OPINION

SUBCONTINENT UNDER NEW MILITARY THREAT

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By: Mushtaq Hurra

External affairs ministers and defense ministers of India and America met last month in Delhi for much hyped bilateral talks, and both the countries have signed an important military agreement there. The agreement is believed to incept a new and extraordinary American military stronghold on India in particular and on the whole subcontinent in general. United states Secretary of defense Mr. Jim Mattis, United States Secretary of State Mr. Mike Pompeo, India’s external affairs minister Ms Swashma Swaraj and India’s defense minister Ms Nirmala Sitharaman took part in the high level meeting. Media men in India believe that these talks have been one-sided with America monopolizing it. The agreement has deprived India the freedom to have trade links with other countries of the world. Now, India has to dance on the tunes of Trump and company. America has asked India to stop the purchase of crude oil from Iran.USA has threatened India of economic sanctions if it continues its oil transactions with Iran. America has asked India to buy the oil from her. Iran-America relations are bitter, with the former facing the brunt of acute economic sanctions from America.

The talks have proved embarrassing for India because United States of America has categorically asked India to give up any further arms and ammunition transaction with Russia in order to ensure America’s assistance in her nuclear ventures. It is pertinent to mention here that Russia fulfills 60% arms and ammunition needs of India. India is in a fix now. If she accepts America’s offer then she can’t buy ammunition from other sources but if she denies the offer, then it may enrage USA which won’t please India at all. This point is yet to be finalized, and talks shall continue in this direction between the two sides. America has also asked India to compensate the trade deficit of billions of dollars with her. For this purpose, India has to purchase fighter jets and other goods from America. The most important demand of America was to persuade India to sign COMCASA (Communication, compatibility and security agreement). Finally, India bowed before US hegemony and signed the agreement, last month. The agreement has authenticated America to keep a close vigil on India’s military and defense establishments. Now India can’t hide its secret Russian military technology from America which she had intended to hide from her.

India signed the agreement in order to buy modern arms and ammunition from America because USA had warned India of no arms deal with it if she had failed to sign the treaty of COMCASA. Besides this, America had threatened India to loose its place in the nuclear supplier group. Defense experts and analysts believe that the agreement has strengthened America’s military might in India, and its dangerous repercussions can prove hazardous for the whole region viz subcontinent. Thus, the agreement has jeopardized the peace and stability of  subcontinent, in the long run.

India’s non-alignment policy since her freedom in 1947, was a reason of America’s non-intervention in India’s political and military matters. But, it was in 1962, when the then prime minister of India Pandit JawaharLal Nehru begged before American president Mr. John F. Kennedy to help her to stop China’s invasion.But fortunately for India, China withdrew its troops unconditionally from Indian territories, and warned India of dire consequences if it tries to cross Brahmaputra river , and then the American assistance was cancelled.

Since then, India continued to keep herself away from America’s military intervention. The incumbent prime minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi has kneeled before America by signing this agreement, contrary to his predecessors who had shown good statesmanship skills and vision.They were probably aware about the consequences of any such pact. Narendra Modi and company is little aware about the repercussions of this adventure.

Now, the agreement has opened the doors of all military and defense establishments of India for USA. Many defense experts are of the opinion that it might underestimate India’s defense capabilities.But, another section of military experts believe that this agreement had become inevitable for India, given her vulnerability to a possible attack from China.Besides India’s own defense interests, the agreement has benefited America for its growing escalations with China, both at military and economic fronts.It is important to mention here that China is rapidly growing as a super power , and America can’t bear it easily.

Though all the details of this agreement have not been made public but the defense experts believe that it will pave way for America to run her military operations in the subcontinent. Presence of American military in India would not be a good omen for subcontinent. Interestinglly , the two nuclear giants of subcontinent viz a viz Pakistan and India are always at daggers drawn. Now the billion dollar question is that what role will America play, in case a military war breaks out between these two arch rivals of subcontinent. Indian military and defense experts state that America can make use her modern and highly sophisticated armory, if a military adventure takes place in the subcontinent. According to these experts, America has the every right to help India in case the growing escalations lead to military battle between the two nations.

Thus, the possible adventure can register a new era of destruction in the region, given the probable presence of American military here.Indian prime minister, defense minister, external affairs minister, military and other stakeholders should have given a good thought to the possible magnitude of destruction, before signing the treaty with America.

The writer is a teacher and can be reached at [email protected]

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