By Dr Dipak Basu
The United States does not want any further disturbances anywhere at present as that may over-stretch its military capability. That is the reason it allows North Korea to possess nuclear weapons and missiles, asks Taiwan to accept the status quo and allows Pakistan to get away with the proliferation of missiles and nuclear weapons. Any war between India and Pakistan, even the low intensity war in Kashmir that is going on since 1989, is now a disturbance for the USA.
That is the reason, USA is so eager to settle the Kashmir dispute with a long-term plan to turn Kashmir into an independent entity, free from both Pakistan and India. Increasing transport links between Indian and Pakistani Kashmirs, visa free entry for the Kashmiris from Pakistan to India, along with the proposal accepted already in the Kashmir Assembly to allow Pakistani Kashmiris to settle in the Indian Kashmir, will eventually create an atmosphere where any objection of India against a proposed indepen-dent Kashmir will melt away by overwhelming international protests. In fact, the Indian business community will demand this type of settlement of Kashmir, so that they can have the market of Pakistan open for them. Already the Indian business community has turned China from ?Enemy No 1? in 1998 to ?Bhai-Bhai? in 2004. In the same way, the image of Pakistan will change due to the growing commercial interests of India in Pakistan. Although it will create another three million refugees, the non-Muslims of Kashmir, for India, this will be a painful consequence of the ?peace process?.
Non-Nato ally status of Pakistan?III
Future foreign policy of India
With India'sforeign policy in ruins, the United States wanted India to have a consolation prize when it said, ?India may have the same status, if it wants.? For the last fifty years the US and Britain have equated India with Pakistan; now Pakistan is elevated to a superior status than India in the eyes of the US. If India now accepts the non-NATO status, which is offered as a breadcrumb, India'sposition would be subordinated to that to Pakistan.
There are other dangers too if India belongs to the same defence arrangement as Pakistan. In 1947, Chief of the Indian Army, General Boucher and the Commander-in-Chief Lord Mountbatten did not allow the Indian army to recover the areas of the old state of Jammu and Kashmir occupied by Pakistan, as that would have led to ?inter-dominion war?. In 1974, when Turkey invaded Cyprus and incorporated North Cyprus as a part of Turkey, NATO prevented the Greek Army from helping Cyprus, as it would have meant ?inter-NATO war?. The same situation will be developed in future, if India now accepts the ?non-NATO ally? status in this humiliating situation.
Already the Indian business community has turned China from ?Enemy No. 1? in 1998 to ?Bhai-Bhai? in 2004. In the same way, the image of Pakistan will change due to the growing commercial interests of India in Pakistan.
It would mean giving control of the Indian military establish-ments to the US, who may supply in future most of the equipments. India has already wasted more than US$2 billion to buy Phalcon radar systems from Israel and Hawk aircraft from Britain, in both of which software can be manipulated by the US or UK from the satellites to make these inoperative at the time of war. A situation like this was created in 1991, at the time of the first Gulf war between Iraq and Iran, when the Iraqi air-force could not take off or land. Because, in the radar system of Iraq, imported from the US, there was an electronic device, which was manipulated by the US satellites to make it inoperative. As a result, Iraq could not provide any air cover for its army, nor could it take any action against the NATO airforce.
In a much more devastating way, in January 1982, President Reagan approved a CIA plan to sabotage the economy of the Soviet Union through covert transfer of technology that contained hidden software that later triggered a huge explosion in the Siberian natural gas pipeline, leading to a most monumental non-nuclear explosion and fire. The aim was to destroy the ability of the Soviet Union to earn hard currency by exporting natural gas to Europe. Thus, by purchasing defence equipment from Israel and UK and in future from the US, India has already compromised the defence of India.
India has only one choice. It should enter into a separate military alliance with Russia and like-minded countries. Russia is still the most reliable supporter of India. When the rest of the world denounced India in 1998 after the nuclear test, Russian parliament proposed a message of congratulation. During the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war, India was saved from total defeat at the hands of the combined forces of the US, China, Iran and Pakistan, only because of its alliance with the Soviet Union.
In future as well, India cannot depend upon the goodwill of the US or UK because Pakistan was and will be the more favoured country for them, irrespective of its nuclear proliferation, Islamic terrorism and military dictator-ship. Thus, India needs to make a complete overhaul of its foreign policy to survive in this insecure world.
India has already wasted more than US$2 billion to buy Phalcon radar systems from Israel and Hawk aircraft from Britain, in both of which software can be manipulated by the US or UK from their satellites to make these inoperative at the time of war.
(The writer teaches international economics at Nagasaki University, Japan.)