|Prime Minister Modi will meet with US President Joe Biden, later this month.|
Both countries will have shed the monkey called Pakistan off their backs when Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets US President Joe Biden at the White House later this month, as American direct engagement with the Af-Pak region has ended since the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in the winter of 1979.
The bilateral relationship between India and the United States has been tainted by American involvement in Afghanistan for the past four decades, and the equation remained largely hyphenated until US Navy Seals gunned down Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden near a Pakistan Army cantonment in Abbottabad in May 2011.
In the meantime, Washington’s strategy towards India was mainly defined by its obligations in the Af-Pak area, as Rawalpindi was required to combat the Soviet Union during the Cold War and then Al Qaeda and the Taliban after 9/11 attacks. Washington strategists saw the India-US bilateral relationship through this lens, and tactical changes were made in favour of Rawalpindi GHQ.
Even after the brutal attacks by Pakistani terrorist groups on the Indian Parliament in December 2001 and the Indian Army camp at Kaluchak in Jammu and Kashmir in May 2002, the US President, NSA, Secretary of State, and Deputy Secretary of State sent a message to the then NDA government not to wage war against Pakistan because US personnel were stationed there fighting terror in Afghanistan. While the US dug down on then-Pakistani ruler Gen Pervez Musharraf to prevent terrorist organizations from invading India, New Delhi was urged to ease off on Pakistan, despite the barbaric murder of ten children in Kaluchak.
When US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld visited India over a month after the Kaluchak massacre, he informed his Indian colleague George Fernandes that the US’s relationship with Pakistan was transitory, but that they were looking at India as a long-term strategic friend.
Pakistan was given a free pass by successive US administrations on nuclear and missile proliferation, terrorism against India, and was even rewarded with significant non-NATO status in 2003 without telling India owing to American commitment in Afghanistan. While a powerful US media and think-tank ecosystem exert pressure on India over Kashmir, it does so without demanding equivalent responsibility from terror-promoting Islamabad.
Despite extensive proof available in AQ Khan files with the CIA, North Korea was sanctioned but not Pakistan or China for nuclear proliferation. To discourage India, the US environment conjured up visions of nuclear war. Pakistan directly attacked India or utilized proxy terror organizations to do it. Pakistan got off lightly in the 1999 Kargil War, despite the fact that Musharraf’s renegade Pakistan Army invaded India from Batalik to Mushkoh Valley in pursuit of their pipe goal of annexing Kashmir.
Pakistan’s misdeeds over the last four decades have not only gone unnoticed by the international community but have also been rewarded with the US pumping in the newest military gear and financial help, notably through the use of the national security waiver following 9/11.
Despite the fact that everyone in the White House knew that Taliban and Al Qaeda commanders were feted by Rawalpindi, Islamabad received billions of dollars in help from the US and the European Union in the name of the fight on terror. Even the F-16 fighter jets provided to Pakistan for use in Afghanistan’s war on terror were utilized against India on February 27, 2019, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi bombed a terror camp in Balakot in retaliation for the Pulwama terror attack by Pakistan-based terrorists.