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Repercussion of Bush visit; US-Indo deal

09 March, 2006

By Farzana Shah

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The fruitless visit of US President Bush to Pakistan ended in a disappointment; however the repercussions of his overall visit will also go a long way for the region in particular and the world in common for many reasons. The US president`s visit to South Asia has cleared the picture to a greater extent vis a vis US future policy for the region specially its policy towards Pakistan is pretty much clear now.

The latest India-US civil nuclear technology accord and renewed offer of sale of F-16 and F-18s to India clearly indicate that US is considering India as a natural ally in the light of its interests in the region hence she is transforming India into a global power. Bush assertion that India and Pakistan have different history and needs (history? probably nuclear history and ostensibly because of non-proliferation concerns) while replying to a query during joint press conference regarding offering similar facility to Pakistan, shows the US following a different frame work for both the countries. We have been made to accept mere rhetorical praises regarding our role and efforts in war on terror which led us to expect more from US while practically we have been ignored. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice last Friday also ruled out a similar nuclear technology deal with Pakistan.

Keeping in view the changing geo-political tactics of US,  Pakistan needs to review its policies mainly its cooperation with the US. Looking back at the past record of the US we need to realise before it is too late that US wants to engage us in our internal affairs by fighting war on terror, stabilising Afghanistan for US long-standing interests, while keeping us happy just with the lip service and showering the praises upon us but doing nothing practical on ground. We have been nosed-out for a long now resulting in more damage to us than any gains in this war on terror.
Coming back to the US-India nuclear energy deal--the analysts consider it as a power projection of India. Looking at the energy programmes of India one would easily comprehend that it is quite difficult to separate the programme for the civilian uses from the military use as both had been from the very beginning integrated together into one.

The deal has some immense strategic dimensions which has also been pointed out  by Ashly in his article in the Washington Post. He says,  “although it has been termed for civilian use yet it is aimed at to counter-weigh India against China”.
The deal surely would add to the wide gap of balance of power in the region. According to the reports India has about 250 tons of P239 plutonium which the energy deal would enable her to spare all for `other` nuclear projects. According to an estimate India will be able to produce 50 to 60 Nuke war-heads per year which means she would have a large nuclear arsenal in a few years from now. One wonders as to why the US has indulged in such a deal which would decrease the chances of sale of US weapons once India is able to produce these herself in that quantities. Similarly, the deal besides giving a new context to Pakistan`s quest for the sophisticated conventional weapons, would also affect not only China but also Russia, France, UK Germany etc. There is already a huge imbalance that exists in the conventional capabilities of Pakistan and India and the nuclear deal would compel it to lean more heavily on strengthening the minimum deterrence (clearly nuclear) as an equaliser.  Would it not once again place the contenders at the start line of the arms race track?

On the international front the deal and the visit are going to further polarise the world. Russia still hoping to be a close ally of India and China – as the affected party - must be closely watching the deal, while these developments have certainly provided an opportunity to Pakistan to review its relations with the regional states specially the Russia, China and Iran.

However, we need not be unduly worried that Bush had just taken us for granted,  as one is likely to perceive from his activities here which were unimportant to the extent of  embarrassing us and our government. On the contrary, one should realise that his such useless visit has given us an opportunity to take the stock of the situation in real terms and not rely on the US in matters significant to our national supreme interests. Prudence demands that we look for the alternates around and focus more on China, Russia and the Muslim world as they could be more supportive to us than US in any eventuality. It is also time that we analysed afresh our attitude towards our nuclear programme. So far it has been only a tool for the sub-continental power balance vis a vis India. I think, we should start exploring the possibilities of thermo nuclear explosion and/or  the hydrogen bomb.

