, Cleo because this story has been going on for decades. And there doesn't seem to be anything fresh when these when these artillery fire fights break out. What is the what is the crisis right now who is being tested and welcome Cleo. Good evening to evening. It's incredibly exciting to be here. It's Cleo's in the house. This is terrific. I can touch John bachelor. He's right over here. Sorry. The important things. This has been going back as you mentioned since partition when the British had this region. It was all mostly underwent administration at least at the top level. And then when the British left they left behind a bit of a mess and part of it was Pakistan, which was created as a self-declared Muslims state and India, which was secular, and it resulted in massive population movement from India into Pakistan Pakistan into India in order for people to feel safe. There were millions killed. It was one of the largest movements of people and in the middle of both of those was this what's now become the state of Jammu and Kashmir where there was a large Hindu population. But a bigger Muslim population. And over the years, it's been a constant site of tension. The Indian government has tried. To put in place laws for the for the Indian for India's part of it which gives preferential treatment to Kashmir is to try to lower tensions. But Pakistan has used it to try to degrade the Indian state economically and also in terms of domestic stability. So what is fresh now is while Pakistan in front men for Pakistan have been doing these terrorist acts for very long time. It's always stayed below the threshold for retaliation. The air strike by India as a result of in response to the terrorist attack that killed forty fifty union soldiers just a few weeks ago is new this is the metric warfare here is India saying we're not gonna take this anymore. We're going to use our military to strike back known terrorist targets within Pakistan. So that's the new element that we're seeing now so Cleo both Pakistan and India have nuclear weapons these two countries have fought wars before everyone is sort of assumed that the presence of the world's most destructive weapons is going to basically restrain both Islamabad New Delhi. What we've seen so far as you pointed out is low level fighting, but it's gone on for a couple of weeks. And there does seem to be a lot of frustration on the part of Indians that this has got to end. Do you see this escalating, and is this whole narrative about the use of nukes is that is that really true or could this actually go beyond what we could imagine Pakistan relied on that nuke narrative to constrain conventional military attacks from India. India is showing is they're not scared. They're going to they're going to bring a the warplanes if this sort of stuff continues, and what's been interesting and is also new the international response. The US has backed India China even hasn't really complained about dot airstrike, which is very unusual because Pakistan is drifting towards being kind of vassal state in some respects. So Pakistan isn't getting the sympathy that it wanted Pakistan tries very hard to hyphenate India, Pakistan. You know, so it's always, you know, we have nukes you have nukes where the same, you know, we're at the same level, but India has been trying to hyphenate with China. We are in a Konami like try to have a billion people were growing. All that sort of stuff. So India is his positioning itself in a way where it saying if you side with Pakistan, your access to our markets is going to be impeded. You know, it's it's pulling all of the levers in order to make sure that Pakistan gets isolated, and we haven't really seen that before Pakistan is you're not seeing the Pakistan apologists that you that you normally see on TV even in the Chinese press. So there's been a real shift into in Pakistan's position. And its narrative of where we're the same. We're we're both crazy you've got to stop this. That's not being affected anymore. So what we're seeing really is a new assertive New Delhi? Then essentially being able to not only tell the Pakistanis this end. But also, it seems what you're saying. Is that other countries are recognizing India's role not only as a victim? But also as a power in its own, right? Absolutely. And and not just a power that's willing to act, but a power that has economic attractiveness also. So that's what the west is seeing. But regionally what countries like Iran are seeing is. An ally in areas like port development, which has been developing a portent around an alternative route from Afghanistan down to the Indian Ocean doesn't go through Pakistan, China, Pakistan, economic corridor. So Iran itself, allegedly I've heard husband moving troops towards the Pakistan border on there's been much worse. Support for the below ch- independence movement around Gwadar port that China Pakistan in Pakistan. So India is not just acting more forcefully its allies are coming to its aid in a way that we haven't really seen before clout. I've learned over these decades. The only mistake I make in this program is not to be cynical enough. There's an election campaign in India. Yes. The man on the cover of the economist, I highly recommend the economist magazine. It is dry. It is not pro American. It represents a chaotic civilization Britain. But it's extremely well informed. Narendra modi? The man. Running for prime minister re-elected India's on the cover of the economist looking handsome. There's a new prime minister in Pakistan, Imran Khan, who is a celebrity cricket here. Is this that's baseball, by the way for American folks who don't know the game of cricket that goes on beyond weeks. The only presenting issue here that seems to be fresh is does this help motives chances for reelection. And to battle the congress in India, and does it hurt con at home. I'd say yes to both. It's very hard when when a country is heading towards that kind of conflict even the opposition doesn't wanna look like, they're undermining the prime minister. So it's neutered to a certain degree what congress can say. Which is the main opposition party about Mody, and this is supposed to be right up Modi's wicket to use a cricket term. Well, thank you very much. So it it does help him. And it meanwhile, Ran Cohen who's perceived as being kind of a stooge of the military isn't doing that great. You know, they were we'll see what happens with Pakistan next. But before they go nuclear you're gonna probably see cyber eletronic warfare. I mean, these these countries have a lot of options well before it even gets more kinetic. So that's more. What I would look for that kind of stuff. Cleo, there were the Mumbai hotel attacks. What two thousand eight? And clearly these were. Insurgents sponsored by Pakistan arm by China. It would seem to me that that was maybe a consequential turning point in the next time that Pakistan did something you would then see a resolute response is is that what we're witnessing at this particular time, and it could be what what you're seeing the the the Mumbai attacks which were horrific LAT lashker-e-taiba Tiber. Sure, he toyed by. Thank you. Thank skewer things rally around the brain recovered from a decade ago. Please. They they one of the things that was a result of that was a growing cooperation between Israel and India. And Israel has said after these terrorist attacks that just happened that they would do anything they could to help India in the fight against terror. So again, it's a matter of all of these allies coming out of the closet now and being willing to back India when even the US wasn't that straightforward about it ten years ago? India has a first rate military, I read it does completely well in for one fewer Fs plane right now, maybe two fewer depending on who you believe they need some better planes on maybe not the French Frenchman's and Pakistan is vulnerable to bad actors in country, and in the provinces Pakistan is a bad actor. Yes. All right. Cleo."