|E D I T O R I A L
P A G E
Friday, June 11, 1999
US sanctions to go
Reinstate Arun Bhatia
Who cares for jawans morale?
LESSONS FROM KARGIL
Is there a shift in
One point programme
Ever since the US administration slapped economic sanctions on India and Pakistan following their nuclear tests last year, all moderate analysts, including this newspaper, have been pointing out that this is only a passing storm which must be weathered bravely. Well, the assessment has proved correct, with the US Senate passing an amendment seeking to suspend the sanctions for five years. The sanctions have not really crippled India although their impact on the overall growth prospects cannot be underestimated. It is all but certain that the amendment will soon become law paving the way for resumption of funding for India's infrastructural projects. That will mean that the loans of $ 1.2 billion which India had been seeking from the World Bank without success will finally come through. What needs to be underlined is that the sanctions have been suspended for both India and Pakistan. It is the latter which will benefit more from the decision because the Senate has also adopted a document, "Sense of the Senate", which seeks to repeal the Pakistan-specific Pressler Amendment which imposed on Islamabad same sanctions before the Glenn Amendment was invoked against the nuclear tests of the two countries. It is non-binding but most likely to be honoured. The latest amendment not only allows loans and financial or technical assistance by international financial institutions, including the World Bank, but also provides President Clinton with a national security waiver for sales of defence articles and dual-use technologies which are not primarily used for missile development or nuclear weapons programme. As is well known, the American sanctions had targeted even those private institutions which were not even remotely connected with its space programme and nuclear tests.
The timing of the
concessions is extremely important. The two countries are
engaged in a bitter skirmish, which is almost a war, in
Kargil, the claims about Pakistani soldiers being
"freedom fighters" notwithstanding. While the
USA has offered this carrot in public, there are reasons
to suspect that it will also try to use the stick in
private. As long as it is for the purpose of getting the
aggression vacated by the Pakistani intruders, the
initiative is welcome. But if it is to
"persuade" India to make concessions, it must
be resisted with the same resoluteness which was shown by
this country in the wake of the nuclear tests. The vital
difference between the nuclear programmes of India and
Pakistan is not acknowledged by the US policy makers to
the extent that it should be. While the Indian security
needs encompass the entire South Asia, including China,
those of Pakistan are purely Delhi-centric. Due notice
should also be taken of the statement of its leaders
recently that if India does not stop its action in Kargil
against intruders, it would use "any weapon".
The reference to nuclear arms is unmistakable. As such,
the old policy of clubbing India and Pakistan calls for a
review. One positive sign is that a new thinking is
indeed emerging in this regard. While the main focus
during the coming days will be on the lifting of the
sanctions, another development of note has taken place in
Washington. The House of Representatives has defeated a
provision that would have imposed a two-year moratorium
on foreign visitors from "sensitive countries",
including India, to the US energy department's national
laboratories. Opposing the amendment, Democratic
Congressman Frank Pallone not only asserted that there
was no evidence, or even suggestions, that India had been
involved in the kinds of espionage activities that have
been documented with regards to China, he specifically
said that "it needs to be made clear that India's
nuclear programme is an indigenous one, developed by
India's own scientists". Moreover, India has neither
encouraged nuclear proliferation nor exported terrorism.
Pakistan's record on both counts has been extremely
dirty. It has openly touted its bomb as an Islamic bomb
and has been equally openly fomenting trouble through men
and material in India and Afghanistan. The focus of
India's diplomatic initiative has to remain steadily on
this point. That major distinction is what separates
grain from chaff and India from Pakistan.
THE controversial Pune Municipal Commissioner, Mr Arun Bhatia, is in the news again following the questionable decision of the Maharashtra Government to shift him to Mumbai as Commissioner, Archives. The first time he was shifted from the post within a week of his taking charge the people of Pune had joined ranks to force the government to withdraw its order. Public spirited citizens went to the extent of challenging the legality of the order transferring Mr Bhatia out of Pune. In April the Bombay High Court not only ordered his reinstatement but also took the political authority to task for trying to prevent the bureaucracy from discharging its duty without any fear or favour. Why did the so-called political authority, which is expected to represent the collective will of the people, attempt to shift Mr Bhatia for the first time on March 10, five days after his taking charge as Pune Municipal Commissioner? Because Mr Bhatia did not merely make promises of setting the house in order, but actually got down to doing what he was actually expected to do as Punes civic administrator. The demolition of the unauthorised constructions on the land belonging to the political heavyweight of the city was what prompted the political authority to order his recall to Mumbai. But the uproar against the transfer of the peoples bureaucrat took the government by surprise.
