The trade and investment programs of these countries would encourage economic opportunities in the region vis-a-vis other countries like Afghanistan and Iran. These countries also condemned India for its illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir and also encouraged peace, security, and stable Afghanistan, which is always thanked by Pakistan. Because of the geostrategic location of Pakistan, these countries have been emerging to show interest in the investment in Pakistan, which would benefit not only Pakistan but also the region.
It has now become almost obvious that Pakistan and Bangladesh are in the same camp, with China leading from the front. This moment can be an opportunity for both countries to come closer to each other. Still, for that to happen, the two South Asian nations must be honest with each other so that they can capitalize on this moment to forge a lasting relationship.
The election of President-elect Joe Biden and his Vice-President Kamala Harris is most likely to end this vacuum of American policy for the region and engage with the region with strategic insight and assertiveness. Joe Biden was awarded Hilal-e-Pakistan, the second-highest civil-award of the country, and Kamal Harris has ancestral roots in India. The personalized nature of their relationships to both of these countries will indeed influence the interaction once the Biden administration leads the White House. However, in the spirit of previous American interactions with the region, the Biden administration’s interaction with South Asia will be clouded by two mega strategic matters: The rise of China and the Conflict in Afghanistan.
In the past Taliban have inclined towards Pakistan, with Pakistan playing an essential role in the peace deal between the US and the Taliban, however, the recent turn of events is showcasing a different stance taken by the Taliban. With the changing dynamic, the relation has been strained from both sides. Taliban on its front want to appease them and gain the support of the general public which is wary of Pakistan while at the same time they want to establish ties with other nation-states and build their own relationship with them that is independent of Pakistan. On the other hand, Pakistan is not seeking to support a full Taliban led government as it might have religious repercussions for the Pakistani state.
It is clear that misleading claims wherever they originate from, deeply hurt the sentiment and struggle of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan who have rallied for years in order to receive their constitutional rights and be consolidated with Pakistan. All such fabricated claims are an attempt to deny the people of Gilgit-Baltistan their desire to receive proper provincial status.
Myanmar amidst decades-long ethnic crises and military rule is going to witness the next election of schedule on 8 November 2020. Historically, it will be the second election after the historic victory of democracy over the 50 years of military rule. It seems that instead of making this election inclusive for all ethnicities, the International community is supporting the Myanmar government in its hostile steps. The current bleak picture of Myanmar’s ethnic crises and the crucial role of the West in the recent election has shocked the world. It is a need of an hour for the West and international institutions to support Rohingya to get their electoral rights to mitigate the ethnic crises through free and fair elections.
Situated at the heart of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is grappling with the world’s two superpowers: China and the US. The keen interest of the two countries has been a source of competition between them and a source of worry for Sri Lanka, which is struggling with its own economic woes. Sri Lanka was able to navigate the Cold War by taking a stance of neutrality and non-alignment. When a second economic Cold War is building up globally, it is attractive and convenient to adopt similar policies. However, this recent rivalry may be novel in nature, and Sri Lanka’s continued economic woes, mean that the country will be forced to choose between the two, the US or China.
Sharing one of the world’s longest land borders; with such close, historical and physical proximity, Bangladesh and India have long-established well-developed relationships that are now being tested. This shift in the relations comes alongside China’s successful economic diplomacy in gathering allies in South Asia, with Beijing and Dhaka currently developing strong bilateral ties.