US opens its de­fence doors to In­dia

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIAL & COMMENTS -

Igo­ing N re­cent times, we have seen Wash­ing­ton closely em­brac­ing In­dia and

out of the way to sup­port it on dif­fer­ent fronts in­clud­ing for the mem­ber­ship of the Nu­clear Sup­pli­ers’ Group as well as the per­ma­nent berth at the UNSC. Go­ing a step too far in love of In­dia, Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion has opened its en­tire de­fence kitty to the South Asian country hav­ing hege­monic and ex­pan­sion­ist de­signs - some­thing that should and would have raised alarm bells in our con­cerned quar­ters.

Declar­ing it as a ma­jor de­fence part­ner, the US has made In­dia el­i­gi­ble to buy some of the most so­phis­ti­cated Amer­i­can-made weapons and tech­nol­ogy with­out first hav­ing to re­ceive a li­cence. Ac­cord­ing to an of­fi­cial of Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion, In­dia is now the only country out­side the for­mal treaty al­lies of the US that has gained ac­cess to al­most ninety nine per­cent of lat­est de­fence tech­nolo­gies of the Amer­i­cans. If we go back in the past, we come to know that the US had vir­tu­ally no de­fence ties with In­dia but today apart from a re­newed De­fence Framework Agree­ment, the country has be­come a larger sup­plier of de­fence equip­ment to In­dia, and even the big­gest in the last few years with con­tracts worth al­most $ 13 bil­lion. Given the bel­liger­ence pos­ture and hege­monic de­signs of In­dia, we be­lieve that the lat­est US de­ci­sion will prove to be dis­as­trous one for the re­gion which is al­ready bit­ten hardly by decades of con­flicts and un­rest. This will dis­turb con­ven­tional arms bal­ance in the re­gion, leav­ing Pak­istan with no op­tion but to also mod­ern­ize its weaponry from dif­fer­ent sources to counter the In­dian an­tag­o­nism, which could once again be gauged from the re­cent state­ment of In­dian Home Min­is­ter Ra­j­nath Singh who said that their troops will not keep an ac­count of their bul­lets when they started spray­ing them on Pak­istan. All th­ese favours on the part of US to In­dia leave no doubt in any­body’s mind that New Delhi is be­ing equipped and pre­pared to con­tain China and Pak­istan. We hope our pol­icy mak­ers both in Is­lam­abad and Rawalpindi will take full stock of the grow­ing US-In­dia de­fence re­la­tions and while com­pre­hend­ing its fuller im­pli­ca­tions will work out a strat­egy to counter it.

IN a land­mark ref­er­en­dum held on June 23, 2016, the Bri­tish peo­ple de­cided by a slen­der ma­jor­ity to take Bri­tain out of the Euro­pean Union (EU). Most an­a­lysts, in­clud­ing fi­nan­cial ex­perts around the world, had pre­dicted a very close elec­tion, end­ing in a vote in favour of re­main­ing in EU. But the fi­nal tally showed that 17,410,742 vot­ers or 51.9% had favoured Bri­tish exit (Brexit) from EU, while 16,141,241 or 48.1% wanted to “Re­main” in EU. The voter turnout was 72.2% which set a record for a Bri­tish poll.

Bri­tain had joined EEC (now EU) be­lat­edly in 1973 af­ter much in­ter­nal de­bate. There­after, though Bri­tain has been a lead­ing mem­ber of EU by virtue of its po­lit­i­cal, mil­i­tary and eco­nomic power, it has also been de­scribed as a “re­luc­tant part­ner” who seemed in­dif­fer­ent to the progress of EU. For ex­am­ple, un­like other mem­ber coun­tries who adopted the Euro as one com­mon cur­rency, Bri­tain in­sisted on re­tain­ing pound ster­ling as its cur­rency. It also did not join the Schen­gen open­fron­tier regime.

In the more re­cent past, dis­af­fec­tion with EU has de­vel­oped in Bri­tain, pri­mar­ily over the sharp in­crease in im­mi­gra­tion from East Euro­pean mem­ber coun­tries; a per­cep­tion that Bri­tain was be­ing made to pay far more to EU than what it was re­ceiv­ing; and an im­pres­sion that Bri­tain was los­ing its sovereignty be­cause rules were be­ing im­posed on it by Brus­sels, the EU head­quar­ters. In­ter­nal op­po­si­tion within the rul­ing

HURMAT GROUP OF PUB­LI­CA­TIONS

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