Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Kautilya's Doctrine Dominates India's Pakistan Policy

“Every neighboring state is an enemy and the neighboring state's neighbor is a friend.”
 ― Kautilya, The Arthashastra

The name of Kautilya, meaning crooked, is invoked by former Indian foreign secretary Shyam Saran's book “How India Sees the World: Kautilya to the 21st Century”.   This invocation of Kautilya in the title of the book makes the above quote about "neighboring state is an enemy" particularly relevant to how Indian policymakers like Shyam Saran see Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Who was Kautilya?

Kautilya (“crooked”) is believed to be the pen name of the ancient Indian minister Chanakya who served Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of the Mauryan Empire (322 BC-185 BC). German sociologist Max Weber once called Kautilya's Arthashastra “truly radical ‘Machiavellianism’ . . . compared to it, Machiavelli’s The Prince is harmless.”

Arthashastra on Foreign Policy:

Some of Kautilya's Arthashastra’s "wisdom" deals with international relations and foreign policy which is laid out mainly in books 7, 11, and 12.

Kautilya presents a theory of international relations called the “circle of states,” or Rajamandala. It says hostile states are those that border the ruler’s state, forming a circle around it.  In turn, states that surround this set of hostile states form another circle around the circle of hostile states. This second circle of states can be considered the natural allies of the ruler’s state against the hostile states that lie between them. Put more succinctly, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

Influence on India's Pakistan Policy:

Kautilya's Rajamdala (Circle of States) can be seen in action today in India’s foreign policy. It sees Afghanistan as a natural ally against Pakistan. Similarly, it sees Japan as a natural ally against China.

To understand how India uses Afghanistan against Pakistan, let's examine what former US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says: "India has always used Afghanistan as a second front against Pakistan. India has over the years been financing problems in Pakistan".

Bharat Karnad, a professor of national security studies at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi, recently acknowledged India's use of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) terrorist group against Pakistan in an Op Ed he wrote for Hindustan Times. Karnad believes US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is trying to get Pakistan's cooperation in Afghanistan by asking India to cut its support of  the TTP. Then he added that "Severing relations with TTP will mean India surrendering an active card in Pakistan and a role in Afghanistan as TTP additionally provides access to certain Afghan Taliban factions".

Summary:

The foreign policy doctrine enunciated by Kautilya, the ancient Indian Machiavelli, continues to guide India's foreign policy vis-a-vis its neighbors, particularly Pakistan. Kautilya's Rajamdala (Circle of States) theory can be seen in action today in India's use of Afghanistan against Pakistan. Unfortunately, the Pakistan phobia in India is so deeply ingrained that the Indian policy vis-a-vis Pakistan is not likely to change in the foreseeable future.

Viewpoint From Overseas host Misbah Azam discusses this subject with Ali H. Cemendtaur and Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com)

https://youtu.be/nzNstymhlnM




Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Why is India Sponsoring Terrorism in Pakistan?

Ex-Indian Spy Documents RAW's Successes in Pakistan

Has Modi Stepped Up India's Cover War Against Pakistan?

Ex RAW Chief AS Dulat Blames Advani For Agra Summit Failure

Pakistan ISI: Afghanistan's Bogeyman

India-Pakistan Cricket Diplomacy

Counter-insurgencyOperation ZarbeAzb

India's Abiding Hostility Toward Pakistan 

India's Israel Envy: Will Modi Attack Pakistan?

India's Pakistan Phobia

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ironically the Arthashastra was written in Taxila University where chanakya was the head of the political science department and where he raised the adopted orphan Chandra Gupta maurya. But hey Pakistani history begins with Bin Qasim! Thanks for gifting India all your pre Islamic history and making a fool of yourself by claiming to be Arab and Turk descendents..

Majumdar said...

Sirji

there is only one problem. If we assume that India is following Kautaliya's principle, then it also means that a muslim nation Afghan is enemy of Pakistan. Woh Kaise ho gaya.

Anonymous said...

Too bad for you. Maybe Pakistan should accept it's natural status, as the land of Pakistan had always been - a vassal/tributary state to the gangetic empire based in Delhi. That is the natural order that will preserve peace.

Sri said...

Kautilya stated the fact which is true for everyone.