This time the
Maharashtra Government has taken the plea that it was
merely responding to the unanimous decision of the Pune
Municipal Corporation to seek Mr Bhatias transfer.
The time has perhaps come to tell the political authority
that the will of the people should always take precedence
over the will of the representatives of the people. In
the present case, all the 118 Corporators from the
Congress,the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party
passed a unanimous resolution accusing Mr
Bhatia of being dogmatic,dictatorial and
unaccommodating in his dealings with the elected
representatives of the people. The operative word used in
the resolution by the Corporators to express their
all-party displeasure against Mr Bhatia has
been spelt as accommodative, which just about
sums up the reason why Mr Bhatia became a thorn in the
flesh of at least 118 Pune Corporators. They evidently
have not bothered to take note of the will of the people
whom they claim to represent in the civic body. The
people expressed their collective will against the
Maharashtra Governments order transferring Mr
Bhatia out of Pune for the first time on March 10, five
days after he set into motion the process of demolishing
the unauthorised structures of the high and mighty
politicians of the city. The real reason behind the
Corporators unhappiness is Mr Bhatias
unaccommodative attitude in the matter of
reappropriation of a sum of Rs 38 crore for slum
The intermeshing of the country's foreign policy with security, economic and geopolitical factors at a given time and in a given situation does pose a big challenge. Gaps in this critical area are often visible, notwithstanding the support New Delhi has been able to secure from the world community to its just stand on Pakistan's game along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.
Normally, the National Security Council (NSC) is expected to work out options to meet a war-like situation of varied complexities. Often options available today may change dramatically tomorrow depending on fresh strategic inputs.
A war-like situation will require quick reflexes and equally quick responses. Indeed, it is in the country's interest if options are formulated periodically, debated and rationally evolved.
Though the overall working of the External Affairs Ministry and the related Ministries of Commerce, Finance and Defence has improved considerably in the recent past, there are grey areas which need looking into to effectively meet new challenges from unfriendly neighbours.
Defending the country's borders is not an easy task. The very size and topographical variations make the job complex. And we have seen how the country has faltered on a few occasions in the absence of right thinking and coordinated action. Take the 1962 conflict with China. India suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the communist giant. The Nehru government (thanks to the then Defence Minister, Krishna Menon) failed to make a proper assessment of Beijing's intentions. As a visionary, Nehru banked on the Panchsheel spirit, and overlooked certain harsh facts of Chinese history. What happened subsequently is part of free India's sad chapter.
The country, however, soon picked up the threads and made serious efforts to put its defence preparedness in order. The superb performance of our officers and jawans in the 1965 and 1971 flare-ups with Pakistan was possible because of the correctives initiated after the 1962 setback.
What has been happening in the Kargil-Dras sector and other flash-points in the Ladakh division of Jammu and Kashmir, in a way, shows chinks in our response system which needs to be based on history, topographical features, geopolitical factors and proper reading of the mind of the Pakistani establishment. As I have pointed out earlier, Indian responses should have been based on the three-phase plan called "Operation Topac" worked out by General Zia-ul-Haq way back in 1988.
The happenings in the Kargil area are an exact replica of the phase- two plan of the late military dictator which has apparently been adopted by the present government of Mr Nawaz Sharif as well. Things would have been vastly different today, had we kept this fact in mind and not allowed ourselves to be carried away by the bus diplomacy euphoria that Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee's visit to Lahore in February this year generated.
To say this is not to exonerate the earlier rulers (Nehru included) of their sins of omission and commission. Perhaps there would have been no Kashmir problem had the Army not been stopped from taking its 1947 operation to its logical conclusion by throwing out the Pakistani raiders from the valley.
It is a pity that the country has paid a heavy price for the failure of political leaders. They have often been guided by narrow political considerations and not by larger national interests and priorities.
The real question now is: how should the country organise itself with a view to formulating proper policy options for different situations? Of course, certain institutions like the Indian Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses are doing a good job.
What we need is broadbased national institutions which should draw the best available talent and expertise in specified areas of foreign policy, geo-politics, economics and security with the objective of evolving an integrated policy within the framework of global realities. The country cannot go by ad hoc reactions of its leaders who, as our experience shows, often get influenced by short-term political considerations.
A shining example of this is Mr Vajpayee's bus diplomacy. Basically there was nothing wrong with such an initiative. It was the right move to set the pace for rebuilding friendship with Islamabad. But the over-enthusiasm of BJP bigwigs to project Mr Vajpayee as a messenger of peace and for breaking the ice with Pakistan created distortions.
