Image courtesy of dawn.com
What are some of the updates?
India skipped the BRI. Which can partially (that’s a key word here) be because of some Uncle influence at play - something that makes pockets within New Delhi still consider itself to be an ‘important non-NATO’ partner. Though that ‘we are gonna build a parallel BRI’ is not there; nonethesame.
China donned the typical bhodrolok hat. Released some press byte that said we do understand that India has territorial anxieties at play here, and this could in fact be a good platform – in the future (because we are expecting India to participate eventually) – to straighten that out. Please come to the table; let’s talk.
And then, Uncle like my Uncle typically is – never the one to differentiate between a friend or a foe’s ass – said hey India, stop buying oil from Iran. And China, in what could very well (again, the key word is ‘could’) be an effort to impress upon India, warped its decision on Masood Azhar and finally agreed on the 1267.
If I were a signal man, I would say that this move has come in a good time. If China actually is trying to pass this message to India that they mean business (an analyst that I respect a lot thinks that this is a nudge towards the need for a regional trading block, some unit of some kind) – then this is a cool one.
Whether Masood Azhar has outlived his utility, whether Pakistan Generals have found a new ass-wipe, I don’t know as of now… and frankly, that won’t be relevant in this aspect, because, there were pawns like him before, there would be many after. But given the fact that there have been two quick gestures rich in symbolism extended by Beijing, I would say New Delhi – experienced by now in Old Uncle’s ‘friendship’ – should work towards creating a regional block (if that’s the case) that can consolidate the oil and gas trade like Russia-China. This would, in its weight, have enough potential to engage Iran bypassing the sanctions.
I hope that New Delhi realises that none of the big-guys give a shit about its ‘muscular’ FP. Push comes to shove, New Delhi always squeaks Yes Master with regular audibility, which, in this interconnected world spreads wide and far. I also hope that New Delhi understands that this ‘Sanction Iran’ is signature Bolton, not Scrooge; and if Scrooge wins a second term, no one knows where Bolton would be. So New Delhi – and this is a crucial election year too – should read the signs carefully. FP might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but an increasing oil price is, and this Iran sanction is going to hit just that.
[I wish I could write more, especially on the Iran, Pakistan, Baluch affair – but just don’t have the time this time. Maybe after a couple of weeks. And oh… Fani my ass, it’s quite sunny today.]