During his recent visit to India, David Miliband, the English Foreign Secretary seemed to go out of his way to damage the relations between India and England. His behavior was described in the Indian media as presumptuous and condescending. But his most inflammatory action was writing an article in an English newspaper while he was in India arguing “Resolution of the dispute over Kashmir would help deny extremists in the region one of their main calls to arms and allow Pakistani authorities to focus more effectively on tackling the threat on their western borders.”
Apart from historical and factual falsehood, this comment is typical in its bias that terrorism against the Anglo-Americans occurs because Muslim Terrorists hate their democracy and free societies but terrorism against other countries occurs because of old border disputes. The second problem with this reasoning is the belief that you need to create good feelings among the terrorists by meeting their key demands and give confidence to terrorism supporting governments so that they can be enticed into trying to combat terror.
For once, the Indian English Media set aside its sycophancy and took on Miliband explicitly and unequivocally:
- The editorial in the Asian Age said: “Such appeasement of terrorism is startling… What next? That the chief imam of London’s Finsbury Park Mosque should be elevated to the House of Lords?”
- The Pioneer accused Mr Miliband of “domestic grandstanding and ideological posturing that only left his Indian hosts convinced of Whitehall’s marginal status in international politics”.
During the past two decades, England has steadily transformed itself into a courier of the USA. Witness actions of Tony Blair, England’s prior Prime Minister. Blair echoed the sentiments and views of President Clinton during Mr. Clinton’s tenure. When George Bush became President, Tony Blair turned 180 degrees and followed President Bush’s line so loyally that even the English press termed him “Bush’s poodle”. Like Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and his cabinet have dutifully decided to follow policies of the American President whoever he might be.
This is why we wonder whether the Miliband comment was actually a trial balloon floated on behalf of the Obama Administration. After all, the comment by Miliband was an echo of a comment made by President-elect Obama in an interview with Time magazine. The inspiration behind that comment was the specious reasoning of Ahmad Rashid, the Pakistani journalist and a guest commentator to BBC.
It has been reported in American print media that the Obama transition team was infatuated by the views of Ahmad Rashid and Mr. Rashid’s writings were required reading for the Obama foreign policy team.
This is why the Indian Establishment made such a public point of disparaging Miliband and expressing its total rejection of that concept. It was, we believe, an unequivocal signal to the Obama Administration that such appeasement of Pakistani terrorism would seriously damage Indo-American relations.
In our opinion, the Obama administration should listen to veteran American journalist Selig Harrison and not Pakistani journalists like Ahmad Rashid.
Selig Harrison called President-elect Obama’s comment about Kashmir as “his first big foreign policy mistake” even before taking office. “By questioning Indian control of the Kashmir Valley,” wrote Harrison in the Washington Times, “the United States would strengthen jihadi forces in both Islamabad and Srinagar, the capital of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. More importantly, it would undermine improving US-India relations.”
We could not agree more!
Editor’s Note: The entire fault in this matter lies with the cowardice and lack of firmness of the Indian Government over the past 60 years. The Indian Government has never laid out explicitly what every Indian citizen believes, that all of Kashmir is an integral part of India and that the only real solution to the Kashmir problem is for India to take control of the portion illegally occupied by Pakistan. Indian Government should have declared in the past and it should do so today. that India is prepared to tolerate the existing line of control in the interests of peace but it keeps all rights to all of Kashmir as its lawful territory. Had India stated this clear and unequivocal position in the past (as China does in every border dispute, real or imagined), such a potentially disastrous scenario between the Obama Administration and India would never have arisen.
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