If we see japan as an ally, japan see the same in us without following Kautilya.

What is string of pearl if not Rajamandala?

Riaz Haq said...

Majumdar: "If we assume that India is following Kautaliya's principle, then it also means that a muslim nation Afghan is enemy of Pakistan. "


India finds Afghanistan useful to squeeze Pakistan. Indian intelligence is spending a lot of money in Afghanistan to promote the Pakistan ISI as the bogeyman, according to a British major who served in Afghanistan.

During his three tours of duty in Afghanistan, Major Gallimore could hear all the radio conversations going on but never heard any Pakistani accent. He did, however, see "buckets and buckets of money" and rising Indian influence in Afghan Army that blamed Pakistan for all their problems. Pakistan is their bogeyman.

http://www.riazhaq.com/2017/08/pakistan-isi-bogeyman-of-afghanistan.html

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "Too bad for you. Maybe Pakistan should accept it's natural status, as the land of Pakistan had always been - a vassal/tributary state to the gangetic empire based in Delhi. That is the natural order that will preserve peace."

Peace is just as necessary for India as for Pakistan. And "the natural order" in your head is not conducive to regional and global peace.

Here's Shyam Saran on this subject as reported in the Indian media:

Replying to a question on the role of the SAARC, he said, it is today "more important for India" than any other country.

He said SAARC was the "only vehicle" which India had for bringing about the kind of economic integration that it was committed to and that without it any hope of playing an effective regional or global role would not mean anything.

"Your ability to be more successful regionally as an Asian power, your ability to play a credible and effective global role, is very much dependent on how you manage your own periphery," he added.

"But if that becomes a constant constraining factor and if your are constantly involved in trying to deal with crises operating in your neighbourhood, most of the oxygen you have is taken away by Pakistan....how much you have left for doing other things," he said.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2017/sep/27/dont-see-india-pakistan-grand-reconciliation-in-foreseeable-future-shyam-saran-1663749.html

Anonymous said...

You may want to watch chanakya the TV series...childhood to founding of Mauryan Empire..
https://m.youtube.com/watch?list=PL14A74E6328E202AA&v=fHGDEffRjE8

Anonymous said...

Indians have Kautilya,Chinese have Sun Tsu,The West has Machiavelli.

Since Pakistanis revel in disowning their Pre Islamic heritage what is the shariah compliant handbook for statecraft?

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "Indians have Kautilya,Chinese have Sun Tsu,The West has Machiavelli. Since Pakistanis revel in disowning their Pre Islamic heritage what is the shariah compliant handbook for statecraft? "


It's not about being a specific nationality or religion....it's about the ideas. Clearly, the West does not view Machiavelli and his ideas in a positive light, nor does the world. However, it seems to me that you and some of your fellow Indians embrace Kautilya's ideas of statecraft in spite of the fact that the world sees Kautilya as much more radical than Machiavelli.

As to Islamic statecraft, there are many philosophers who have written about...for example Ibn Khulfun and Al Farabi. The bottom line for them is that you can not divorce morality from statecraft.

Majumdar said...

Sirji

Please stop blaming india for a long term bad blood between Afghanistan and al Bakistan.
Fact is, Afghanistan never accepted the Durand line and Pak army / ISI want their pithoos in Afghanistan (talibans are pithoos)

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/10/the-durand-line-afghanistans-controversial-colonial-era-border/264064/

Riaz Haq said...

Majumdar: "Please stop blaming india for a long term bad blood between Afghanistan and al Bakistan.
Fact is, Afghanistan never accepted the Durand line and Pak army / ISI want their pithoos in Afghanistan (talibans are pithoos)
"

It's not unusual for neighbors to have border disputes; what is unusual in South Asia is the extent to which India actively promotes and exploits the Durand Line issue to use Afghanistan against Pakistan as part of its well-thought-out policy following the teachings of Kautilya the crooked.

NBRX said...

The correct and closest sanskrit to english translation for Kautilya is "sagacious" not crooked. Yes, Kautilya is often compared to Machiavelli.

It is fair to mention that Kautilya is not merciless all the time and he also writes about the moral duty of the king/government: he summarizes the duty of the king/government by saying “The happiness of the subjects is the happiness of the king; their welfare is his. His own pleasure is not his good but the pleasure of his subjects is his good”.

