Engaging in double speak
is a policy statement issued by Romeet K Watt
for and on behalf of The Kashmir TELEGRAPH
in response to the commentary of Mr. Richard Hass
published by The Indian Express
on 8th January, 2003 and 9th January 2003 in their OP-ED Section.
response is not an antagonism
of US foreign policy per se, but a pragmatic
and judicious examination of why US is doing what it’s
doing, purposely in south-east Asia in general, and more
specifically in the Indian sub-continent. Mr Richard Hass appears to
have based his assertions around much used and tired America
postulations with the singular objective of justifying her own wrong
policies in the region.
to what Mr. Hass leads us to believe, the major stumbling block
between the Indian and the US relations has been the tendency of the
Bush administration to conduct its relations with India through the
‘prism’ of U.S relationship with its ‘client state’,
assertion that U.S does not want to conduct itself through this
‘prism’ is just too naïve an argument, and ought not be taken
sincerely, more so, when one takes into account the actual ground
realities, which speak other wise. U.S obsession of finishing off
the remnants of al Qaeda in what is being described as ‘war
against terror’ are understood, and Pakistan is important to
achieve these objectives, consequently the policy of U.S to overlook
that its staunch ally, Pakistan, is in itself an epicentre of
terrorist infrastructure in the region.
let us not forget that this fight is as much in Afghanistan as it is
in Pakistan. Let us also not be under any illusion – MMA, the
religious group, which is in power or in power sharing in towns
bordering Afghanistan are staunch Osama Bin Laden supporters, and it
is but natural for them to provide refuge to the al Qaeda fugitives
who are on run from Afghanistan. Accordingly, the cooperation of
Pakistan is expected, but whether it forthcoming is something which
is debatable. There are many sections within the Pakistan, be it the
ISI or the all-powerful army, which sympathises with the Taliban and
al Qaeda, so the fight is far from over.
Hass’s assertions that the relationship between Indian and
Pakistan are less developed that between U.S and U.S.S.R at the
height of cold war, are too simplistic and naïve, and simply does
not warrant any further comment though he has, as is their (U.S)
practice, tried to paint the picture of what dangerous times we are
living in with no or little lines of communication between the two
Hass is more than correct when he says that everyone should act to
ensure the continued sanctity of the Line of Control. But when he
says that, it does not only mean unilateral re-mapping but also that
there is no infiltration, and consequently cross-border terrorism.
Let him not make use of the term ‘sanctity’ conveniently or
on its part has not ended its policy of state sponsorship to
terrorism, and consequently to expect that she will end cross border
terrorism would not be prudent argument. This despite the fact that
U.S has been time and again ‘urging’ him (Musharraf) to do so,
but he continues to overlook, since he is in a position to do so.
to say that the onus of responsibility in resolving bilateral issue
between the two countries lies with General Musharraf rather than
with Prime Minister Vaypayee would be to state the obvious.
Nevertheless, U.S would continue to preach us expressions,
‘magnanimity’ and ‘generosity’, which we are supposed to
demonstrate towards Islamabad. Is this a prudent argument?
that United States stands ‘should to shoulder’ with India in its
battle against terrorism is a big, big lie if I may borrow an
expression from Mr. Yasser Arafat. U.S has without doubt shown
double-standards in its fight against terrorism – it has clearly
discriminated between its war against terror, and our fight against
cross-border terrorism, aided and abetted by Pakistan.
of taking into consideration India’s contentions, it has continued
to justify the wrongs of its ‘client’ state, Pakistan. We would
have believed Mr Hass’s assertions that U.S has demonstrated
consistency in its policy if she had acted against Pakistan in the
larger interest of the world peace.
U.S further strengthened the Junta regime of a Pakistani dictator by
making available to him discretionary endowments. Instead it would
have been more realistic to isolate Islamabad with economic
sanctions. However, she did nothing of that sort, after all they are
of the view that Pakistan is central for her interests in the
region, and as such as has been her practice in the past, U.S will
ignore the obvious, and pay dearly for it at some later stage!
are also at loss to comprehend what Mr. Hass describes as
‘positive trends’ in Pakistan. The ‘positive trends’ can not
be the emergence of MMA – the pro-Taliban religious party in a big
way. The ‘positive trends’ can not be the installation of
Musharraf’s poster-boy Jamali as the Prime Minister after the
elections, which by even European Union’s stands are a mockery of
democratic norms. Nor can be clandestine transfer of nuclear
know-how, in breach of all nuclear proliferation treaties by
Islamabad to Pyongyang be described as ‘positive tends’. Who is
hoodwinking whom, and to what purpose, is an open question, which is
the post 13/12 state of affairs, amidst heightened tensions between
the two neighbours, the Western media went into an overdrive to
paint a picture of nuclear holocaust that was in the making should
India launch pre-emptive strikes against the terrorist
infrastructure across the (LoC).
This was done, and Mr Hass would pardon me for saying this, with the
singular objective of putting India on the back-foot, which, coupled
with the travel advisories for its citizens by the Western countries
(and other friendly allies), did have an adverse impact on the
actual outcome in terms of limited war, or may be a full-fledged war
between the two states.
Such campaign, unleashed by the Western nations with the tacit
support from its media fraternity, if one may further the argument,
emboldened Pakistan, in actually stooping to a level wherein they
nuclear blackmailed New Delhi. And the trend continues till date!