Indians believe in cyclical history; they know that karma is a postman who never forgets addresses, and delivers all mail diligently. Others who believe in a linear history pretend to forget and are condemned to relive it.
China and Pakistan, ‘all-weather friends’, are also reliving their history.
Remember Pakistan’s sixth President General Muhammed Zia ul-Haq? In 1977, he usurped power, and guillotined his mentor Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who had vowed to fight India for a thousand years! Zia launched Islamabad’s re-Islamization drive and unveiled a ‘policy of thousand cuts’ against India to avenge Pakistan’s dismemberment and the birth of Bangladesh. Even Pakistanis mocked him: Zia, the migrant son of a vegetable vendor from Delhi could only practice fast-cutting sabzi in Rawalpindi!
These cuts, he dreamt, would bleed India interminably. He blended his army with the obliging mullahs, founded, funded, sponsored, armed, trained, and launched several Islamic terrorist outfits against India, and seduced Sikh separatists with a “Khalistan” dream.
But he forgot something. India had started the PIN Code-based mail delivery system on August 15, 1972, to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of Independence while Pakistan was mourning the loss of Bangladesh. By 1988, karma traced out Zia’s PIN Code as well: he was killed in an air crash, leaving behind a lot of undelivered mail.
Come rain or shine, karma had to fish out Zia’s successors. It did find two of them: one whom he had thrust on the Pakistani cricket team through the backdoor is now Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi. He is from the same tribe as Lt. General AAK Niazi who had abjectly surrendered 94,000 Pakistani soldiers before Lt. General Jagjit Singh Aurora in Dhaka in 1971; Niazi had the dubious distinction of being the only Ghazi (Holy Warrior) in the Islamic history of 1,400 years to have surrendered lock-stock-and-barrel to an infidel army commander!
The other addressee is China’s President-for-Life Xi Jinping who had warehoused his own inventory of karma after Chairman Mao Zedong purged his father Xi Zhongxun and exiled the family during the Cultural Revolution. Jinping followed his mentor Deng Xiaoping’s advice: hide your strength and bide your time. He became China’s President in 2013 and President-for-Life in 2018, forgot Deng, unveiled Dragon’s fangs, and rushed into expansionist mode; after marrying thrice, the last wife being a genie-owner, Imran Khan became Pakistan’s Prime Minister in 2018 and put his country on the irreversible path of destruction.
Now return of the thousand cuts…
That Pakistan is a bankrupt, failed state and rogue nation is an understatement. Islamabad follows Murphy’s Law: if anything can go wrong, it will! So, this South Asian is plagued with multiple organ failure syndromes. It is becoming a terror-infested basket case. And to cap it all, its former ‘slave’ Taliban became master of Kabul on August 15!
Cut to another. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is as far away from the Chinese people and republicanism. It is a revanchist, crushing democracy in Hong Kong and Tibet, charged with the genocide of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang. It is punishing the makers of Modern China, like Jack Ma; it is charged with starting a biological war against others by releasing the coronavirus in 2020; it has lost the trust of all nations—except two: its client states Pakistan and North Korea, who, in their own right are viewed as Gangrenes of Asia.
More cuts are on the way: the Taliban’s threat in Xinjiang which may potentially trigger disintegration of China itself; the Taliban’s attempts to create a Greater Pashtunistan by splitting both Afghanistan and Pakistan…
To pin down the Dragon, the four-democracy-caucus—US, UK, Australia, and India—is working on the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) to set up an Asian version of NATO against China; the South China Sea is heating up; India has refused to let 1962 be repeated in 2022…and that festering wound: Taiwan. Every country is trying to undermine China: its $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is bleeding both Islamabad and Beijing; many of the client countries it had debt-trapped through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), like Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Malaysia are trying to wriggle out of the Dragon’s talons…
But the cherry on the Chinese cake dropped from the unlikeliest place: even a minnow has ignored the fire-spitting Dragon!
A small northeastern European nation Lithuania, with a population of less than three million, took the giant step this week of allowing Taiwan to open its embassy in the Baltic country. An infuriated China recalled its ambassador.
“The decision brazenly violates the spirit of the communique on the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Lithuania and severely undermines China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” China’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
It showed the desperation of a country that has mastered and pioneered the art of brazenly violating all international decencies and the spirit of dialogue with every single nation.
Lithuania knew the Dragon could only bark, not bite; it did not budge an inch.
The Baltic nation has already scored gains and Washington loves it. In June, it was announced that the 2023 NATO Summit would be held in Lithuania, and former President Dalia Grybauskaite may emerge as a serious contender for the role of its Secretary-General.
Remember, also, that Lithuania was the first country to declare its independence from the USSR on March 11, 1990; it started a chain reaction, and the Soviet Union officially ceased to exist on December 26, 1991.
The Polar Bear sank in the Baltic Sea; now the Dragon may as well!