it is fair to say that our policy toward Pakistan over the last 30 years has been incoherent. I don't know any other word to use. We came in in the '80s and helped to build up the Mujahideen to take on the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. The Pakistanis were our partners in that. Their security service and their military were encouraged and funded by the United States to create the Mujahideen in order to go after the Soviet invasion and occupation.
The Soviet Union fell in 1989, and we basically said, thank you very much; ... Their democracy was not secure and was constantly at risk of and often being overtaken by the military, which stepped in when it appeared that democracy could not work.
And so I think that when we ask that question it is fair to apportion responsibility to the Pakistanis, but it's also fair to ask ourselves what have we done and how have we done it over all of these years, and what role do we play in the situation that the Pakistanis currently confront.
... our new approach toward Pakistan is qualitatively different than anything that has been tried before. ... we support the democratically elected government, but we have to have a relationship where we are very clear and transparent with one another; where we have the kind of honest exchanges that have come out of our trilateral meetings, where we're sitting across the table and we're saying, what do you intend to do about what we view as an extremist threat to your country, which by the way, also threatens us.
... it is our responsibility to support the democratically elected government, to be a source of advice and counsel where requested, but also to step in with aid that can try to make this government as successful as possible in delivering results for the people of Pakistan. (via The White House - Press Office - Briefing by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Humanitarian Aid to Pakistan).
So much excitement ...
Is admission of 'truth' something that merits a celebration? Does obfuscation and cover-ups for the last 50 years, get 'white-washed' by an admission of 'guilt' - and a some paltry million dollars in 'aid' - outlined many times in many 2ndlooks and Quicktakes?
Not what the US does - but what will Pakistan do ...
That is important.
Will the Pakistan nation take charge. Will the Pakistani establishment 'admit' the truth. Will they remove the cobwebs of self delusion? There is some ambivalence in Pakistan about their attitude towards India.
The Pakistan nation is actually 5 parts – The army, the ISI, the politicians, the 22 families and then there are the rest. Some may want to add the fundamentalist clergy as the sixth element. And now there are fringe terrorist groups – like LeT also on this list. Mahbub ul Haq's "22 families" speech in Karachi in 1968 highlighted the power and wealth of a few families in Pakistan.
No one in Pakistan talks to anyone. Each has contempt for the other four. And all five have separate agenda.
With Or Without The West
For 60 years, India has grown steadily - slowly, and in spite of the West.
India's defense production, its nuclear program or its space program and its India's software success are homegrown. As are its successes in industry, stockmarkets, education, films and television programming, its democracy and the rise of its middle class. In the nuclear industry, India's thorium approach to nuclear energy design will possibly open new realms in nuclear arena. At various times, when India has been stuck, it has been the West that has pushed India further into a corner. Even in matters of foodgrain, when India was a user of PL-480 grain. Or for instance, the Kaveri jet engine or the cryogenic engines.
While our Manubhai is chasing the chimera of Western approval and panting and drooling to 'sit at the high table in the global comity of nations,' the back yard, Manubhai is burning.
And Pakistan should possibly learn this one thing from India.
India's Pakistan Fixation
Of course, the Indian part of the equation needs looking at, also.
September 11th, 2008. US President George Bush permitted US troops to take offensive actions against its ally, Pakistan – in the US War against terror! Indian news channels were elated – and it must have taken Arnab Goswami (of Times Now) a lot of self-restraint not to do a gig. It took 4 generations of Indian (and now part of Pakistan) leaders to throw out the West from the sub-continent. 60 years later, India is celebrating the return of the West, to the sub-continent. The most potent symbol of this is India's Pakistan Fixation.
The Pakistan Fixation is a a cover-up of India's laziness or lack of resolve. I don't really believe that Pakistan has the focus or the persistence to do half the things that India imagines Pakistan is doing. In the last 20 years, India has lowered its guard – and has become further fixated on the Pakistan bogey. The Pakistan Fixation hides Indian ineptness at confronting the root of Pakistani problem – USA, amongst others.
Western Adventurism - The Imperative
Without slavery, the West does not enjoy the manpower edge that it had till 1900. The loss of colonies from 1900-1950 has taken away the resource base and captive markets for Western dominance. Now with the collapse of Bretton Woods, the opacity in financial systems is diminished. The welfare state has put a significant burden on an aging Western population.
What Have We Achieved
60 years on, there is nothing to show for these border disputes. Dutifully, the Indians, Pakistanis and the Chinese glare at each other – over colonial border issues. These border issues are less than peripheral to our nations. We have allowed the past to hold our future as a hostage.
The past is extracting a ransom that we cannot afford to pay. Let us recognize our past for what it is – empty ballast that is dragging us down. Having achieved nothing on this front for the last 60 years, why do we wish to continue down that path? We need to see that going downhill is always easier than climbing the Himalayas.
As various colonial powers were forced out of various colonies, left behind was the garbage of colonialism. This post-colonial debris has become the ballast, that is dragging down many newly de-colonized countries.
Vietnam suffered from a prolonged war (1956-1976) – and finally peace had a chance after 20 years of war. Korea remains divided. The Cyprus problem between Turkey, Greece and the Cypriots has been simmering for nearly 100 years. The role of the Anglo Saxon Bloc, in Indonesia, the overthrow of Sukarno, installation of Suharto and finally the secession of East Timor is another excellent example. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict (1935 onwards) will soon enter its 75th year. The entire Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a creation of the Anglo-French-American axis. The many other issues in the West Asia and Africa are living testimony of the Western gift to the modern world.
Closer home is the Kashmir problem. After 60 years of negotiations, India-Pakistan relations have remained hostage to the Kashmir issue. Similarly, between China and India, the border issues remain 60 years after the eviction of Britain from India.
India and Pakistan must remember that the Pakistani armies and the Indian armies at the time of the 1948 Indo-Pak War, were under the command of British Generals. India's Governor General , in 1948 was Mountbatten, who was removed after this mischief was done.
Pakistan special effects
Things become more difficult when leaders like Asif Ali Zardari dismiss written agreements with his coalition partners, PML (N) headed by Nawaz Sharf, claiming agreements were not"holy like the holy Koran." Or when General Musharraf starts a Kargil War with a rogue army that is no longer under the command of the civilian authority.