North America’s leading event on geo-strategic matters commences on Friday. The President of the event believes that India, which is the Asian model symbolizing democracy, will ultimately prevail over China, reports Hindustan Times.
Peter Van Praagh, the president spoke in an interview before the Halifax International Security Forum, and said, places such as India have complaints about the lack of “efficiency” when compared to what has been achieved by China, Peter said in his interview. But he described this as a “superficial benefit”.
He said, “It goes a little more slowly in a democracy because you have to build consensus, but fundamentally, I think, India is going to end up being the model in Asia, not China.”
Given China’s current role in global affairs, it’s hardly surprising the Forum in Halifax city in Nova Scotia province has several sessions dedicated to Beijing and its ambitions. But it does not separately look at South Asia in the context of the equation between subcontinental rivals India and Pakistan.
Van Praagh furthered, “I don’t think there’s an India-Pakistan paradigm. It’s a false paradigm. It’s very clear now that Pakistan is a puppet state of the Communist Party of China.”
He added that “there’s no equivalence between India and Pakistan”, and “really, the conversation is not between India and Pakistan, the conversation is India-China relations”.
“Democracies like India, Japan, Korea can offer a better model than what China is offering up,” he said.
Forum in Halifax city does have a few sessions reflecting this angle as they include agendas such as;
- Asia Values: A Free and Open Indo-Pacific, Beijing’s Cravings.
- Kremlin’s Gremlins: Freedom’s Foes.
- Indo-Pacific Security: Battle of the Billions.
- The Quad Squad: Asia’s Democracy Defenders.
Former minister of state for external affairs MJ Akbar was originally scheduled to represent India at the Forum. His visit was cancelled after he faced multiple allegations of sexual harassment and resigned from his post.
Minister of state, VK Singh would replace Akbar and Indian envoy Vikas Swarup will accompany him to the event.
Admiral Philip S Davidson, commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command, will be at the Forum for the first time.
The three-day global event, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, begins on Friday. The Halifax International Security Forum, formally hosted by Canada’s national defence minister, will be currently hosted by Indo-Canadian Harjit Sajjan. It will feature nearly 300 participants spanning government, military, think tanks, business and the media from 70 countries.