Indo-Pak ties and the US
India has done the right thing in rejecting US mediation in India-Pakistan relations hinted at by the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley. First, it is not clear whether it was an official statement expressing the intent of Washington to mediate between India and Pakistan, or a sort of ‘kite-flying’ to test India’s response and reaction to this proposal. The Trump administration should be aware of the fact that the Indira-Bhutto Shimla Agreement of 1972 precludes any third-party role in resolving Indo-Pak disputes and commits both countries to dialogue to resolve differences. India has been consistent in its stand that all Indo-Pakistan disputes are bilateral issues and no third-party ‘mediation` will be accepted.
Secondly, what Haley reportedly told a Press conference (“We don’t think we should wait till something happens”) suggests that the US apprehends that ‘something’ may happen in not-too-distant a future. If so, the Trump administration is expected to know that the provocation for that vague ‘something’ will come from Islamabad, not New Delhi and US efforts to prevent that ‘something’ should be directed at Pakistan, not India. What is implicit in Haley’s comment is that both sides are equally responsible for the present tensions – a suggestion that should be treated with scorn and contempt. Had India not all along shown extreme restraint in ensuring that the unending skirmishes on the LoC and the terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of India provoked by :Pakistan do not spin out of control, Pakistan might have suffered consequences threatening its very existence.
In fact Washington still looks upon itself as a world gendarme that has the right to interfere in any real or supposed international dispute without so much as recognizing that the UN has a role to play. The US invaded Afghanistan and Iraq without any reference to the world body (which the then US President George Bush had contemptuously called a spineless organization because it refused to do what the US wanted it to do) not in the interest of world peace but to eliminate rulers which it considered inimical to US interests. It may be difficult for a megalomaniac like Donald Trump to reconcile himself to the reality that not all sovereign countries are so spineless as not to defend their sovereignty. Any misguided attempt by the Trump administration to meddle in India-Pakistan dispute will be rebuffed by India. In the long run Pakistan will have to accept the fact that it has to live with India as a neighbour and must give up its constants attempts at destabilizing India.