T h e

K a s h m i r

T  e  l  e  g  r  a  p  h

Vol I Issue X

A Kashmir Bachao Andolan Publication

February 2003

I N S I D E


 

Spotlight 

Romeet K WATT

 

Comment     

Balraj Puri

 

Column     

Sunita Vakil                          

View Point      

Romeet K WATT

 

On Track     

Romeet K Watt 

                  

Opinion

Sushil Vakil

 

Analysis

Sawraj Singh

 

State Craft

Romeet K WATT

 

Perspective

T R Jawahar

 

Last Word

Sunita Vakil 

 

                            


 

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A b o u t  U s

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Disclaimer

C o p y r i g h t 

S T A T E   C R A F T

U.S: Engaging in double speak


This is a policy statement issued by Romeet K Watt for and on behalf of The Kashmir TELEGRAPH in response to the commentary of Mr. Richard Hass published by The Indian Express on 8th January, 2003 and 9th January 2003 in their OP-ED Section.


This response is not an antagonism of US foreign policy per se, but a pragmatic  and judicious examination of why US is doing what it’s doing, purposely in south-east Asia in general, and more specifically in the Indian sub-continent. Mr Richard Hass appears to have based his assertions around much used and tired America postulations with the singular objective of justifying her own wrong policies in the region.

 

Contrary to what Mr. Hass leads us to believe, the major stumbling block between the Indian and the US relations has been the tendency of the Bush administration to conduct its relations with India through the ‘prism’ of U.S relationship with its ‘client state’, Pakistan.

 

His assertion that U.S does not want to conduct itself through this ‘prism’ is just too naïve an argument, and ought not be taken sincerely, more so, when one takes into account the actual ground realities, which speak other wise. U.S obsession of finishing off the remnants of al Qaeda in what is being described as ‘war against terror’ are understood, and Pakistan is important to achieve these objectives, consequently the policy of U.S to overlook that its staunch ally, Pakistan, is in itself an epicentre of terrorist infrastructure in the region.

 

Furthermore, let us not forget that this fight is as much in Afghanistan as it is in Pakistan. Let us also not be under any illusion – MMA, the religious group, which is in power or in power sharing in towns bordering Afghanistan are staunch Osama Bin Laden supporters, and it is but natural for them to provide refuge to the al Qaeda fugitives who are on run from Afghanistan. Accordingly, the cooperation of Pakistan is expected, but whether it forthcoming is something which is debatable. There are many sections within the Pakistan, be it the ISI or the all-powerful army, which sympathises with the Taliban and al Qaeda, so the fight is far from over.

 

Mr Hass’s assertions that the relationship between Indian and Pakistan are less developed that between U.S and U.S.S.R at the height of cold war, are too simplistic and naïve, and simply does not warrant any further comment though he has, as is their (U.S) practice, tried to paint the picture of what dangerous times we are living in with no or little lines of communication between the two neighbours.

 

Mr Hass is more than correct when he says that everyone should act to ensure the continued sanctity of the Line of Control. But when he says that, it does not only mean unilateral re-mapping but also that there is no infiltration, and consequently cross-border terrorism. Let him not make use of the term ‘sanctity’ conveniently or loosely.

 

Pakistan on its part has not ended its policy of state sponsorship to terrorism, and consequently to expect that she will end cross border terrorism would not be prudent argument. This despite the fact that U.S has been time and again ‘urging’ him (Musharraf) to do so, but he continues to overlook, since he is in a position to do so.

 

Accordingly, to say that the onus of responsibility in resolving bilateral issue between the two countries lies with General Musharraf rather than with Prime Minister Vaypayee would be to state the obvious. Nevertheless, U.S would continue to preach us expressions, ‘magnanimity’ and ‘generosity’, which we are supposed to demonstrate towards Islamabad. Is this a prudent argument?

 

Also that United States stands ‘should to shoulder’ with India in its battle against terrorism is a big, big lie if I may borrow an expression from Mr. Yasser Arafat. U.S has without doubt shown double-standards in its fight against terrorism – it has clearly discriminated between its war against terror, and our fight against cross-border terrorism, aided and abetted by Pakistan.

 

Instead of taking into consideration India’s contentions, it has continued to justify the wrongs of its ‘client’ state, Pakistan. We would have believed Mr Hass’s assertions that U.S has demonstrated consistency in its policy if she had acted against Pakistan in the larger interest of the world peace.

 

However, U.S further strengthened the Junta regime of a Pakistani dictator by making available to him discretionary endowments. Instead it would have been more realistic to isolate Islamabad with economic sanctions. However, she did nothing of that sort, after all they are of the view that Pakistan is central for her interests in the region, and as such as has been her practice in the past, U.S will ignore the obvious, and pay dearly for it at some later stage!

 

We are also at loss to comprehend what Mr. Hass describes as ‘positive trends’ in Pakistan. The ‘positive trends’ can not be the emergence of MMA – the pro-Taliban religious party in a big way. The ‘positive trends’ can not be the installation of Musharraf’s poster-boy Jamali as the Prime Minister after the elections, which by even European Union’s stands are a mockery of democratic norms. Nor can be clandestine transfer of nuclear know-how, in breach of all nuclear proliferation treaties by Islamabad to Pyongyang be described as ‘positive tends’. Who is hoodwinking whom, and to what purpose, is an open question, which is debatable.

 

In the post 13/12 state of affairs, amidst heightened tensions between the two neighbours, the Western media went into an overdrive to paint a picture of nuclear holocaust that was in the making should India launch pre-emptive strikes against the terrorist infrastructure across the (LoC).


This was done, and Mr Hass would pardon me for saying this, with the singular objective of putting India on the back-foot, which, coupled with the travel advisories for its citizens by the Western countries (and other friendly allies), did have an adverse impact on the actual outcome in terms of limited war, or may be a full-fledged war between the two states.


Such campaign, unleashed by the Western nations with the tacit support from its media fraternity, if one may further the argument, emboldened Pakistan, in actually stooping to a level wherein they nuclear blackmailed New Delhi. And the trend continues till date!

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