India is looking beyond the region as it has almost completed the largest Naval base of Asia at Goa. Coupled with the US offer of F-18s it would extend her reach to the regions far beyond. The world is watching this emerging power with mixed concerns and countries from Saudi Arabia to Indonesia are trying to have good relations with it. We, too, need to look into this aspect. We need to overcome our externalities; gradually decrease our dependence on the US, extricate ourselves from fighting their war on terror. Gradually, mend the fences fully with our neighbours – Kabul and Tehran. We must have the friendliest of the relations with them otherwise we will stand isolated from our all neighbours. In China we have the most dependable and reliable ally. We must not let even a shadow of doubt creep into our crystal clear and highly friendly relationship with them. If US has designs to strengthen India against China, they will have to do much better than that as China will not be alone. And Pakistan, too, will not be alone INSHALLAH.


Reader Comments:

view of a indian, part 2

US has known whether she support india or not, india will maintain N power. But by making coalition with india, US can engage india also against china.( india, which is goin to be third largest economy on PPP after US and China within 1 or 2 years). India has been trying to make friendship with china also but china has proved she will never be friend of india. Just few months before, they won the gas deal with BURMA and made india helpless on gas politics. india was about to beat both pakistan and iran on gas politics but china took unnecessary step and created problem for india. Not only pakistan but also irani president had no control on his language and has made comment,”iran will use oil as ARM”. Saudi Arabia has much oil for US. India easily understood this OIL ARM will be used either against india or against china. and finally india has to go for katar and australia for gas deal. “India has to understand that no matter how much we abuse west, but at the end, countries like australia, britain, germany, france are real reliable trade partners”. This is now a common sense among all the indians that west want to dominate world but “democratic west” is more relieble than others.

Not only US, but india also want coalition against china. India know, the time japan and west will get loose on chineese eastern border, china will get directly involved with pakistan against india. Both, india and china, are using Russia to maintain peace on indo-china border but have no trust in each other. a truth “India can trust in Mr P Musarraf who has been attacking on front. But certainly not in china who always attaked on back.” India also want that US would go against china so that china may remain engaged with US. like what US want from india.

Also if we check religious grounds, there is no competition between combined Hindus, sikhs, budhists(combined 85% population of india) and christianity. Mr Bush knew only 15% muslims were making noise against US during his visit. There is not even a single case that a hindu or sikh or budhist used any bomb to kill any US or western citizen since freedom of india ie from 1947. Im in australia for last 4 year.i not only go through indian news papers but also I know the thinking of those indians who are in US, UK and australia as my also friends are IT professionals in US and Europe. indians are just political firends of britain, australia, germany or france etc. and are only “political enemy” of US. And after the steps taken by Mr Bush in last few days, most of them are saying “if india can recognize HAMAS which was a terrorist organization then why we would like Mr Bush who is democratically elected President and straightforward man who dont play politics like other previous US presidents???????”. If HAMAS is now in politics and have left arm, and just becoz of that india is supporting them as they have now given up arms, then why not Mr Bush who is “NOW” respecting UN and want to bring iran in UN. They say,"terrorists killed US citizens on 9/11 attack and US killed those terrorists by force." Means 50-50, and according to them “matter gone”. And as iran is political enemy of US so they are tackling iran by political means in UN. means now US is doing good.

Time has so much changed that, a indian girl, my friend, she has a aussie boyfriend. She says she like US as Mr Bush like india………. hmmmmmmmm.... Also non resident indians realy don't mind to pray even in church or in mosque also. Hindus or sikhs or budhists love their religions but they realy don't mind to pray even in a church or in a mosque for few times also. They have no religious competion with any of the “powerful religions”.

I would just like to say, indians don't realy want to be part of any religious or military or any type of competion with either arabs or with west or even with china. And dangerous, suspicious,aggresive “enemy” china is a threat to india. Which can be controlled by western powers only. Then why india would worry about that friend Iran who want to use arm as weapon. Why not india be more close to Saudi Arabia (who is friend of US also) whose ruler said during his last visit a month before,” India is like home.”

These are the main reasons for all the changes in the world politics.

