Macro Regional Studies

India and Africa

African and Indian ties are old as the story of mankind. Mankind is generally believed to have originated in Africa, from where it migrated to the other parts of the world, but first to South Asia across the Arabian peninsula and Southern Iran, about 80000 years ago, according to the genetic evidence analyzed by Luigi Cavalli Sforza and Stephen Oppenheimer. Closer to the present, the common experience of Africa and India with European colonialism gave them bonds of language, law, tradition and commerce that strongly bind them, as both regions strive to break out of the cycle of poverty and backwardness.

Africa is the second-largest and second most populous continent on earth with an estimated population in 2015 of 1.166 billion people. Africa is home to 54 sovereign states and countries. The total GDP African continent is now over $2.80 trillion and growing at over 5% annually. This pace of growth will ensure that most African countries will be “middle income” by 2025. The projected GDP of Africa in 2050 is $29 trillion, placing it in the same range as India’s projected 2050 GDP. This is projected to be anywhere between $33-55 trillion then depending on the growth trajectory and economic policies adopted. Clearly those who ignore Africa can now do so only at their own cost. The two fastest growing economies, China and India are already major partners in Africa’s growth; 12.5% of Africa’s exports are to China, and 4% are to India, which accounts for 5% of China’s imports and 8% of India’s. This will only rise, and India’s especially due to its faster growth trajectory and historical and geographical proximity to Africa.

The World Bank estimated in 2011 that 32.7% of Indians were living on less than US$1.25 per day while in Africa it was estimated to be around 47.5%. Together, nearly 900 million people in India and Africa live in extreme poverty – almost 70% of the worldwide total. Strong economic growth over the past decade has made significant inroads into poverty. In the past decade, India and Africa posted average GDP growth rates of 7.4% and 5.7%, respectively. Nearly 10% of Africa’s population escaped absolute poverty while India recorded even faster poverty reduction, with nearly 17% its population exiting extreme poverty.

The Indian growth story since 2000 has taken the country to the third rank in global GDP’s in PPP terms. By 2050 India’s GDP is expected to be the largest, as its favorable demographics will endow it with the world’s biggest middle class. In the next four decades 180 million Indian families will join its middle class, making it the largest expansion ever of the middle class in the world. The global growth story is now jumping continents.

Africa is now being tipped as the global economic growth engine of the coming decades. Its vast natural wealth and favorable demographic profile are expected to turn the continent as a whole into a growth engine that is expected to run faster than any of the world’s current economic powerhouses, including China, Brazil and India.

Within Africa a handful of countries such as South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Mozambique, Ghana and Zambia have caught the attention of economists and businessmen alike because of their improved infrastructure, natural resources, pool of skilled manpower and relative political and institutional stability. These countries stand out as the source of the greatest economic opportunity.

In the past decade, India and Africa posted average GDP growth rates of 7.4% and 5.7%, respectively. Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to grow at 5.6% and India at 6.3% in the next five years. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts that six of the ten highest growing economies between 2012 and 2017 will be African economies. India and the African continent are also home to growing middle classes. Rapid urbanization, rising disposable income and connectivity have triggered off unprecedented economic activity and growth in the two regions, and have made them the new engines of global growth, along with a somewhat fading China. While Chinese growth is expected to slow down even further, Indian and African growths are poised to keep increasing for the next few decades, given their favorable dependency ratios.

