The duplicity of the American policy on terrorism and its bias in favour of Pakistan have been definitively proved by a few recent events. America’s reaction on the beheading of Indian soldiers, the series of incidents of unprovoked firings and ceasefire violations in the LoC and to cap it all, the betrayal regarding David Headley point to only one thing. That not only America does not practice what it preaches but also that in its scheme of things India is a minor and wimpy player, whom it can afford to ignore and slight.
Consider the facts. Pakistan, ever since its birth, has been a terror state, both internally and in its dealing with its neighbours. It has stolen nuclear technology, made nuclear weapons on the sly, offered safe havens for terrorists, co-acted with the Taliban and unabashedly supports cross-border terrorism in India and Afghanistan. It is an exporter of terror. And it has done all these using the dole that America so dutifully sends to Islamabad. Till today Pakistan has not explained to the world how Osama Bin Laden for whom America had launched a mammoth manhunt years ago happened to be living in Pakistan within a stone’s throw from a military set up, very well provided for. And yet, according to the new US Secretary of State John Kerry Pakistan ‘has not got sufficient credit for its help in getting bin Laden!’ Kerry is one of the most fervent supporters of Pakistan, sometimes he almost sounds like the Pakistani foreign minister. He is also the author of the Kerry-Lugar-Berman bill that provided more than USD 7.5 billion in five years to Pakistan.
America has been playing coy whenever it came to a situation of tension between India and Pakistan. It couches its reactions in such inane words as need for peace in the region and necessity of talks, etc. When Israel bombs Palestine or Lebanon, it is ‘inevitable’ defence action. But when Pakistan violates ceasefire and provokes action, it is India which is advised restraint. America fights a billions-dollar war for gifting democracy to Iraqis and yet, in the immediate neighbourhood, where oil-rich Sheikhs run dictatorial regime, America cannot see any fault. The US’ forked tongue and doublespeak have been the hallmark of that country’s diplomacy. It has a single policy—America is right—and the rest of the world can weave their international relations around it. This is specially true in the case of India and Pakistan.
When the Pakis beheaded two Indian soldiers recently, America’s reaction was so timid that it was inaudible. It described the act as ‘unwarranted provocation.’ That’s it.
India has been petitioning with the US for years now to hand over David Headley who is one of the masterminds behind the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks in which nearly two hundred people were killed. Headley, a Pakistani-American who was an informer for the US Drug Enforcement Agency, joined the terrorist organisation LeT and moved in and out of India carrying out surveillance for soft target selection. He had stayed in the Taj hotel several times to study the plan of the building which gave a huge advantage to the terrorists. The US tarried India’s several requests for extradition of Headley and finally a US court has sentenced him to thirty-five years in prison. Which means that he will never stand trial in India. The net gainer in all this were the investigative officers in various agencies in India who made several wasteful trips to the US in the name of negotiating his extradition. Headley waged a war against India and we had every right to try him and punish him. America, on the other hand, tried him sympathetically as he had provided valuable intelligence inputs to the state in cases relating to drug-terror nexus. The judge made this observation.
America has been raising the bogey of Afghanistan and Taliban to pile Pakistan with dangerous defence equipments and weapons, knowing full well that there are rogue elements within the Pakistani army and the government who could be misusing these. It in fact has built a strong presence in the southeast Asian region using Pakistan as a base. It is obvious that the American government does not want to antogonise Pakistan for this reason. At the same time the way it downplays every act of Pakistan is absolutely foxing. Indians, the second largest ethnic community there have been ineffective in making any change in this myopic attitude of the US. The Headley case has given enough evidence to Indians on the way the US would tilt if there is a serious confrontation between India and Pakistan and this precisely is what is goading Islamabad, ISI and the terrorists to behave with India the way they are doing now. It is time India took a serious call on this issue and showed America the mirror. America is nobody’s friend. but it is friendlier to all terrorist regimes in the world and inimical to democracies everywhere.