Russia-Ukraine War – Reflections for Subcontinent By Qurat ul Ain

Russia-Ukraine War – Reflections for Subcontinent By Qurat ul Ain

Unbelievable yet real, the world has been witnessing a full scale, devastating war between Russia and Ukraine in 21st century. Despite desperate efforts from international community, the war has persisted. Russia has been reprimanded by the entire international community and heavily sanctioned unlike faced by any state ever before. Both sides have bore the brunt of devastation and demise from this war with many innocent lives lost in the turmoil. Situation leading to this full-scale militaristic confrontation when looked in depth is not too different from projectile of ties between the major war mongering power, India and its smaller neighbours in the subcontinent.

India, possessing a hegemonic attitude in dealing with its neighbours, particularly the weak ones must cast an eye on outturn of events from the irresolvable issues between Russia and neighbouring smaller states. A major regional power holding a large economy, population, land mass as well as military might, India should have been an instigator of regional growth and stability. On the contrary, smaller states in subcontinent have been oppressed under India’s bullying attitude for securing its interests. Akin to situation between Russia and Ukraine, subcontinent may also become embroiled in an unnecessary, full-scale war unless the level of suppression and animosity between India and smaller states comes to a halt.

India shares borders with all regional states such as Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. These states have been facing oppressive attitude of India now and then. India’s relations with China have also been on a rocky steep. However, India remains much measured in its approach towards China keeping in mind nature’s law ‘big fish eats little fish’. India’s animosity with Pakistan remains the most ignitable as well as devastating for entire region.

Pakistan, a major state and a nuclear power in the subcontinent, has time and again confronted India over its aggressive attitude. Relations between the two historical neighbours have often turned to the brink of a full-scale militaristic confrontation in the recent years.

Pakistan, a major state and a nuclear power in the subcontinent, has time and again confronted India over its aggressive attitude. Relations between the two historical neighbours have often turned to the brink of a full-scale militaristic confrontation in the recent years. Underlying tensions between the two states are like volcanoes on the brink of eruption. A small miscalculation or aggression on any party’s side can ignite a total havoc in the subcontinent. Relationship between the two states worsened much after rise in power of Narendra Modi in 2014 who is a hardcore Hindutva follower.

An unignorable and hard-core fact is that three of the four major wars between the two countries were over Kashmir. It is without any doubt that grievances and animosity over Kashmir will keep on brewing between the two sides unless a long-term solution is fostered.

Russia-Ukraine war has clearly illuminated that bigger states under illusion of being a no match in regional politics may falter in their hegemonic ambitions when confronted with a smaller but resolute state. True that war in Eastern Europe has been a source of devastation and tragedy more for Ukraine in terms of loss of civilian’s life and infrastructural damages but Russia has faced equal reprisals. Russia, a bigger and powerful state could not fend away the international isolation as well as the heavy expenditure in quest of this war with no clear victory in sight.

If India’s expansionist attitude sparks a large-scale militaristic conflict with Pakistan, situation may escalate to incomprehensible levels. Years of development and hard work on part of both nations will turn to dust. Pakistan, even if smaller in size and economy to India, holds severe nationalistic determination and a robust military. Both states hold nuclear weapons. Escalation of the conflict to the brink of employing this lethal weapon will ensure Mutual Assured Destruction (M.A.D). In such circumstances, war between Russia and Ukraine is a shrill reminder for states in subcontinent particularly India and Pakistan to set on tackling the eruptible volcanoes sweltering with historical contentions.

There are several pathways to thaw this standoff between India and Pakistan. Failure of Indian policy makers to recognize the right of self-determination for Kashmir’s population despite Pakistan’s advocacy puts this responsibility on international actors. Human rights violation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kahmir (IIOJK) should not just pinch Pakistan’s conscience but the entire world claiming to be a civilized race. Track II Diplomacy also cited as back-channel diplomacy should be pursued between the two states.

All stakeholders must acknowledge that it is not just military or technological strength which determines direction of winds in a war. It is a competition between leadership qualities, national morale, tactics as well as domestic support which holds actual essence in determining victory. War between Russia and Ukraine is a time for subcontinent to rearrange its priorities. Devastation might befall on the subcontinent unless all regional states wake up in time to forestall this probable mayhem.

The writer holds a master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from NUST and is currently associated with Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI). She can be reached at qurat4887@gmail.com.

Source: https://dailytimes.com.pk/1135313/russia-ukraine-war-reflections-for-subcontinent/

 

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