Indian and African trade is as old as recorded history itself. There is much evidence that the Indus Valley civilization had trade links with African countries that were fellow littorals of the Arabian Sea. Arab seafarers joined Indian and African markets and production centers and a brisk exchange of goods and people ensued. Nature favored the establishment and expansion of this trade as the seasonal monsoon winds favored relatively swift and safe to and fro passages. Indian merchants were quick to take advantage of this and scoured the eastern seaboard of Africa in search of gems, gold and ivory. East African mangrove poles too were a favorite item due to their length and mechanical properties that made them especially suitable as roof supports in buildings.
Over the centuries, the merchant kingdoms of Sindh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Konkan and Malabar traded with East African merchant states such as Barawa, Kismayu, Kilwa, Sofala and Mombasa. Consequently the Indian silver rupee or sikka became the currency in that sprawling area and kept this status even during the European colonial period. Swahili which developed as a lingua franca throughout Eastern Africa is a mixture of Arabic and native languages with many loan words from Hindustani.
Africa also attracted an Indian diaspora, some of it forced, but which is now very much a part of the nations it has made its own. This population is now in excess of 2.16 million and is well placed in African societies in business, government, teaching and other professions, and now effectively bridges the two regions.
India’s modern day bilateral trade with Africa picked up late but despite this has been burgeoning at an exponential pace. It was a relatively modest $1 billion in 1995, but had risen to $35 billion in 2008, and the three following years it had scaled to $45 billion. This year it is expected to be in the region of $70 billion.
African exports to India have been growing annually at 32.2% while Indian exports to Africa grew annually at 23.6%. Consequently Africa’s trade surplus with India is rising rapidly, albeit driven in large part by a narrow range of suppliers and commodities. The top six African exporters, viz., Nigeria, South Africa, Angola, Egypt, Algeria and Morocco account for 89% of total African exports by value to India thanks mainly to exports of oil and gas, ores and gold. Crude oil and gas account for over 66% of exports to India, gold and other precious metals accounting for another 16% of exports, and most of the rest to import of fertilizers from Morocco, Egypt and Algeria.
Outside these top 6 African exporters, though a different picture emerges. India runs a trade surplus with 40 out of the 54 African countries. Trade is significantly more diversified at a product level and almost all exports from India have some degree of technological input.
India’s merchandise imports totaled $ 447.5 billion in 2015. Of this oil imports accounted for $116.4 billion and gold was $34.4 billion. Since 2000 when India’s GDP growth entered a different trajectory and took it to become the world’s third largest economy (PPP). India has also emerged as a major consumer of oil and gold. This has contributed to the huge expansion of Indian imports from Africa, particularly with West Africa.
The population of Africa has more than doubled in just the past three decades, giving it a very youthful demographic profile. More than half the population is less than 25 years old. The population of Africa is currently projected to quadruple in just 90 years, with a growth rate that will make Africa more important than ever to global economy and more.
A rapidly growing India not only needs more commodities from Africa but also needs its vast market to pay for them. Africa is thus a great economic opportunity for India, and rightly India has turned its focus towards enhancing its economic ties with Africa. Just as important is the realization that as India seeks a more important role in world affairs, it cannot remain indifferent to Africa’s 54 members in the UN.

Mohan Guruswamy
mohanguru@gmail.com
22 October 2015

Responding to Pakistan’s Challenge

By Brig. Arun Sahgal

Reams are being written about lack of India’s Pakistan policy or more specifically policy to impose costs for waging relentless proxy war through terrorist organizations, subversion in Kashmir and indigenous Indian organizations like SIMI and IM. These terrorist outfits are being subverted by ideologically driven radicalism.

This is coming about in the face of open provocations by the likes of Hamid Gul who are challenging India to respond in kind if it has the gumption. NSA, in his recent remarks in Mumbai has talked about ‘proportionate response’ to Pakistani provocations but the larger question is options in the face of calculated Pakistan strategy of provoking India.

Years of neglect and impervious political decision making has resulted in non development of credible asymmetric capabilities even as Pakistan continues to blame India for activities in Karachi or Baluchistan. There is no point in crying over spilt milk, these asymmetric capabilities will require time and political resolve to develop. This leaves India very much with the option of punitive conventional response. There is a tendency among the strategic community which percolates to policy makers that conventional Indian response that could provoke Pakistan’s nuclear thresholds. This notion needs detailed analysis and Pakistan’s bluff called.

India needs to unequivocally declare that India’s see’s unabated proxy war as breakdown of conventional deterrence and reserves the right to appropriate military response. Mere articulation will not be enough? India’s standoff military or what is euphemistically called “non contact” capabilities must be exploited and demonstrated. This will require close coordination between intelligence agencies and the armed forces. Possible option could be targeting various elements of terror network and their support structures which can be internationally highlighted as state sponsored. No doubt there will be noise and brinkmanship by Pakistan and even some military action, it will be important for Indian state to not only ride these out but inflict retaliatory punitive costs. What is being proposed is cross border strikes on targets (not merely camps) which India believes supports the terror network.