We took the Pakistani establishment at its face value without realising the track record of Pakistani leaders, past and present. It needs to be constantly kept in mind that while talking peace they never lose sight of their basic goal of grabbing Kashmir by hook or by crook.
We should have known about the real Pakistani face from General Zia's sugar-coated diplomacy. I remember distinctly how he used to go out of his way to woo Indian media persons while pursuing Pakistan's gameplan in Jammu and Kashmir. It must be said to the credit of Indira Gandhi that she understood the Pakistani mind better than most other leaders.
There are, however, two opinions about the wisdom of the Simla Agreement. Whether she should have allowed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto certain advantages he got by telling Indian leaders that he must be helped to save his face back home is debatable. True, Indian leaders are generally very humane. They tend to become soft even to their worst enemies in trouble. Not a bad virtue in the normal course. But in the case of Pakistan, we are surely not dealing with a normal country.
Giving a graphic account of all that happened before and after the signing of the Simla Agreement in 1972, Stanley Wolpert writes in his book, "Zulfi Bhutto of Pakistan His Life and Times" (Oxford University Press, 1993):
"What Bhutto had, in fact, agreed to at Simla was, to his mind, irrelevant as far as Kashmir was concerned: he had not accepted Indira Gandhi's position, no matter what was written on the piece of paper he may have signed. He was realist enough to understand how weak Pakistan was, how tiny, how lacking in power for the moment. He never doubted that Pakistan would rise again some day to reclaim Kashmir, as he always believed it would do, for Kashmir was a Muslim state, after all, and thus 'belonged', by definition, to Pakistan. "No agreement could change the 'reality', which was firmly rooted in the labyrinth of Zulfi Bhutto's brain. He had enjoyed the week's holiday in Simla, taking along the largest entourage any diplomat of South Asia ever took anywhere for an official meeting. And he had seen much of Benazir, eaten and drunk with Piloo (Modi), and breathed the bracing air British Viceroys once had breathed.
"But he never for a moment meant to close off the Pakistani claim to Kashmir. He had needed the agreement primarily to prove to the rest of the world doubting London, as well as skeptical Washington and Moscow that Pakistan remained in the 'great game', that its President was a shrewd diplomat cut from the same cloth as Talleyrand for few were ready to believe that he was closer to Napoleon."
We are basically a soft state. And a soft state cannot protect its interests adequately. The country's policy-makers have to be pragmatic and ruthless. This can be done without sacrificing our civilisational values and traditions of remaining humane with a firm commitment to peace and wellbeing of every society. A line has, however, to be drawn between national interests and flexibility in exercising policy options.
In the present crisis, India is fortunate to have an understanding with President Bill Clinton. South Block has to be thankful to the US Administration for its positive response to the Kargil happenings so far. However, what is equally desirable is proper projection of Indian viewpoints at home and abroad. There are serious gaps at present on this count. This is mainly because we often go by ad hoc responses instead of pursuing strategic matters more seriously and in a professional manner.
At one stage, former Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral had thought of enlisting the services of "experts" to supplement the efforts of Indian missions in image-building in world capitals, especially in Washington, so that Indian views were understood better than is the case at present.
Perhaps, the new
government after the election will address itself to some
of the crucial issues raised in this article. We need to
see foreign policy and strategic issues dispassionately
and critically, and not emotionally. We require an
integrated response to multi-dimensional complexities
facing the nation. Also, in the long run, quiet diplomacy
works better than diplomacy conducted in a mela-type
atmosphere for public consumption.
for jawans morale?
The situation that has developed in the Kargil sector shows complete failure of the Indian strategic machinery, from the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) to the National Security Council, down to the lowest level. The Indian defence set-up woke up only after the Pakistanis had served this country with fait accompli.
There is no excuse of not being alerted by strategic experts. For as early as July 2, 1997, a copy of the manuscript of this writers book, Pakistan: Indias Bete Noire, was sent to the Northern and Western Commands. The receipt was acknowledged. In the book, reviewed in The Tribune in October, 1998, it had been postulated that in the year 2000, give or take one year, with winding up of Pakistans intervention in Afghanistan, Islamabad will strike in J & K, sometime in April, and go in for a major effort in the last week of June. The areas of their strike would be Gurais, Haji Pir, Akhnoor Road, Samba-Madhopur and Madhopur-Basoli. The present strike has been in the area 50 kilometres east of Gurais, as well as Uri, which is just west of Haji Pir. In addition, there are reports of heavy firing in Poonch and Akhnoor.