Some scholars have seen in the ideas of Kautilya a combination of Chinese Confucianism, benevolence, and disciplined Legalism.

Riaz Haq said...

Ex Chiefs of #RAW, #ISI meet in #London, Both agree war not an option, #India and #Pakistan talks must via @htTweets

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/barbs-banter-as-top-indian-and-pakistani-spooks-meet-at-lse/story-GoM1XmsZDVPTkyTAO4Ig7I.html

AS Dulat and Ehsan-ul-Haq, who served as head of the RAW and ISI respectively in the early 2000s, came together at a seminar in the LSE that was marked by much banter and barbs.

Dulat and Ehsan, who served in their respective offices in the early 2000s, were key players in sensitive issues, often taking adversarial postures and actions, but at LSE they could not agree more with each other on Jammu and Kashmir, terrorism and peace talks.

Ehsan dwelt on what he called the “mass uprising in Jammu and Kashmir since July last year”, following the death of jihadi commander Burhan Wani, and harped on the need to resume the stalled dialogue between the two countries. Dulat agreed with him that India had committed “mistakes” and created “a mess” in the state.

Dulat also agreed that talks should be resumed between the two sides, since war is not an option and dialogue is the only way out. India, he said, needs to make an exception and talk along with terrorism (New Delhi has ruled out parleys until Pakistan-backed terrorism is stopped).

The former RAW chief said: “The magic of it all, as Ehsan-sab said, is mainstreaming and also democracy. The mistakes that we are making (in Jammu and Kashmir), apart from the mess that we have created, still not talking to people, high time we started talking to people…We need to deal with Kashmir in a more civilised manner.

“These red lines about Hurriyat…we have got it absolutely wrong because the whole idea of talking to the Hurriyat is to mainstream them, get them into the democratic process…The PDP-BJP coalition was expected to bring Jammu and Srinagar closer, but it has taken them further apart because Kashmiris have never forgiven the PDP for bringing the RSS into the (Kashmir) valley.

“In the BJP’s mind, the RSS may have come into the valley but the RSS is not going to achieve anything there,” he added.

Another point of agreement between the two former spooks was the need for cooperation between Indian and Pakistan intelligence agencies.

Dulat, an old Kashmir hand who headed India’s external intelligence agency during 1999-2000, said there were instances when interaction between RAW and ISI had “produced more than the desired results”, and Ehsan had been witness to at least one such major result.

Amid knowing guffaws and smiles, Dulat chided Ehsan and reminded him of his “relationship” with his Indian counterpart, of India tipping off Pakistan about a potential threat to the life of former president Pervez Musharraf, and of covert talks defusing a major flashpoint in the early 2000s.

Dulat said: “He (Ehsan) is still using the ploy of plausible deniability and being rather modest about his relationship which was well known. And from all that I know it was a great relationship that produced results. I think Sir, you recall the 2003 ceasefire took place because of you and your friend.”

The remarks evoked laughter from Ehsan.

Dulat added, “And if I can go beyond, your friend also tipped you with intelligence which may have saved Gen Musharraf’s life. And I think that is something that even Gen Musharraf in a way acknowledges. So I don’t think we need to deny that. It is a feather in your cap, Sir, and a feather in your friend’s cap.”

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan: Mad Dog #Mattis Will Bark, but #Islamabad Won't Bite. #Afghanistan #Trump #terrorism #TTP https://goo.gl/ZU1FK1 via @Stratfor Worldview

As President Donald Trump's administration searches for an exit from the war in Afghanistan after over 16 years of U.S. involvement, the United States is making another high-level diplomatic outreach to Pakistan. On Dec. 4, Defense Secretary James Mattis arrived in Islamabad for meetings with Pakistan's top military and civilian leaders, including Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa. In these meetings, Mattis' mission is to convince Pakistani leadership to do more to attack militant safe havens and, in the long term, facilitate peace talks with the Taliban to end America's longest-running war. But Pakistan's leaders won't be easy to convince.

