Saturday, April 22, 2006

What Prez Bush' visit means to India.

The most important offshoot of Bush's visit to South Asia last month has been the signing of the nuclear accord. The second offshoot has been the sidelining of Pakistan for obvious reasons, though this has never been in the Indian radar.

Gen Musharraf raised a number of issues for discussion with the US Prez Bush, which he hoped would get a patient hearing, being the US partner in it's war against terror.

1. Being a military ruler, issue of Kashmir and provision of further ammo for continuing the military rule in Pakistan was foremost in Mush's mind. Very natural to expect from a military ruler. But Kashmir issue never enticed Bush this time as much as the nuclear deal with India.

2. Second it was issue regarding nuclear co-operation with Pakistan, which Bush was very wary considering the nuclear proliferation history of US' greatest friend Pakistan, to other rogue nations of the world. From where did Iran get the technology to start it's nuclear research for peaceful or military use ? Where did North Korea get's the technology from ? Lastly let us not forget, from where did Pakistan itself get it's nuclear technology from ?? Dr, Khan's infamous revelations and confessions were a shame for the western world. The history is different for India. With an indigenously developed research backing, it was and is in US' interest to engage with India constructively to keep track of advances in Indian nuclear research. The non-proliferation treaty, everyone knows, is a selfish ploy by the nuclear-haves from not getting overtaken by the nuclear-not-haves. This treaty was the first step and only way in which US could contain India's nuclear research ambitions.

3. Thirdly the issues raised by Bush of getting democracy back in Pakistan, irked Gen. Mush no doubt. Gen mush claimed his efforts to bring 'sustainable democracy ' in Pakistan (with him at the helm, of course..). Bush was sceptical whether the elections promised by Mush in 2007 would also be a farce like earlier ones. Even though one cannot say it was a slap on Mush's face, it no doubt was condemnation of the military establishment and it's role in contributing to the backwardness of Pakistan.

Raising Kashmir at every international fora has become a favourite pasttime and a ploy for Mush and Pakistan to deviate the attention of it's people from the sad state of Pakistan's economy at present. Undue interference of the Pak military in the democratic functioning of that country has been a bane for Pak ever since it got carved out of India. Also Pak's bad reputation reg nuclear proliferation has been the final nail on it's coffin.

US has found it's new found Saviour and friend in India, a country which has strived over the years during the cold war and afterwards, during the unipolar regime, to maintain it's own identity and preserve it's form of a strained democracy, not to get swayed by allurements. US has reasons and excuses enough to dump it's age old ally and friend, Pakistan.

It is the beginning of a new era in co-operaton between the world's two largest democracies. A relationship which can effectively sidetrack the growing clout of China in Asia and the world. For eg. the PC wing of IBM which was the pride of the IT industry of US, is now in Chinese hands. Unless India promises to continue deliver the brains, to drive the monopolist and capitalist US economy and industry, to help maintain it's cutting edge over other countries of the world, including India, US may not exist in the next century.

If Bush never got this treaty through, it would have been a missed opportunity for the greatest democracies of the world to carve out a mutually beneficial agreement for the betterment of humanity and to make the world a better place to live, at least for the next hundred years.

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Kind regards,

George Easaw

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