May 26, 2010:
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan and his Pakistani counterpart, Yousuf Raza Gilani, had agreed to resume peace talks on the sidelines of the SAARC summit last month.May 25, 2010:
But the day the Prime Minister's Office revealed its plans to send 20 kilos of handpicked Alphonso mangoes to the Pakistani prime minister, Pakistan's Supreme Court upheld the decision of the Lahore high court to release Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, founder of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba. India was left merely expressing its disappointment over the decision to let the mastermind of the Mumbai [massacre] go scot free.
Outages of up to 18 hours a day [in Pakistan] are threatening the government's credibility at a time when the U.S. is pressing it to step up its fight against the Taliban and al Qaeda. Mindful that a bad economy could mean more recruits to the militant cause, Washington has pledged $1 billion to improve the power supply, including upgrading thermal and hydropower plants as well as modernizing distribution. [...]Pundita's advice to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
* Washington portrays its relationship with Pakistan as one of convenience in the course of fighting the war on terror. Yet actions since the inception of the war, and the history of U.S. - Pakistan relations, tell a different story.
Recognize that the United States government, with the ongoing support of the American people, has stayed true to form across decades. This means the USA will continue to enable Pakistan-engineered terrorism in India, in Pakistan, around the world -- and even in the United States.
* Please don't continue to support such behavior by treating the United States as a honorable actor. Don't accept any more defense deals Washington offers. Don't engage in behavior of any kind that would signal to Washington that your government is fine with the U.S. enabling Pakistani terrorism.
* Recognize that the U.S.- Pakistan - Saudi alliance has been very destructive to many countries, including India, Afghanistan -- and the American people.
* India is far better distancing itself from the United States and 'turning East,' which would mean an end to India's attempts to stay 'nonaligned.' Recognize that the United States still does not allow non-alignment; it continues to follow the Cold War view that automatically considers a nonaligned state an enemy.
* So why continue to hope that the USA will change? Better to cement relations with Russia, Iran, and China and extend the offer to Israel to be a broker in their relations with Iran -- if the Israelis ever realize that being part a U.S.-Saudi - Pakistan alliance is doing their country no good.
It's my belief that Iran's real issues are with the USA and Saudi Arabia, not Israel, and that if Israel distances itself from the U.S - Saudi relationship, rapprochement between Israel and Iran will quickly follow.
(I realize that would be a controversial view if considered in U.S. foreign policy circles, which to my knowledge hasn't been done.)
* As for Afghanistan, I'd apologize to Hamid Karzai for allowing Obama to pressure you into supporting Abdullah for Afghanistan's presidency. Then I'd tell Karzai that India is willing to back his government to the hilt. In this way he wouldn't have to force himself into deals with Pakistan's military and the Taliban -- deals he knows would be broken.
* Many Americans are working to restore honor to their government but this will be a long process and might not be successful. For this reason I think it's very important for the entire south Asian region that India distance itself as much as possible from the United States in this era -- and particularly during the Obama presidency. Mr Obama's foreign policy is dictated by the ups and downs in his poll numbers and the U.S. - Pakistan - Saudi alliance.
* Please understand that as an American it would have saddened me a year ago to have given this advice. I strongly supported improved relations between India and the USA. But I am also a strong supporter of the war on terrorism. Given U.S. actions since late last year, it is clear that my country is helping terrorists more than it's warring against them; at the least, American actions are attempting to empty the ocean with a sieve.
* The last time the U.S. government left the Afghani people at the mercy of Pakistan's government it committed mass murder in the country. That the United States would do the same thing again is to me a crime against humanity.
* If India takes a strong stand against U.S. pressure to cede to Pakistan, it might be a wake-up call to many Americans that great evil is rising from America's continued pandering to something that doesn't exist: a vegetarian tiger. By the way tigers don't like fruit, either, sir.