Pakistan has told the United States that India was instigating arms race in the region and thus threatening peace. Senior officials in the foreign ministry said that India’s $ 2 billion defense deal with Israel was designed against Pakistan. Pakistan it seems has requested the US to take notice of the anti-Pakistan alliance between India and Israel.
Washington which itself is trying to become the largest defence supplier to India has been asked to use its influence to stop India from the arms buying spree for the sake of peace. Pakistanis do not seem to understand that U S A can do nothing about it. India is buying from the Russians, French, Israelis, Americans and the British with hard cash. So there is enough competition among the sellers to get a share of the Indian moolah, with Americans also vying equally hard. The sellers are also aware of the fact that India also manufactures most of its requirement. So in case they try and deny some advance technology then it will be just matter of time before India too will develop it. U S A has learnt this in a hard way and will be loath to lose business once again.
Earlier, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) struck a $ 2 billion deal with India to supply the missile defense systems to the Indian navy. This was described by IAI as the largest-ever defense deal. Under the deal, the IAI would supply an advanced air defense system, including medium-range surface-to-air missiles, launchers and communications and control technology, to the Indian army for around $ 1.6 billion. An additional naval defense system, including long-range surface-to-air missiles, would be deployed on India’s first aircraft carrier, which is still being built, said an IAI statement. The value of the second deal was not made public but the IAI said the total package amounted to nearly $ 2 billion.
For years, Israel has been one of the top three arms suppliers to India. The US congress said that, between 2008 & 2015, India was the second largest arms purchaser among the developing countries after Saudi Arabia. Another foreign ministry official said that the India-Israel nexus was discussed with the US and Washington was asked to stop the two from disturbing peace (in the region).
Well with India too asserting itself in the region, it has to be seen whether Israel is going to listen to U S A or look after its national interest by siding and trading with India. Now with Modi visiting Israel, both Indi Israel trade, defence cooperation and other business is likely to increase by leaps and bounds. The only danger to Pakistan in this scenario is that if it tries to JOIN India in this so called Arms Race, then economically it will simply go bankrupt. Even China will not be able to prop it up with free weapons or aid. So will Pakistan look up to Saudi Arabia for free weapons and aid?
“They want Pakistan to spend less on defense but we have to remain prepared for defense. The US and other powers should not allow India to disturb the balance of power in the region. The Indo-Israel nexus is dangerous for the world peace,” said Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria. He also said that the India-Israel nexus was behind terrorism in Pakistan and they were behind the separatists in Baluchistan. “We have been telling the world that India is involved in massive arms buying spree, which was not good for regional peace,” he said.
Well Zakaria pray tells who are the other powers apart from U S A, Russia and China, even capable of challenging India economically or militarily. Russia is a friend and the Americans too have seen their limitations during their much touted Sanction imposed on India. We also believe that China is likely to behave like a good neighbour and Pakistan is just not on India’s radar, notwithstanding all the pinpricks it causes in Kashmir.
International affairs expert Dr Zafar Iqbal Cheema said that India was violating international laws by increasing its defense equipment manifold. “India is crazy to become a superpower but it will remain a dream. To be a superpower, you have to be economically strong. In India’s case, they are only aiming to pile up defense equipment ignoring the vast poor population,” he said.
Cheema said that the US was also silent over India’s hegemonic designs. “They (the US) have their own interests so they do not pressurise India to give up the negative attitude,” he added.
Meanwhile, a group of former senior US officials and experts on South Asia including Ambassador Robin Raphel Ambassador Richard Boucher Tricia Bacon, David Smith and Michael Kugelman called on Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi here on Friday.
The group was in Islamabad to participate in the second round of US-Pakistan bilateral dialogue, organised by the Regional Peace Institute.
During the meeting, Fatemi highlighted the need for continuous dialogue and communication between the two countries in view of the importance of the relationship for both, as well as for promoting peace and security in the region, said a foreign ministry statement.
All such dialogue opportunities, Fatemi stressed, provided a good opportunity to bridge the gap in perceptions in Washington on Pakistan and its policies and the changing realities on the ground.
Reaffirming Pakistan’s commitment to a strong and mutually beneficial relationship with the US, Fatemi noted that the exchanges so far with the new US administration have been warm and cordial and that both sides were keen to build a strong and mutually beneficial relationship to promote common interests and shared goals.
He also briefed the US delegation on the important gains made by Pakistan in fighting terrorism duly manifested in the improved security situation in Pakistan.
“The upbeat assessments on Pakistan’s economic performance and prospects by international agencies and institutions and growing investor interest and confidence in Pakistan were a reflection of sound economic policies pursued by the government over the past four years,” Fatemi said.
He thanked the group for their contribution to promoting understanding and cooperation between Pakistan and the US.
The dialogue participants from Pakistan including Raoof Hassan from the Regional Peace Institute, Ashfaq Hasan Khan, a former adviser on finance, and Ambassador Mohammad Sadiq also joined the delegation at the reception hosted by the adviser after the meeting.