Delhi, 11 October 2002
secret conversations between Chou En Lai and Kissinger in 1971
before India attacked Pakistan have now been released and they show
international politics and relations are looked at by every nation
with self interest. China explained how it viewed the 1962 War
and its relations with India and its stance on the border and
Ladhakh. China seldom changes its stripes and is zooming
economically and may offer support to USA on Iraq. This is in
their self-interest. India has a challenge to articulate its self-interest
and seek a place in the sun. To fulfill its dream, the Kashmir issue
has to be resolved while the economy can weather other storms well.
The Pakistanis have shown off that they are now capable of launching
SHAHEEN-II also known as HATF-IV and the world has seen their tests
on TV just when the Americans were being fed data on Iraq's missile
capability. These are interesting times for the area, and Yashwant
Sinha in Germany on 08 Oct emphatically assured all that India would
not go to war with Pakistan. PM Vajpayee in Cyprus has issued
different signals. Viewed from New York the world gets confused messages
and wonders why the two nations cannot at least talk to each other
instead of showing off their military prowess and articulate their
the election results from Kashmir have started coming in, the world
is becoming aware that people there have cast their vote for a
democratic change from in power from Farookh Abdullah痴 National
Conference to others. In contrast, Musharraf's sham of a
democracy via an election is something that will cause ripples in
the world to accept Pakistan as a democracy of sorts.
US is supporting Pakistan and Musharraf but for how long, is
the question being posed . The world will also witness Saddam
Hussein go to the polls to re-inforce his rule for the next
five years just when Bush is talking of war.
Sharon is to meet Bush on 16th in Washington at the same time as the
Congress and UN will decide on what to do with Iraq with
resolutions. One of our viewers has stated that if George Bush's
"war on terror" were remotely rational, or even roughly
reasoned, then its next target might be Pakistan, not Iraq.
Guardian has in a well-argued editorial said that India must lay a
lot of cards on the table to USA and declare its bottom line on
Kashmir. This is the Foreign policy challenge before India 末
keeping self-interest safeguarded.
is juggling its foreign policy and can topple at any time, but India
needs to have USA on board.
PLAYING WITH FIRE 末 PAKISTAN JUGGLES WITH US AND AL QAEDA
Guardian, Tuesday, October 8, 2002)
George Bush's "war on terror" were remotely rational, or
even roughly reasoned, then its next target might be Pakistan, not
Iraq. It should be said that the US is not justified in pre-emptively
and unilaterally attacking either country - or any other sovereign
state for that matter. But on the basis of Mr Bush's own "axis
of evil" criteria at least, Pakistan sits squarely in the
theoretical firing line. When it comes to weapons of mass
destruction, Islamabad's unregulated, uninspected nuclear bombs put
it way ahead of Iraq and Iran. When it comes to delivery systems,
the US was obliged only last weekend to rebuke General Pervez
Musharraf's regime for its alarming show-trial of a medium-range
or elements of Pakistan's intelligence and military services, had
well-established links with the Taliban in next-door Afghanistan
末 Mullah Omar was widely seen as a Pakistani creation. Leading
al-Qaeda figures, and possibly Osama bin Laden, are supposedly holed
up in Pakistan. Accelerating terrorist outrages, including attacks
in Karachi on westerners and Christian worshippers, have followed
al-Qaeda's cross-border retreat. From here it is but a short jump to
the shipping lanes of Yemen and the airwaves of Qatar's al-Jazeera.
And according to India, Pakistan is still the prime, deliberate
exporter of terrorism in other directions, into Kashmir and Gujarat.
By most "war on terror" measures in fact, Pakistan, with
its ruptured economy, unstable politics and military government is a
state both failed and rogue that is over-ripe for regime change.
Canny Gen Musharraf's strategic leap into Mr Bush's febrile camp one
year ago explains his survival so far, his apparent immunity from US
prosecution. Last month's timely handover of top al-Qaeda suspect
Ramzi Binalshibh was the latest down-payment on an expedient deal
that keeps the 82nd Airborne Division at arm's length and the soft
loans coming. But that said, all the evidence suggests Pakistan's
many-headed terrorism and security problems are if anything
worsening as the religious parties agitate, assassination plots
brew, and public opinion, according to one poll, swings against
extradition of terror suspects to the US.
Musharraf, for whatever reason, has plainly failed to fulfill his
solemn June pledge to bring a "permanent" end to the
infiltration of militants into Kashmir. Over 600 people have died
there in the course of the current state elections. Last spring's
referendum, which made Gen Musharraf president with sweeping powers,
was an undemocratic embarrassment. His exclusion from public life of
many of Pakistan's established politicians is another. For these and
other reasons, how certain can he be that a US administration
obsessed with al-Qaeda, losing its grip in Afghanistan, possibly
emboldened by Iraq, and pricked on by Delhi will not eventually turn
answer is that he cannot be certain, for US policy is neither
rational nor reasoned. It will, therefore be far better all round,
that Gen Musharraf honour his personal promise to return to barracks
and leave politics to the politicians after this week's general
election. Only a strong, popular, democratic government, working
with but not for the military, has any long-term chance of
rehabilitating Pakistan economically, defanging the terrorists, and
persuading India to end its threats and start a meaningful dialogue.
fair, unrigged elections can bring the sort of regime change
Pakistan really needs and stymie the threat of escalating US
interventionism. If Gen Musharraf reneges and the election is
stolen, the Pakistani people will know whom to blame.