Western optimism in interpreting certain gestures and statements of the government of India as perceptible shift in its foreign policy will, on closer analysis, prove to be an error of judgment. India is irretrievably committed to the Soviet bloc. In fact Soviets have so played their cards as to leave no alternative for India but to play a second fiddle to the tunes that they compose. Soviet strategy is to project India as the leader of the third world and through the leader influence and control the third world. The massive aid by the western world, particularly by United States of America, to regenerate and modernize the underdeveloped countries has been neutralized by the slogan of nonalignment.
Nonalignment is a laudable idea and if honestly practiced it can help reduce the risk of the world exploding into an all-consuming conflagration. But with its present dependence upon U.S.S.R., can India really claim to be nonaligned? Soviets have succeeded in convincing India that if there was any real threat to India, it was from China. India has been made to believe that only Russia can save it from Chinese domination. Because of the geographical compulsions, India finds a lot of weight in Russian theory. China is also emerging as a serious trade rival for India among the underdeveloped countries. China has already elbowed out India in the field of certain industrial products, particularly in machine parts. India was the biggest exporter of ball bearings to the third world, but today smuggled Chinese ball bearings abound even in Indian markets. India faces China both on military and trade fronts and it hopes to survive this menacing challenge only through Soviet help. American alignment with China and Pakistan is hated by India and has made America a suspect in its eyes. Russian antagonism to America and China makes India a natural ally of Russia.
It is in this context that objective analysts consider western optimism as an error of judgment. In fact Russian strategy is to either evaporate Pakistan or force it out of American influence so that China is completely isolated and strategically surrounded. It would also make the controlling of Afghanistan easier.
Pakistan’s anxiety to placate India through overtures like putting Sikh hijackers to trial appears intriguing in view of the fact that unlike western world, Pakistan leaders know from long experience and association, the characteristic hypocrisy of their Indian counterparts. India has not reconciled to the creation of Pakistan and is waiting for the opportune moment to realize its cherished dream of AkhandBharat Pakistan must always bear this in mind.
Western World and Pakistan seem to have opted for a rude shock and they will have it sooner than they realize. They would discover that the illusory shift in Indian foreign policy was a calculated effort to project the new Prime Minister as a ‘‘clean’”’ man so that his position could be stabilized both at the domestic as well as international level.
Article extracted from this publication >> February 15, 1985