China’s deep support and investment in Pakistan create challenges for India and increasingly the “Pakistan issue is part of the China issue” in the broader range of topics in the India-US agenda, a top American expert has said. A senior fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia at prominent think-tank Council on Foreign Relations, Alyssa Ayres also said that she would not be surprised to see “continued frictions” between India and China over the border and the territorial issues.
“Increasingly, the Pakistan issue is part of the China issue given China’s deep support and investment in Pakistan with the China Pakistan Economic Corridor. This is really part of one larger regional system and it creates challenges for India,” she said, responding to a question on relations with China and Pakistan under the broad range of India-US agenda. Ayres delivered the 4th New India Lecture on “India’s Role on World Stage”, organised by the Consulate General of India in New York in partnership with the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), and spoke on a range of issues impacting India-US ties in a session moderated by former US Ambassador to India Frank Wisner.
She previously served as deputy assistant secretary of state for South Asia from 2010 to 2013. Her book about India’s rise on the world stage, “Our Time Has Come: How India is Making Its Place in the World”, was published by Oxford University Press in January. Ayres said she will not be surprised to see “continued frictions” between India and China, particularly over the border and the territorial issues as well as in the maritime space where India has some significant concerns. “So I think that is going to be rocky relationship”.
Asked about relations with Pakistan in the context of US-India ties, Ayres sounded a pessimistic tone. “I don’t have a sense of optimism. I’m very worried about where Pakistan is headed. We have all seen what is happening with Pakistan and the challenge of terrorism and terror groups that regroup on Pakistani soil. It obviously has an effect on India,” she said, adding that there is also a very real and important effect on the US and its objectives.