Why does India harp on about US support in its conflict with Pakistan? Explores Bikram Vohra
There is a lot of frothy speculation in the Indian public about whether Washington took our side or the side of Pakistan after Uri and the media on both sides is bending over backwards to dredge for virtue and support.
Is it really that important for so many of us to seek US support or lack of it in this Big brother thank you kindly fashion? Hasn’t it become passe by now. Sure, world opinion counts but we hold too much store by Washington’s utterances. Old habits die hard.
The US foreign policy has always been a bit of a dog’s breakfast and largely motivated by self-interest (which is okay) rather than the fairness of things for other parties.
These guys went into Abbottabad and found Osama bin Laden. Secretary of State John Kerry might nod wisely and look grim but honestly, does the Obama administration truly need evidence that the assault in Pathankot and Uri on India by terrorists does not have benediction from Pakistan.
That India didn’t wake up to harsh reality after the Pathankot assault is a flaw. That it continued its slumber or state of indifference after Prime Minister Modi opened up the Baloch-Gilgit front and pushed Pakistan into a never before corner shows great shortsightedness. Retaliation by proxy was a no brainer. We ambled along enjoying the Modi gambit and not shoring up our forces.
Instead, we were scrapping about the 7th Pay Commission and the Chiefs of all three forces were pre-occupied with letters of intent to the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister. Nor were we bringing to the front burner the shortage in War Wastage Materials and our lack of battle readiness knowing we had upped the ante? But back to the point. America’s role is not central. There is no great comfort to be found in whether it supports India and lacerates Pakistan or vice versa.
The truth is Pakistan is integral to American foreign policy and the US, even when it makes the right sounds, will never let it disintegrate or be a total loser. Strategically, historically, geographically, it wants to exercise influence there.
Consequently, what India should be finding essential comfort in is the American track record currently and how her presence or absence makes little difference to the final outcome between India and her neighbour.
Look what is happening in Syria. This serves not only as a sterling example of ineptitude by the top two nations on the planet but also warns us not to allow them a tangible role in our fight.
Syria would be seen as an ongoing comedy of errors if it wasn’t so tragic. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the destruction of a Red Crescent aid convoy into Aleppo two days ago a savage and deliberate attack.
He should, Any which way it is so bloody ironic. Protected under the umbrella of the UN of which both Russia and the US are Security Council members with veto powers makes a mockery of the whole international edifice and the search for world peace.
Last week the Americans attacked Syrian troops. Then said, sorry, my bad. This week Russian planes targeted the UN aid caravan. So the Americans say. The Russians say their planes did not attack the 31 vehicles strong convoy and it was a ground attack by rebels. Moscow claims the damage in inconsistent with the air strikes.
Washington says there were two Russian fighters in that area at that time. Russia says so what, they did not fire.
The Syrian air force doesn’t have that capability.
Amid all this wrangling the fact is the aid blew up, 20 people died and the UN has stopped further transportation.
These two adversaries, at loggerheads over keeping Assad on as President or dumping him have managed to place the peace initiative started with a slim ceasefire last week on the edge of the cliff…and then kick it over.
Think of it. The two most powerful entities entrusted in keeping the shot dove of peace from keeling over are actually de-feathering it.
Do you really think they are capable (or even interested) in resolving the Kashmir issue or spearheading the fight against terror per se unless it directly concerns them? If these were rebels who had attacked the aid carrying vehicles and ransacked them one could have demanded higher security. But when politics is a barrier and even the UN is placed at risk by its own members and hi-tech communications cannot identify and offer cover to 31 vehicles in a convoy marked with Red Crescent logos do we need them to solve our problems…they are often the problem.