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That India facilitates the supply of mercenaries to governments in various parts of the world is a fact that has found its best expression from the purported arrest of four people accused of trafficking Indian citizens to fight for the Russian army in Ukraine. This country, which describes itself as the largest democracy of the world, has provided hundreds of mercenaries to various regimes and non-state actors in various conflict zones as an external policy imperative.

India has been doing now what a couple of states of Africa did during the Libyan civil war (2011) by providing mercenaries to an embattled Libyan despot Moamaar Qadhafi and his opponents simultaneously. According to media reports, at least two Indian soldiers or mercenaries have been killed in the Ukraine-Russia conflict amid credible reports that India’s ministry of external affairs has been working to secure discharges of a number of nationals in the Russian army.

What more does the US-led West need to know about the present-day India under Narendra Modi? How can India be their strategic partner in South Asia and beyond? Doesn’t the foregoing clearly show betrayal of trust and an act of treachery on the part of India? In my view, it is about time the US-led West revisited its approach to this country, which has been nursing ambitions to become a regional hegemon since Narendra Modi came to power in 2014.

Ahmad Saleem

Karachi

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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