The Pakistan conundrum
I had asked this of a former high-ranking defence official in the Clinton administration at a conference at Harvard in late 2001. Without blinking an eyelid he said, “We would help the Indians take out the nuclear arms.” After the US intelligence failures in Iraq, I would not be too sanguine about this possibility. I would be more confident if Mossad makes a similar offer! In any case, I do hope our security analysts have an answer to this question, and that the ongoing elections yield a government which is able and willing to deal with what is no longer an implausible existential threat to India. (via Deepak Lal: The Pakistan conundrum).
Deepak … Deepak … Deepak …
Deepak Lal (currently employed with a US University) feels rather reassured by the US generals who have promised assistance to India for taking out Pakistani nukes in the likely event of Pakistan falling to Taliban hands. He truthfully, admits that he would be happy, if the Mossad were to give him such an assurance.
The tragedy of Indian bureaucrats
Do the IFS types understand the ramifications of a ‘relationship’ with a state like Israel, which is a proxy for the Western Oil interests in the Middle East. The only logic for Israeli policy is the probable Israeli intention. Is it that they are not staying in the neighbourhood after (or when, if you prefer) American aid ceases? Israelis, mostly transplanted Jews from Europe, will just get up and go, after Western support for their destructive regime ends.
The State of Israel will last as long as oil prices are high in the Middle East. What happens when Indian oil demand stabilizes with increasing domestic production? What will happen to oil prices production after Cuban oil fields go into production? And the Caspian oil and the Central Asian oil comes into the market?
Indian disengagement with neighbours
While Deepak Lal and his ilk from the Indian Foreign Service are busy attending conferences and gab-fests in the US, what is their level of engagement with Islamabad? How much are they in touch with the Pakistani establishment on managing this real ‘risk’ – and its fallout!
More importantly, how many such meetings and conferences do Deepak Lal and his ilk attend in Beijing. After all, China is the patron-in-chief of the Pakistani defense establishment – or at least, the invisible half of the equation, along with the USA. Any solution in Pakistan will come with Chinese support and consensus. With each new hand of cards, after each round of the play, the Chinese hand only gets stronger – and the Western hand is getting weaker.
How should Delhi treat its smaller and economically weak neighbours? There are many answers to that, but one thought remains central. The rest of the world will never take India seriously until it is able to bring the rest of South Asia on its side. Going out of your way to be nice to old friends could be one way of doing it.
India’s preoccupation with the West comes at a cost. For instance, of improving intra-Third World trade, which will yield more benefits than the Doha round. Intra-Third World trade is more stable is less prone to non-tariff barrier tactics that the Western world usually resorts to. Instead of a Doha round, there could be a Third World trade round.
The IFS and the IAS carry a colonial hangover – and their entire frame of reference is based on Western discourse. And this has to end.
What irony …
Of course, Deepak Lal sees no irony in India needing Mossad assistance, assurances and comfort – to tackle problems at Indian doorstep.For Mossad Pakistan half a continent away.