South Asia and Beyond

India’s ‘Operation Insaniyat’ For Rohingyas More To Placate Dhaka Than To Pressurise Nay Pyi Taw

NEW DELHI: As India walks the tight-rope between Dhaka and Nay Pyi Taw on the Rohingya crisis, it’s unlikely that Myanmar will take these displaced people back. Dr Avinash Paliwal who is a lecturer in Diplomacy and Public Policy at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London and is currently focusing on India-Myanmar ties, told Deputy Editor Parul Chandra and Opinion Editor Ashwin Ahmad that it’s difficult for New Delhi to play a more pro-active role in the Rohingya issue given the strategic importance of its neighbour. With ties between Nay Pyi Taw and Beijing in a close clinch, Dr Paliwal says greater pressure on Myanmar will only push it into an even tighter strategic embrace with China. Besides, India’s limited expertise and resources also make it difficult to push Myanmar more on the Rohingya issue. It’s to be noted that China has backed Myanmar on the Rohingya issue on the global stage. With Chinese President Xi Jinping also visiting Myanmar last month, it’s evident that the country’s salience for Myanmar is growing. As Dr Paliwal notes, it’s a challenging task for any neighbour of Myanmar or even the big powers to match the capacity and capabilities of China. He also sees in the Chinese outreach to Myanmar a clear focus on the country’s military.  As for the elections coming up in Myanmar later this year, Paliwal says Aung San Sui Kyi’s relationship with her country’s army has deepened and while western governments may be critical of her, domestically her position remains strong. Watch this interview for more:

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