US sows discord in South Asia

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by nrj, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Two templates in regional politics are seriously debilitating the United States's campaign to bring Pakistan down on its knees in the Afghan endgame. One is that Delhi has distanced itself from the US campaign and pursues an independent policy toward Islamabad.

    The second factor frustrating US policies to isolate Pakistan is the South Asian nation's bonhomie with Iran. Pakistan would have been pretty much isolated had there been an acute rivalry with Iran over the Afghan endgame. The current level of cordiality in the relationship enables Islamabad to focus on the rift with the US and even draw encouragement from Tehran.

    It's baloney

    A recent statement by the Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna on the US-Pakistan rift underscored that India doesn't see eye-to-eye with the US approach. (See US puts the squeeze on Pakistan, Asia Times, October 22). It was carefully timed to signal to Washington (and Islamabad) that Delhi strongly disfavored any form of US military action against Pakistan.

    There is a string of evidence to suggest that the Pakistani leadership appreciates the Indian stance. The general headquarters in Rawalpindi acted swiftly on Sunday to return to India within hours a helicopter with three senior military officers on board which strayed into Pakistani territory in bad weather in the highly sensitive Siachen sector. The official spokesman in Delhi went on record to convey India's appreciation of the Pakistani gesture. Such conciliatory gestures are rare (for both sides) in the chronicle of Pakistan-India relationship.

    Again, last week, India voted for Pakistan's candidacy for the Asia-Pacific slot among the non-permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council and the Pakistani ambassador promptly responded that he would work with his Indian counterpart in New York. Ironically, the UN has been a theater for India and Pakistan's frequent clashes over the Kashmir problem.

    Looking ahead, the prime ministers of India and Pakistan are likely to meet on the sidelines of the South Asian Association For Regional Cooperation summit in Male on November 10-11. Washington would have been quick to insist that it acted as "facilitator" in fostering the improving climate in India-Pakistan relations. But the US is instead watching with a degree of discomfort that its complicated South Asian symphony is throwing up jarring notes. Calibrating India-Pakistan tensions traditionally constituted a key element of the US's regional diplomacy.

    Washington has "retaliated" to Krishna's statement by issuing a travel advisory cautioning American nationals from visiting India because of heightened terrorist threats. Delhi, in turn, ticked off Washington saying it considered the US move "disproportionate" - a cute way of saying that the advisory is a load of baloney.

    Jundallah in retreat

    What is happening in Pakistan-Iran relations is even more galling for the US. There has been a spate of high-level visits between Islamabad and Tehran and the two capitals have reached mutual understandings on a range of security interests. Last week, Tehran acknowledged that there had not been a single attack by the terrorist group Jundallah from the Pakistani side of the border in the Balochistan region during the past 10 months.

    Tehran has accused the US of masterminding the Jundallah terrorists to stage covert operations to destabilize Iran. However, since the detention of Central Intelligence Agency operative Raymond Davis in Lahore in January, Islamabad has clamped down on hundreds of US intelligence operatives functioning on Pakistani soil, seriously cramping the US's capacity to dispatch Jundallah terrorists into Iran.

    Tehran is satisfied that the Pakistani security establishment is finally acting purposively to smash the US-backed Jundallah network. It reciprocates Pakistan's goodwill by trying to harmonize its Afghan policy and scrupulously avoided pointing fingers at Pakistan for the assassination of Afghan Peace Council head Burhanuddin Rabbani, who was closely allied with Tehran.

    Essentially, Iran appreciates that Pakistan's "strategic defiance" of the US will be in the interest of regional stability, the bottom line being that Tehran is keen to force the American troops to leave the region.

    Tehran succeeded in the pursuit of a similar objective in Iraq by prevailing on Shi'ite political elites in Baghdad not to accede to the desperate pleas by the US to allow US troops to continue even after the stipulated deadline of withdrawal in December 2011 under the Status of Forces agreement. But Afghanistan is a different kettle of fish and a common strategy with Pakistan will help.

    Pakistan keeps an ambivalent stance on the issue of a long-term US military presence in Afghanistan, but it can count on the Taliban to robustly oppose the US plans apropos military bases. Unsurprisingly, Tehran purses a multi-pronged approach toward the Taliban.

    Concerted effort

    In sum, the overall regional scenario is becoming rather unfavorable to the US. The easing of tensions in Pakistan's relations with India and Iran undermine US strategy to get embedded in the region.

