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India's Pakistan Obsession Seen During US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter's Delhi Visit

Is the United States trying to play the India card against China while India is much more obsessed with Pakistan? Is the Indian behavior reinforcing the India-Pakistan hyphenation that the Indians claim to detest?

To answer these questions, let's take a look at the contents of the media reports on the Delhi visit by the US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter.

As the US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter recently went to New Delhi to pursue what he described as "whole global agenda" with India, the Indian media responded by focusing their questions to him on US-Pakistan ties.  Here's a sample of what transpired:

Indian Media:  Why do you continue to have close ties with Pakistan?

Ash Carter: India also has relations with other countries like Russia. We respect that. We value our relations with Pakistan.

Question: Why are you supplying F-16s to Pakistan?

Answer: What we do in Pakistan is directed towards counter terrorism. We too have suffered from terrorism emanating from the territory, more specifically Afghanistan. Pakistan has used F-16 in operations in FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas). We have approved it.

Anticipating questions about US-Pakistan ties during his India visit, here's what Carter told Council of Foreign Relation in Washington D.C. before leaving for New Delhi:

“I’m sure I’ll be asked about it in India, but I think the first thing one needs to say from an American policy point of view, these (India and Pakistan) are both respected partners and friends.”

"Pakistan is an important security partner", Carter added.

While US is courting India to check China's rise, the China-Pakistan ties have now moved well beyond “higher than Himalayas and sweeter than honey,” as officials on both sides say. Chinese strategists openly talk of Pakistan as their nation’s only real ally. And China is investing heavily in Pakistan to build the Gwadar deep sea port as part of a much more ambitious and strategic China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that India is attempting sabotage.

Let me conclude with a quote from from Brookings' Stephen Cohen on India-Pakistan power equation:

“One of the most important puzzles of India-Pakistan relations is not why the smaller Pakistan feels encircled and threatened, but why the larger India does. It would seem that India, seven times more populous than Pakistan and five times its size, and which defeated Pakistan in 1971, would feel more secure. This has not been the case and Pakistan remains deeply embedded in Indian thinking. There are historical, strategic, ideological, and domestic reasons why Pakistan remains the central obsession of much of the Indian strategic community, just as India remains Pakistan’s.”


Here's a video discussion on the subject:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sfliv7KJVM




http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x45590s_pak-leaders-in-london-us-i...



Pak Leaders in London; US-India Defense Deals... by ViewpointFromOverseas

https://vimeo.com/163190180



Pak Leaders in London; US-India Defense Deals; Trump vs GOP from Ikolachi on Vimeo.



Related Links:

Haq's Musings

India's Pakistan Obsession

India's Superpower Delusion: Modi's Policy Blunders

Does Pakistan Really Need F-16s to Fight Terror? 

Pakistan-Russia-China vs India-Japan-US?

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Gwadar: Hong Kong West for China?

Indian Agent Kulbhushan Yadav's Confession


Views: 320

Comment by Riaz Haq on April 21, 2016 at 8:46am

#Balochistan separatist Naela Qadir in #Canada: #India is our friend,no problem being called #RAW agents" #Pakistan
http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/india-lacks...

Baloch separatist Naela Qadir Baloch, now living in exile in Canada, is touring India for the past several days to talk about Balochstan

"Every other day the construction activities of this corridor (CPEC) come under attack from our boys. The roads which are being built are destroyed and recently a radar station was destroyed due to which the visit of Chinese Prime Minister to Gwadar was cancelled casuing much embarrassment to Pakistan government. China is looting the resources of our province including the gold reserves and turning a blind eye to the genocide of the Baloch"

Comment by Riaz Haq on April 25, 2016 at 12:39pm

#India's #Modi won praise for 'slapping' #China, then came a humiliating U-turn on #Uighur leader visa. #Pakistan

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/04/25/indias...

Patriotic chest-thumping over the weekend in India gave way to embarrassment and bitterness as the government made a very public U-turn on issuing a visa to Uighur dissident Dolkun Isa. He is the executive committee chairman of the World Uighur Congress, an organization that represents a predominantly Muslim ethnic group in China's far-west, and has been labeled a terrorist by the Chinese government. China issued a "red corner notice" to the international policing agency Interpol seeking his arrest more than a decade ago, but other governments have refused to act on the request.

Supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, who are often self-conscious about how India matches up with China, took to social media over the weekend to celebrate the news that Isa had procured a tourist visa to India, using the hashtag #ModiSlapsChina. Many viewed the visa as a "slap" because China had used its clout at the United Nations earlier in
April to block India's attempt to have Masood Azhar, the alleged mastermind of an attack on an Indian air force base in January, designated an international terrorist.

Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, was quoted in the Indian media as saying that "Dolkun is a terrorist on red notice of the Interpol and Chinese police. Bringing him to justice is due obligation of relevant countries.”

A spokesman for India's Ministry of External Affairs, Vikas Swarup, was noncommittal in his response, simply saying, “We have seen media reports and the ministry is trying to ascertain facts.”

On Monday, it became clear that India's various ministries had not coordinated closely enough, if at all, on Isa's visa, and its potential geopolitical ramifications, and they canceled the visa. Isa came forward with a statement expressing disappointment and said he could only speculate that Chinese pressure led to the reversal. The turnaround by the New Delhi government did not please Indians, with the hashtag #ModiBowsToChina topping India's Twitter trends Monday.

Comment by Riaz Haq on April 27, 2016 at 7:57am

What to read into a growing alliance between #China and #Pakistan? #CPEC #Gwadar #India #US http://reut.rs/1qSaVgH via @Reuters

Pakistan holds a unique position in Chinese diplomatic circles. The Chinese state media describes Pakistan as China’s only “all-weather strategic cooperation partner.” Though it is the largest beneficiary of Beijing’s investment, it is not a client state, as North Korea is. Rather, in a neighborhood where many countries either distrust China, feel beholden to it or both, Pakistan is the closest thing to a real ally and friend that Beijing possesses.

This means that China and Pakistan sometimes cooperate in ways that concern the United States and India. Washington and New Delhi worry that all this largesse will bring Pakistan firmly into China’s orbit. With subtle diplomacy, however, all four countries may be able to create a workable balance.

The Gwadar port is just one example of China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative. This effort is by far the most spectacular example of Beijing’s strategic policy of combining aid, trade and foreign direct investment to build goodwill, expand its global political sway and secure the natural resources it needs to grow.

Declaring that the Chinese-Pakistani friendship is “sweeter than honey,” and “stronger than steel,” Beijing announced last year that it would finance a 1,800-mile-long superhighway and a high-speed railway from the Arabian Sea over the Himalayas to China’s Xinjiang province. In addition, it would fund an oil pipeline route to the inland Chinese city of Kashgar. This network of infrastructure, including the Gwadar port, would help Pakistan grow, while pushing back against the growing power of regional competitors like India.

Helping Pakistan so dramatically also fits into China’s overall economic strategy. With a deep-sea port in the Arabian Sea and a land route to remote western China, some of Beijing’s Middle Eastern oil could travel the short route through Pakistan, instead of 6,000 miles through the Malacca Straits to Shanghai. That’s the route more than 80 percent of China’s oil and natural resources now have to take.

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Many in India and the United States are alarmed about what they see as a China-Pakistan axis. They worry that China’s largesse means that Western nations will have little leverage to shape Pakistan’s actions on militants or nuclear weapons, or in supporting peace in Afghanistan. Another concern is that China would protect Pakistan when, for example, it refuses to cooperate with India and the West on handing over dangerous militants

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The United States, India and others should keep in mind that — weak as it is — Pakistan is one of China’s only real partners. They should engage both Chinese and Pakistani officials on economic development in the region, as well as terrorism and Afghanistan’s future. They should make clear, again and again, that Washington wants good relations with all states in the area. As long as India and the United States have a seat at the table, all four may be able to work out a satisfactory balance.