Notwithstanding the gallant fight being put up by Indian jawans, there is no doubt that his morale is not that high. Where just a battalion was enough to throw out the Pakistanis from this very area, today two complete divisions along with air support have been mobilised. The question is: why is it that while the Pakistanis are willing to fight in this hostile terrain, even when occupying isolated positions, the Indians have failed to oust them so far? Are the former better motivated because they are better paid?
The way the Indian jawan is shunted from one operation to another, without respite, he is bound to feel disturbed. Even here the callous attitude of the civilian officialdom has to be seen to be believed. A visit to Jammu railway station would open the eyes of the people at large. The jawan is invariably abused, cheated or ill-treated in some other manner.
For the officers from the level of Lieutenant to that of Captain the situation is worse. There is a shortage of 1,34,000, or more than 60 per cent, implying that each officer has to work for three senior officers. What is worse, with low morale at the jawan level today, these over-worked officers have to do the work of the jawans also. Thus a patrol of four-six men, which should be led by a Naik is being led by a Captain and even a Major. Today, the officer is exhausted physically, psychologically and physiologically. No wonder the Air Force had to be called in to support the operations, which earlier in the same area needed a battalion.
The political leadership is particularly to blame for all this. The sacking of the Naval Chief was an eye-opener for the man in uniform. He now realised that the incidents of rude behaviour at railway stations; the need to pay a bribe to even travel with a proper ticket so that he could spend a few hours extra with his wife, children and parents were not mere aberrations. He realised that his children are already orphans even when he is alive. What will be their plight when he is no more? It is this that has affected the once Best Army of the world. With the troops of the all the three services still operating on the Fourth Pay Commission allowances, in Siachen or flying, and with no commander willing to stand up for them, lest they face the same fate as Admiral Bhagwat did, the morale is bound to be low.
What are the Pakistani aims?
(a) Was it just to secure some real estate?
(b) If the aim is to dominate the Srinagar-Kargil-Leh highway no particular advantage is achieved, for the simple reason that there is an alternative route through the Kulu-Rohtang Pass available. Pakistani forces would face serious logistic problems. All that they achieve is interference, by using artillery fire only.
(c) Was it to internationalise the J & K problem? If so, they appear to have failed. To that extent the Indian government and its Ministry for External Affairs appear to have been successful.
(d) Is the aim to test waters like they did in May, 1965? Today the Indian war machine appears to be in bad shape? The Indian equipment is defective and inadequate. The men dont have any bullet-proof jackets and use World War II vintage helmets, as seen from the photographs published, with canvas boots which would lead to frost-bite on the heights of Kargil. Of the two aircraft lost, one was because of technical failure. (The other was lost because the pilot was still not fully operational, all because of the failure of the government to provide the AJTs).
(e) Is it to open a new front? Or is it to dominate the Indus valley along with the Jhelum and Chenab valleys?
For Pakistan, J & K is considered essential on geo-economic grounds, while it is just as essential for India on geo-strategic grounds. This leads to a strife, inbuilt in the Indo-Pak relationship. This has to be accepted as a major input in our strategic thought. Thus to lower our guard would be an indefensible act on the part of the national security set-up. With the initiative always with Pakistan, the only way is to hope for the best and keep our powder dry. Unless, of course, we can change our attitude and take a more pro-active route to policy making!
IT was the placid and mild evening of May 23, 1997. The quiet ambience of Nek Chands Rock Garden. The full moon stretching its celestial rays of light across the beautiful landscape. The mystic and melting music to wash away the days dust. The generous flow of spirit to elevate the spirits. A fashionable table set out in all its magnificence. It was hospitality at its best. It was a feat to suit the occasion.
What was the occasion? We were celebrating 50 years of our Independence. By playing cricket. With the very people who had shared the homeland with us. The people, who had walked, worked and fought for independence with the people of this country. We were hosting the Independence Cup. And on this grand evening our friends from across the manmade border were our guests. Besides all the players from Pakistan, even Air Marshal Noor Khan (probably, a former Chairman of the PCB) and Asif Iqbal were also present.
After a few pleasantries, Air Marshal asked: How is the team doing Asif?
Beautiful! As for us, we have won the Independence Cup. We have beaten India in India, was Asifs prompt reply.
Thus, beating India was the one point programme. It had taken some time to overcome the impact of Asifs statement.