In the discussions, Mattis adopted a conciliatory approach by acknowledging Pakistan's sacrifices in the fight against terrorism, but he also reiterated Washington's demands. The United States has called for Pakistan to take more action against the militants that find refuge on its soil. Among them, crucially, is the leadership of the Taliban operating in Afghanistan.

Diplomatic outreach is just one of the ways the United States is trying to compel a change in Pakistan's behavior. Military aid is another. Last week, the latest report from the U.S. Congressional Research Service showed that the United States would further trim its annual aid package to Pakistan. In 2017, Washington doled out $526 million to Islamabad in exchange for its cooperation, which includes providing overland NATO supply route access through Pakistani territory. In 2018, that number is projected to drop to $345 million.

The United States has gradually trimmed the amount of aid it provides to Pakistan over the last several years. In 2014, for example, U.S. aid to Pakistan amounted to nearly $2.2 billion. For now, it appears that the U.S. strategy is to pursue incremental punitive measures against Pakistan, rather than pursue harsher tactics such as revoking Pakistan's non-NATO major ally status or cutting aid altogether. The United States isn't fully ready to bring out the stick, but the carrot is slowly being drawn back.

Pakistan wants to maintain its relationship with the United States, but it's willing to suffer the cost of deteriorating ties. From Islamabad's perspective, supporting the Taliban follows a rational calculation to ensure post-conflict Afghanistan is friendly to Pakistani interests. Support for Taliban leaders is aimed at denying Pakistan's rival, India, a foothold in Afghanistan. Because of this, Mattis' visit probably won't convince Pakistan to change its behavior, especially considering the Trump administration's calls for India to play a greater economic role in Afghanistan.

Riaz Haq said...

What the Success of the Left Alliance Means for Nepal
BY BISWAS BARAL ON 10/12/201

https://thewire.in/203749/what-the-success-of-the-left-alliance-means-for-nepal/

But perhaps the biggest reason people rejected the NC this time has to do with the 2015-16 shutdown of the Nepal-India border. As the Congress has always been close to New Delhi, its leaders were at the time seen as mincing their words in condemning the ‘Indian blockade’. But while they vacillated, Oli and his comrades felt no such qualms. They openly blamed India for bringing misery to Nepalis.


Deuba and company were seen as weak and doing ‘India’s bidding’. In contrast, Oli came across as a strong nationalist leader who was not afraid to call a spade a spade. Oli, the blockade-time prime minister, got the credit for courageously standing up to the ‘Indian bully’.

Oli back then also signed the landmark trade and transit agreements with China. These agreements ended Nepal’s total dependency on Indian ports for business with third countries and put paid – at least in terms of optics if not reality – to India’s monopoly on the supply of fuel. Both these acts were seen favorably by Nepalis who had felt humiliated by India’s highhandedness during the standoff. India-bashing has traditionally been a foolproof electoral strategy in Nepal, and Oli milked it.

Perhaps Prachanda, who has long since abandoned his revolutionary zeal, also realised that it would for the moment be wise to align with Oli and try to steal some of his thunder. On the campaign trail, Prachanda was seen as openly projecting Oli as the new prime minister. Apparently, the deal is that while Oli will lead the country, Prachanda will head the new party formed after the left merger. (A more cynical interpretation is that Prachanda is looking for Oli, who has multiple heath issues, to step down sooner rather than later so that he can then become the undisputed communist leader in Nepal.)

China’s puppet?

Speculations are rife that with the Left alliance poised for at least a simple majority, and very likely a two-thirds majority, the new government under Oli will firmly align with China. But this would be an over-simplification of the ground realities in Nepal. Oli understands very well – as does Prachanda, who in 2009 lost his prime minister’s chair after angering India – that no government in Nepal can afford to be seen as openly anti-India. Former Indian foreign secretary Shivshankar Menon rightly refuses to label Oli ‘pro-China’ and thinks of him as ‘just another politician doing whatever is convenient to get to power’.

Oli, who was until a few years ago among India’s most trusted lieutenants in Kathmandu, embraced the pro-China nationalist image because he knew it would pay off electorally. But once in power, he will not need to be so openly hostile to India and will, in all likelihood, make efforts to mend his frayed ties with New Delhi, safe in the knowledge that there is no immediate threat to his government.