Thanks and regards

(hope paktribune news paper will take my this response positively and will publish. Thanks to them also.)

s tiwari, Hungary - 11 March, 2006

heavy coin in return

Almost complete nation of Pakistan will agree to the point of view of this writer after going through this article,the points highlighted in it are not some sort of taboo topic for genral public. By now almost every single individule of this contry knows about the actual face of US relations with pakista.i think the writer is not expressing her mind but it is the general public openion as the US has shown her true face so many times in past. as per writer it is really a high time for Pakistan to search for its interests not only with US but with whole Muslim World in particular and other powers in general. pakistan not only now but should have been very earlier working on its indegenious production in the guidance of China and other powers of the world. in case of relations with the USA pakistan should not completely pull it self but shold keep a centric approach towards USA so that it should not come completely on the left of it and at the time of need should also has an opening towards the USA. as said by the writer that pakistan should seek advance atomic technology with China,Russia and other contries will definately enable Pakistan to pay in even a HEAVY COIN IN RETURN to india and its designs for getting hold over the region.

zia khattak, Pakistan - 11 March, 2006

Repercussion of Bush visit; US-Indo deal

Article by Farzana Shah has covered almost very sensitive points,which is very commonly arising in the minds of all those pakistani who care a lot about their motherland.Our problem is that our policymaker (if we have any)are running the affairs of government on day to day business.They have not taken the existance of our most beloved country pakistan seriously.Their loyalities with the greater interest of pakistan are still doubted,because anyone who come to power (he or she) start compromising with those culprits who are looting the country and helping our enemies in eitber way.we the pakistan lovers have to be very much vigilent.

MahmoodUlHassanQureshi, Pakistan - 11 March, 2006

Hello everyone.
I was born in Pakistan and now live in Canada.
I have read the article by Farzana Shah and can,t stop shaking my head in disbelief.

Why U.S. should give us civil nuclear technology ; what have we done to deserve it. The only thing we are good at and exported to the world is terrorism as to Afghanistan, India, England etc. and nuclear proliferation to Iran, north Korea and Libya.

As the case of friendship with China goes, our muslim brothers are worse off in China ( even in the muslim Province) than in India and Kashmir.
Why dont we talk about muslim abuse in Africa done by muslims on muslims than talking about Palestine and Kashmir where the abuse is lot less and less numbers.
Bibi Farzana please take your head out of sand and don't let your emotions run high by hate alone and try to see the whole truth.

Arshad Khan, Pakistan - 11 March, 2006

Crystal clear china

Hi Farzana
Since independenece india learned hard lession from pakistan and china.India lost half of kasmir and thuosands of miles of its territories to pakistan and china.65,71 and Kargil wars teached pakistan a hard lesson.Chineese are clever people,they understands what india is now.India protects the democratic,religeous and personnel freedom of 1200 million people. That includes 160 million indian muslims.That is why USA EU RUSSIA MIDDLE EASTERN countries respect and help india to do its responsiblities to its own people and the world.My heart goes for the ordinary people of pakistan and Communist chnia. Their democratic rights and individual freedoms are crushed by the military rulers.Farzana, thermo nuclear and hydragen bombs and 100% crystal clear relations with china would not be any good if pakistan denay the rights of its own people, pakistan future looks bleek.Pakistan got nuclear weapons from crysatl clear china only after giving them part of kasmir.Chineese are clever and crystal clear isn't it farzana.God bless you and whole humanity.

Babu, United Arab Emirates - 12 March, 2006

Five comments for the consideration of Pakistanis

1. You are giving far too much importance to India. Your internal and external policies should not depend on India, or even waste time, energy and money on a national level by going that route.

2. Just like Pakistan, India is also actively pursuing a policy of having excellent relations with China, Iran, Afghanistan, Russia and the Middle East and succeeding in it. But there is nothing wrong in both India and Pakistan wooing the same countries even though the tow are not on good terms.

3. You are absolutely right that Pakistan should not be fighting the USA's war on terror. As you rightly say, it has harmed Pakistan's interests tremendously, eg Afghanistan was much more pro-Pakistan until Pakistan allowed the US free access to launch strikes against Afghanistan from Pakistan soil.

Once you allow the US military into your country, it is downhill after that for that country.

4. Why don't the Pakistanis revolt against the military junta and restore democracy. However, ultimately this is an internal matter for Pakistan whether or not they want democracy.