More than two years have passed since then. The two countries were again together on the cricket ground the other day. The blood rivals were fighting. Old Trafford was the battlefield. And what crowds! The Asians were more than the English. The battlelines had been clearly drawn. The spectators were more tense than the players. The police was more nervous than everybody else.
Wasim Akram, the Pakistan captain, was arrogant. He thought it was a practice game. Despite the two recent defeats at the hands of Bangladesh and South Africa. On the other hand, his rival, Mohd Azharuddin, had a point to prove. He was really under a cloud. The result of the game would have removed either him or the cloud. It was virtually a do or die situation for the Indian skipper. In fact, the captain and his team were fighting for their survival.
The battle royal was fought. The result is known. The trio from Karnataka helped India to repeat Bangalore at Old Trafford. We managed to survive. But can we say like Asif Iqbal that since we have beaten Pakistan in a neutral territory, under impartial umpires, we have won the World Cup? No! But, we have a lesson to learn. Beating Pakistan is not the end of the game.
India is a large country. We are, numerically, the second greatest nation of the world. We talk of our past with pride. We talk optimistically of our future. We boast of our being a member of the exclusive Nuclear Club. Our satellites are undoubtedly circling the outer space. It is also true that we were once the Olympic champions in the game of hockey. We had won the Prudential Cup at Lords in June, 1983. And then the Benson and Hedges Cup in Australia. Yet, the truth remains that this nation of more than 950 million people has not produced a single person who may have won a gold medal at the Olympics.
Truly, in the field of sports, we have faced a disgraceful drought. We have nothing to be proud of. Small countries, with a population less than that of a small state in India, beat us. Mostly, we are first amongst the worst. Despite our victory at Old Trafford, let us not forget that we have already lost in our matches with South Africa, Zimbabwe and Australia. Beating countries like Kenya, Sri Lanka and England had not earned us even a single point amongst the Super Six. Even now, we are not sure of making to the semi-finals of the World Cup.
Altius Faltius Faster Higher
Stronger, is the Olympic motto. This must become
the national slogan. This should be the one point
programme for every young person aiming to excel in
any discipline. Even in sports. Otherwise, despite
defeating Pakistan, we are at the lowest step of the
ladder. We may have scored two points, but we have not
Is there a shift in
IS there a change in Americas posture to Pakistan? And to India? These questions are uppermost in our minds today.
What prompted them was the Kargil confrontation between India and Pakistan and the way America has reacted to the events. More so by President Clinton himself, who has asked Nawaz Sharif to defuse the crisis and respect the LoC. The State Department is more forthright. Clearly, says Karl Inderfurth, Assistant Secretary of State, the Indians are not going to cede this territory. They (intruders) have to depart, and they will depart either voluntarily or because the Indians will take them out.
For the first time, in 52 years of Indias life Washington has come out in favour of India against Pakistan. It appears there is a major change in Washingtons outlook.
Washington admits that there had been intrusion of Pakistan soldiers and mercenaries into India and that they must go back or be thrown out. And the Line of Control cannot be changed arbitrarily. This must be music to an Indian government which has been caught napping.
How is one to explain this change of stance? From the very outset, US-Pak relation was a marriage of convenience. There was no real love. With Britain, the relation ran deeper, for Pakistan was a British creation to spite India. Of course, protection of Middle East oil was a strategic consideration for the USA and UK. And they needed Pakistan for this.
While trying to polarise the world into two hostile camps, Communist and anti-Communist, the USA found Pakistan a willing ally. India was not. India chose to intensify the struggle for decolonisation of the world. In the process, it came close to Moscow. This explains why the USA decided to build up the sinews of Pakistan. It was to balance the growing power of India. Pakistan got all its military supplies almost free from the USA.
But the situation changed after the India-China war of 1962. On the principle that an enemys enemy is a friend, Pakistan came closer to China. The USA itself did the same it too moved closer to China on the same principle in 1971, when President Nixon visited Beijing after 20 years of mutual acrimony. Pakistan was of great help to the USA in this reconciliation, which explains why the USA tilted in favour of Pakistan against India in the seventies.
And yet when the cold war was over, the USA found no great use for Pakistan till the Iranian revolution of 1979 and the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Pakistan was back in favour of the USA. And Pakistan began to dream of bringing the Afghans under its hegemony (all with US resources and arms) to improve its strategic depth and to gain entry into Central Asia. But all hopes of the USA and Pakistan turned into a nightmare as tribal anarchy kept that country bleeding for the next two decades.
