Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Category: America

India and Iran

USA and EU want India to stop dealing with Iran. Sometime back India’s Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai visited USA. It is reported that American officials asked him why cannot India reduce its ties with Iran. He replied India imports oil from Iran, there are six million Indians in the Gulf region and Iran is the only land access to Afghanistan and hence difficult to stop reducing ties with Iran.

The reply should have been “Why should India reduce its ties with Iran? India has its interests. India’s foreign policy will not be subservient to foreign policy of any other country.”

Iran becoming a nuclear power is not against India’s national interest. USA did not stop Pakistan from becoming a nuclear power. Israel has nuclear weapons. It is not under IAEA. It has no right to criticize Iran. USA, UK, France and Norway violated NPT and abetted in Israel becoming a nuclear power. They have no right to criticize Iran. Israel has employed terror tactics in various countries. It has killed four Iranian nuclear scientists.

India should tell Iran that it does not want its soil to be used for terror against any country. Some in India objected to Mossad and FBI being part of investigation as Israel and USA were against Iran.

Iran has shown its centrifuges. It has cut off oil supply to Holland, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece. India needs Iran to have access to Afghanistan and Central Asia. There was trilateral summit where presidents of Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan participated. It seems USA is getting isolated in Af-Pak region.

Some months back I wrote that India should defy USA, NATO and EU to maintain balance of power. India did not heed my advice. Russia and China did and vetoed two resolutions on Syria in four months.

India gave up Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline deal to suit USA. India voted against Iran in IAEA. India got a nuclear deal with USA. With protests against nuclear reactors the deal is of no use.

Pakistan versus USA

The death of 24 Pakistani soldiers on 26/11/2011 in NATO air attacks has further deteriorated Pakistan-USA relationship. Pakistan has stopped NATO supplies to Afghanistan through its territory and has asked USA to vacate the Shamsi air base given to it in 15 days. Its army chief has vowed effective response. Pakistan has complained to UN and has decided to skip Bonn Conference on 5/12/2011 on the future of Afghanistan. China and Russia have come in support of Pakistan.

Pakistan’s double game in Afghan War has been clear for years. In recent months Americans have openly mentioned ISI’s role in Afghanistan. ISI has scuttled peace efforts. Afghan Taliban gets support from ISI. Afghan Taliban attacked American Embassy in Kabul and assassinated Burhanuddin Rabbani. Osama Bin Laden was in Abbottabad for six years. Pakistan claimed it was fighting Taliban without mentioning it was fighting Pak Taliban hostile to it and supported Afghan Taliban hostile to Afghanistan.

NATO forces are predominantly American forces. NATO wants to quit Afghanistan by 2014. It is better if they quit Afghanistan before that and leave it to Afghans to solve their problems. Afghans take money from whoever gives them. When Hamid Karzai was asked about getting money from Iran he said they take money from Americans also. Najibullah was betrayed by his people when he could not give them money. He took shelter in UN compound. When Taliban attacked UN compound and hanged Najibullah UN did nothing. USA and other NATO forces were quiet. Economy is the problem in USA and Europe. Let NATO countries spend their money to solve their people’s problems.

India should remain neutral in this hostility between USA and Pakistan. India has nothing to gain by taking any side. Pakistan has abetted terrorism against India. When India was the victim USA was not on India’s side.

If the army takes over Pakistan there should be sanctions against Pakistan. If China and Russia veto such a proposal in UN, other countries can impose sanctions on their own.

USA and ISI

For long India said ISI was behind terrorist activities in India. USA was quiet. For some years Afghanistan said ISI was behind terrorist activities in Afghanistan. That included Indian Embassy. USA was quiet. When American Embassy was attacked USA spoke. Americans wanted Pakistan to take action against Haqqani group, veritable arm of ISI, or they will act on their own.

India should have acted on its own. USA has its interests. It will not act in favour of other countries unless it is for its own advantage or there is a lobby in USA that wants USA to act in favour of another country like Jewish lobby’s support for Israel. ISI got away with crimes against Indians and Afghans and became bold enough to attack Americans.

Pakistan’s army chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, who was once ISI chief, threatened retaliation if American soldiers entered Pakistan. He said Pakistan is not Iraq or Afghanistan and a nuclear power. It meant Pakistan will drop nuclear bombs on American soldiers. It halted American entry in Pakistan. Drone attacks are different matter.

It is unlikely ISI will stop its operations against Americans. Pakistan wants to control Afghanistan. Many Pakistani’s feel time is on their side, Americans will have to leave Afghanistan and after that Pakistan can dictate terms to Afghanistan. If USA stops assistance they can get it from Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has emerged as a force. They have troops in Bahrain and have supported Saleh in Yemen. Saudi Arabia will support Pakistan against USA. China may sell arms to Pakistan but will not give assistance.

Some Pakistani politicians are not happy with ISI sponsoring terrorism but as long as army dominates Pakistan they cannot do much. When army domination ends Pakistan’s government can put an end to ISI activities. That does not seem possible in the near future.

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