    The US's travel advisory was intended to raise hackles in India about the imminent possibility of Pakistan-supported terrorist activities. Again, US-sponsored disinformation is reappearing with claims that China and Pakistan are conspiring against India by setting Chinese military bases in the northern areas of Pakistan, which form part of Kashmir.

    This is coinciding with a distinct improvement in the security situation in the Kashmir Valley, to the point that chief minister Omar Abdullah openly advocated last week in Srinagar that decades-old emergency regulations should be progressively withdrawn and that Delhi should initiate a serious engagement of Pakistan to settle the Kashmir problem.

    United States-backed propaganda about the prospect of Chinese military bases in the Pakistani part of Kashmir is intended to serve a dual purpose: namely, creating discord between Pakistan and India and in Sino-Indian relations, too.

    Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made a significant statement last week that he was "convinced" that the Chinese leadership wanted a peaceful resolution of all problems between India and China, including the long-running border dispute. Significantly, he expressed his "sincere hope [that] it is possible for us to find ways and means by which the two neighbors can live in peace and amity despite the persistence of the border problem".

    Manmohan's remarks assumed significance since the two countries are to shortly hold the 15th round of talks on the border issue in New Delhi. In a meaningful move, the Chinese Foreign Ministry responded to Manmohan's political overture. Beijing said China was "ready to work with India to enhance the China-India strategic partnership". The statement said:
    As important neighbors to each other, China and India have maintained sound momentum in the bilateral relationship. As for the border issue left over from history, the two sides have been seeking a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution through friendly consultations. Pending a final solution, the two sides are committed to maintaining peace and tranquility in border areas.

    A season for propaganda


    The speculative, unattributed - and unverifiable - reports regarding Chinese intentions to establish military bases in the upper reaches of the Kashmir region under Pakistani control are surging again at a formative point in regional security. Their labored thesis is that Delhi should be extremely wary about the "devious" intentions of China and Pakistan and should go slow on the normalization of relations with these "treacherous" neighbors.

    Curiously, Delhi is also being bombarded at the same time with US propaganda that Washington is striking a "grand bargain" with Pakistan over the Afghan problem whereby there will be a mutual accommodation of each other's concerns, which may include US intervention to mediate the Kashmir problem and US pressure on Delhi to roll back its presence in Afghanistan.

    In a motivated commentary in Foreign Policy magazine last week on the eve of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to Islamabad, two prominent US think-tankers wired to the Washington establishment actually tried to alternatively bait Islamabad and frighten Delhi by putting on the table the ingredients of the "grand bargain". Truly, this is all turning out to be a season for propaganda.

    The heart of the matter is that the US is desperate to clinch a strategic agreement with the government of President Hamid Karzai in Kabul that would allow the establishment of a long-term American military presence in Afghanistan.

    On Monday, hundreds of Afghans demonstrated in Kabul against US bases. The same day, the lower house of the Afghan parliament rejected terms guiding the operations of the Afghan government's existing agreement with the International Security Assistance Force as violating the country's sovereignty. The mood in the Afghan parliament seems hostile.

    Karzai is convening a loya jirga (grand council) to seek endorsement for the US-Afghan pact. Matters will come to a head when it meets on November 16. Karzai promises that the US-Afghan pact will be sent to parliament for approval after being discussed in the jirga. Washington insists that the jirga approves the draft pact before the Bonn II conference convenes in December. Karzai's political future depends on whether he can deliver on the pact.

    All sitting parliamentarians, some former members, one-third of the provincial council members, representatives of civil society and distinguished people, religious scholars and influential tribal leaders have been invited to the jirga. Two hundred and thirty representatives of Afghan refugee communities in Pakistan, Iran and Western countries will also be in attendance in the 2,030-strong jirga.

    On September 13, Afghan National Security Advisor Dadfar Spanta told Afghan parliamentarians that the US might set up military bases in Afghanistan after the signing of the pact, but that the pact wouldn't be inked unless approved by parliament. Spanta added, "Concerns of our neighbors [over the US-Afghan pact] are genuine, but we will not allow our soil to be used against them."

    The Afghan parliament fears, however, that Karzai might choose to bypass it after extracting endorsement from a pliant jirga and interpreting that as the collective opinion of the Afghan nation. Parliament directed the speaker on Monday to address an official communication to Karzai highlighting its constitutional prerogative to approve foreign policy issues.

    The Afghan endgame is moving into a crucial phase; much will depend on regional politics. The worst-case scenario for the US is that subsuming the contradictions in the intra-regional relationships between and among Pakistan, Iran, India and China, these countries might have a convergent opinion on the issue of American military bases.

