As the attention of the world rivets once again to the Indo-Pak border and the war mobilisation on land, sea and air, as well as the "peace diplomacy" of the Anglo-American and other imperialists, there is need to take stock of various other military and diplomatic developments in recent weeks.
US and Indian paratroopers are engaged in Agra in a military exercise which is allegedly aimed at enabling the two armed forces to work closely together. One of the main aims of the training is supposed to be carrying out para-troop landings in high cold mountain regions—that is Kashmir, and the Himalayan region. Later this year, the joint exercises will be conducted in Alaska to recreate the battle conditions, according to new reports. Earlier, joint naval exercises were conducted in the Bay of Bengal and it is reported that India is being asked to take charge of policing the Malacca straits.
Indian Officers and soldiers have for long received training in the US military establishments. However, the Agra exercises is perhaps the first time in recent decades that quiet openly the two armed forces are engaged in a joint training.
The crisis in Nepal has deepened with the dissolution of the Nepalese parliament and extension of emergency. (see article on CRISIS IN NEPAL in this issue) Army Chief Padmanabhan has made several trips to Nepal in recent months to "advise" the Nepalese government on "counterinsurgency". He has been decorated with one of the highest awards by the Nepalese government for the same! The Indian Army has been training the Nepalese army in "counterinsurgency" allegedly to crush "maoist-led insurgency". The training camp is reportedly in the Indian state of Mizoram.
The Indian Army itself received training in "counter-insurgency" from the US forces in Thailand during the time of the Vietnam War. The aim of "counter-insurgency training" is to divide, disorient and crush revolutionary forces fighting for the liberation of peoples from the exploitative order. "Counter-insurgency" training involves targeting civilian populace, setting up terrorist groups as well as infiltrating revolutionary forces to spread division and mayhem. The people of North East states, Kashmir Valley, Punjab, and Andhra Pradesh have suffered greatly from the "counter-insurgency" tactics of the Indian state, with a huge number of militant groups funded by the Indian state spreading anarchy and mayhem.
Meanwhile, across the North-Western border, in Pakistan, US troops are carrying on an active military co-ordination with the Pakistan Army and Intelligence Services allegedly to hunt down "Al Quaida bases" in Pakistan. The terrorist strike in Karachi has been an excuse for the US and Pakistani authorities to extend military collaboration. The Indo-Pak war build-up is another excuse. It seems that the US plans to station its armed forces permanently in Pakistan, for long term aims, and it is creating conditions to ensure this.
In the South, in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Government has launched an ambitious project to resolve the issue of the demand for a separate Tamil homeland. It has opened talks with the LTTE which are scheduled to take place in Malaysia under Norwegian auspices. The Indian government has not yet taken an official stand on these talks, with conflicting considerations. Future developments will reveal further, the stands of the various interests in this conflict, which include, amongst others, the US, Britain and India.
What do these unfolding things and phenomenon reveal?
South Asia is in ferment and the people are rising up against their oppressive conditions. The imperialists led by the US imperialists and reactionary forces of South Asia with the Indian and Pakistani ruling circles in the lead, are making preparations to drown the revolt of the people in blood. They are united in the diabolical aim of preserving the capitalist-imperialist system in this important region from the wrath of the peoples. Simultaneously, the contention amongst the imperialists and reactionaries for domination of the rich resources of the region, and the military-strategic advantages, is intensifying.
All this is taking place in conditions wherein the US imperialists are pursuing their strategy for conquest of Asia, including South Asia. The situation is extremely serious for all the peoples of South Asia. It demands that the working class and peoples see through the plans of the imperialists and reactionaries and oppose these plans. The working class and peoples must fight for peace in South Asia on the basis of opposing the use of force to settle political problems.