5. The ultimate aim for us Indians is to achieve military, economic and technology parity, or even better superiority, over the USA. (We are projected to be the world's biggest economy towards the end of this century). So China is not important for us as a rival in the long run. Hence we want to keep an excellent relation with China and maybe even form a joint federation with it, "Chindia", on the lines of the EU.

So the idea of an arms race between India and China is irrevelant. Regarding an arms race between India and Pakistan, India is not interested in it. If Pakistan is interested in it, it is an internal matter for Pakistan and we have no objections.

Indian, Hungary - 13 March, 2006

Future of Pakistan

Extremely short sighted and India centric though process. Actually, there is no comparison between India and Pakistan. As somebody has already suggested in this forum, Pak is gonna be India's Mexico.

Naresh Puri, Pakistan - 13 March, 2006

How is India a conter balance to China?

I have heard people say all the time that the US is supporting India as it is a counter balance to China. Can someone tell me how that will happen? The reality is that there is no practical way for India to be a counter balance to China. If the US and China have a war over Taiwan (which I don't think will happen) do you think India will get involved and help the US? The answer is NO. India is building its own realationship with China and will not get involved. The US wants to get involved with India as there is money to be made (for both India and the US).

What my Paki friends don't understand it that the new world is not about guns and bombs. It is about the economy and stability. The new superpowers will be economic powers and politically stable - India is one of them. China is already a economic super power but it is not a democracy and that is where they will have a problem in years to come. China has seen over 50,000 public protests over the last year. As people get affluent they want to have rights and that is what is happening in China now. No communist country has been able to make the transition to democracy peacefully and this is going to be China's problem I hope they succeed.

So my Paki friends - think about the economy and democracy not about weapons, religion or Kashmir (we already gave you 1/3rd - be happy with that) and you too will be powerful and the US will come knocking at your door.


PS: Ms. Shah? What on earth is India going to do with 50-60 Necular weapons?? All we need is 3 for Pakistan and I know we have them. (I hope they never have to be used).

Vikram Singh, Hungary - 13 March, 2006

Sorry Ms shah

I am a proud Indian living in Texas, one of my friends told me about this site regarding farzana shah article and asked me to defend India by posting my comments so I gave it a try.
However after going through the article and comments again and again I felt that most of the comments posted here are hate comments mostly by my countrymen and initially I also wrote something keeping India in mind but then I gave a consideration to read all the comments first and compile my own afterwards but I found most of these comments highlighting only one point all these are India-centric comments which again prompted me to read the article once more in detail and there I was surprised to see that we had spit our venom against the writer. I had realised the article was more concerned with the policy of Pakistan and not comparison with India or criticising the deal. In my view the readers must had read it carefully before commenting because we had missed the positive points the author mentioned about India and its influence.
I was feeling ashamed by reading most of comments because Indians are educated people we have a biggest democracy with blooming economy and we are far better than Pakistan in educational filed but the comments given by my fellow countrymen had put my head in shame I was not expecting this from my educated countrymen. Im sorry Ms Shah for this, although I don't agree with all your thoughts.

Gopal Sherma, United Kingdom - 13 March, 2006

US Policy towards Pakistan

U.S policy towards Pakistan is very straight forward.
the U.S knows that the politics in Pakistan is infested with corruption and any government would go on their knees to serve US interests just to stay in power.Pakistan US relationship is a "time pass" relationship they keep our dictators in power for as long as they need them for then after that we know what happens to them.we are a tired nation and we should be ashamed of our selves for letting useless people stay in power time and time again.GEO TV and ARY ONE world is not democracy....if they think by showing ladies with sleeveless dresses and jeans and our president hugging the dogs proves that its ok to do these things in "moderate Islam"and that Pakistan is free and jumping towards democracy is big joke...this is just a form of "lip service" to U.S which didn't get us anywhere before and it is not going to get us anywhere in the future.
we need our own policy independent of U.S handouts we are not beggers.

