I was sent through a couple of days ago an investment proposal, which highlighted the “excellent relations between Nepal & Pakistan”. Of course this statement piqued the curiosity of this Punditeer and a Google search yielded up this.
Speaking on the occasion, Bakhtawari said that he considers Nepal one of the best friends of Pakistan as people of Nepal have great love and affection for Pakistanis. He said that technology transfer, investment and economic cooperation were the areas in which both countries could collaborate for mutual benefits.
The ICCI president said that the business communities of Pakistan and Nepal have to play a vital role for the promotion of bilateral trade and their greater mutual interaction is needed to achieve the ultimate objectives. He suggested that the two countries should focus on enhancing cultural exchange programmes and people-to-people contract along with focusing on strengthening trade ties.
Much as we all enjoy a good Paki-bashing (almost a rite of passage on this website it seems at times since our recent “Saffroning” lol) I must say that Pakistan seems to have fairly excellent relations with all of South Asia except one country and that one country doesn’t seem to be tight with any of its neighbours.
It seems the rest of South Asia (Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka even Nepal) get along grandly while tip-toeing around the sleeping giant. Kautilyan diplomacy, where if I understand it the neighbor of my neighbor (or enemy of my enemy, sometimes they are the same things) is my friend is being used inadvertently by all the South Asian polities (which makes sense since Kautilya/Chanakya was born in Kerala but taught in Taxila).
Since India borders almost every South Asian state (with the exception of Afghanistan & Iran and their inclusion in South Asia is iffy except according to the UN definition) who would be it’s natural allies (one border removed basically); Japan, Iran, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Australia, Oman, Thailand and Korea?
Personally if I was an Indian strategist I would move away from an Asian focus (with countries like Pakistan & China hovering about) towards an Indian Ocean Diplomacy; emerging as the hegemonic power in that sphere.
The region screams for a great power to emerge and set it right; even if India were to emerge as a primary power in this sphere, it’s Great Power status (which frankly has been the consuming ambition of Independence) would be met.