Pakistan Monkey Off Their Backs, India-US Ties Are Poised For A New Beginning
Owing to its obligations in Afghanistan, the US has viewed India via the lens of Pakistan since the former Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979. On August 15, the pledge came to an end, and Pakistan can no longer stifle India-US relations.
Both countries will have dropped the monkey called Pakistan off their backs when Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets US President Joe Biden at the White House later this month, as American direct confrontation with the Af-Pak region has ceased since the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in the winter of 1979.
The bilateral ties between India and the United States has been tainted by American involvement in Afghanistan for the past four decades, and the equation stayed largely prefixed until US Navy Seals shot to death Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden close a Pakistan Army cantonment in Abbottabad in May 2011.
For a while after the vicious acts by Pakistani terrorist communities on the Indian Parliament in December 2001 and the Indian Army camp at Kaluchak in Jammu and Kashmir in May 2002, the US President, NSA, Secretary of State, and Deputy Secretary of State sent a notification to the then NDA government not to declare war against Pakistan because US personnel were stationed there fighting terror in Afghanistan. While the US hunkered down on then-Pakistani ruler Gen Pervez Musharraf to prevent terrorist groups from invading India, New Delhi was advised to ease off on Pakistan, despite the horrible murder of ten children in Kaluchak.
When US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld visited India over a month after the Kaluchak massacre, he told his Indian colleague George Fernandes that the US's relationship with Pakistan was ephemeral, but that they were looking at India as a long-term strategic friend.
Because of the United States' commitment to Afghanistan, successive US administrations have given Pakistan a free pass on nuclear weapon development, terrorism against India, as well as a major non-NATO status without alerting India. While a strong US media and think-tank ecosystem puts pressure on India over Kashmir, no one is demanding equivalent accountability from terror-promoting Pakistan. Despite thorough proof available in AQ Khan files with the CIA, North Korea was condemned for nuclear diffusion, but Pakistan and China were not.
Today, the United States' involvement in the Af-Pak region has ended or will be reduced to an over-the-horizon counter-terrorist campaign. Pakistan is a Chinese client state, which is in strategic conflict with the United States and, to a lesser extent, India. Islamic militias in shambles In Kabul, the Taliban are in control, and they refuse to recognise the Durand Line. They have a burning desire to turn the world into an Islamic Caliphate. For the first time, the India-US relationship is free of the Pakistan factor, which has historically hampered bilateral relations, and the US no longer needs to make regional structural adjustments. With the departure of the US and its partners from Kabul, the battle against terror has once again become regional.
In these conditions, and with the existence of two additional strategic allies, Japan and Australia, India and the United States have an opportunity to forge a new commencement in diplomatic relations, allowing the two natural allies to expand and prosper across the board. The two countries have an opportunity to act as a liberal barrier against a belligerent Communist China in order to secure the Indo-Pacific while also stabilising the region through new supply chains and commitments to Climate Change goals. Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, the ISI head who joyously rode into Kabul on September 4, may have his grin wiped away before the finish of the month.