India has conveyed its serious concern to the US State Division on Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome’s latest go to and his feedback on Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) on the highest bureaucratic degree. The Modi authorities has additionally objected to the USD 450 million improve package deal for Pakistani F-16 fighters, introduced by the Pentagon final month, on the high political degree.
In a span of 1 month, the Biden administration first triggered a strategic level by saying the F-16 package deal after which triggered a political level with its Pak ambassador calling what’s an occupied territory as a so-called liberated or “Azad” zone.
To complicate bilateral issues additional, US issued a journey advisory on Friday for its citizen travelling to India on rely of crime and terrorism. The advisory particularly suggested its nationals to not journey to Jammu and Kashmir attributable to “civil unrest and terrorism” and inside “10 km of the India-Pak border because of the potential for armed conflicts.” Clearly, the US, egged on by Pakistan and UK behind the scenes, is revisiting its Kashmir flash-point idea and subsequent will advocate a dialogue between India and Pakistan.
With Ambassador Blome having earlier served as political counselor in Afghanistan, his undiplomatic assertion can’t be dismissed as an inadvertent mistake. He clearly knew precisely what he was doing and what it might do to India-US ties.
Whereas it’s comprehensible that the US is rewarding Pakistan for sending weapon and ammunition provides to Ukraine by way of British C-130 J transport plane and the Romania route, Washington’s disregard for the affect of the 2 triggers on Indo-US ties is kind of inexplicable and should have long run undesired penalties.
Reality is that F-16 is just not merely a single-engine fourth era fighter plane that the US has bought to Pakistan for the reason that early Nineteen Eighties, additionally it is the barometer of US-Pakistan relationship. The sinusoidal graph of US-Pakistan bilateral relations will be clearly understood utilizing F-16 fighter gross sales as a reference level.
For India, the fighter resembles strategic headache on the western entrance as it’s naivety to consider that Rawalpindi will use the 75-odd F-16 fighters for counter-terrorism mission in Afghanistan. These fighters will probably be utilized by Pakistan towards India with Rawalpindi’s air assault, utilizing the F-16 fighters and long-range air to air missiles, on India put up IAF’s Operation Bandar in Balakot a stable proof of Islamabad’s perfidy.
Understanding absolutely effectively the affect of F-16 provides to Pakistan, the go to of Ambassador Blome to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and now journey advisory will have an effect on India-US ties, the Biden administration will need to have thought by means of the professionals and cons earlier than taking these choices.
Similar to the US by no means knowledgeable India in March 2004 when it designated Pakistan as a significant non-NATO ally, it didn’t inform the Modi authorities earlier than saying the F-16 package deal. The F-16 problem will turn into far more critical if the package deal contains provide of 120 km vary air to air missile and air to floor precision guided ammunition for the Chinese language fighter-dominated Pakistani Air Pressure.
Whereas India is upset at these developments, Islamabad continues to play Washington towards Beijing for its personal short-term advantages with the previous hoping to wean away Pakistan from its all-weather pal and the latter utilizing Rawalpindi to destabilize India.
Pakistan additionally from time to time provides a sweetener to its ties with America by exposing a world jihadist to the Hell-Fireplace missiles fired from US Predator drone within the identify of counter-terror cooperation. Even the Pakistan help to US towards Tehran in future can’t be dominated out given the present context of Russia utilizing Iranian armed drones to strike deep into Ukraine.
Regardless that the US is absolutely entitled to forge deep ties with Pakistan, it shouldn’t be at the price of souring its ties with a QUAD accomplice and an in depth strategic pure ally India. The ball is now within the US court docket to clear variations with India.