    An accentuation of these contradictions, therefore, would serve the US's geopolitical interests at the present juncture, hence the US's "divide-and-rule" strategy.

    Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar was a career diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service. His assignments included the Soviet Union, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Germany, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kuwait and Turkey. Two templates in regional politics are seriously debilitating the United States's campaign to bring Pakistan down on its knees in the Afghan endgame. One is that Delhi has distanced itself from the US campaign and pursues an independent policy toward Islamabad.

    Asia Times Online :: South Asia news, business and economy from India and Pakistan
     
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  3. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    The article seems to assume that Americans pay any attention to warnings by US DOS. Those warnings certainly get minimal coverage by the US news media.
     
  4. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    I really can understand why India is working with Pak so closely to the extent of ticking off the US. Pakistanis are only creating a sense of peaceful intention till the US leaves. India should have nothing to do with Pak and make sure right now it is firmly with the US to get Indian interests served. US is also pursuing its own interests and though it may seem that the US is but using India, well so be it as long as our interests are getting served. I don't know why India would be opposed to a US military campaign in Pak, something that I have been wanting and expecting as Afghnistan ceased to be tr center of terror once AQ and Taliban fled to Pakistan and got state welcome there. The government should realize that peace with Pakistan in its current form is not possible. Call it negative mindset but for me it's a realist mindset. India should encourage and make sure the US actually attacks Pakistan and not try to prevent it.

    We need hawks in the govt esp when it comes to Pakistan. I hope MMS does not find any support in the govt if at all he is the driver of any policy of reconciliation with Pakistan.
     
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  5. pankaj nema

    pankaj nema Senior Member Senior Member

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    Supporting Pakistan for UNSC seat is no big deal

    And India will of course welcome if US hurts Pakistan militarily or economically

    What GOI or or that matter US Govt says has no value at well

    It is only actions that count

    US itself is confused ,unsure and undecided what to do next with Pakistan army

    Right now for a couple of weeks the US pressure on Pakistan may work and it seems to be working

    But as usual there are numerous statements of US being " committed " to Pakistan

    And then Ms Clinton smiled much more than it was necessary in her Press photo session with Ms Khar
    lending an impression that everything is quite well

    Taliban and Haqqanis will now mount suicide attacks as we have seen yesterday in which 13 Americans died

    So there will be no chain of evidence to ISI

    Or it may be that US will turn the SCREWS so very slowly that Pakistan gets absolutely
    NO support from China and Saudi

    US will punish Pakistan for all its duplicities and deceptions BUT at a time of its own choosing

    And of course India will definitely celebrate it
     
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  6. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The US is merely enforcing their strategic objectives.

    And in God they Trust! :)
     
  7. Adux

    Adux Senior Member Senior Member

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    Lets be very clear here, Anything under the threshold of complete annihilation of the state of Pakistan or its military by any outside power will be acceptable to Government of India in the present circumstances. But I repeat, we are not ready for that threshold to be crossed. You can make fun of SM Krishna or India's foreign policy all you want, Pakistan is a stupid suicidal and irrational power, they will, mark my words at the eventuality of complete destruction of Pakistani' machinery and nation will fire their nuclear missiles at India, irrespective of whether we had anything to do with the conflict they are in.


    India and USA lost that chance in 2001. India lost their chance in 1999. Israel and India lost that chance in 1980's and India lost their chance in 1971.

    Now unless and until you have the capacity to shoot down every piece of rock thrown from Pakistan to India, it is imperative we dont mess with them beyond a point. Like it or not.
     
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  8. pankaj nema

    pankaj nema Senior Member Senior Member

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    It is in India's interest to lay low for a while

    Pakistan is fully in US cross-hairs for its perfidies and US will definitely punish Pakistan in future

    If India were to even issue a few statements then the entire China-Pakistan -Saudi alliance will
    come ALIVE and US will blame India for " spooking " Pakistan WHEN US has got Pakistan on the mat
     
  9. Adux

    Adux Senior Member Senior Member

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    By the way it is written by MK Bhadrakumar, a known communist America hater. He wants India to leave Afghanistan, openly wants Pakistan to control Afghanistan, He can go F**K himself.
     
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  10. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    It's not the time to lie low but team up with the US. The value of Pakistan as a tool against India as envisioned 60 years ago by tge west has been lost. Pakistan is firmly under china and the new game is US v China with Pakistan as an ally of china which is worrisome for both US and India.