Amir, Canada - 13 March, 2006

Why Pakistan should have policies India Centric

India and Pakistan can become good neighbours and lead the path of development. Without peace with each other, India nor Pakistan can acheive its full potential. Our future lies in mending fencing rather than fighting each other.

Sanjay, Hungary - 13 March, 2006

Very touching

I find Farzana's belief in Chinese friendship very touching. She would do well to remember that the Chinese were regarded as India's friends at one time (until they launched a military offensive agaisnt India). At the end of the day, politics and diplomacy is not about friendship but about expediency. So dont get carried away...

john, United Kingdom - 13 March, 2006

Instead of planning on having friendly relations with countries like Iran and China, why not emphasise on having a good relation with India.

Arun, Hungary - 14 March, 2006

Think it

Can Pakistani political stream and political analysts know following facts:
1. How many IITs, NITs, IIMs, XLRIs etc. pakistan have ?
2. how many pakistani industries have made global impact like Tata, Wipro, Satyam, HCL, ( many which cant be listed here ) in India ?
3. Pakistan is being run by a military dictator who has lost kargil war to India.
4. Pakistan's demoractic record is one the poorest in the world.
5. More than 98% of Paki politicians are opportunistic.
6. How many engineering, medical, law and cultural institutions of world class repo does pakistan have ?
7. What about political stability of pakistan ? today General M., tomorrow Gen X the Gen Y etc.

so plz plz and plz my friends dont think about India, she is many many years ahead of u now. just think about ur system of working and strengthen ur instutions.

may god help u and may someone with a little brain (atleast) take birth in ur country and work for ur country.

bye till then and watch us !!!!

Harkeerat, Canada - 14 March, 2006

China vs others

What makes you think that China will not be better off by having relations with a rising India? China and India have already opened Tibet and Sikkim borders and are cooperating in many fields. Nowadys every country wants trade and cooperation with every other country.

Dayal, Hungary - 14 March, 2006

Repercussion of Bush visit; US-Indo deal

High hopes. Seems to be saying the same thing about China, as they used to say about the US not that long back.

George Bush, Pakistan - 14 March, 2006

India as a wannabe power

Quite frankly I dont see India as a "global power" today or 20 years from now. I think its just all hype.

Aamir Ali, Pakistan - 14 March, 2006

no bush will help india when pakistan will start

hi to all the not agree with jana that pakistan wuld have any hydrogen we have to fight with US? and for india, I think even those five N bombs could be enough which pakistan wasted for just testing in 1998. But no prob.we would be having atleast 20-25 nukes which wuld be itself quite enough. hehe

Mr chan, you duplicate indian, what did u write in your fifth point,“fifth………You can count on figers of one hand how many nukes you need to wipe off pakistan.” come on front and talk. don't take back of US here also.If want to reply then say you are indian.My message for indians like you,“ no matter how many nukes india has, no matter how many times india is able to wipe off pakistan, but pakistan has atleast that much nukes which will be enough to wipe off whole india atleast one time completely”.

My message to all the indians,when we pakistani will start,no Bush or US will help you people. Just think, if we culd have done nuke testing of those five nukes in indian cities in 1998, no Bush culd even think for any visit to india. so many diseases would have taken place in india that not even sri lankan president could think for any visit to india.first think to solve kashmir issue.

I think pakistan would do some missile tests which would cross india and straight go to Bay of Bangol.“No F-16 or F-18 will work when our missiles will strike.”

pakistani, Pakistan - 14 March, 2006


pakistan needs more people like mr.farooq with awareness.iam sure indian people and india wants pakistan to be stable we all can live like european countries.

riky, Svalbard And Jan Mayen - 14 March, 2006

superpower india

Of course India won't be the superpower in 20 years.But we need to think after 20 years too. India always been bad neighbour to all south asian countries. Now US has been giving some outsourcing jobs and civilian nuclear deal to use when time comes against china and even pakistan.but we need balance of power to protect our sovereignty. There is no doubt when India become powerful in region and invades the small neighbours US definitely be silent because he need to fight china sooner or later.

anjan, Nepal - 15 March, 2006

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