Obama’s India Yatra – Round 1

IF the Indians were hoping, nay holding their breath for President Obama to chastise Pakistan for its alleged role in terrorism, they were solely disappointed. The stage had been elaborately set for raking up old memories of the November 26, 2008 Mumbai attack and get President Obama to deliver a stern warning to Pakistan. The choice of residence at The Taj Hotel, the expression of solidarity with the relatives and survivors of the victims of India’s 26/11, signing the visitors’ book at the hotel, all were choreographed to achieve Pakistan bashing. Indian TV channels had been blasting away non-stop in anticipation of the rap on the knuckles from the US President. Pakistan was being badmouthed by analysts including former diplomats, politicians, military men and think tank members in their respective talk shows. However, President Obama did highlight the evil of terrorism and the need to join forces to eradicate it but failed to mention Pakistan, let alone censure it.
Pakistan has been denying the charge of any complicity in the heinous attack and has been insistent on a joint investigation to expose the real perpetrators of the crime but their request has so far been denied by India for obvious reasons, they do not want anyone to get to the bottom of the case lest their own complicity is unearthed. President Obama displayed maturity and statesmanship in avoiding any mention of Pakistan. He cannot be oblivious to Pakistan’s sensitivities and operative role in combating terrorism. Perhaps he has heeded former US Ambassador to Islamabad, Ryan W. Crocker’s advice that Pakistan’s role in the war against terror must be appreciated and “the US must be private in its criticism and public in its support.” Day One of the visit should otherwise have been a source of satisfaction for India. the White House released a list of business deals worth about $15 billion, described as having been finalized or in the process of being completed, which it said support more than 53,000 jobs in the U.S.

These include preliminary agreement for India’s purchase of 10 Boeing C-17 military transport aircraft, a $2.7 billion purchase of 30 Boeing 737-800 passenger jets, and an $822 million deal with General Electric to supply engines for Indian light combat aircraft. Also on the list – a deal for General Electric to supply advanced gas and steam turbines for power generation in India, and the supply of U.S-manufactured locomotives to India. President Obama also announced an easing of U.S. controls on exports to India, saying Washington will support India’s full membership in four multilateral non-proliferation groups, including the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Missile Technology Control Regime. India has agreed to adopt the requirements of all four groups. Three of four Indian space and defence organizations would be removed from a U.S. list of restricted entities. These are major milestones. The Daily Mail notes that Indian analysts, instead of praising the notable achievements and commenting on them, were so exasperated by Obama’s omission of the expected “rap on the knuckle” for Pakistan, that foaming at the mouth, they kept spewing venom against Pakistan. They even failed to take cognizance of the fact that with US warships, stationed close to Mumbai, thousands of US marines, soldiers and security personnel guarding President Obama, it was a virtual invasion of India, something unheard of in recent times.

It also gave a clear message that Indian security personnel were considered unsuitable for the delicate task of being entrusted with the US President’s safety. Unwittingly, Indian warmongers and harbingers of hate and bigotry, by default let Pakistan have the advantage in Round One. The Daily Mail would wait to see if President Obama has the bold vision of asking India to stop the bloodshed in Kashmir and enable them to enjoy the benefit of the UN sponsored plebiscite to decide their own future. Chances are that he will avoid it since somehow India has managed to create the misconception in US minds that Kashmir is its internal problem and it is an integral part of India. President Obama has only to look at the valid UN Resolutions on Kashmir to decide for himself regarding the truth. Kashmir has been declared as a disputed territory and unfinished agenda of the Indian Subcontinent’s Partition Act of 1947. Only the people of Kashmir can declare to which country they want to accede. Let Mr. Obama prove his mettle as a real world leader, if he has the grit and fortitude to sift the truth from the web of lies – Dailymailnews