Second is developing capability and capacities for “Myanmar Raid” like operation. Action will be required to degrade surveillance and communication systems, backed by credible force insertion capability. Without going into too much details idea is to demonstrate will and resolve. These actions must be initiated in the backdrop of limited mobilization of conventional forces and quick response if so required. There is no doubt that Pakistan will respond by some sort of military action however surprise and speed of action backed by credible retaliatory capability will provide requites payoffs. This will require orchestration of operations both at military and national levels including diplomatic shaping of environment. The notion that Pakistan is operating on interior lines is a myth. With recent redeployments in Northern and Western commands adequate forces are available for quick response backed by credible and deterrent air power, which must be the backbone given are relative air superiority.
There are many other options which can be considered to demonstrate Indian will and resolve. These no doubt have escalatory nuances, but what is the point of raving about conventional superiority if it cannot be leveraged. There is perception in Pakistani military elites whom the author has been meeting in Track II Dialogues over last three years that India has no response to proxy war and conventional escalation can be checkmated by battlefield nuclear weapons. It is this myth India will have to challenge and debase. No doubt it carries a risk but sooner than later Indian state will have to demonstrate this resolve if it does want to be subsumed by rising tide of radicalism and Pakistan’s state sponsored terror. If any lessons are to be drawn we should look at what happened in 1971 war and how Pakistani forces capitulated against Indian manoeuvre and resolve. The doctrine of ‘retribution’ already stands vindicated in the NATO and American air strikes against ISIL in Iraq, Syria and Libya.
Perception of Sino – Pak collusion is overplayed particularly the two front war. Chinese are pragmatic; they realize the scenario of ongoing India – Pakistan confrontation is going to be harmful to its one road – one belt policy on which hinges its economic development and extended sphere of influence. Any precipitate action by Chinese will surely and firmly push India into American camp a development which will be grievous to its Asian and global ambitions. Pakistan it must be realized is a bit player with nuclear weapons, who’s utility in the “Great Asian Game” at best is marginal. From Chinese perspective strong Indian economic and military power which is antagonistic to China will be antithesis to its ambitions. Therefore it will be nuanced player which can be balanced by broader Indo – Pacific partnerships that India is attempting to evolve. Put simply there are limits to which China will go in supporting Pakistan?

So coming back to Pakistan, I am afraid in the developing scenario, India should go through the current round of bilateral negotiations with Pakistan impressing upon them the consequences of its support to cross border terror and the proxy war. It is very unlikely Pakistan will take heed, knowing a little about their thinking and mindset. It is when they try and exploit our perceived weakness India should retaliate suddenly, resolutely and without respite. Message of retribution and costs must be driven home.

Last word; such a policy or option cannot succeed without bipartisan support. This is an imperative. In its resolve to take military action perpetrated by Pakistan; nation must stand firm and united. Unless we develop such credible response capability and political resolve India will continue to bleed not only in J&K or Punjab but across its length and breadth. Indian dream will be truly and fully become unrealizable.

Brig Arun Sahgal, PhD (Retd)
Executive Director
Forum for Strategic Initiative
E Mail – brigarun.sahagl@gma

Military Courts in Pakistan: A Soft Coup by the Pakistan Army?

By Arun Sahgal

January 14, 2015

In the immediate aftermath of the Peshawar carnage, Pakistan’s National Assembly and Senate approved the 21st Constitutional Amendment on 8 January 2015. This paved the way for the establishment of Military Courts with the responsibility of ensuring the speedy trial of ‘hard core terrorists’. Although the amendment was passed by an overwhelming majority, a fairly large number of members in both the houses abstained. In the Senate, of the 114 members, 78 voted in favour and 36 abstained; similarly in the National Assembly, 218 out of 342 members voted in favour and 124 abstained. This clearly points to the underlying political opposition.

It is apparent that the military, in connivance with an embattled Nawaz Sharif, has pushed through the constitutional amendment which will have serious implications for the rule of law and the democratic fibre of Pakistan. Not only have the civil society and human right organizations come out strongly against this move, the two important mainstream parties – Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) and Tehrik-i-Insaf Party (TIP) – have openly condemned the measure. Bilawal Bhutto tweeted his opposition to both the military courts and capital punishment. For its part, Imran Khan’s TIP, although it has otherwise adopted a soft stand towards Islamists and militants, has not been forthcoming in its support for the amendment either. The TIP’s abstention is particularly relevant since the carnage of school children took place in Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where it runs the government.

Why Military Courts?
Why is the Pakistan military pushing for these courts when the country already has a fairly robust “Anti Terrorism Act” together with designated Anti Terrorism Courts? The latter were specifically set up to try terrorism related offences, although they have failed to provide the desired speedy justice. Two reasons are offered for their poor track record: One, intimidation by radical organizations has either prevented judges from giving judgments against terrorists or simply slowed down the legal process; Two, there is a lack of admissible evidence primarily because people are scared of retribution and do not therefore come forward to give evidence. Under these circumstances, the obvious way forward was to address these issues by providing protection to both judges and witnesses and adopting other associated legal measures. Instead, what we are witnessing is a circumvention of the due process of law and a mockery of constitutional provisions for the sake of political expediency.

There is widespread perception within Pakistan that the situation the country finds itself in today is largely of its own making, as terrorism is a creation of the Army. The Army has been largely instrumental in supplying arms and equipment to state-sponsored terrorists, be it in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Southern Punjab, Sindh or Balochistan. The Army has for long been harbouring terrorists and radicals. It has been using terrorist organizations such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad as strategic assets against India, and the Taliban and the Haqqani network as pawns in its strategy of acquiring strategic depth in Afghanistan. Under the circumstances, the establishment of military courts would mean allowing the sponsors of terrorism to become both the judge and the jury in punishing only those terrorists who refuse to play ball with the Army in its game of terror.

