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Russia-Pakistan-China nexus: Opportunity India
Our region is undergoing tectonic shifts as far as big power play is unfolding in Afghanistan. Pakistan is trying to acquire tanks, helicopters and air defence missiles from Russia, although it's financially bankrupt.

While the Saudis are moving towards liberal Wahhabism, the country's economy is slowing down just like Russia due oil prices stablising. Chinese economy is also under pressure and Iran is under US pressure. India has a unique position. If it plays its cards well, there is huge opportunity. It's a mind game.

Pakistan having been cornered by the US and its allies on the terror front is looking for options with the other camp, viz, China and Russia. While China has been arming Pakistan's defence forces to continue proxy war against India, Russia seems to be a new player in the game.

President Trump coming down hard on China, Russia and Iran in addition to Pakistan, is leading to new alignments in this region. With the US looking for a way out of Afghanistan, others including China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan and of course India, wish to occupy the vacated space.

Russia, Iran and Pakistan would like the United States to be stuck in Afghanistan like Vietnam – draining its economy with no honourable exit. China is looking at a strategic location and mineral wealth yet to be exploited in the continental shelf of Afghanistan.

Iran and Pakistan wish to increase their influence due to religious affinity across the border and strategic depth. India is looking at a pro/neutral Afghanistan and Pakistan remaining engaged with the terrorist organisations created by it. Pakistan needs deployment space for the venomous generation mentally trained to kill for Islam.

Once Afghanistan is stabilised, India would be the next deployment ground for these terrorists. Present state of controlled violence in Afghanistan suits all as it ensures no single nation dominates Afghanistan to the disadvantage of others. So it's me or none.

India having moved somewhat away from Russia towards the US for arms acquisitions, Pakistan and may be even Russia sees an opportunity in this changing scenario. Pakistan wants to acquire world class military hardware from Russia where China is lacking today. Tanks, helicopters and long-range anti-missile systems are on Pakistan's wish list. With oil prices stabilising, Russia is facing pressure from the US and Western Europe would be looking to reboot its economy. Should Pakistan be willing to purchase hardware in large quantities, Russians are likely to oblige.

Question then arises, from where will Pakistan raise huge amounts for procurements? US cash hen is nearly dried up, European and other world bodies certainly won't oblige and China won't fund or will demand stringent conditions. Saudi Arabia has been magnanimous in the past but with Saudi economy under pressure and Saudi kingdom looking at opening up, may not be as magnanimous. In-house Pakistan economy is nearly broke and it can't afford to purchase huge amounts of weapons at non- subsidised rates.

Pakistan would be in a quandary to raise funds and should these be available, India must encourage or force it to procure more hardware as India itself is looking at mega spends in next few years. India must officially weakly protest but behind the scenes nudge Russia to sell whatever Pakistan's wish list is, thereby ensuring its economic collapse. Imploding China would be huge disaster for China as CPEC/Gwadar collapses taking down Chinese dreams of independence from vulnerable sea lines of Communication through Indian Ocean and its policy of strings of hostile basis around India collapses too.

It is a great opportunity for India to decimate Pakistan and diminish Chinese clout in Pakistan. Iran and Afghanistan will benefit immensely and India will get land route via Pakistan to Afghanistan and CAR.

However, the biggest challenge after Pakistan's collapse would be managing Pakistan's terrorist networks and radicalised youth which pose big threat. With Saudi Arabia leading the way due to its moral authority of religious head of Sunni Islam to transform society to liberal, a de denuclearised Pakistan would be win-win for mankind.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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