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​SINO-PAK RELATIONS AND INDIA



  May 17, 2024

​SINO-PAK RELATIONS AND INDIA



Current Situation in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK)

In recent days, PoK has seen intense unrest, with civilians clashing with police amid widespread protests. The agitation, led by the Jammu Kashmir Joint Awami Action Committee, centers around rising inflation, demands for electricity, subsidized wheat, and other basic necessities. In response, Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has approved an $86 million grant for PoK. This turmoil highlights the severe economic challenges and scarcity of basic amenities faced by the region’s population.

Economic and Diplomatic Context

Pakistan’s Economic Crisis:
Pakistan's economy is in severe distress, with foreign debt amounting to $124.5 billion, approximately 42% of its GDP. The economy is projected to grow by just 1.8% in the fiscal year ending June 2024. Despite this crisis, Pakistan continues to invest heavily in military expenditure, particularly through its collaboration with China.

India’s Stance on PoK:
Amid the unrest in PoK, India has reiterated its position on the region’s status. Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar has stated that "one day we will end the illegal occupation of PoK and PoK will join with India." This stance adds a diplomatic layer to the already complex situation.

Sino-Pak Military Cooperation

Arms Imports and Military Collaboration:
Pakistan’s military relationship with China has deepened significantly over the past decade. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), China accounted for 82% of Pakistan’s arms imports between 2019 and 2023. This partnership has seen the delivery of significant military hardware, including submarines and other advanced weaponry.

Economic Dependence:
China is a major creditor to Pakistan, with $26.6 billion in total external debt owed to China as of April 29, 2024. This figure has grown from $7.6 billion in 2016 to $26.5 billion in 2022. Chinese loans account for 23% to 30% of Pakistan’s total foreign debt, illustrating Pakistan's economic dependence on China.

Implications for India

Security Concerns:
India faces significant security challenges due to the military cooperation between Pakistan and China. The substantial arms imports and military capabilities acquired by Pakistan from China enhance its defense posture, which is a cause for concern for India.

Economic and Diplomatic Maneuvering:
India must navigate the complex economic and diplomatic dynamics involving Pakistan and China. The significant debt Pakistan owes to China and the deepening military ties between the two nations present a strategic challenge for India.

Conclusion

The unrest in PoK, Pakistan’s economic struggles, and its deepening military ties with China underscore the multifaceted challenges faced by the region. For India, these developments necessitate a vigilant and strategic approach, balancing diplomatic efforts with security preparedness to address the evolving geopolitical landscape.


SRIRAM’s


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