Political Economy of Indo-Pak Wars (Part- I)

The recent India-US defense pact was not as “unprecedented” as being hyped. Indeed the collaboration (read US surveillance) has been going around for quite some time now.

With the fallout of a state stable economy and emergence of irresponsible globalization, defense deals became one of the fallouts. It was only natural that India’s declaration of itself as a Nuclear State in 1998 was less to affirm some nationalistic pride, more to buy into a defense market of the future. The step only benefited the Western defense contractors since India was going to show the roadmap to Pakistan (which was equally equipped to flaunt its consumerist power at the war mall) eventually and the third world was going to be vulnerable to the war mongering bazaar.

Little wonder then that following the nuclear states status of India and Pakistan, their relationship with the US only has “improved” substantially. Never in the history of these countries was US at the forefront of decision making as it is the case today. Indeed in the past, Indo-Soviet relations, India’s espousal of nonalignment and refusal to join U.S. alliance during the Cold War had only earned ire. Even though Pakistan was supported by the US, the aim was only to get India to submit under pressure.

Post-1998, with the right wing Indian government in power, India played its game to satisfy the US defense lobbies. For all the anti-nuclear hypocritical talks that the leaders of the West engaged in (and they excel with it anyway, considering the NATO history), India far from being penalized started being celebrated as a “global major power”.

India is indeed a major power of widespread unemployment and poverty. But to the defense lobbies, like the media industry they partner with, a free market democracy like US or India only need to be glamorized into being touted as potentially viable markets, more than anything else.

So after India disgustingly went nuclear, few events too place. Five months after the test (November 1999), the first round of consultations took place between India and US regarding weapons of mass destruction (that tragically funny phrase as we know it today) export controls. Of course we were told that America was bossing around, interfering etc. What eventually took place was of course further strengthening of their relationships. The “fabled enemies” as I see them, India and Pakistan two months after that (Feburary 2000), had a friendship dialogue called “Lahore Summit” to express to each other about how much they were common, now that they had the same boss!

In March, US again talked about the export controls issue with India (basically implying that kill yourselves in Asia, just don’t experiment in Pearl Harbor. Clinton actually went on to say, “Only India can determine its own interests.” With such moral supporter of India in regards to bombs, who can oppose US, except some creepy leftist peacenik propagandists). Result of all these friendly talks between India-US-Pakistan: The “undeclared Kargil aggression” which took place just after two months (May 1999). It was as undeclared as was the N-Test at Pokhran! The world was led to believe that US did not know if such a war was coming.

When India and Pakistan went nuclear, US could not guess! When they went on war, US could not guess! So much for American defense intelligence. Is a link missing in the chain? You bet. Who wins when wars take place? Who profits? We know the answer. How many politician’s children fight at the borders? We know the answer to it too. So who wants the war to take place? Of course we know it. We know it. We know it. The point is how much do we want to stop it.

But of course the assumption is that we don’t stop wars. It’s the visionary leaders like Powell and Bush who stop war, terrorism, violence!

So what happened after 2000? Did the wars stop?

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Author: Saswat Pattanayak

Journalist, Generalist, Atheist, Poet, Lover, Photographer, Communist, Third wave Feminist, LGBT ally, Black power comrade, Peacenik, Anti-capitalist, Critical media theorist, Radical film critic, Academic non-elite…

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