For Washington’s attention

Unless the United States is sensitive to India’s interests, bilateral ties will suffer

Hillary Clinton’s op-ed in the Times of India doesn’t say much—but Mint’s editorials on the subject of her visit say a lot.

After the last eight years of warmth and friendship, Indo-US relations are heading towards the thermidor, unless, of course, corrective action is taken soon. Given the current posture of the Barack Obama administration this appears unlikely, though it cannot be ruled out. As US secretary of state Hillary Clinton begins her India visit, she should bear this in mind in her engagement with Indian leaders. [Mint]

It minces no words. “If the relationship has to move ahead,” it argues, “it has to be on realistic lines. Friendship has little meaning when one partner is actively trying to subvert the interests of the other.”

The accompanying op-ed by Siddharth Singh calls the United States to recalculate it position on the Kashmir issue in the context of the twenty-first century geopolitics

Why should India make concessions to a failing state when it is in a much better position economically and in strategic terms? American diplomats from George Kennan onwards have felt that Indian leaders couch their arguments in moralist terms and not in the currency of realism. This is the time for India to present a realist argument to the US: In a world where America’s unipolar moment passed away a long time ago and a multipolar order is a possibility, why back a lame horse? (Barack Obama knows that; witness recent American dealings with Russia, Iran and a certain delicacy in handling relations with China.) India has much more to offer than Pakistan ever will. A South Asia with a pre-eminent India is an option for peace and development. If the US sides with India willingly, it will gain a friend. If it does not, it matters little: India will attain what it needs to, the US notwithstanding. [Mint]

6 thoughts on “For Washington’s attention”

  1. Except our own MEA likes to tossed around.

    In fact, it seems that they like playing the role of subservience to the Americans. For them it’s back to colonial days, perhaps, where they don’t have to take decisions – Washington, like London, makes them and these guys implement them, probably getting guidance from their bosses every night, before going to sleep. Nothing else explains what Manmohan did yesterday, to return back, in time, to New Delhi, to get a pat on the back.

  2. What has happened in sharmsheikh is beyond humiliation.

    It has happened on the exact day that another threat call of an attack by sea on seven targets in Bombay was made. The problem with Indians might be structural. The MEA has an old retired gent pulled back into public life because he presents no threat to the cartel that controls power. He is surrounded in turn by a civilian babudom – who have extraordinary powers over all areas of administration. The defense and the security establishment – their ideas, their views, their concerns have absolutely no primacy in this crude system. In the US, this is exactly the opposite. The civilian babudom in that system are not allowed to venture into areas they have no ideas about.

    The Indian system was originally built by Nehru who feared the defense establishment and it has been kept intact till now. Not even the NDA in power was able to change it.

    It is this structural deficiency that has led to an ad hoc, arbitrary and a completely insane approach to national security issues. Is It still a surprise then that nearly forty years after shimla, the pakis can still chew our nuts hollow every time we meet to negotiate.

  3. The release of Hafiz Sayed is an internal matter of pakistan – this is the exact comment made by old gent of MEA in sharm al sheikh. You can either sense a calamity when it is thousands of miles away – or when it opens its mouth.

  4. All we can say is that the US has failed. The US has failed to draw any lessons from 9/11. Lessons which can be precedents for other countries. That the US has chosen to place its renewed faith in Pakistan at the cost of lives of our citizens by pressurising Singh to kiss and make up with Gilani & Co. or whoever is in charge over there exhibits the ‘retarded’ credentials of Obama. And if that prodding wasn’t demeaning enough, we are further told by Hillary that the Indo-US friendship has to be on realistic lines.

    Then to watch the Indian PM with his omnipresent smirk in Egypt, gloating at what he thinks displays his statesmanship credentials is blood curdling. A veritable back-handed slap on the faces of the families and friends of the victims of terrrorism financed and supported by Pakistan, especially the Mumbai attacks.

    Exasperating. Humiliating. Enraging.

    I hope the people playing with the lives of innocent civilians get their comeuppance. I know I won’t shed a tear if another 9/11 takes place on US soil.

  5. Let’s be clear. US priority is War on Terror. Now that meant LeT as well as other jehadi outfits were treated on the same level as AQ and Taliban for Gorge W admin. Not so for the current Democratic admin who view AQ and Taliban different from “Kashmiri” jehadis (though these guys are from Pakistani Punjab). Rehyphenating India with Pak seems to be back in vogue. Also looks like it is belt tightening time (with old agendas like non-proliferation and “peace” and probably Kashmir (let’s hope not) back on the agenda). Looks like End User Verification Agreement might also be signed (I’d be very weary of India purchasing more and more of US defence goods). BTW if US says non-poliferation someone should say, “okay, let’s start with Pak and Chinese nukes”.

    On the Indian foreign policy side there seems to be “tilt”. There is a view in South Block that if US gets more cozy with Pak and China, we should DO MORE to COZY UP TO the US. This is a dangerous and probably stupid view. Rather than India conceding everything and HOPING US would do something, relationship should work based on reciprocity and SHARED INTERESTS. Anyways, I don’t expect much from Democrats. GWB was the best US prez for India IMO.

    That Mint article is pretty hard hitting. Wonder if it’s due to their tie up with WSJ LOL because our media is usually “gushing and all praises” for someone like Hilary especially before she arrives.

  6. Regarding the hyphenation of India with Pakistan in the international circles, it looks like the hyphenation is very much in India’s national interest, too! Just take a look at Acorn’s theme cloud in the right sidebar 🙂

Comments are closed.