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Restraining Pakistan

 

Satya Pal Singh. Editorial.IV.XIX.XV

 

WASHINGTON'S WHITEWASH


 

Satya Pal Singh-fnbworld By Satya Pal Singh

 

Abbotabad raid being watched
live

 

 

Dreaded Terrorist Hafiz Sayeed as
Mumbai was under siege


Now that Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed has gone full circle, clamoring that the Pakistan govt and its army are seriously backing jihad in Jammu & kashmir and that they mean business, will the United Nations, the US, China, Russia and rest of the key world powers move to restrain Islamabad, so that another bloody war doesn't break out between India and Pakistan? On the one hand, President Obama and otherworld leaders repeatedly call for peace on Indo-Pakistan border, on the other, they persistently embolden Islamabad by giving it massive military aid. Will they explain why these arms supplies have quietly gained momentum in the past one year? 


Saeed's affirmation of the unholy nexus between Islamabad and the jihadis comes at a time when Kashmir secessionists have gone on warpath, following the preventive detention of their jihadi leaders. The Valley is already on the boil where two days of violence has seen at least one youth dying and many, including policemen, hospitalized. The fluid situation is fast reaching the 2010 flashpoint when 120 people had died in police firings. The Central govt, it appears, is also getting tough with the jihadi elements and has simultaneously warned J&K CM Mufti Mohammad Sayeed not to provide them any leeway to stoke fire in the Valley. 


Washington officially admits deliveries to Islamabad of 150 additional radio sets, completed upgrades on 35 Pak F-16s, and imminent delivery of 374 M113 armored personnel carriers as excess defence articles in the recent past. Sales of F-16 combat aircraft and related equipment account for about half of this supply. Congress has appropriated more than $3 billion in foreign military financing for Pakistan since 2001, more than $2 billion of which has been disbursed. The Pentagon confirms military sales pacts with Pakistan worth over $5.2 billion for the period between 2002 and 2012.


Beside US, Pakistan has stepped up its defence cooperation with China and Russia. Most recent purchases have been Chinese air-to-air SD-10 missiles and avionics to arm its 250 Russian-helicopters JF-17 Thunder fighter fleet. Pak is also acquiring advanced Chinese surface-to-air missiles system.Pakistan's growing purchases of Chinese military hardware have reportedly helped Beijing become the world's fifth biggest exporter of conventional arms, overtaking Britain. 


Islamabad bought 55 % of China's weapons exports from 2008 to 2012. These included tanks, fighter jets, patrol boats, guns, radars and other communications equipment. Pakistan recently bought a number of Russian Mi-35 attack helicopters after Moscow lifted the embargo on arms’ export to Pakistan. Russian President  Vladimir Putin seem to believe if the US can supply weapons to Pakistan, why should Russia be left behind ? Breaking the mutual trust and diplomatic understanding with India, even Ukraine delivered 110 main battle tank engines and their parts to Pakistan under a $50 million contract. 


It may sound incredible though, even Israel broke its foreign policy commitment to human rights while exporting arms to Pakistan, Egypt, Algeria, UAE and Morocco, the countries with poor human rights records. This has allegedly been done even in the absence of diplomatic relations between Israel and these countries. A UK govt report claims that in 2011, Israel purchased British components, as well as electronic warfare systems, head-up cockpit displays, parts for fighter jets and aircraft engines, optic target acquisition systems, components of training aircraft, and military electronic systems for export to Pakistan. Even Canadian weapons export increased to Pakistan by 98% during 2011-12. France, of course, stopped arms sale to Islamabad, considering its terror-linked antecedents.


It is believed Islamabad is carrying Saudi Arabia's major nuclear errands also to flaunt its own combative might vis-a-vis India. Saudis have invested in Pakistani nuclear weapons projects and believe that "it could obtain atomic bombs at will." In this, Saudis aim at countering Iran's atomic power. Secret reports indicate that nuclear weapons made in Pakistan for Saudi Arabia are now sitting ready for delivery. This is beside Pakistan’s massive nuclear programme that eats away a good share of the state’s GDP. Focusing on nuclear weapons development under Premier Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, after defeat in the 1971 war with India, Pakistan has already risen to become the seventh major nuclear-powered country in the world.


One can understand that for the US and other countries, business interests are supreme, but should they continue and even enhance supplies of military ware to a rogue state that develops an army of terrorists to shed blood in a neighboring country ? It was only after Osama bin Laden's killing by Americans in Abbottabad four years ago that US arms supplies were temporarily held back. It appears American military ties with Pakistan are becoming progressively stronger despite India's continued protests.


Is Obama, then, kidding with India and falsely singing plaudits for PM Narendra Modi? In doing so, he must know, the US would be gravely sacrificing its geo-political interests in the region where it essentially needs India’s cooperation. Arms sales to a peace-loving India can’t be equated to arms supplies to a terror-promoting Pakistan.

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