President Obama’s speech at Mumbai has drawn sharp reactions from various quarters for making no mention of Pakistan in the Taj Mumbai carnage. One school considers it as less than friendly towards India, while the other considers it better because in their view India should not be hyphenated with Pakistan. Both are far removed from reality and tend to skirt real issues. Indo-American relations are not as close as the America-Pakistan relations. Pakistan has been a loyal camp follower of America for the past 63 years, whereas India has been following the policy of “Ekla Chalo Re” or non alignment. Pakistan is fighting the American war in Afghanistan, even as both Pakistan and Afghanistan are Muslim countries. Pakistan’s factories of terrorism are meant to bleed India only. It is a different matter that they are now targeting even America, but incidents like 9/11 are Pakistani strategies to wean America away from other countries (including India) and keep her completely for itself. Terror has different definitions for different countries: India cries in vain for equal treatment, which nobody cares for in real politics at home or abroad. India doesn’t count in the foreign policy of many big nations, excepting as a big market only. How can America be any exception, when we ourselves have presented the image of a weak nation on major policy issues like effective response to the Pakistani terror threats or corruption or democratic norms or even international relations? As an illustration, America would prefer to take Pakistan on board while dealing with Islamic countries rather than India. Pakistani diplomacy has imbibed much better the American English, whereas we still revel in the King’s English or the Queen’s English! It makes a vast difference, as diplomats of very high stature would grant. Pakistan has acquired very high skills in American English and that is behind their success with America: so they don’t get scolded even when dozens of NATO trucks loaded with essential supplies for the American troops in Afghanistan are burnt by Pakistani terrorists on the Pakistani soil! What is more hurtful for America- Taj Mumbai carnage or the burning of the NATO trucks? The terrorists were called “Pakistani Taliban” –an escape route similar to blaming “non state agents” for the Mumbai carnage. So India should not expect America to make any reference to Pakistan while paying tribute to the “spirit of the Mumbaikars”, which is considered comparable to the spirit of the New Yorkers! It is not to de-hyphenate India and Pakistan, but if you choose to interpret it that way who stops you. Rather, it serves any diplomatic objective if issues remain obfuscated in such imaginary conclusions.
There is another aspect to the Indo-Pak relations besides the unflinching Pakistan loyalty to America or the American cause in the region or anywhere else in the world, and where India lagged behind by choice. Whether the choice was right or wrong would be judged only in due course. Pakistan’s contribution to the American success in breaking the USSR is very valuable and has remained un-evaluated so far. Afghanistan and the Taliban, which America is fighting now, have provided America the strategic bases and mercenaries to bleed the USSR in a manner worse than the Pakistani terror attacks on India. In this operation, the role played by Pakistan is valuable, superb & unique. In fact, America has yet to repay the debt of that loyalty and service to Pakistan. So it has to ignore all excesses of Pakistan. In fact, what India or the Indian masses categorize as Pakistani terror or excesses is part of the long term policy games being played by America. Pakistan has created more jobs for the Americans by pursuing the policy of constantly bleeding India. Still India continues to indulge in singing sad but sweet songs of peace! But for Pakistani policy of war against India, who would have purchased all that costly military hardware and software? Countries like India and Pakistan and their armed conflicts serve the economic interests of the advanced countries exporting arms and ammunition. India ignores this reality at her own cost, but Pakistan understands it much better and actively indulges in turning it into a profitable business of extracting heavy service charges, euphemistically called ”economic aid”. When Pakistan buys (or truly gets them free), India is bound to buy equally potent weaponry. Actually, the cost of the free consignment to Pakistan is charged to India indirectly in such sales. It is so easy because of the corrupt and greedy decision makers in India, who get their cuts in all defense deals and keep the money in foreign banks, even as the legislature and the media expose such deals. Now, who makes a valuable friend: India or Pakistan? Drawing conclusions should not be difficult. Arms sales is only a minor achievement for America with the help of Pakistan. Its greatest success has been its victory in its war against communism.
The American success in disintegrating the USSR could not have been achieved without Pakistan playing the role of a loyal accomplice. With the disintegration of the USSR, communism died its natural death. It brought to an end the cold war. America had failed miserably in Vietnam earlier and it suffered the worst defeat for capitalism in the world. However it recorded greater success with the dissolution of the USSR and all that was achieved due to the great contribution made by a loyal camp follower like Pakistan. India can never match that kind of friendship! Indian sense of superiority and its big brother attitude will never make her do that act of loyalty. In fact, the Indian policy failures in all countries surrounding her are too obvious to mention. We have lost a buffer in Nepal and facilitated Chine drive right up to our borders. Compare it with Pakistan’s friendship with all these countries: Pakistan enjoys warmer relations with them. Its relations with China are more than warm. And it is here that Pakistan is playing out the diplomatic game for its friend-America. The next target of capitalism is China only, because it is the last vestige of communism. More than 90% of China is already modernized and democratized mentally, and is waiting for complete change over to modern democracy. America has a friend in Pakistan to do its bid in China, as it had performed earlier in respect to the USSR. A small beginning had already been made. More is expected. It will not take much time. Leadership change in China from old communists to the new generation will herald this change. That is the nature of things, that is how political climate changes in the world, that is how norms of socio-economic behavior undergo silent and invisible change. Viewed in this larger context, Pakistan stands to score over India in the American assessment.
However, all is not lost, provided India succeeds in genuinely establishing the rule of law; draw clear policies rising above the silly secular rhetoric; strengthens itself as a nation; seeks and wins long term friendships serving the Indian interests rather than making hollow political noise; and grabs the opportunity of rising to be the world’s strongest economy. India will have to invest heavily in R & D in not only in science & technology but also humanities. We have lost to Pakistan more in terms of soft power than hard power. We have failed to project the true India by opting for the artificial due to various failures, not understanding the value of the humanities is one such attribute. The United Kingdom has gained more by just one export i.e. its language. The American have been trying to sell their English to the world for more than 6 decades now without as much success. What they lost to Britain on the language front, the Americans regained through the computer that obdurately insists on spelling the words the American way only! That is the power of Humanities, which have been handed over to the most incompetent only to suck them dry and earn them the infamy of corrupt institutions. That done, India will get respectful attention of the world. Its market is its strongest power. Its talent and potential are reassuring to the world. It will then not rue the absence of any mention of Pakistan by the American President while speaking in Mumbai about the Pakistani terror attack on Mumbai! We should not seek to make America fight our battles with Pakistan, especially when we are becoming a softer state day by day! If America is now eager to open up to India, it is because of the compulsions of its own economic interests in the contemporary situation. This situation has been brought about by terrorism by disrupting the world economy, inflicting the heaviest penalty on America. European economy has suffered no less. Countries of the third world or developing countries like India are being projected as economic super powers only with an eye on its market only, even as they are being presented as a threat to American economic interests & jobs in domestic politics. In these changed foreign policy goals of the super powers, India has to watch out against economic terrorism, which is bound to open up slowly. Unless India moves fast, it is bound to suffer loss of its economic freedom. The Indian ruling classes had kept their treasures safely abroad before 1947 and after 1947 too!