Comment by Riaz Haq on May 25, 2016 at 10:30am

Why ’s construction slowdown threatens to increase via

The construction sector in India, which employed more than 44 million people at the end of 2010 (the last date for which official data are available), is witnessing a slowdown, affecting millions of people moving from farming to the construction sector.

Constituting 7.8% of India’s gross domestic product in 2013-14, the real-estate sector was buffeted by domestic and global slowdowns, with growthdecelerating from 7.6% in 2012-13 to 6% in 2013-14.

As India tries to move its people away from agriculture – which contributes 15% of the GDP but employs 263.2 million or 54.6% of the working population – a majority of those leaving are finding employment in construction.

While agricultural employment declined 5% between 2005 and 2010, construction saw a growth of nearly 70%.

Source: NSSO data in Rawal, V.Source: NSSO data in Rawal, V.

Shift from farming

The construction sector is now India’s second-largest employer after agriculture, the trend coinciding with India’s high-growth phase and decline in poverty levels.

India’s poverty rate declined from 37.2% in 2004-05 to 21.9% in 2011-12; 269.7 million Indians now live below the official poverty line, down from 407.2 million in 2004-05. Construction has played a major part, both in rural areas (through the 10-year-old Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, which provides jobs building ponds, roads and other infrastructure) and urban areas (through real estate and infrastructure).

Construction is a $126 billion (Rs 8.39 lakh crore) industry – larger than pharmaceuticals and gems and jewellery sectors, for example – attributed to the infrastructure sector, industrial activities, residential and commercial development.

India’s urbanisation might also explain the expansion of rural infrastructure and non-farm jobs in rural India. India’s urban population rose from 286 million in 2001 to 377 million in 2011, a growth of about 32%, according to Census 2011. These are estimations; the actual figures may be higher.

How rural and urban construction benefits from the declining interest in farming is evident in this 2005 survey from the National Sample Survey Organisation, which found that about 40% of 51,770 farm households surveyed would quit farming if given a chance.

A more recent study released in 2016 by the Centre for Study of Developing Societies in Delhi confirmed this trend, revealing that 76% of youth are not interested in farming.

Source: NSSO data accessed on data.gov.inSource: NSSO data accessed on data.gov.in

Lack of jobs

“The process of diversification of employment away from agriculture has … accelerated… and a large share [of diversification] has gone to services and construction,” said the 2014 The India Labour and Employment Report by the Institute of Human Development, Delhi.

With a 9% decline in jobs over five years (2004-05 to 2009-10), manufacturing – which in China and Southeast Asia offered employment to those moving off farms – is not an option, threatening what has been touted as India’s demographic dividend, the benefits of having the world’s largest working-age population.

This will hit job creation and potentially stall the fall in poverty levels.

Several million of those lifted out of poverty continue to hover just above the poverty line (officially described as the ability to spend Rs 47 person per day in urban areas, Rs 32 in rural areas), in danger of slipping below it when livelihood opportunities slow down.

While the current government’s thrust on infrastructure – building 30-km of highways per day, the promise to connecting all villages to roads by 2019 and 44,000 low-cost houses per day –could boost construction, the economic indicators do not currently reflect such activity.

The sectors that can absorb construction labour are slowing, as the fall in credit growth, in infrastructure and roads, respectively, indicates, according to Reserve Bank of India monthly data.

 Industry-wise deployment of bank credit. Source: Reserve Bank of India.Industry-wise deployment of bank credit. Source: Reserve Bank of India.

“Thus, the gains in poverty alleviation might potentially be reversed if the construction sector does not pick up, at a time when climate change has rendered farm incomes vulnerable, interest in farming has dwindled and 2,000 people are abandoning farming every day.”

The latest employment data of 2016, which excludes the construction sector “due to non-cooperation of the sample units and unavailability of reliable data”, shows that fewer jobs were added in the second quarter of 2015 than in the concomitant quarter of the preceding year.

Comment by Riaz Haq on February 24, 2017 at 10:36am

#Modi blames #Pakistan for #Kanpur #train tragedy when NIA investigators silent : Uttar Pradesh News - #India Today

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/narendra-modi-gonda-pakistan-kan...

