By Syed Zaki Ahmed
Recently, US President Barack Obama has come out in favour of a permanent seat on the UN Security Council for India. Obama said this in his speech to Indian parliament during his three-day business trip. It seems as an effort to please India and earn business from it for the weakening US economy. Analysts think that US is raising India against People's Republic of China. Relations between the US and China are deteriorating. China is becoming more 'assertive' and pushing its claims more forcefully.
The emerging 'superpower' is expanding its sphere of influence in the world. Ties between India’s arch rival Pakistan and China are also expanding rapidly. Approximately 10,000 Chinese workers are engaged in 120 projects in Pakistan and total Chinese investment - which includes heavy engineering, power generation, mining and telecommunications - stands at $15 billion at the end of this year, up from $4 billion in 2007. Pakistan’s golden gateway, Gawadar provides China access to warm waters. China is also assisting Pakistan in nuclear technology.
To control China, India is being used by America. Hence, the anti-China stance is also bringing US and India closer to each other. Critics say that Obama's endorsement of India's UNSC bid is more of a gesture than a real sincere support in order to gain India's support. To endorse India's UNSC bid is one thing but India to get the seat is an entirely different thing which is very complex and has many complications. Li Hongmei, editor and columnist of PD Online says "... he essentially handed the Indians a cheque that cannot be easily cashed ...”
Experts believe that major reforms have to be done in the UN for including India in UNSC as a permanent member and it will also open UNSC's gates for many other potential countries such as Japan, Brazil, Germany and Saudi Arabia which some of the P5 do not want.
According to Wikipedia, "The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security." We can clearly say, in the light of the above definition that India does not qualify to become a permanent member of the UNSC. This fact is now even accepted by India.
Since 1992, India never contested for a non-permanent UNSC seat as it believed that its only place in UNSC is as a permanent member. However in 2010, they have learnt that it is impossible for them to get the permanent seat and so they then contested for a non-permanent seat from the Asian Group. Giving a veto power to India where thousands of innocent people are being killed every year in Kashmir, where naxalism has spread across 220 districts in twenty states accounting for about 40% of India's area, and where 37% of the India falls below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day is extremely unfair, unjust and unreasonable.
India's grave human rights violations, its immense and colossal problems with its neighbouring countries are some of the great obstacles for India. India has not honoured the UN Security Council resolutions on Kashmir. It is important how Pakistan reacts to the growing Washington-New Delhi nexus.
Pakistan has reacted strongly to it. Pakistan believes that this decision has grave ramifications for the direction and prospects of the system of multilateral cooperation as envisaged by the founding fathers of the UN Charter and it also has implications for peace and security and stability in Asia, particularly South Asia. The decision taken by the US president to please his hosts had been viewed with extreme displeasure in Pakistan. The Pakistani establishment is fully aware of the situation and it is due to this reason Pakistan is moving closer to China.
President Asif Ali Zardari visits China in every three months and an important trip of him starting 11 November where strategic and bilateral relations will be discussed. America must realise that it cannot keep both Pakistan and India happy at the same time. Pakistan is the most important ally in the Afghan war and US cannot ignore it. Pakistan has showed its importance to the world when it stopped NATO and US supplies to Afghanistan and then the US was forced to issue an apology to Pakistan. On the other hand, Obama also needs to improve relations with India for the sake of US economy as the unemployment rate in the US is increasing. US also need India’s support against China. Let us wait and watch how successful US becomes in this delicate balancing act.