Some retired senior military officers, however, refute the above perspective by attempting to paint the Pakistan Army Chief General Raheel Sharif as a simple, straightforward, soldier who is against the policy of the selective use of terrorism as state policy. They regard his call for making no distinction between moderate and hard-core terrorists, as also the fact that he forced the Nawaz Sharif Government into supporting Operation “Zarb-e-Azab” in North Waziristan, as evidence of his sincerity in this regard. However, the Army’s claim that 1800 militants have been killed or wounded and nearly 200 tons of IED seized during this operation has been received with disbelief and refuted by many American and Western observers. According to the latter, cross border attacks from Pakistan into Afghanistan continue despite a high level dialogue and understanding with the new Afghan leadership.

Undoubtedly, the attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar has been a major setback for the Pakistan Army. The fact that nearly 40 per cent of the children killed were those of JCOs and NCOs has had a serious impact on the military leadership and its morale. Yet another factor that has necessitated the adoption of a tough stand by the Army is the growing radicalization not only among the rank and file but also among senior officers. Reasoned voices within the Army, it is learnt, believe that unless the radical elements are contained, a serious situation might ensue involving danger to the security of strategic weapons.

The Ramifications
A fundamental issue that the establishment of military courts raises is this: is it a soft coup by the Pakistan Army or is it a genuine effort to curb terrorism? Although it is too early to conclude either way, going down this path has serious ramifications. As noted above, Pakistan already has Anti Terrorism Courts. The creation of the specific institution of Military Courts now would imply the following:

The judiciary is untrustworthy in the eyes of both the civilian and military establishment.
In the battle for supremacy, the military is the clear winner, with Parliament reduced to a mere rubber stamp for the demands of the military establishment.
A clear message to the people that the civilian leadership is incapable of providing strategic direction or addressing the core internal security interests, thereby questioning the democratic edifice of the state. In a sense, this implies a soft coup by the military and the subordination of the political leadership.
These courts could be used to effectively stifle the voices of freedom and dissent in Sindh and Balochistan. There is every likelihood of a backlash in the region were such courts to be used to victimize pro-freedom organisations such as the Balochistan Liberation Army.
Problems with Military Courts
The main issue revolves around the necessity of military-run courts in Pakistan, a country which at best lives on the margins of democracy, and their implications. The rule of law and protection of citizen’s rights are likely to get compromised with the functioning of Military Courts.

A fundamental issue that the Military Courts will have to decide upon is the definition of a ‘hard-core terrorist’ and the criteria employed to determine this category. This will define the actual motive of the Army in pushing through the establishment of Military Courts. Second, there is the issue of legal protection to the defendant. The Pakistan Supreme Court’s ruling of the non-violability of individual fundamental rights has been partially responsible for forcing the current constitutional amendment. Questions are also being raised about the experience in jurisprudence of Army Officers and the Judge Advocate General (JAG) branch for dealing with such cases. Third is the nature of evidence and its admissibility. In case the ruling of Military Courts is unchallengeable in higher courts, as is the case with the opinions or directions of the JAG Branch, then these courts would become Kangaroo courts. This was recently witnessed in the execution of terror suspects even when their appeals were pending.

From an Indian perspective, the Pakistan military overriding the civilian leadership is a disquieting development that will make dialogue and discourse even more difficult. As we have seen in recent months, Pakistan’s agenda vis-a-vis India is fully guided by the military with the civilian leadership clearly acceding to the Army’s directions, be it firing along the Line of Control and International Border, bail to Hafiz Saeed, or the issue of resumption of dialogue. In the obtaining scenario, two things could happen: Pakistan escalates the border stand-off against India or perpetrates a major terror strike in Indian territory. In such a scenario, India may be compelled to lift its self-imposed restraint and respond militarily, thus unleashing an action-reaction cycle.

The growing salience of the Pakistan military in that country’s politics without any restraint and responsibility is a serious development. India needs to watch developments in Pakistan very closely as the drama of Military Courts unfolds and the Pakistan Army strengthens its control over the state apparatus. At the same time, India must work with countries like the United States, China and Russia to prevent Pakistan from going down the military rule route and restore civilian political control.

Views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the IDSA or of the Government of India

[Courtesy:IDSA Website]

A New Regional Doctrine for India

By Arvind Virmani

 Introduction

Nepal has been in flux since the overthrow of the monarchy.  Since the Soviets left Afghanistan, the Pakistan Army has usedJihad as an instrument of State Policy against India.  More recently a Golden opportunity of settling many issues with Bangladesh was available and half grasped, but is in danger of slipping away.  The Maldives has been in flux with a dictatorship giving way to democracy and possible reversal/setback.  Sri Lanka, after eliminating a terrorist and secessionist threat, seems to be diluting its historically strong democracy and undermining democratic institutions.  These developments in the Indian sub-continent and the maritime region around it, challenge us to think about a regional doctrine to replace the abandoned “Indira doctrine”[1] and “Gujral Doctrine.”[2]We can take a cue from the strengths and weakness of these doctrines and apply them to the changing strategic environment.  Domestic developments, such as the greater interest and involvement of State Governments or State parties in International policy also argue for a clearer enunciation of a regional doctrine.

