Thursday, June 11, 2015

Myanmar venture ! What's Namo up to?


After fighting him for decades now and often cornering him in jungle battles but still unable to get rid of him, the Indian government hopes that S S Khaplang, the aging Naga rebel leader, could be arrested by Myanmar authorities and handed over to India.

Khaplang, a Hemi Naga from Myanmar region, is reportedly suffering from old age ailments and is undergoing treatment in Yangoon even as his men stuck dastardly and killed at least 18 security force personnel in June 4 Manipur ambush. 

Much is being written and spoken about India's onetime 'covert' operation along and "in the territories" of Myanmar. The real issue is not Myanmar or Khaplang. It's India's western neighbour -- dear Pakistan. And the player is not Indian army, its India's most pro-active Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 
Namo: Being most pro-active PM

Too ambitious to make a mark as India's Prime Minister after decades of failures, Modi and his team are working to a plan.
Thus this Myanmar venture was a actually strategy. Its true Pakistan is feeling the heat and rattled. In the words of M J Akbar, a senior journalist and now BJP spokesman,
“Pakistan is rattled by fact that we now have a Prime Minister who takes action".
Modi really took Pakistanis on in Bangladesh. The 1971 reference was just a tip of ice berg. Modi is working to isolate Pakistan in SAARC.
Raising the terrorism bogey and trying to rope in Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, a Muslim woman, for counter terrorism rhetoric and possible action is fine tuned to suit that rhythm.
On power connectivity Modi wants a cooperation between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal. This will be itself a major game-changer.
File snap: Blogger with army personnel somewhere in NE India
Thus my humble understanding is Myanmar venture was symbolic, more to give signals to the neighbours. 
In a clear sign that Modi intends to improve power and connectivity projects in South Asia, and that obviously would help the north east India, the joint statement by India and Bangladesh in Dhaka also laid out details of ‘joint power and connectivity projects’ being undertaken by BBIN sub-grouping (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal). 
Creditably for the erstwhile UPA regime too, a 35-year power transmission agreement was signed with Bangladesh in 2010 that facilitated eastern neighbour to import 250 megawatt of electricity.
The recent diplomatic overtures between India and Bangladesh are actually seen as a right follow up of Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan cooperation in power sector started few years back. In many ways, water is to Nepal and Bhutan what oil is to Arabs. But it goes without saying that the potentials ought to be exploited and Nepal and Bhutan can also be designated such “development partners” for India. If everything works according to plan, Pakistan's isolation will be easier. 
Naga Rebel strikes

Having said these, it can be only re-emphasised here that Modi is not against engagement with Pakistan. But he is too smart a politician to repeat Atal Behari Vajpayee's mistake like Agra Summit with Gen. Pervez Musharraf.

Modi is working on a different kind of engagement. He wants to negotiate with Pakistan from a position of strength possibly on all fronts. 
That is why his supporters in BJP government says, Prime Minister wants India to be 
friendly to China, US and Russia and also BRICS and European nations.
He also wants to isolate isolate Pakistan in SAARC and then say Mr Sharif 'let's talk'. 
Certainly, the plan sounds took bookish. It's tough and ambitious.  
BUT NOT UN-WORKABLE !!
Look at Myanmar, so far the incumbent government there has not really embarrassed Indian government. This only gives credence that the counter-insurgency operation on the Indo-Myanmar border was being planned for quite sometime now. 
Using personal charm!!


Zaw Htay, director of the office of Myanmar President Thein Sein, confirmed that Indian troops had entered his country. He said that there was “coordination and cooperation” between the Indian troops and Myanmar’s armed forces based in the area of the raids. Stating 'no Myanmar soldiers' were directly involved, he further said, “We will never allow or support insurgents, whether [they are] against Myanmar or against our neighboring countries". Such statements suit the Modi regime notwithstanding flip-flop by a few BJP ministers. 


(ends) 

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