The U.S. has turned a blind eye towards a state that falls within the attributes of a rouge state as defined in the 2002 NSS. On Jan 21, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on National Security Dr. Moeed Yusuf said that India had a conflict with every single neighbor, and fits the classic example of a rogue state. Indian aggressive regional, domestic and international designs show – as Happymon Jacob puts it – the frightening fall of a great nation has begun. Following is an attempt to analyze India vis-à-vis the attributes of rogue states provided in the 2002 U.S. NSS.
In 2019, India approved the discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) as well as passed a National Register of Citizens (NRC) which marginalizes minorities and renders them stateless. India has ten operational detention centers with three more under construction to detain undocumented immigrants. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) called the CAA highly discriminatory, arbitrary and a violation of international law. Despite President Biden’s show of disappointment at the measures that the Government of India took with the implementation and aftermath of the NRC and CAA, he fell short of changing the U.S. policy towards India and Kashmir.
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Squander their national resources for the personal gain of the rulers
Despite PM Modi’s promise to end corruption, corruption still thrives in India. According to the New York Times, India’s Prime Minister faces charges of bypassing procedures, causing loss in public funds, compromising national security and using the arms deal to offer a lucrative contract to an ally – all for the personal gains of ruling elites. The high-profile scandals include a murky 7.8 billion euro weapons deal to purchase 36 Rafale fighter planes from France as well as a fraud of 2 billion USD at the state-owned Punjab National Bank. Moreover, in 2018, an IPS officer Rajnish Rai at the Uranium Corporation of India (UCIL), provided a report on corruption regarding uranium mining. Modi’s government looked the other way.
India’s attempt to change the status of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K) is against the resolutions of the UNSC, as well as the wishes of the Kashmiri people. Even the Vice President of the U.S., Kamala Harris stated that “we have to remind the Kashmiris that they are not alone in the world. We are keeping a track on the situation. There is a need to intervene if the situation demands.”
Moreover, the alleged 2016 Indian surgical strikes in Pakistan, across the Line of Control (LOC) were baseless and reprehensible Indian claims of targeting a large terrorist camp. The UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) found no evidence of such surgical strikes. This was a baseless pack of white lies for electioneering by PM Modi to pacify the Indian domestic audience.
India has also launched hybrid warfare against Pakistan. India is a founding member of the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum, the ASEAN Regional Forum, and other UN fora on counter-terrorism. Despite such cosmetic appearances in international counter-terrorism efforts, according to the irrefutable evidence that Pakistan presented to the UN in 2020, India has been involved with the nexus of terrorist groups operating in Pakistan. Former U.S. Defence Secretary, Chuck Hagel also opined that India used Afghanistan to create problems for Pakistan. Post-U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and Taliban takeover, India has lost the space in Afghanistan. This has fouled up its strategic objectives vis-à-vis Pakistan.
Indian 2019 Anti-Satellite Weapon test also violated the Outer Space Treaty’s Article IX. It is so because India is a party to the treaty. Upasana Dasgupta from the Institute of Air and Space Law, McGill University, Canada argued that the test created debris that poses a risk to international orbiting objects, thus violating the corresponding interests of all other states party to the treaty.
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Achieving the aggressive designs of these regimes
The world is asleep over the fact that the Indian nuclear weapons have landed into the hands of a fascist regime comprised of religious fanatics who glorify Hitler. Time and again, PM Modi has threatened to use nuclear weapons against Pakistan through irresponsible statements like “qatal ki raat” and “nukes as fireworks” at Diwali. The threat has silently gone global where India plans for a global strike capability with 10,000 km range ballistic missile – Agni VI. India has the capability to build around 2261-2686 nuclear weapons. In the last two decades, uranium thefts of about approximately 200 kg in India reflect the vulnerability of fissile material.
During the Balakot crisis in 2019, Pakistan Navy also thwarted the attempts of Indian nuclear submarines to enter Pakistani waters. Lt Gen. Kidwai notes that “since there were no credible reports of India’s first strike weapons based on land and air being readied, was India considering the use of nuclear weapons from a second strike platform even before the first strike options.” India has also opted for cauterization of Agni-V, acquisition of Ballistic Missile Defence as well as, Tactical Nuclear Weapons. Such irrational behavior by PM Modi can lead to a nuclear catastrophe where India uses its nuclear weapons either as a First Strike or go for a decapitating nuclear strike.
India does not stand for the primary values that the U.S. stands for
For instance, democracy and freedom of expression are shoved under the carpet by India. In 2020, the Annual Report of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) termed India as a country of particular concern. India – once a democratic society – has turned into an oppressively extremist religious ideology.
While turning a blind eye to Indian designs as a rogue nuclear state, the U.S. and the international community will commit a strategic blunder. Such blunder will demonstrate that India can dominate the world scene as a fierce force of global disorder and create a fertile soil for other states to follow suit, in turn, undermining world peace and stability.
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The writer is a Senior Research Officer at the Center for International Strategic Studies (CISS), Islamabad and a Ph.D. Scholar at Defense and Strategic Studies Department (DSS), Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.