Byline: Imran Malik
Kashmir, the most underrated of all global crises, is fast becoming the hub of conflicting geopolitical, geostrategic and geo-economic interests of global powers as they manoeuvre to gain advantageous positions in Asia. The national interests of three nuclear powers clash directly here making it the most critical and sensitive of all possible global nuclear flashpoints.
India has recently breached the status quo in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ and K) region by (theoretically) 'annexing and absorbing' it into the Indian Union. The international community however continues to acknowledge the UN mandated disputed nature of Kashmir. India persists in vitiating the strategic environment senselessly. Left unresolved, the Kashmir issue will lead to a conventional-nuclear war between India and Pakistan. The powers that be will get inexorably swept into the vortex of such a war and a consequent global nuclear winter as well!
The US is a power in retreat and appears to have almost abdicated its role as an Asian power. The transition of power is very palpable. It is literally restricted to the fringes of Asia: in the Arabian Peninsula, Israel and then in the Pacific Ocean, South Korea and Japan. It has no worthwhile presence on mainland Asia at all (leaving Afghanistan, too). An uncoordinated (?) Sino-Russo juggernaut is moving ominously into the emerging vacuum and overwhelming Asia in a gigantic geopolitical manoeuvre. Russia has moved decisively into Syria, Turkey (a NATO ally), Iran and is now engaging Pakistan very positively. China, through its BRI-CPEC initiatives has already made massive inroads into CARs, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. Both Russia and China are now wooing the Arabs (KSA-GCC) in the ME and moving into Africa. Once the Russians and the Chinese cement their ingresses it would be nigh impossible for the US to regain its lost sphere of influence in Asia. It might well be on its way to becoming a past Asian Power! A competing pole is apparently emerging to challenge the US-led Wests' (including India). It comprises China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan, Turkey (CRIPT), which as a subset of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has tremendous economic, political, diplomatic, technical and military potential. If these geopolitical alignments crystallize as expected, then we are likely to see a bi/multi polar world emerging. A new collective approach of CRIPT on international issues like Kashmir is...