Opportunity & Threat

What should be the Geographical reach of such a regional doctrine? That depends on the degree to which developments in the country/region can either benefit us or harm us.   There is general agreement that developments in the Indian sub-continent-South Asia (Afghanistan to Myanmar, Nepal to Sri Lanka) have this potential.  Whether Maldives in the Arabian Sea has this potential is less clear.  What about other more distant island nations in the Indian Ocean? This depends partly on the amount of resources we are able to commit to the overall task and our strategic reach and partly on the presence of larger, stronger potentially hostile external powers operating in the Indian Ocean (a circumscribedversion of ‘Indira doctrine’).   By these criteria, Maldives could be included within the region of operation of the doctrine, while other islands may be added over time, as capabilities and potential threats grow.  Other Indian Ocean islands of potential interest are Mauritius and Seychelles.

Democracy, Secularism, Peace

Our own culture, secular traditions and democratic principles must form the bedrock of any external doctrine. The basic thrust of the doctrine must be to actively support friendly, peaceful, secular democratic forces, in the region.  This would include civil society organizations, political forces and parties and governmental institutions that believe in a peaceful democratic future for their own country and for peaceful, friendly and co-operative relations with neighboring countries (including India). One operational consequence would be for Indian elites, media, and public to clearly and openly back genuinely pro-peace, political parties in these countries. They must, however, be mindful of creating public pressure on the government to adopt a blunt approach that can prove counter-productive.   There should also be less inhibition in co-operating with Civil society organizations in other democratic countries that share the same objectives.

Government of India must be much more subtle and nuanced in its approach than civil society organizations, think tanks and media need to be.   If and when such friendly parties are in power in the region, the Indian Government should provide asymmetric inter-governmental benefits to assure them and their supporters of the benefits of their positive approach (a selective version of Gujral doctrine).On the other hand government per se should not “unabashedly back Pro-India political parties (Nitin Pai BS 8/2/13),” in these countries, as in our view, this could be counter-productive in promoting friendly forces.

Dictatorship, Fundamentalism, Terrorism

The second aspect of this doctrine must be a hard headed strategy for opposing dictatorial and militaristic forces that have no compunctions about using violence against their own citizens, supporting terrorists, or engaging in hostile actions against neighbors such as India.  This requires us to undermine fundamentalist/extremistelements and organizations, whether religious or ideological, which have a philosophy, ideology or history of violence.  We have to rid ourselves of our extreme squeamishness in confrontingforces,which have no moral or social compunctions about harboring, sheltering, training andfinancing militant groups thatuse violence against innocent civilians (in any country in the region).We must be prepared to use every feasible means to thwart such forces.  We must also undermine their supporters -Political parties which provide open or tacit support,countries or organization outside the region that provide funds and safe heavens.

It is essential that the Indian elite, media and public adopt a clear and open stand against extremist forces, organization, elements in supposedly moderate political parties and organs of the government (e.g. Army). They must have an equally clear stand against terrorist killing of innocent civilians.  Though government’s stand should be equally unabashed with respect to hostile non-govt. organizations, its public posture towards extremist forces within the government (of these countries) would have to be more nuanced.   It is more important for the government to act quietly and forcefully against such institutions than to talk a lot about it.  It can however, take a much more active diplomatic stance in private dealings with other countries who profess the same values and approach with respect to terrorist forces threatening them.  At the same time the Indian elite, media and civil society must understand and support the nuanced public stance of the Indian government

Ethnic Cleansing

Government could, however, take a more active role in international forums in exposing genocide and ethnic cleansing by an anti-India governing party or organ of government, perhaps through an announced policy. For instance India should have supported international efforts to expose the genocide in E. Pakistan/Bangladesh and to punish the guilty, including elements of General Tikka Khan’s army (a la Justice Hamood-Ur-Rahman Commission) and its agents and collaborators in the Jamat-e-islami (Razakars).  The main argument against this proposition is that, it will open us to foreign interference and questions from other governments about how we have handled the insurgencies in J&K, the North West and in Maoist areas.  There are two approaches to this: If the questioning is from Western ‘do gooders’, we must confidently question their own record of supporting dictators and murderers to further their national objectives.  If the questioning is from oligarchic and dictatorships we must quietly but firmly tell them how their own record can and will be questioned.  This requires a little hard work, including building a dossier on these countries historical record, and an awareness among our analysts, commentators and diplomats about this record.

