India’s twin obsessions: China and Pakistan

October 16, 2010

American leaders live in a paradigm of “Pakistan should support India and get over its obsession with Delhi”. Hillary Clinton and many Democrats live under this illusion that the belligerency lives in the minds of Pakistani policy makers. Obviously Hillary Clinton doesn’t live in the neighborhood and her interests cater to US goals in the region. In an ideal situation it would be very reasonable for America to expect that Islamabad move all her forces from the Eastern front to the Western front– so that Pakistan could focus on assisting the US in her wars in Afghanistan.

South Asia is not North America and Bharat is not Canada. America’s Northern frontier didn’t automatically become “the world’s friendliest border”. That came after several US raids into Canada and the ensuing reprisals of 1843–when the White House was burned in 1814. Before 1814 there was constant enmity between the US and Canada. After 1814, the US had given up its dream of extending the country to Quebec and Calgary. Bharat and Pakistan are in the pre-1814 stage. Bharat has burned down the Pakistani house in Dhaka and constantly wants to take over the rest. For America Bharaty hegemony and quest for “Akhand Bharat” is akin to Hitler’s acquisition of Polan and desire to subjugate all of Europe.

Indian Army Chief General V K Singh’s latest statement about Bharat’s psychology is a poignant reminder that Delhi sees existential threats from China and Pakistan both.

ISLAMABAD: Calling for a need to upgrade the country’s defence set up, Indian Army Chief General V K Singh said on Friday that China and Pakistan posed a major threat to India’s security.

“China and Pakistan are two major irritants to India’s national security,” an Indian television channel quoted General Singh as saying.

Referring to China’s reported intrusion in Arunachal Pradesh, General Singh said, “We have had a border dispute with China, so Beijing still remains a threat to India despite several Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) taken by the two sides to defuse tension and build a good bilateral relationship.”

The Indian army chief further warned that India remains concerned over the security of its island territories much due to the proximity between Pakistan and China.

General Singh’s warning comes weeks ahead of US President Barack Obama’s visit to India where the two sides are likely to discuss the political situation in the Af-Pak region and China’s increasing influence in the area. — APP

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was keenly aware of Britian’s policy of “Divide and Rule”, and America’s policy of “Unite and Rule”. Bhutto’s prescient clairvoyance is legendary and profound. He clearly enunciated to the Americans that “

The idea of becoming subservient to India is abhorrent and that of cooperation with India, with the object of promoting tension with China, equally repugnant.” Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto


This has been the cardinal principle of Pakistani foreign policy and of its establishment. A compliant present or an obsequious Foreign Minister cannot change the direction of that foreign policy. As Foreign Minister Shah Mahmodd Qureshi heads to Washington to continue the so called “Strategic Dailogue”, he needs to reaffirm that principle in a diplomatic and nuanced manner. Given the propensity of Ms. Hillary Clinton to be rude and crass, perhaps he should hand of Ali Bhutto’s seminal book “Myth of Independence” to Admiral Mullen and General Petraeus. General Petraeus is a veracious reader. Reading Ahmed Rashid doesn’t give him the ethos of the Pakistan state. He should be reading Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. Imran Khan gets it. He is from the generation that was inspired by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. If the White House is to understand Pakistan, Bruce Riedel whould be listening to what Imran Khan is saying. The Khan doesn’t have the votes in parliament but he voices the feelings of the people. The words of Shireen Mazari give us an insight into what is left unsaid in the meetings in Washington.


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