[Reading from either the Pakistani or the Indian press about US plans for the region, you will obtain a biased rejection of the American partnership with the other side–American intentions for both countries are empowered by the hate. America’s plans for Pakistan, just like its plans involving India, could never be possible, without factoring in the shared hatred and the mutual reactions. Washington knows how to push the buttons and manipulate both countries’ leaders. The behavioral control theories engineered for mass mind-control are more than just theories; they are actual means of controlling or manipulating entire populations against their wills by focusing on the leadership on both sides and stroking their egos to get whatever it is that the Empire wants. Just as it used Pakistan to control the lawless space of Afghanistan, after the CIA withdrew to go on to the next war, India is to be used to fulfill that task when America relocates from Afghanistan to the next war. For people who pride themselves on their intellectual prowess and martial cunning, the leadership of both India and Pakistan are really acting like fools in their dealings with the Empire.
The London conference on Afghanistan is intended to win diplomatically what cannot be won on the battlefield. In their desire to cozy-up to American money and power, the leaders of the subcontinent have sold-out their own people. The day of reckoning is swiftly approaching and nothing will be done to avoid it. The destabilization campaign within Pakistan has worked perfectly, along with new border incursions in the east, the generals are boxed-in and cannot contribute forces to stabilizing Afghanistan. Pakistan must concede to American plans to increase India’s military presence in Afghanistan. With India on both eastern and western fronts and Indian/American/Israeli/British/Russian/Iranian militants waging war from within, Pakistan will have only one option left, full nuclear retaliation on every Indian city, to avoid reabsorption into India. This will, of course, be countered with everything that India can get into the air, or otherwise across the border. This exchange, besides the immediate death toll of perhaps a billion people on the subcontinent, will very likely bring-on a nuclear winter that will probably kill most of the people in the Northern Hemisphere, maybe even on the entire planet.
This is the great gamble that America is forcing upon the world. By seeking a military pact with India, in addition to its partnership with Pakistan, even while aiding Indian attacks upon Pakistan (probably aiding Pakistani attacks upon India, as well), Washington is creating a very volatile mix, a nuclear mix. The great gamble is on whether or not American leaders can keep a lid on the deadly solution that it has concocted to solve its problems in S. Asia, or whether the world will survive the explosive reactions it is sure to create.
Survival requires that India and Pakistan join together to oppose American plans in the region.]
US Defence Secretary Robert Gates is expected to visit Pakistan later this week along with a high-powered delegation. Before visiting Pakistan, Mr Gates will visit India and talk on issues of bilateral interest, particularly with reference to the security situation in the region. Meanwhile, US Special Envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke will also travel to Delhi to explain US regional strategy to Indian officials. This raised questions whether the US can play the role of a mediator between India and Pakistan during this high-profile visit. However, both Holbrooke and India’s Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao have rule out any such possibility, in line with Delhi’s long-standing policy against third party mediation. It may be remembered that even while the Obama administration was deliberating on the portfolio of Mr Holbrooke as a special envoy to the region, Delhi expressed strong reservations against its inclusion, which were accepted by Washington.
Statements from both Washington and Delhi are a non-starter for security and peace in the region. These statements should be looked at in the context of the US’s bilateral relations with India and Pakistan. Washington’s relations with Islamabad are troubled at best. Developments in the decades following the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan have led to mutual suspicion and mistrust. While Pakistan accuses the US of abandoning its ‘most allied ally’ once its immediate objectives were attained, the US is deeply suspicious of Pakistan’s dual policy of ‘good Taliban’ and ‘bad Taliban’. Despite diplomatic papering over, the two countries seem to be following different agendas in the region. Various issues including non-proliferation continue to dog mutual relations. This has led Washington to follow a carrot and stick policy with Pakistan.
On the other hand, the US attitude toward India is very different. It perceives India to be an emerging power and is strongly biased towards developing a strong strategic relationship with it. The US has pledged special concessions to India for transfer of nuclear technology, ostensibly for peaceful purposes, but this has raised legitimate concerns in various quarters about the space this allows for enhanced weapons production. Pakistan is particularly wary of this situation since this could mean a strategic imbalance in the region. Pakistan thus fears finding itself in a nutcracker situation, in which it is sandwiched by an intransigent neighbour to the east, and a perceived pro-India Afghan regime to the west. It is this perception that has led Pakistan to oppose India’s participation in any regional peace initiative, the fresh example of which is the forthcoming London Summit on Afghanistan.
India and Pakistan have so many unresolved bilateral contentions that they drown out all other issues, thus eliminating any possibility of an effective partnership for regional peace. Even if we concede that India-Pakistan bilateral relations should be improved, it is impeded by the fact that India is not satisfied by Islamabad’s efforts to clamp down on terrorism after Mumbai’s 26/11. This intransigence has also been true in the past. Delhi kept dilly-dallying on proposals for the resolution of the Kashmir issue proffered by Musharraf and cold-shouldered the olive branch held out by President Asif Ali Zardari after he took oath as president. Delhi’s insistence on firm action against jihadis operating from Pakistan’s soil as a precondition for talks has led to a freeze in relations. Therefore, one cannot have high hopes about easing of India-Pakistan tensions from the present tour of high US officials, although it might play a useful role in the fight against extremism.
To conclude, the US attitude is not very helpful. It is embarking on a strategic partnership with India, which can ironically give rise to greater regional instability as it feeds into Pakistan’s insecurities. US patronage gives India the feeling that it is winning vis-à-vis Pakistan on Kashmir and other regional issues. The very visible US tilt towards India is creating suspicions in Pakistan that this may eventually translate into Indian hegemony in the South Asia region in the near future.