Civil Society Idealism

The main modality for supporting positive forces and opposing negative ones in the region, should be Civil Society organizations funded or supported by the government.  These would need to have a clear program for study and analysis of neighboring countries to identify the positive and negative forces, the socio-political dynamics and the organization that need to be supported or ostracized.  Based on this analysis they would have to work out country strategies to support the positive forces and oppose and undermine the negative forces in each country.  They may need to hire development experts, former diplomats and intelligence experts with knowledge and expertise in these countries to formulate and implement these strategies.  This knowledge and expertise would also be invaluable in government decision making in emergencies.

Government Pragmatism

Though this doctrine will help in the medium-long term, in the short run,  National Interest should play a dominant role in deciding how to deal with Army led Pakistan (Musharraf after his coup), a Military led Myanmar (with sole friend China), or democratic countries veering towards oligarchy. We must ignore the self-interested advice of Western human rights activists who have never been able to stop their own countries from coddling dictators who made life hell for neighboring countries.

Conclusion

                Independent think tanks, Government supported organization and perhaps the National Security Advisory Board should try to formulate a full-fledged Regional Doctrine along these lines.  It should then be discussed by the media and political parties.  Once there is a broad agreement we should also invite think tanks in friendly countries such as the US to comment on it, before reaching a final understanding among ourselves.  For any policy doctrine to succeed there must be a tacit understanding among all elements of society on its broad contours and the role of different institutions in propagating and promoting it.  In my limited experience, successful foreign policy and diplomacy (the US, Pakistan till 5 years ago) always has this tacit co-ordination behind it.

References

  1. Hagerty, Devin T., “India’s Regional Security Doctrine,” Asian Survey, Vol. 31, No 4, April 1991. University of California Press. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2645389

Robert Stewart-Ingersoll, Derrick Frazier,Regional Powers and Security Orders: A Theoretical Framework, Rutledge Global Security Studies, 2012, pp 116-117, 124, 146-149.http://books.google.co.in/books?id=6tAa1pEkrnoC&pg=PA146&lpg=PA146&dq=Indira+Rajiv+doctrine&source=bl&ots=LJvzbryuai&sig=9GhKnZM9ZIDW0ldl7ftQNu1sJfI&hl=en&sa=X&ei=XMVWUYajFsb4rQeB2IDYBQ&sqi=2&ved=0CD0Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=Indira%20Rajiv%20doctrine&f=false

James R. Holmes, Andrew C. Winner, Toshi Yoshihara,  Indian Naval Strategy in the Twenty-first Century, Rutledge, 2009. http://books.google.co.in/books?id=ApuQH8zgmIUC&pg=PA187&lpg=PA187&dq=Indira+Rajiv+doctrine&source=bl&ots=J9RxPD1G1r&sig=LoQ4BlKYLkxAdd58YdWbBiuo2GI&hl=en&sa=X&ei=XMVWUYajFsb4rQeB2IDYBQ&sqi=2&ved=0CEEQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=Indira%20Rajiv%20doctrine&f=false

A shorter  version of this article appeared on the Op ed of The Hindu, on Friday March 22, 2013, and at http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/a-case-for-a-new-regional-doctrine/article4538836.ece.

[1]The Indira Doctrine: Sub-continent as India’s exclusive sphere of influence.Oppose outside intervention, particularly of powers inimical to India, in domestic affairs of neighbors, who should not ask for outside assistance.  Later called the Rajiv doctrine.

[2] The Gujral Doctrine: Providing unilateral concessions to S Asian neighbors without expecting reciprocity.

