The US-India nexus - Raoof Hasan - Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Source :

For any super power to win even a shade of legitimacy, it is imperative for it to be perceived as a neutral and fair arbiter. The US may have succeeded in telling the world that it has the capability to annihilate less powerful adversaries, with counterproductive results though, but it has failed in stamping its authority as a leader that can be trusted for handling international affairs in an impartial manner.

The role the US has consistently played in shielding and empowering its illegitimate offspring in the Middle East has resulted in monumental death and destruction spread over decades. While the Palestinians and other countries of the conflict-riddled region have shown willingness to take some unpleasant steps to reach a compromise, it is Israel that has spurned the prospect of peace.

Its unabashed and inhuman belligerence resulting in indescribable atrocities and mayhem has not dented the unequivocal US support it has traditionally commanded.

In South Asia, the US has become an unwitting ally of India in its brutal repression of the Kashmiri people. Alongside Israel, it is India that has gained the maximum from the tragic incident of 9/11 and has tried to rubbish the genuine, home-grown independence struggle of the Kashmiri people as a foreign-sponsored 'terrorist activity'. Nothing could be more preposterous and nothing more detached from the annals of reality.

The movement for the independence of the state of Jammu and Kashmir dates back to the time India unilaterally landed its troops in the valley. This was in crude contravention of the inherent principle under which the subcontinent was divided into the independent domains of Pakistan and India. When a war broke out, it was the Indian prime minister who took the matter to the United Nations for an international intervention.

The ensuing UN resolution calling for a plebiscite in the valley to decide its fate in accordance with the enshrining will of its people still awaits implementation. In retaliation to the brutal and unprecedented state terrorism unleashed by over 700,000 Indian troops, there has been an upsurge of popular protests in the valley that has resulted in the death of over 150 innocent people in the past four months. There have also been unceasing reports of torture and rape committed at random by the Indian troops.

US policy makers are busy overtime to ensure that the word Kashmir is not even mentioned during the forthcoming visit to India by President Obama. Another symbolic feature of the visit is that it takes off from Mumbai's Taj Hotel that was the target of the infamous terrorist attack in November 2008 for which India has consistently blamed Pakistan. India hopes that the visit would culminate in a reassuring anti-terrorism statement implicating Pakistan in nurturing this phenomenon. Pakistan, on the other hand, would want the US president to urge the Indian leadership to address the core problem of Kashmir that has jeopardised the prospect of lasting peace in the region.

One must also try to comprehend the American stance in the larger context of its policy in this region comprising India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Being a neighbouring country, Pakistan's interests are firmly grounded in an independent and stable Afghanistan that would contribute to fighting the scourge of terrorism. At the same time, it is generally perceived that a disproportionate Indian presence in Afghanistan would be detrimental to Pakistan's interests and would dilute the efforts to combat terror and violence.

This perception has to be viewed in the historical context of India's inimical role in the past in dismembering Pakistan. Consequently, its current efforts to perpetuate its presence in Afghanistan with the active US support and backing are aimed at influencing the future shape of the region that would be conducive to furthering its designs.

The US attitude towards India and Pakistan remains a nagging paradox. While it is perpetually trying to appease India on one pretext or the other, its approach towards Pakistan is hawkish demanding more and more out of it on different fronts in exchange for financial assistance. The strategic dialogue has degenerated into an exercise on the part of Pakistan in presenting performance reports for getting the next financial tranche.

Having lost all credibility, the US-Pakistan relationship is viewed as a bargaining chip in the hands of the former to squeeze the maximum out of the latter till it drops dead.

The growing US-India nexus is assuming menacing proportions for Pakistan's efforts to maintain its threatened 'sovereignty'. A dictator-led Pakistan was unnecessarily dragged into the anti-terror conflict on its border for which it continues paying a heavy price both in terms of human loss and financial costs. But, it is the American refusal to entertain even the most legitimate of its non-NATO ally's concerns that is construed as an uncanny predicament for policymakers in Pakistan.

The forthcoming visit to India by President Obama should remove any doubts that Pakistan may still be harbouring with regard to the long-term US designs that aim at strengthening India in its (covert and overt) efforts to contain Chinese influence in the region and keep Pakistan under the leash to demand more. It is an unequal and inequitable relationship aimed at scuttling Pakistan that can endure only in the presence of a leadership that holds its own survival more important than upholding the supreme national interest.

The writer is a political analyst. Email:

No comments:

Post a Comment