Similarly, it was Americas hope that Pakistan could be a useful ally in winning over Central Asia. Instead, it found Pakistan a liability. The Central Asians looked upon Pakistan with suspicion. In any case, Central Asia is opposed to fundamentalism, of which Pakistan is a principal patron.
Today the USA is doing very well in Central Asia and Mangolia without anyones mediation. What is more, the multinationals have written off Afghanistan and Pakistan, for they consider these countries extremely unstable and risky for investment. They are not ready to invest in the proposed oil and gas pipeline which is to go through Afghanistan. In fact, the MNCs want Washington to improve relations with Iran.
There had always been pro-US and pro-China lobbies in the Pakistan Establishment ever since the sixties. (By the way, the pro-US lobby is not anti-India, whereas the pro-China lobby is). While the pro-China lobby was prospered, the pro-US lobby has declined. This has to do with the rise of the Jamaat and fundamentalism in Pakistan and the anti-US hysteria on occasions, These have, in turn, led to strong feelings against Pakistan in the USA.
But this is not the only reason for the change in US outlook. There are many other factors.
The USA has nurtured dictators and dictatorships when they served US interests. This was how a close relation with Pakistan began. But todays Pakistan is a monstrosity, thanks to America. It is a failed state, and anarchy is just about to take it over. Neither the rule of law prevails there, nor is the judiciary free from threats of the executive. What is more, it has become a nuclear state with the nuclear button under the control of the army. And the army itself has come under increasing influence of the fundamentalists. It must be clear to Washington that such a state can be of no use to it in the future. Nay, it can be dangerous. In any case, Pakistan is now firmly in the Chinese camp and is not much amenable to US persuasions. Only the economic factors still hold it under some leash.
Today the world is not so dependent on Middle East oil as it used to be. In another two-three years, Central Asia will meet a good part of the world oil demand. This will have serious implications for the Middle East, as also to Pakistan. It will free the hand of America to deal with Muslim fundamentalism and terrorism, which have become a menace to the world. Pakistan and Afghanistan have become the largest breeding and training grounds for Islamic terrorist today. They are being sent to Algeria, Bosnia, Chechnya, Xiajiang, and other centres where Muslims are in conflict with the rulers. The whole operation is sustained by drug money, generated in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Of course, these terrorists are expendable and can be easily replaced by fresh martyrs.
If Washington is opposed to the emergence of another explosive area, that is Kashmir it is because its experience shows that even great power intervention cannot resolve ethnic disputes. What is more, there is the real danger of a nuclear war.
Washingtons new stand towards India has no doubt much to do with its growing disillusionment over Pakistan. Benazir Bhutto admits that it was a mistake on her part to hold relations with India hostage to the Kashmir issue. She deeply regrets it. She admits that she did it to pander to the Punjabi constituency and hawkish elements within the military. If Washington had backed the Kargil adventure, it would be backing the Pakistan army against India. This would have put America in a new light.
Perhaps Washingtons new stand towards India has to do with the growing disillusionment of the USA over China, too. And it is not solely because of the Chinese theft of nuclear and missile technologies, but because of the growing Republican criticism of Clintons appeasement of China. Appeasement of China, the Republicans point out, has not prevented China from having strategic relations with Russia. There is, therefore, increasing demand that the US administration must follow a more friendly relation with India. This is backed by a powerful business lobby supported by Wall Street.
Of course, it is still too early to make the choice between India and China, for only a few days ago Karl Inderfurth, the Assistant Secretary of State, said, We would rather not be in a position of choosing one or the other of the two countries, that is between India and China. This is because the USA already has huge stakes in China. He admitted that India is a vibrant democracy and that we have concerns with China that we dont have with India. For example, Chinas abysmal record of human rights.
Viscount Curzon could scarcely have anticipated the amendments to his motion of which notice has been given both from the Liberal and Labour benches. Both these amendments suggest the appointment of a commission for enquiring into the working of the Reforms exactly the thing which Viscount Curzon and men of his ilk are most anxious to avoid.
The Labour amendment, moreover, definitely suggests the grant of further Reforms. Even the Liberal amendment wants the commission to have wide terms of reference and to enquire into the facts on the spot and report what action, whether legislative or administrative, is required to carry out the expressed intention of the British government that the reforms shall constitute a definite step towards ultimate dominion self government within the Empire.
It is true that neither
amendment is either definite enough or comprehensive
enough to meet the actual requirements of the case, but
they are diametrically opposed in their whole spirit and
temper to the resolution of Viscount Curzon and to the
position of the die-hards generally.
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