While the investigators have been cautious in blaming Pakistan or its intelligence agency ISI for Kanpur train tragedy, PM Modi told an election rally at Gonda in UP that the derailment was a conspiracy hatched across the border.

Addressing an election rally at Gonda in Uttar Pradesh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today blamed Pakistan for Kanpur train derailment. About 150 people had lost their lives in the train tragedy November last year.
Modi stated that the Kanpur train derailment was a conspiracy hatched across the border. He said that the people of the city need to elect those who were full of patriotism.
The Kanpur train derailment case is being investigated by multiple agencies including the National Investigation Agency. The investigators involved with the case have, however, stayed away from naming ISI or confirming a foreign hand behind the derailment.

An informed source, privy to probe details, said, "The investigation is in nascent stage."
WHY MODI RELATED KANPUR TRAGEDY WITH PAKISTAN: THINGS TO KNOW
PM Modi was addressing a poll rally at Gonda, which will go to poll in the fifth phase of elections in Uttar Pradesh. Gonda is close to the Indo-Nepal border and the PM expressed concerns about its safety.
"A rail accident happened in Kanpur, few people have been caught. Police found out that it was a conspiracy from across the border. If such people, who will help (conspirators), get elected from here, will Gonda be safe? Will nation be safe then," asked PM Modi.
PM Modi's comment is in sharp contradiction to investigations so far by UP police, central railway board and even National Investigation Agency (NIA). These agencies are yet to draw any conclusion on a Pakistan link to Kanpur train derailment. A senior officer of the NIA refused to comment on the issue.
The probe conducted by three agencies did not pick any forensic evidence of explosives. The recovery of technical evidence in the form of audio clips is still being examined. A team of NIA has gone to Nepal to make further probe. But no strong leads have emerged so far.
However, a clear Pakistani ISI link emerged to Ghorasahan in East Champaran district of Bihar, where an IED was discovered in October last year.
Bihar Police had arrested three murder case accused identified as Moti Paswan, Umashankar Prasad and Mukesh Yadav, who spilled beans of ISI link. They told the Bihar Police that the ISI had planned the derailment of Indore-Patna Express in November last year.
Moti Paswan told the police that he visited Kanpur rail track before the train derailment. Police also recovered two WhatsApp audio clips from the phone of one of the accused. Two suspects could be discussing Kanpur derailment.
Paswan is said to have confessed to having been involved in the train derailment along with two others including Zubair and Ziaul, who have been arrested in Delhi.
The NIA earlier this month said that Dubai-based Shamshul Huda was the "mastermind" for the Ghorasahan sabotage behind the Indore-Patna Express train accident in Kanpur on November 16 last year. But, a similar link has not been confirmed by the NIA.
Intelligence agencies suspect that Shamshul Hoda could be behind the derailment as he is said to have extensive network of sleeper cells in Delhi, Kanpur, Patna and Nepal. Hoda is further understood to have been in touch with one Sheikh Shafi in Pakistan. Sheikh Shafi is believed to be one who gives regular instructions through Hoda on how to carry out terror attacks in India.

Comment by Riaz Haq on April 24, 2019 at 5:06pm

#India’s perilous obsession with #Pakistan. Hyper-nationalistic frenzy to ‘defeat’ Pakistan comes with huge human & material costs.
Come Indian elections, the bogey of Pakistan has overwhelmed the #nationalist discourse in the shrillest manner. #Modi #BJP https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/indias-perilous-obsession-wi...

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Here, one should ask the most pertinent question: why does India compete with Pakistan in every sphere, from military to sport, rather than with, say, China, which is comparable in size and population, and which in 1980 had the same GDP as India? (China’s GDP is almost five times that of India’s now.)
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Come Indian elections, the bogey of Pakistan has overwhelmed the nationalist discourse in the shrillest manner, with the Prime Minister and other Ministers’ relentless branding of the Congress/Opposition as ‘anti-national’ and as ‘agents of Pakistan’. Further, the Prime Minister even made an unprecedented threat of using nuclear weapons against Pakistan.

