PM’S VISIT GAVE MIXED RESULTS : A VIEWPOINT
It is no secret that US has been seeking Pakistan’s assistance to open dialogue with the Taliban for a political solution in Afghanistan which is utopian but Pakistani diplomacy has kept the US dream alive in this context
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to the United States has been a mixed bag of results. While the focus of the visit was to attend the UN General Assembly and meet President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the latter event was overshadowed by the dastardly terrorist attacks on Hira Nagar Police Station and an Army unit in Samba sector.
The hallmark of the meeting with Obama was operationalising the civil nuclear deal – Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) a Westinghouse (US) to develop a nuclear power plant in Gujarat, and subsequently NPCIL in conjunction with Westinghouse and General Electric-Hitachi to establish nuclear power plants in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh. The Joint Declaration does mention enhancing partnership in defence technology transfer, joint research, co-development and co-production, plus expanding homeland security cooperation, etc., besides condemning terrorism.
However, there was no indication from Obama that US would pressure Pakistan to close down her terror infrastructure and stop the proxy war against India. It is no secret that US has been seeking Pakistan’s assistance to open dialogue with the Taliban for a political solution in Afghanistan which is utopian but Pakistani diplomacy has kept the US dream alive in this context. But this is only a development in last three to four years. The fact is that since the last decade including when US launched its GWOT, it turned a Nelson’s eye to the Lashkar-e Toiba (LeT) that has been attacking India regularly. US Predator attacks have also deliberately avoided the LeT under secret understanding with Pakistan, as revealed recently. US has been fully aware of the 42 terrorist camps in the Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).
Not without reason Ashley Tellis of the Carnegie EndoWment, wrote, “India being continuously subjected to terror actually suits many... India is a sponge that absorbs global terror. There has been no apparent concern in the US regarding Chinese incursions and intrusions in India and Bhutan, which gives the impression US is comfortable with these developments and only seeks India’s role in the Indian and Pacific oceans as part of its Asia pivot.
Nothing could be expected from the meeting with Nawaz Sharif in the first place. His address at the UN General Assembly left no doubt. His request for self-determination in Kashmir is laughable. The 1948 UN Resolution on Kashmir through which Pakistan still demands plebiscite has categorical precondition that Pakistan withdraw all her security forces from territory of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) prior to plebiscite. Pakistan did the opposite and, unlike India, drastically altered demography of PoK by design. More importantly, results of the first-ever poll on both sides of the line of control in J&K conducted by the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatam House), UK, in conjunction with King’s College during 2009-10 brought out that 98 per cent of people in J&K do not wish to be part of Pakistan and 50 per cent of people in PoK do not wish to remain with Pakistan.
Significantly, this poll was at the behest of Pervez Musharraf and financed by Gaddafi’s son. Nawaz Sharif in the same appointment had met Prime Minister I.K. Gujral, did nothing to curb terror even when India forbade intelligence operatives going to Pakistan. When Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee travelled to Lahore to meet him, Musharraf, his army chief, was busy stabbing India in Kargil. His feigning that he does not know about the Kargil intrusions can hardly fool anyone. But the hard fact is that today (as always) he is a mere puppet in the hands of the Pakistani military irrespective of who the army chief is. The proof lies in his inability to act against the perpetrators of 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks and shut down terrorist camps, inability to heel the military and the ISI, intransigence to his own constituency officially doling out millions of rupees to terrorist organisations, full support to radicals like Hafiz Saeed holding open anti-India rallies, etc.
The present tenure of Nawaz Sharif will be no different from the incapacity displayed in his previous tenures to check Pakistan’s state policy of terrorism and Pakistani military to continue waging proxy war on India, which is likely to be accelerated post-US withdrawal from Afghanistan. Besides, he now has more Chinese backing for being mischievous. Oh yes, he would expect India to continue giving more and more concessions without any Pakistani reciprocation whatsoever!
SP The views expressed herein are the personal views of the author.