A New Regional Doctrine for India

By
Arvind Virmani

April 10, 2013

Introduction
Nepal has been in flux since the overthrow of the monarchy. Since the Soviets left Afghanistan, the Pakistan Army has usedJihad as an instrument of State Policy against India. More recently a Golden opportunity of settling many issues with Bangladesh was available and half grasped, but is in danger of slipping away. The Maldives has been in flux with a dictatorship giving way to democracy and possible reversal/setback. Sri Lanka, after eliminating a terrorist and secessionist threat, seems to be diluting its historically strong democracy and undermining democratic institutions. These developments in the Indian sub-continent and the maritime region around it, challenge us to think about a regional doctrine to replace the abandoned “Indira doctrine” and “Gujral Doctrine.” We can take a cue from the strengths and weakness of these doctrines and apply them to the changing strategic environment. Domestic developments, such as the greater interest and involvement of State Governments or State parties in International policy also argue for a clearer enunciation of a regional doctrine.
National Interest
Why are we interested in the region? What is the National interest of India in the South Asia region. Anybody who has followed India’s international affairs since independence knows that most if not all the threats have originated in this region. Leaving aside conventional territorial threats the most important threat has been from terrorism. This threat has taken many different forms including financing, training, directing, provision of safe havens. It was nurtured and developed long before it became an explicit known public threat. Any regional doctrine must have a strategy for addressing the short, medium and long term aspects of this threat. The second regional threat that we have faced is the acquisition of nuclear weapons either through explicit or tacit support of nuclear weapons powers and the use of nuclear weapons for nuclear blackmail in various forms. It would be naïve to believe that this threat cannot worsen either on the intensive or extensive margin. A regional doctrine must try to ensure the minimization and/or elimination of the threat of nuclear blackmail and blackmail using other weapons of mass destruction.Finally on the positive side it would be in the interests of all countries of the region, including India,would gain from free trade in goods and services and mutual FDI.
Geographical Spread
What should be the Geographical reach of such a regional doctrine? That depends on the degree to which developments in the country/region can either benefit us or harm us. There is general agreement that developments in the Indian sub-continent-South Asia (Afghanistan to Myanmar, Nepal to Sri Lanka) have this potential. Whether Maldives in the Arabian Sea has this potential is less clear. What about other more distant island nations in the Indian Ocean? This depends partly on the amount of resources we are able to commit to the overall task and our strategic reach and partly on the presence of larger, stronger potentially hostile external powers operating in the Indian Ocean (a circumscribedversion of ‘Indira doctrine’). By these criteria, Maldives could be included within the region of operation of the doctrine, while other islands may be added over time, as capabilities and potential threats grow. Other Indian Ocean islands of potential interest are Mauritius and Seychelles.
Democracy, Secularism, Peace
Our own culture, secular traditions and democratic principles must form the bedrock of any external doctrine. The basic thrust of the doctrine must be to actively support friendly, peaceful, secular democratic forces, in the region. This would include civil society organizations, political forces and parties and governmental institutions that believe in a peaceful democratic future for their own country and for peaceful, friendly and co-operative relations with neighboring countries (including India). One operational consequence would be for Indian elites, media, and public to clearly and openly back genuinely pro-peace, political parties in these countries. They must, however, be mindful of creating public pressure on the government to adopt a blunt approach that can prove counter-productive. There should also be less inhibition in co-operating with Civil society organizations in other democratic countries that share the same objectives.
Government of India must be much more subtle and nuanced in its approach than civil society organizations, think tanks and media need to be. If and when such friendly parties are in power in the region, the Indian Government should provide asymmetric inter-governmental benefits to assure them and their supporters of the benefits of their positive approach (a selective version of Gujral doctrine).On the other hand government per se should not “unabashedly back Pro-India political parties (NitinPai BS 8/2/13),” in these countries, as in our view, this could be counter-productive in promoting friendly forces.
Dictatorship, Fundamentalism, Terrorism
The second aspect of this doctrine must be a hard headed strategy for opposing dictatorial and militaristic forces that have no compunctions about using violence against their own citizens, supporting terrorists, or engaging in hostile actions against neighbors such as India. This requires us to undermine fundamentalist/extremistelements and organizations, whether religious or ideological, which have a philosophy, ideology or history of violence. We have to rid ourselves of our extreme squeamishness in confrontingforces,which have no moral or social compunctions about harboring, sheltering, training andfinancing militant groups thatuse violence against innocent civilians (in any country in the region).We must be prepared to use every feasible means to thwart such forces. We must also undermine their supporters -Political parties which provide open or tacit support,countries or organization outside the region that provide funds and safe heavens.
It is essential that the Indian elite, media and public adopt a clear and open stand against extremist forces, organization, elements in supposedly moderate political parties and organs of the government (e.g. Army). They must have an equally clear stand against terrorist killing of innocent civilians. Though government’s stand should be equally unabashed with respect to hostile non-govt. organizations, its public posture towards extremist forces within the government (of these countries) would have to be more nuanced. It is more important for the government to act quietly and forcefully against such institutions than to talk a lot about it. It can however, take a much more active diplomatic stance in private dealings with other countries who profess the same values and approach with respect to terrorist forces threatening them. At the same time the Indian elite, media and civil society must understand and support the nuanced public stance of the Indian government
