How the USA tries to appease India
The statement by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week that proliferation of the Pakistani nuclear programme was a threat to the USA, his blaming her for harbouring terrorists and the indiscreet observation that the current Indo-Pak tensions were caused by terrorist departing from Pakistan, is yet another manifestation of US hypocrisy. It has not come as a surprise to those who are familiar with the unfriendly acts of the USA towards Pakistan ever since the two countries became allies in the early 1950s.
Before recounting the unfriendly actions of the USA against Pakistan, it would perhaps be appropriate to put the record straight on nuclear proliferation and the role that Pakistan has played to tackle terrorism as a front-line state. The reality is that the USA, notwithstanding the global efforts towards non-proliferation, has been responsible for the spread of nuclear weapons. Its signing of an agreement with India for the transfer of civil nuclear technology followed by its allies, and her efforts to have her admitted to the Nuclear Suppliers Group are blatant violations of its charter as well as the NPT. International monitoring agencies in their reports have acknowledged the fact that after the signing of the civil nuclear technology transfer agreement with the USA, India has expanded its capabilities of producing nuclear weapons. It is pertinent to point out that it was the USA which helped India to initiate its nuclear programme and the consequent exploding of a nuclear device in 1974, forcing Pakistan to take the nuclear option as a defensive measure.
It is an irrefutable reality that Pakistan, in spite of justifiably not having signed NPT, has always supported the cause of non-proliferation. Its own nuclear arsenal is as secure as that of any other nuclear power. The USA is on record to have acknowledged this recently. Pakistan’s nuclear security regime is supported by five pillars—a strong command and control system, an integrated intelligence system, a rigorous regulatory regime and active international cooperation. The security regime covers physical protection, material control and accounting, border controls and radiological emergencies. Pakistan, also has been regularly submitting reports to the UN Security Council 1540 committee on the measures that it has put in place for controlling transfer of sensitive materials and technologies.
The statement Secretary Pompeo is therefore highly irresponsible and a well calculated move to pressure Pakistan, and thus appease its strategic partner India. Equally objectionable are his remarks about terrorists having travelled from Pakistan for terrorist attack in Pulwama. Making such claims without any credible evidence, toeing the Indian line, is encouraging India to continue with its state terrorism in Held Kashmir, sponsoring acts of terrorism within Pakistan and consigning the region to continued instability. The war-like Indian disposition towards Pakistan in the prevailing circumstances also from the indifference of the USA and its allies to the plight of the people of Kashmir and the killing spree carried out against them by the Indian forces.
The USA was never ever our friend, and has invariably betrayed us. The time now has come to revisit our relations with the USA
Pakistan has suffered the most in terms of men and material. The War on Terror has cost her 700 lives and $120 billion. She took decisive and indiscriminate action against all the terrorist entities in North Waziristan and through Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad and NAP is engaged in eliminating the scourge. It has made strenuous efforts at bilateral and multilateral forums to promote reconciliation in Afghanistan and also helped in facilitating talks between Taliban and the USA. It has been doing what it has done in her own interest and the realisation that tackling terrorism and promoting peace in Afghanistan was in her own interest. How could a country which has suffered so much due to terrorism that even posed existentialist threat to it, think of harbouring terrorist organisations on its soil? Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its manifestations. It also condemned the Pulwama attack as an act of terrorism and offered India cooperation in investigating the incident. That the US Secretary of State had a swipe at Pakistan speaks volumes about the unfriendly US posture.
Regrettably the USA has invariably adopted a duplicitous stance on Pakistan’s efforts to eliminate terrorism. The US Congress’ 2019 National Defence Authorisation Act reduced security assistance to Pakistan from $750 million to $150 million annually. Since the advent of the Trump Administration, the USA has been employing different tactics to pressure Pakistan. The USA was instrumental in pushing Pakistan to the FATF grey list. The US Secretary of State’s action on the IMF loan to Pakistan was yet another unfriendly act.
Pakistan paid a heavy price for joining SEATO and CENTO. The former USSR considered Pakistan an enemy for this. It signed a defence pact with India and strengthened its military capability to inflict military defeat on us in 1971 while the USA remained a silent spectator. The much trumpeted Sixth Fleet never arrived. The dismemberment of Pakistan falsified the premise on which we had built our relations with the USA.
Even during the 1965 War the USA did not help us, contending– contrary to our perceptions– that the alliance was only against communism. Let alone help, the USA even stopped supply of military hardware to Pakistan. Thanks to Chinese help and the support extended by Iran and Turkey, we salvaged some national pride.
The trail of betrayals did not end there. When India exploded its first nuclear device in 1974, the USA did not raise any alarm. But when Pakistan started its nuclear programme it adopted an extremely hostile stance and even clamped sanctions on her through the Pressler Amendment. The signing of nuclear cooperation deal with India and the facilitation of an NSG waiver for her was yet another unfriendly act. The USA used Pakistan in the Afghan war to defeat the USSR and immediately pulled out, leaving Pakistan to deal with the Frankenstein’s monsters of the Taliban and the Jihadi and drug culture. The USA, therefore, shares the responsibility for what is happening in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the region.
The foregoing proves. However utmost caution and restraint is needed while dealing with a hostile ally and the only superpower, headed by a character like Trump.