Wikileaks should help evolve consensus on core issues of security

March 17th, 2011 - 3:27 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh By Jaibans SinghNew Delhi, Mar. 17 (ANI): The whistle blowing web site Wikileaks has once again gained centre stage in our parliamentary politics. The recent expose has got the opposition baying for the blood of the UPA Government on the issue of a “US tilt’ in the cabinet reshuffle of 2006 and allegations of payoffs during the confidence vote in the Parliament on the Indo-US nuclear deal in 2008It is being claimed that Washington framed the UPA Government’s foreign policy. The second issue pertains to a soft corner that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is supposed to have towards Pakistan - having been born there –, which leads to a dovish approach by him in engaging the recalcitrant nation in dialogue. His erstwhile National Security Advisor MK Narayanan allegedly opposed this approach. .The US bureaucracy comes across as opinionated and suffering from an acute superiority complex. Further, it takes a one sided approach, completely divorced from ground realities, while addressing issues. The language used in the cables attempts to project the incumbent diplomat who leaves the Indian leadership weak kneed in the face of his clout.Obviously, the person who gains the maximum from the report, which is supposed to be confidential in nature, is the diplomat himself. What defies comprehension is that his superiors buy such naive and infantile ideas and recommendations. No wonder the US policy in South Asia is so lopsided.It is being said that Mani Shanker Aiyar was divested from his portfolio on the recommendation of the US. Mani Shanker Aiyar, though a person acknowledged for his intellectual brilliance, is by no means a political heavyweight who would come in the way of the UPA Government’s engagement with the US. He would have done what his higher command wanted him to do, so where was the need for former US Ambassador David C Mulford to use his so-called ‘considerable influence’ to have him sidelined.The second issue is that of Dr Manmohan Singh’s soft corner for Pakistan. It is very evident that it is not as soft as the one nurtured by Atal Bihari Vajpayee when he was the Prime Minister and he was not born in Pakistan.There are other more important disclosures that should come up for consideration and debate. The New York Times reported on Sunday, July, 18, 2010, that US military field documents exposed by Wikileaks suggest that Pakistan has been allowing “representatives of its spy service to meet directly with the Taliban to organise networks of militant groups that fight against American soldiers in Afghanistan”. What this implies is that, while Washington is blindly paying Pakistan massive amounts of money, the ISI has been functioning against US interests.There is yet another leak of December 2, 2010 which relates to a report sent by Tim Roemer, the US Ambassador to India, which refers to the Indian Army’s mobilisation plan as slow, lumbering and incapable of sustaining the cold start doctrine allegedly designed to punish Pakistan in a limited manner without triggering a nuclear response. This dispatch suggests that the Pakistani government is not be unduly worried about a possible attack from India should its hands in a terrorist action in the future become visible.It is the cumulative intelligence provided by Wikileaks that should call upon the national leadership to sit up and take notice. The question that comes to mind is - if the US is not relenting in its pursuit to equip Pakistan with military capability against India, and if Pakistan is not worried about a threat from India, then what is India doing to safeguard its interests? Despite being privy to this information, why is India resolutely following the path of dialogue with Pakistan?In fact, such is India’s spirit of accommodation, that Union Home Minister P Chidambaram has given his consent to a Pakistan commission questioning the main accused in the Mumbai attack of 26/11, Ajmal Kasab. Pakistan has taken no reciprocal action of allowing India to question Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi who is s said to be the mastermind of the said attack.There is not much cause for India to relent and look towards accommodating Pakistan or engaging the Pakistani Government in talks. It is well understood that in any civilised society, the window of dialogue should always be kept open. However, there has to be someone credible sitting across the table with whom one can talk. In Pakistan, it is not clear as to who is calling the shots. Definitely, it is not the government, and a guess between the US, the Army, the Islamic fundamentalists or all of three would not be wildly off the mark. According to the Wikileaks expose, none of these three have Indian interest in mind.The Wikileaks exposes should be utilised to formulate a national consensus on core issues concerning our security. It is time to confront the US in one voice and insist that it comes out clean with respect to its policy on India and Pakistan. It simply has to stop running with the hares and hunting with the hounds. It has to cease looking at India as a soft and pliable State which can be manipulated in furtherance of its very myopic and misplaced interests in the Af-Pak region. India cannot go on tolerating Pakistan’s propaganda of projecting itself as a reasonable and responsible state living under the shadow of a constant threat from a belligerent neighbour. It is time for the US and the Pakistan government to ensure that General Kayani takes all possible steps to dismantle terrorist infrastructure targeted against India, it is common knowledge that he has the wherewithal to do so only the intention is missing. Finally it is time to make it clear that India has the potential and the will to use the hard option cold, hot or medium.Will it happen ? Unfortunately, a consensus is elusive and more time is likely to be spent in the country on ‘pay-offs’ for securing the confidence vote. (ANI)

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