BECA fear, Indo-US bonhomie driving Pakistan crazy

Imran-Khan-Pakistan.jpg

BECA fear, Indo-US bonhomie driving Pakistan crazy

Quite rattled with India and the United States signing the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) earlier this week, Pakistan is now reminding the Donald Trump administration that their growing friendship with the Narendera Modi government could potentially affect the US-Pakistan relationship, especially in Afghanistan. After the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016, the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) in 2018 and the Industrial Security Annex (ISA) in 2019, BECA—which is related to sharing of geospatial intelligence information—was the last of the four military communication foundational agreements waiting to be signed between India and the US. The defence pact was inked during US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to New Delhi on Tuesday. "We agree that the US-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership is critical to the security and prosperity of both our countries, the Indo-Pacific region, and the world," Pompeo had tweeted to reaffirm the increasingly close ties between the two countries and the shared goals among 'like-minded Indo-Pacific countries'. Against the backdrop of the 2+2 Ministerial meeting mechanism of the Foreign and Defence Ministers of India and the United States and the India-US-Australia-Japan Quadrilateral consultations, militaries of the four countries in the Quad group are getting ready for the forthcoming "high-end military exercise" Malabar 2020 in the Indian Ocean Region. This too has been giving a torrid time to the Pakistani authorities. "Pakistan has taken note of the signing of the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement. Pakistan has been consistently highlighting the threats posed to strategic stability in South Asia as a result of provision of advanced military hardware, technologies and knowledge to India,” the Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement immediately after the signing of BECA. "India's massive acquisition of armaments and expansion of its nuclear forces, including introduction of new destabilizing weapon systems, are developments with serious repercussions for peace and stability in South Asia," it added. While Pompeo and US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, during their India trip, had highlighted the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party to the security and freedom in the region, it is actually Pakistan which is getting all worked up and freaked out. "This defence deal is apparently aimed to counter the growing influence of China in the region, but we fear that India's military build-up will ultimately be used against Pakistan. Pakistan should develop a cogent defence partnership with China to boost its military arsenal and be ready to respond to any aggression by India," retired Pakistani Army Lt-General Amjad Shoaib told <em>Arab News Pakistan</em>. The fear and trepidation set off in Islamabad by the 2+2 Ministerial meeting in Delhi is unending. "The US may have its strategic reasons to block Chinese influence in the region, but it should be well aware of the complexities that are weaved into interstate regional dynamics here. Cozying up to India is one way in which Washington wants to resist the domination of China but this has a direct impact on its relations with Islamabad," country's leading daily <em>Dawn</em> mentioned in an editorial today. "It is a delicate balance that we have maintained but it can be adversely impacted if the US starts to enhance India’s military capabilities that can constitute a clear and present danger to Pakistan," it added. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, already batting on a dicey pitch at home, met the Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa yesterday which his office described was to discuss "professional matters pertaining to Pakistan Army, internal and external security situation." However, it is unlikely that, amidst the frenzy that BECA has triggered in their country, the duo wouldn't have done a risk and threat assessment of the growing Indo-US strategic partnership. Khan though already has too much on his plate... Sustained pressure being put in by the Opposition through the Pakistan Democratic Movement, sinking economy, failed attempts to get off the grey list of global terror-financing watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force or FATF since 2018, grave human rights situation in the country, failed foreign policy, growing cases of Covid-19 in the country, and a whole lot of other issues are homegrown headaches he has to deal with immediately. Well, the 'Kaptaan' of '<a href="https://indianarrative.com/world/inflation-crushing-pakistanis-financial-collapse-fatf-blacklisting-could-be-next-16475.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><strong>naya Pakistan</strong></a>' always has the shoulder of 'iron brother' China to cry on..