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Border Clashes in the Himalayan Region: Stakes for Pakistan’

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Associated Press Service

ISLAMABAD:July 23,2020- All eyes on the Himalayan region after the deadly clash between China and India at the Galwan Valley in the disputed Kashmir territory. Military advancement was not directed to India per se, however, it counterweights US sponsored Indo-Specific regime in the South Asian region. These were the views expressed by the participants of a webinar organized by the Institute of Regional Studies here in Islamabad on Thursday, says a press release.

There is no scope of large scale escalation as both China and India are now restrained to their specific positions at the Line of Actual Control. India is not going to threaten Aksai Chin and Beijing too has no plan of military offenses at Arunachal Pradesh. Islamabad, should be cautious and fully prepared for a backlash as the relations between New Delhi and Islamabad are already at the lowest ebb, said senior diplomat Ambassador (r) Riaz Muhammad Khan. Extra-regional powers, though, keenly observing the developments in the region, do not want to step into the recent tensions as there is no clarity of stated positions. The incident, however, has long term psychological implications on the profile of both countries, Ambassador Khan added.

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Senior defence analyst, Lt. Gen. Asif Yasin Malik was of the view that China has actually challenged the US sponsored Indo-Specific security regime. China through its own Asia Pacific security is bringing all the states into its ‘shared destiny’ the Belt and Road Initiative. India on the other hand, is striving to gain its lost prestige and its partnership with the US has provided a room for strategic supremacy in the region, however, with the changing geo-strategic and geo-political scenarios have significantly reduced New Delhi’s chances, said Yasin Malik.

In contrast, Dr, Mujeeb Afzal, an expert on Indian politics argued the recent border clash between China and India has not brought a drastic changed geo-strategic milieu as New Delhi will continue to strengthen its position in the region. Growing connectivity between Nepal, Pakistan and China, will counterweigh New Delhi’s burgeoning influence, however. Also stressed that India does not entirely depends on the US for its big brother role as the latter is not trust worthy. On the issue of

Kashmir, Dr. Afzal concluded that the issue is largely depend on the people of Kashmir. Indian Muslims, opposition parties and the Supreme Court of India too has a role to play.

While concluding the discussion, Ambassador Riyaz, President (Acting) of the Institute said that the South Asia is a strategically important and a complex region. There are many regional disputes remain unsettled. Major Powers have their own vested interests and strategic influences which further complicated the regional situation. There is not alternative to peace and the regional powers need to realize and prepare for post Covid-19 challenges to their economies. Ambassador Riyaz thanked all the participants. The webinar has provided more interesting ideas for further discussions, he added.

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