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منگل، 2 نومبر، 2010

Obama's India visit - China, Pakistan, Iran will be watching

ALI SUKHANVER

There is a clear difference between traveling and wandering. Traveling is meaningful and wandering is meaningless. The US president Barrak Obama is traveling to India somewhere in the mid of this month. According to the Indian media reports, this visit is chiefly aimed at improving economic and defence related relations between the two countries but the neighbouring countries like China, Iran and Pakistan are looking at this visit from a different point of view. They are taking this visit as a warning from USA that these countries must not underestimate the hegemonic position of India in the region; if they do so, USA is there to take care of the situation. Whatever be the hidden or obvious motives of this visit, one thing is very much clear; this visit will weaken the ties between Pakistan and USA. Obama would be the first US President going to visit India flying over Pakistan simply ignoring millions of Pakistani people. Skipping over Pakistan means an insult to a strategic partner and a front role ally in the Global War on Terror, Pakistan. At the same time it is equivalent to glorifying India. President Obama seems unaware of his popularity among the people of Pakistan. In Pakistan; people may not like USA but they love Obama. There could be so many reasons for this liking but the most prominent of all these reasons is Obama’s unannounced relationship with Islam. He is perhaps the only American president whose success was sincerely celebrated in Pakistan. People were deeply involved in Obama’s election with all their emotional and passionate type of prayers. Those days, it was a very common feeling in Pakistan that Obama would minimize the distances created by the Bush administration between USA and Pakistan.  Now it seems that all those feelings were nothing but a sweet dream; whether black or white, Americans are Americans; they all think and act in the same way and the same direction; this is what now people of Pakistan opine. President Obama must know that US image in Pakistan is already somewhat sliding downwards and his ignoring Pakistan during this visit would no doubt add salt to the injuries.

 Side-lining Pakistan is in fact a message to the people of Pakistan from their most loved and admired US leader Obama that Pakistan is a means not the destination; they must not over-estimate their actual position. No doubt it is a very bitter message but it would help them realize the situation and act accordingly in future. For the last many decades, just to please USA, Pakistan has been sacrificing almost all it could sacrifice; but it got nothing in return, not even the trust and confidence of the US authorities. Obama’s expected visit to India is the best example of this distrust and disbelief. Obama’s expected visit to India is going to bring a vivid change in the political scenario of the South Asian region. Instead of patronizing India, USA must try to improve its relationship with China, Iran and Pakistan. All these countries enjoy a better repute in the region than India. Relationship with these countries would add to the honour and credibility of USA. In fact India has earned a lot of bad reputation because of its involvement in various nefarious activities in the region. It has so many conflicts and confrontation with the neighbouring countries. China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and above all Sri Lanka, all are in trouble at the hands of India. Pakistan has always been the worst victim to the Indian atrocities. The hegemonic desires of India have turned this region into a battle field of vested interests. President Obama must cast a deep look into the state of affairs before leaving for India. His role must be of a solicitor not that of an instigator.

At present Pakistan is passing through the worst phase of its life. A warlike atmosphere everywhere all along the borders, NATO drone attacks targeting the innocent citizens , terrorists suicidal blasts shattering the whole of social and economic structure and above all a series of Indian blames and allegations trying to defame Pakistani nation ; Pakistan is certainly bearing a lot. Unfortunately US authorities are doing nothing to help Pakistan out of this painful situation. There is an impression that USA is simply exploiting Pakistan in the name of Global War on Terror. Against the hopes and expectations of the people of Pakistan this exploitation has increased manifold in the reign of President Obama. The present US administration has ignored the fact that Pakistan is the only country which has sacrificed a lot on account of her efforts to fight against terrorism..

During his visit to India, President Obama must influence Indian leadership to stop exploitation of Pakistan on terrorism. This would help reduce tension between India and Pakistan. He must try to make the Indian authorities realize that Pakistan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty must always be respected at all costs and Pakistan’s loyalty and sincerity of cause must not be called in question. Though President Obama has very clearly mentioned it in most of his statements that US has no role to play in resolving the conflicting issues between Pakistan and India; they must be resolved through negotiations and table-talks but  US unjust support to India has developed a stubbornness in Indian behaviour. India never welcomes the peaceful solution of any of such issues. Kashmir is the touchiest issue between India and Pakistan which provides breeding grounds for terrorism. There could be no peace in the region unless this core issue is resolved. It is time for Obama to prove his statesmanship and convince Indian leadership to resolve Kashmir dispute as per the UN resolutions. Obama is a wise and intelligent politician who prefers rightful and fair deals and knows very well how to tackle with the situation. Being ambassador of world peace, he can initiate and guarantee a long term peace and prosperity in the region.
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