India - International Relations
The Americans in Pakistan: good or bad for India?
According to Lynus Misquitta, the representative new government in Pakistan changed the whole scenario: Zardari rebranded Kashmiri militants as terrorists, making even the BJP happy; and the US altered its policy towards South Asia. From Mumbai.
It was in 1961, that Jawaharlal Nehru of India along with Col. Nasser of Egypt and Marshall Tito of Yugoslavia, pursued the policy of non-alignment to break the hegemony of economic strings attached to political manouvres. All along the powerful nations helped the Third World countries but the fine print of the so-called agreements always put the donor countries at an advantage. Actually these powerful nations tried to bring colonialism from the back door. A case in point was the Bhakra Nangal Dam in India and we paid many times more the original estimate given by British technicians as our engineers were not qualified enough to understand the logistics of this Nehru’s dream. Also the “help” given by countries like the United States came in the form of outdated technology that was redundant and was lying in excess in their inventories - armaments and warplanes - which were dumped on Afro-Asian countries. Yet these very armaments given to Iraq in their war with Iran were used by the former on the United States during the Kuwait and Iraq invasions, and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.
India has learnt the hard way the tactics of the powerful nations and the help given by America to Pakistan is taken with a pinch of salt as we know our capabilities. Maybe at the beginning the United States was taking sides with Pakistan as we were too close to Russia. Even our Constitution was framed with inputs from both the East and the West. The United States was also sore with our non-alignment policy and befriended Pakistan. After the WTC debacle and the American pursuit of Osama bin Laden increased the presence of America in Pakistan as the elusive Osama was supposed to be hiding in the border towns of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The Americans under President Bush gave a lot of monetary help to Pakistan to annihilate the al-Qaeda and Taliban who were shielding the terrorists. But President Musharraf acted diplomatically and played his cards well not to hurt his countrymen and at the same time demonstrating to them that their economy was doing well while he made attempts to contain terrorism. Though America knew about the intentions of Musharraf, yet they could not antagonize him as he was taking the war to fellow muslims (terrorists) be they militants attacking India in Kashmir or the Taliban making inroads in the North west of Pakistan. At least the Americans had access to the Pakistani soil though President Musharraf preached a lot of rhetoric. M. J. Akbar writing on The Times of India says "The overlap between Pakistan’s national interest and the interests of Muslim ‘ummah’ has been further blurred in the northwest frontier by a shared ethnicity that has never recognized the Durand Line as a barrier between Pakistan and Afghanistan".
"The overlap between Pakistan’s national interest and those of Muslim ‘ummah’ has been further blurred in the northwest by a shared ethnicity”.
It is unbelievable but true that all the sophisticated weapons that America possesses cannot track down Osama. Americans cannot defeat al-Qaeda too. Actually Americans have blundered by attacking the Taliban who seem to be more capable to rule than the corrupt Hamid Karzai government. Besides the Taliban no longer supports al-Qaeda according to Mullah Omar, who officially conveyed this to King Abdullah at a meeting hosted by the latter in September this year.
The emergence of Asif Zardari as the democratically elected President of Pakistan and also the introduction of representative government has changed the whole scenario and countries like the United States and India are more happy with his advent. As such President Zardari has rebranded Kashmiri militants as terrorists and even our conservative BJP Party is happy with his admission. The United States is changing its foreign policy approach towards the South Asian countries as Asif Zardari seems to be more approachable to the Americans.
Zardari, by admitting the role of Pakistani terrorists attacking India, is indirectly settling scores with Gen. Zia ul Huq who hanged his father-in-law Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. Zia wanted to invade India through unconventional war as Pakistan had failed to do so with conventional warfare. As a result terrorists were trained and let loose on India in the eighties with Gen. Zia’s blessings. And once Islamabad decides that the Kashmiri militants are not freedom fighters but terrorists there can be some solution to the Kashmir problem.
President Zardari, husband of the recently assassinated Benazir Bhutto, has recently taken over the controls of Pakistan and preached his gospel. It is one thing to be the President of Pakistan and another to hold on to the ‘gaddi’. Pakistan, in present times has more to fear from the terrorists on its west than from any Indian incursions. Grapevine indicates that the northwest will virtually become independent under the leadership of Taliban inspired Pushtoon theocrats.
The United States, meanwhile, does not want to equate India with Pakistan on the matter of civilian nuclear agreements. The Pakistan Prime Minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani, briefed the press that they have a right to ask the United States for a civilian nuclear agreement. But the Bush administration feels that Pakistan is unsteady and dysfunctional compared to India which is a responsible global player with nuclear weapons and which possesses a vibrant economy. And so, we find today, that the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) have voted to end nuclear sanctions on India and the 123 agreement sealed and signed.
The United States, meanwhile, does not want to equate India with Pakistan on the matter of civilian nuclear agreements.
America knows that India, is militarily strong and has a robust workforce that will catapult India into a healthy economy. Recently we sent an unmanned mission to the Moon and propose to put a man on the Moon by 2015. And President Bush was determined to forge the N-trade agreement with India. Fortunately this agreement is going to solve our energy problems and give us opportunity to do nuclear trade generating 40 billion dollar business, allow Indian companies to supply components to foreign N-plants, offer power generating opportunities to Indian firms, and increase the nuclear power level of the country to 52,000 megawatts by 2020 from the present 4,120. India will also set up 24 imported civilian nuclear light water reactors along its coast in the next 10 to 15 years according to S. K. Jain, Chairman and MD of Nuclear Power Corporation. Moreover India's chances to get the membership of G8 and as a Permanent Member on the Security Council are increased, as U.K. and France are pressing for it.
India is content with its development and an economy that is going places. Though its international role is unassuming we still are a force to reckon with. The United States policies in the past, whether on Kashmir or relations with Pakistan, technology transfers have worked to our detriment. But today we are no longer affected with these policies as America itself is in a economic mess. The world is no longer unipolar or bipolar. It is multipolar. Economies of Germany, China, India, Brazil, England are moving into the fray. The economic debacle in America is worse than 9/11 and recession is looming large on the horizon. Of course it is going to affect the world economies as today everything is interconnected. At least for the time being United States omnipotence will suffer due to the criminal management of funds. The internal economic policies of Bush administration which were seen as defective by Paul Krugman, winner of Nobel Prize in Economics in 2008, a couple of years back have taken the toll. It all depends how the next President handles the affairs come 2009. Till such time it is very difficult for America to make its presence felt whether it is in Pakistan or any part of the world. A nation that cannot put its own house in order cannot do it elsewhere.