As a country born of the two-nation theory based on religion, and then having to suffer dismemberment and the consequent damage to the very same religious identity, it is obvious why Islamic Pakistan must have a hostile Other in the form of a ‘Hindu India’. But what is not obvious is why India, a (much larger) secular nation, must have a hostile antagonist in the form of Pakistan.

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Wars and military competition produce madness. Nothing exemplifies this more than India-Pakistan attempts to secure the Siachen Glacier, the inhospitable and highest battle terrain in the world. India alone lost nearly 800 soldiers (until 2016) to weather-related causes only. Besides, it spends around ₹6 crore every day in Siachen. Operation Parakram (2001-02), in which India mobilised for war with Pakistan, saw 798 soldier deaths and a cost of $3 billion. This is without fighting a war. Add to this the human and economic costs of fighting four wars.

Granted, the proponents of India’s muscular nationalism who want only a military solution in Kashmir might close their eyes to the killings of some 50,000 Kashmiri civilians and the unending suffering of Kashmiris, but can they, as nationalists, ignore, the deaths of around 6,500 security personnel in Kashmir and the gargantuan and un-estimated costs of stationing nearly 5 lakh military/para-military/police personnel in Kashmir for 30 years?

Ten years ago, Stephen P. Cohen, the prominent American scholar of South Asia, called the India-Pakistan relationship “toxic” and notably termed both, and not just Pakistan, as suffering from a “minority” or “small power” complex in which one is feeling constantly “threatened” and “encircled”. Tellingly, he argues that it is the disastrous conflict with Pakistan that has been one of the main reasons why India has been confined to South Asia, and prevented from becoming a global power.

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Here, a look at the military expenditures is revealing: while India spent $63.9 billion (2017) and Pakistan $9.6 billion (2018-19), Bangladesh spent only $3.45 billion (2018-19). Only a muscular and masculine nationalism can take pride in things such as becoming the fifth largest military spender in the world, or being the world’s second largest arms importer. The bitter truth hidden in these details is that India, ranked 130 in the HDI (and Pakistan, 150), simply cannot afford to spend scarce resources on nuclear arsenals, maintaining huge armies or developing space weapons. Besides, in an increasingly globalised world, military resolution between a nuclear India and Pakistan is almost impossible.

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 20, 2019 at 9:58am

#India Congress Leader Shashi Tharoor to #BJP, #Modi Ministers: "If you really want to send your critics very far away, send them to #Canada, not #Pakistan, but their imagination doesn’t stretch that far" https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/send-your-critics-to-canada-n...

enior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Friday took a dig at the Bharatiya Janata Party over 'go to Pakistan' remark often repeated by party workers on social media. Speaking at the India Today Conclave Mumbai 2019, Shashi Tharoor said that the BJP should send its critics to Canada instead of Pakistan, as it was much further away.

"If you really want to send your critics very far away, send them to Canada, not Pakistan, but their imagination doesn’t stretch that far," Shashi Tharoor said.

In discussion with India Today TV's Rajdeep Sardesai and BJP MP Swapan Das Gupta, Shashi Tharoor said that there was a silence on the top about the mob lynching.

"How does Swapan justify the prime minister's long silence on mob lynching. Because when you don’t condemn, you implicitly condone. And this why the shadow has fallen on the Muslims. Every time there was an attack on Muslims based on cow vigilantism, there was a silence on the top," Shashi Tharoor said.

"...there were ministers who don’t lose the opportunity to divide this country between Ramjaade and ... there are administrators who say those who disagree with us must go to Pakistan. What is the signal of all of this? It is very shameful for a minister to say all this," the Congress leader added.

BJP MP Swapan Das Gupta said that mob lynching was completely an ugly act and has to be condemned unequivocally. But, he said, "regardless of our own food habits, there is some aversion to consumption of beef, and it is sensitive."

Swapan Dasgupta also took swipe at Shashi Tharoor. "On Sabarimala, since Shashi comes from Kerala and has to fight elections there, said the constitution has to be followed but popular sentiments and customs also have to be respected. That was an enlightened position coming from a constitutionalist that culture was also to be recognised," the BJP MP said.

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