Stand Up to US Pressures
Overcome Anti-Pakistan Phobia and
Stand Up to US Pressures
Fifty years of freedom should normally lend more self-confidence to a nation and bring about some basic change for the better in its foreign policy. Not so in our case. Two ugly underpinnings of our foreign policy came to the surface recently even as the nation was preparing for its Golden Jubilee birthday bash. Ever since decolonisation was projected by the Indian bourgeoisie as the grand victory in its anti-imperialist struggle, last 50 years have only witnessed, despite periodical anti-imperialistic rhetorics, repeated kowtowing to the imperialists. Likewise, ever since the pernicious two-nation theory and traumatic partition, the last five decades of Indian foreign policy has only revolved around anti-Pakistan axis and 'two perpetually hostile nations' theory.
The minimum that can happen towards normalisation of relations between India and Pakistan after years of acrimony is the resumption of foreign secretaries level talks. To be sure, there is a favourable climate on both sides of the border for a real forward movement in normalisation of relations. Indian military establishment chose precisely such a moment, barely a couple of weeks before the scheduled talks, to move about a dozen Prithivi missiles to a forward area near Jallandhar. It is clear the government which hesitantly extends one hand of friendship, drives a spanner in the works with the other hand.
There was a more sordid side to the story. When US warnings came in the wake of an inspired leak in Washington Post, the same Indian government was seen to be bending over the back to assure the US that the missiles would not be deployed. Not the interests of peace with Pakistan but bullying by US, which has its own agenda on missile proliferation, that guides the foreign policy orientation. There is of late increasing interference from the West in the affairs of the subcontinent: hypocratic parliamentarians and other busybodies come peddling their own blueprints for peace in Kashmir. The government which would rather squander away the present opportunities in Kashmir than to speedily come up with the promised autonomy package, prefers to appease all these meddlesome quarters instead of firmly asking them to mind their own goddamned business.
It is indeed an irony if removing minor irritants in the relations with smaller neighbours in the spirit of routine good neighbourliness like river water sharing and allowing transit facility is elevated to the plane of a new doctrine. Any new idea claiming the status of a new doctrine in Indian foreign policy should aim at reversing the five-decade long hostility and mutual suspicion with Pakistan. This more than anything else will deprive a handle to the Western powers to meddle in South Asian affairs and help India in standing up to the bullying by US.