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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.


End.

Reader Comments:

Victims of Past.Time to move ahead

South Asian countries, including India, for long time have been victims of past. They have always loked to western world to acknowledge our strengths.Globalisation opens up immense oppurtunities for every country to deicde one own future.India has embarked on great economical revival, posting 7-8% GDp groth consistently for many years. This could have been better , point taken, but thats India..India would travel at its own speed and own terms. Why should Pakistan consider India as foe or competitor? Shouldnt Pakistan benefit by having cheaper Sugar, Wheat, Steel,better medical facilities etc ..if they trade freely with India. Better living stantard is least, what all people want in any country. People of Pakistan deserve better than..just poison and hatred spread in their lives , by giving wrong images of India. India would be last country to see unstable Pakistan, because that will have disastrous effect on India's economy, which India can ill afford. ...Lets come out of past and Move ahead....joining hands to take on thw world...!! Time is running out...!!

Sanjay, Hungary - 15 March, 2006

re:It jest sour grapes

Excellent article by a true patriotic pakistani ! Farooq has identified the hard realities that a nation (led by its intellectual class) need to accept and focus on corrective measures. It is never too late but the earlier you start the better !

The pakistani political class will never be able to make a policy shift on its own till the intellectual class shows the way. Be India-centric in where they lead like education, science & technology. There is no gain in chasing their military might. It will wreck pakistan. Do not for god's sake's start a new dependancy on China - only to be kicked by them in the future ! Solve the Kashmir problem... by accepting the LOC and get on with your life, focus on your poor and disadvantages people working for their upliftment. Key is to build a vibrant and educated middle class. Root out terrorism from all walks of life !

This is the only way forward ! Nobody can help us except for ourselves. Let us not blame the US or look to China to be our next savior. Be your own savior !!!


Atanu Mandal, United Kingdom - 18 March, 2006

Islamic Bomb

After reading the article and various comments, i would like to mention a couple of points.

When Pakistan exploded the Nuclear Bomb after the Indians did it, it was tauted as the islamic bomb.That itself could be reason enough for USA to be averse to any nuclear deal with Pakistan.

The second point is that Pakistan had already signed various nuclear energy deals with China who are constructing nuclear reactors in Pakistan and if the USA had also agreed to construct Nuclear Reactors in Pakistan then the chances of technology being leaked to the Chinese would also arise.

The other point is the instability of the Government, The US may not be sure of who will lead Pakistani politics in future. Could it be a islamic fundamentalist group who are anti-UsA.

Taking all these considerations in to account. How do you think will USA enter a nuclear treaty with Pakistan.

Thank you








Rick, Malaysia - 02 April, 2006

Bush Visit is failed

This visit of Bush to Pakistan is failed as Pakistani Government was thinking about nuclear deal with USA. Sorry Pakistani Govt.

Ibrar, Pakistan - 03 May, 2006

Hydrogen

...bombs or not...India doesnt want Pakistan..period. The mess Pakistan is, with its violent and extremist Islam, who would want to touch or be associated with such a basket case?
Keep Pakistan to yourself, and we trust that the Indian Army will continue to "welcome" Pakistanis who come across the LOC into Kashmir in their own way.




Aks, Hungary - 03 July, 2006

Let's be realistic about India/Pak

Hey buddy,

Let's be little realistic; the discussion is not about how many blinks of an eye would take to wipe-off Pakistan. Keep in mind the financial crisis the country is going through. Let us be first behave as human beings and have some humanity. You know the truth, which you are trying to hide; you know to what degree the Pak government is inducing terrorism, which is a barbaric act. Pak government is totally frustrated and is building prejudice towards India as a result of exponential econimic growth in India; you know the truth, i know the truth; how long you are going to hide that? Come out of the dark man! As you know, India is helping other countries like Afganistan to build good schools, and other infrastructure, which Pakistan can't do. It is not that Pak doesn't have money, the real fact is India has some humanity and service, which Pakistan doesn't possess; this will continue keep India the greatest country ever. Your country is going to kill itself in trying to bring India down; that will only take your economy further down to dogs! Just focus on service and humanity, and keep a friendly environment! If you are not aware, the fact is Earth is the only planet found so far where life exists! My friend and your government, remember that, and don't kill hourself and drastically reduce your lifespan.

Great Indian, Hungary - 13 July, 2006

Negating the Past

My Muslim friends, from pre-partition days,during recent visit to India expressed sorrow and regrets for the division of the country and only hope some sort of divine help to undone the partition. If somehow or other it can be done all our problems will disappear in thin air. Oue ancesters were same and genitically their on differene between two warring cousins.Let us keep fundamentalists on both side away from injecting any more poision in our socities. Any buyer of the Idea?

Col. Rajendra Kumar ( Retd ), Hungary - 16 August, 2007

WHAT???

What I don't get is that, everyone says that Pakistan used the help of China to develop its nuclear arsenal. BUt isn't the same with every other country with the exception of US and Russia? Its a known fact that, unofficial Israel possess the BOMB, but i was the French who provided Israel with the means. Now there is no where on earth you are going to make be believe that India is stronger than Israel. That is why the Indians should also accept the fact that there program may have been indiginous, but not without help from outside sources (like other nations).

SHAHZADA, Pakistan - 30 August, 2007

all the extremist in PAK. nd in INDIA have gone nuts.its not the time to collect or produce weapons.western countries r superpowers in every aspects nd d time is really not correct to compare with them.
Before comparing v should b economically powerful dan should go for weapons as this was the policy of superpowers.
USA is suppling war planes nd other ammunations to both PAK. and INDIA. no one has pointed out that.USA for its own means is trading wit both countries.on seeing INDIA growing at pace both economically nd weapons it stared supporting INDIA for 123 nuclear agreement
WHY? because USA wants to get support in south asia from a country like inda or china country

rahul, Hungary - 01 September, 2007

To Col. Rajendra Kumar ( Retd )

Hello sir would you kindly post your email ID.

i want to discuss your idea with you on mail.
And Ms Shah your article is indeed very informative. See even today when US has approved teh deal, Indian leaders have some grave concernes as pointed by you.

Cheers to you Ms Shah

Aysha Khan, Pakistan - 19 September, 2007

This was a nice one

this is a nice one

amol, Hungary - 05 December, 2008

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