India’s Charm Offensive
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  • “A politically balanced Asia-Pacific region, where all countries compete for riches and where no one country dominates the others, is exactly what Washington hopes to facilitate. India’s friendly outreach to neighbors (even Pakistan)—an outreach that does not involve “meddling” or “destabilizing”—is good news for President Obama’s pivot to Asia. To promote peaceful growth in Asia, Washington will look mainly at India. All seems peachy on that front so far.”

    I figure that’s about as good as nutshells get. Meanwhile let’s pray and hope Indian leaders are (or become?) sincere in their promises to refrain from meddling and destabilizing. Esp. where Pakistan is concerned. And I suspect THAT will only work so far as India can keep its own “hot” – or, as I like to call them, militarized – religion types on a pretty tight leash. I like to think there are 2 basic types of Indophobe in Pakistan:

    1) The kind that doubts that lasting rapproachement with India can ever happen;
    2) the kind that’s working with all his might to ensure that it doesn’t.

    The weaker – or more discredited – the militant Hinduists are, the less grist there’ll be for the mills of Category #2.

  • Akshay Kanoria

    Unfortunately, you are rather naive on this point. Pakistan’s government seems determined to shoot itself in the foot, backtracking on the trade agreement with India under pressure from some political quarters. It seems that no matter what India’s efforts, Pakistan rebuffs them and acts like it is the richer and larger neighbour, rather than one at the brink of ruin.
    Bangladesh is an election away from reversal. If Khaleda Zia defeats Sheikh Hasina (which happens every alternate election), India’s ties will go into deep freeze.
    India has also blundered on the Maldives, a strategic ally. It also has to balance a tightrope between Tamil rights and geopolitics in Sri Lanka which is rather precarious.
    In the future, you would do well to explain these ‘details’ that are such a big caveat to the positive message you hope to project.

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