Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Trouble? What Trouble?

Sec State Condoleezza Rice was in front of Congress today, trying to assuage concerns over the India nuclear agreement. Critics have stated that the sale of arms to both Pakistan and India, together with the nuclear deal that was awarded the latter and not the former, will lead to an arms race. Rice countered,
[C]ivil nuclear cooperation with India will not lead to an arms race in South Asia.
This statement is backed by no good reasoning, which is not unusual for Rice. Rice has previously demonstrated a rather deaf diplomatic ear to potential international ire when the US announced that they would sell two dozen F-16s to Pakistan back in 2005,
what we are trying to do is break out of the notion that this is a hyphenated relationship somehow, that anything that happens that is good for Pakistan is bad for India, and vice versa.
It would be hard to find anyone who doesn't think that Pakistan and India do not have a "hyphenated relationship," and sure enough, this announcement seriously ticked off the Indians. This manufactured situation is probably what led to the current nuclear deal with India, among other things.

The deal allows India to maintain several military nuclear facilities that would not be subject to any inspections while only the civilian sites would be inspected. Just what this arrangement was meant to accomplish, I'm not sure but if Rice is unable to divine the potential that further nuclear weapons manufacture by India would not irk Pakistan, she is apparently not listening to what the Pakistanis are saying, which is conveyed to us by US diplomat Richard Boucher:
Pakistan's Foreign Minister, Kursheed Kasuri, has called for a similar approach to be adopted towards India and Pakistan on nuclear issues.

During talks with the senior US diplomat Richard Boucher, he said this was needed to prevent an arms race.
Boucher relayed the message of arms race potential on Tuesday and Rice was in front of Congress today, saying exactly the opposite. Does Rice not even listen to what her own troops must be telling her or is she just too mired in the Bush admininstration's desire to sell billions in heavy weapons to both countries, hoping no one reads the British press? Perhaps she is also hoping that, as the Bushies continue to drive home their message of the menace of Iran, no one realises that India and Pakistan both have, if not friendly ties with that country, at least diplomatic and commercial ones.


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