Ethnic Cleansing
Government could, however, take a more active role in international forums in exposing genocide and ethnic cleansing by an anti-India governing party or organ of government, perhaps through an announced policy. For instance India should have supported international efforts to expose the genocide in E. Pakistan/Bangladesh and to punish the guilty, including elements of General Tikka Khan’s army (a la Justice Hamood-Ur-RahmanCommission) and its agents and collaborators in the Jamat-e-islami (Razakars). The main argument against this proposition is that, it will open us to foreign interference and questions from other governments about how we have handled the insurgencies in J&K, the North West and in Maoist areas. There are two approaches to this: If the questioning is from Western ‘do gooders’, we must confidently question their own record of supporting dictators and murderers to further their national objectives. If the questioning is from oligarchic and dictatorships we must quietly but firmly tell them how their own record can and will be questioned. This requires a little hard work, including building a dossier on these countries historical record, and an awareness among our analysts, commentators and diplomats about this record.
In this context the most important question confronting the sub-continent is the ethinic-religious cleansing going on in Pakistan. Though it started long ago with prosecution of Hindus it has now been extended not only to Christians but to all non-Sunni Islamic sects and groups such as the Adamidis and Shia’s. Recent reports suggest that it is beginning to be applied to other sects such as the Aga-Khanis, Sufis and even liberal Sunnis who deviate from fundamentalist tenets of Al Hadith. The global terror unleashed by fundamentalist Islamic groups (many originating in Pakistan) is now giving a rise to an ugly counter-reaction by Buddhists in Myanmar and Sri Lanka.
Civil Society Idealism
The main modality for supporting positive forces and opposing negative ones in theregion,should be Civil Society organizations funded or supported by the government. These would need to have a clear program for study and analysis of neighboring countries to identify the positive and negative forces, the socio-political dynamics and the organization that need to be supported or ostracized. Based on this analysis they would have to work out country strategies to support the positive forces and oppose and undermine the negative forces in each country. They may need to hire development experts, former diplomats and intelligence experts with knowledge and expertise in these countries to formulate and implement these strategies. This knowledge and expertise would also be invaluable in government decision making in emergencies. One of their most important regional objectives should be to support other civil society organizations across the region, particularly those headed by Women, which believe in and work on, the socio-cultural objectives that constitute the high culture and the best traditions of the sub-continent.
It may also be worth creating and funding regional language TV, web papers and web sites that are run by regional language speaking non-Indian journalists and media persons. For instance Civil society groups could fund an Urdu language website that is run by journalists of Pakistan origin (/nationality) interested in preserving liberal non-sectarian values, promoting liberal democracy and civilian control of Armed forces and preaching peace, countering ethinic and religious hatred and promoting rational discourse on critical Pakistani national issues like terrorism, Balochistan, cleansing of Shia-Hazras, TTP takeover of NW Pakistan and the origins and consequences of “The Deep State.”
Government Pragmatism
Though this doctrine will help in the medium-long term, in the short run, National Interest should play a dominant role in deciding how to deal with Army led Pakistan (Musharraf after his coup), a Military led Myanmar (with sole friend China), or democratic countries veering towards oligarchy. We must ignore the self-interested advice of Western human rights activists who have never been able to stop their own countries from coddling dictators who made life hell for neighboring countries.
Conclusion
Independent think tanks, Government supported organization and perhaps the National Security Advisory Board should try to formulate a full-fledged Regional Doctrine along these lines. It should then be discussed by the media and political parties. Once there is a broad agreement we should also invite think tanks in friendly countries such as the US to comment on it, before reaching a final understanding among ourselves. For any policy doctrine to succeed there must be a tacit understanding among all elements of society on its broad contours and the role of different institutions in propagating and promoting it. In my limited experience, successful foreign policy and diplomacy (the US, Pakistan till 5 years ago) always has this tacit co-ordination behind it.
References
1. Hagerty, Devin T., “India’s Regional Security Doctrine,” Asian Survey, Vol. 31, No 4, April 1991. University of California Press. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2645389
2. Robert Stewart-Ingersoll, Derrick Frazier,Regional Powers and Security Orders: A Theoretical Framework, Rutledge Global Security Studies, 2012, pp 116-117, 124, 146-149.http://books.google.co.in/books?id=6tAa1pEkrnoC&pg=PA146&lpg=PA146&dq=Indira+Rajiv+doctrine&source=bl&ots=LJvzbryuai&sig=9GhKnZM9ZIDW0ldl7ftQNu1sJfI&hl=en&sa=X&ei=XMVWUYajFsb4rQeB2IDYBQ&sqi=2&ved=0CD0Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=Indira%20Rajiv%20doctrine&f=false
3. James R. Holmes, Andrew C. Winner, Toshi Yoshihara, Indian Naval Strategy in the Twenty-first Century, Rutledge, 2009. http://books.google.co.in/books?id=ApuQH8zgmIUC&pg=PA187&lpg=PA187&dq=Indira+Rajiv+doctrine&source=bl&ots=J9RxPD1G1r&sig=LoQ4BlKYLkxAdd58YdWbBiuo2GI&hl=en&sa=X&ei=XMVWUYajFsb4rQeB2IDYBQ&sqi=2&ved=0CEEQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=Indira%20Rajiv%20doctrine&f=false