THE SKIP ZONE OF DEFENCE DIPLOMACY: THE SOUTH ASIAN PERSPECTIVE
Keywords:Defence diplomacy, Realpolitik Orientation, Strategic Trust and Confidence, Thucydides Trappe, Disarmament of Mind, Political Control of Armed Forces
The South Asian defence diplomacy spectrum distinctly falls short of expectation in conflict prevention. Some of the regional countries display ‘smoking gun’ evidence blaming to each other, often increasing mistrust. The nuclear neighbours India-Pakistan’s archrivalry and inimical attitude are the prime hurdles in flourishing defence diplomacy in the region. Apart from Kashmir Conflict, Sino-Indian border conflict, Rohingya crises, and turbulent Afghan crisis are the most complex agenda on the defence-diplomatic table. There is no option, but to foster and nurture strategic and moralistic trust in bilateral and multilateral relations amongst the countries of South Asia. They should craft the activities carefully and explore issues of common interests. Disaster management, search and rescue operation, counter insurgency operation, anti-drug drive, anti-terrorism operations, anti-trafficking of human, PKO, pandemic management etc. are the untapped potential sectors of defence diplomacy of the region. South Asian countries need to take a leap of faith and put forth trust even at the cost of risk. Mistrusted partners need opportunity to display that they are reliable and trustworthy. Strategic trust and fair political commitment in a form of defence diplomacy still may kindle light of hope at the end of the long dark tunnel of South Asia.
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