Recent happening in the regions of the Middle East and the Indo-Pacific has analysts worried. With the threat of the Third World War emboldening every day over issues like Syria, Kurdistan, North Korea, and terrorism. the world powers have been arming themselves and their proxies to the teeth.
India too is not too far behind when it comes to keeping itself prepared to face the unforeseen eventualities. But history, circumstances and some of the recent happenings concerning India accentuate its role as ‘The Load Balancer of the World’.
About some time back, India sent a maiden shipment of wheat as a gift to the people of Afghanistan via the Chabahar Port in Iran. This development not only cut Afghanistan’s dependence on the ‘Special terrorist zone’ Pakistan but it also gave India an entry into Central Asia and an opportunity with the responsibility to play a messiah of peace in the conflict between the United States and Iran when and if needed.
India's #StrategicMove to open up #ChabaharPort in @Iran resulting in increased exports to Afghanistan appears to hit Pakistan badly. Pak's exports to Afg reduce from $1.43-bn to $1.27-bn (ie over 10%). Bankrupt (?) #PakistanEconomy further goes into doldrums. pic.twitter.com/raNC2nOoIJ— Samir Dattopadhye (@samirsinh189) March 11, 2018
Moreover, with the Trump administration, the US is keen to get India on-board to balance China in the Indo-Pacific region and also to keep a check on Pakistan in the Indian Subcontinent. Also, the United States needs India in Afghanistan for rebuilding it. The recent India-US engagements underline these needs of the United States. Now speaking about Russia, it has been a ‘grand old-friend’ and all-weather ally of India for decades. Considering India’s proximity to both Russia and the United States, India most likely has a pivotal role to play in the world peace.
Abe (Japan), Netanyahu (@Israel), #Modi (India), #Putin (@Russia) & #Trump (USA), if work together, world will enter into a much better era pic.twitter.com/xGKWEPjzuL— Samir Dattopadhye (@samirsinh189) November 9, 2016
At the same time, India’s closeness and fast developing relations with Israel balanced with cordial relations with Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey, etc. makes India an all important ally of Israel. India’s parallel ties are most valued and in fact are a need for Israel as it faces increasing opposition in the Middle East with, coalition in Fatah-Hamas and their diplomatic out-reach, expanding influence of Iran and its allied groups and Israeli support to Kurdistan.
After West Asia, let us give a quick glance at the east. As mentioned earlier, the United States is eager to get India on-board to balance China in the Indo-Pacific. Moreover, India’s excellent strategic and trade relations with Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Australia, Mongolia, Brunei, South Korea and all ASEAN member states underlines its vital role in the region. A few pointers to this fact are that the heads of state of all 10 Asian nations readily accepted and attended India’s Republic Day parade and celebrations as Chief Guests this year; also that Australia had great keenness to join the India-United States-Japan naval alliance and used US diplomatic channels with India to come on-board.India’s cultivating and bettering of relations with Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Nepal is adding to its advantage in Asia in the Sub Continent. In fact, India has been successful in carving out a new group from SAARC –the ‘Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC)’ that includes Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan, and Nepal, successfully leaving out Pakistan.At the same time, what has helped is India did not resort to any irresponsible posturing, even during the Doklam standoff with China. Moreover, the fact remains that even though China had to back-off from Doklam, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for improved relations with India following the defeat. Add to it a datum, however small that India is second-largest trade partner of North Korea (after China), makes India a fulcrum which has capacity to decide the ebb and flow in the Indo-Pacific region.
And now finally taking the worldview, India has excellent relations with the European Union and all its member states including France, Germany and the United Kingdom which is on the verge of EU-exit. EU needs India and its market the most at the time when they are faced with volleys of challenges including the migrant crisis, looming recession, secessionism, and over-growth of Chinese influence; same being the case with African and Latin American nations.
Summing it up, it is clear that with clouds of the Third World War becoming even-darker, India with its diplomatic relations and reach, a huge economy, formidable armed forces and a strong and rich spiritual culture is poised to play the role of “The Load Balancer of the World” in the near future.