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China and South Asia

China and South Asia Indrajit RECENT political events in the countries of South Asia have almost certainly made the policies of the major world powers towards this region irrelevant. The most significant of all the changes in this area are those taking place in Pakistan. During the sixties, an impression had gained ground in world capitals that Pakistan had resolved its problems and was going to continue as the most stable of all the countries of the region. Both the rate of economic growth and the apparent stability of the Ayub regime proved to be deceptive. Within a period of two years, Pakistan has virtually ceased to exist as a united country. Even if the present crisis is resolved through a negotiated settlement of the issues between East and West Pakistan, the old structure in which all the Great Powers had made both political and economic investments can never be revived, REVIVAL OF HOPE FOR INDIA As these developments have been taking place in Pakistan, the assumption (perhaps equally shared by the major powers) that India was in the midst of a deep crisis and that even the disintegration of the Indian state could not be ruled out as a possible development, has proved to be erroneous. It is by now well known that many countries friendly to India were as much worried by the prospect of chaos and conflict in this country as were many others hostile to us encouraged by the same prospects. Whatever else the 1971 elections may not . have done, it has certainly demonstrated the viability of the Indian state and of the Indian political system, .
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