    Adux, Pak nukes are bluff that India has to call.
     
  11. agentperry

    agentperry Senior Member Senior Member

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    in this time of uncertainity, India should be cautious.as the moral of US forces and its government itself is low tackling economic disasters and internal chaos, its imminent that usa will back off sooner or later to regroup and come back when opportunity comes, siding with this weak usa( because of its internal rifts and anti-war regime within its territory) will be suicidal for India.
    usa got a track record of not honoring its commitment at the time when it got no interest in that domain.
    India has to live with these neighbors and china got the possibility of going rogue anytime causing self destruction with that of India.
    pakistan is our enemy but with our growing stature we need to shift our focus. the LOC should be turned into permanent border and that requires a deal to be forged between both, which in turn requires favorable atmosphere like one during mush( and yes veer zara delusional period too) when both govt were near to sign an accord to make loc a border.

    let the kashmir issue get solved by accepting status quo then India-pak rivalry will soon fade away and we can focus more on the non-state actors of pakistan( deluded islamic fascist read isi) and china, to fight for rising star title.

    but the work of Indian govt in improving relations with pakistan is on right track as it goes on improving relations with pakistan army and if usa continues to stay in the region till 2014 and a little more than India can make pakistan army accept to make loc a permanent border.( though a slightest of motivation from china can make it abandon the deal but then also India's stewardship will be on test)
     
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  12. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Status quo is not acceptable for us. Gilgit in Pak control is not acceptable. War has to happen sooner rather than later and India has to force the issue.
     
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  13. Adux

    Adux Senior Member Senior Member

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    While I agree with you that India-US has to get together and fight the alliance of Pakchin, it would be foolish for us not to accept the possibility of a irrational and suicidal Pakistan. If there is a conventional war with Pakistan by United States of America, facing complete annihilation of their state machinery and possiblity of splitting of Balochistan, Pashtunistan etc, what do you think will be the response of a Nuclear armed Pakistan? I would have called it a bluff pre-2003. Pakistan today has a credible Nuclear Strike option.
     
  14. Adux

    Adux Senior Member Senior Member

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    We need to defang nuclear Pakistan before we go in. Either by our ABM capacity or by other means.
     
  15. agentperry

    agentperry Senior Member Senior Member

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    it will goes against the instrument of accession. yes jammu and kashmir is inseparable part of India but the time pakistan vacate the PoK, indian presence in J&K will become occupation which is not the case now.
     
  16. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    If its not the US, it will be India who in a future war will force that. One way or the other, we have to call their bluff or worse be prepared for a nuke strike. The good part abou US being on Paki tail is that they have paki number as far as their nukes go.
     
  17. pankaj nema

    pankaj nema Senior Member Senior Member

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    US wants to stay in Afghanistan even beyond 2014

    At least 50000 soldiers will stay to prevent Taliban Al qaeda ISI take over

    US intentions for Pakistan are like boiling the frog so slowly that it will not notice

    And when the domestic socio economic turmoil becomes too big then the entire world will
    ASK for US intervention to prevent Pak nukes from falling in Jihadi hands
     
  18. Adux

    Adux Senior Member Senior Member

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    I expect Pakistan launch nukes at us regardless of our involvement, calling them a bluff pre-2003 made sense, not any longer.
    We need to discuss how to stop nuclear strike of Pakistan or how to snatch away their nukes, Indian people are not ready to accept a nuclear strike on its soil for Kashmir or Giligit. We are panzies that way. Pakistan knows that. There is a reason for them to always nuclear sabre rattle. They dont care if they loose their reputation as a responsible nuclear power in front of the world audience, as long as their primary audience the Indian public, is scared shitless.
     
  19. pankaj nema

    pankaj nema Senior Member Senior Member

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    All this Nuclear Sabre rattling means that Pakistan is ASKING to be Nuked first

    Hell with this NO first use doctrine

    If we have such a MAD DOG as a neigh bour which is Itching for Nuclear war then it is better to
    attack it first with N weapons
     
  20. Adux

    Adux Senior Member Senior Member

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    Total US Soldiers currently in Afghanistan is 90,000, No way they will let 50,000 remain. There will be nearly 10,000-15,000 Forces in Afghanistan in the long term. Afghanistan is going to be hotbed for Air Force, CIA and JSOC. US Army and Marines will pull out.
     
  21. Adux

    Adux Senior Member Senior Member

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    US and India will not nuke Pakistan first. Pakistan knows it, the world knows it.
     

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