by Uzge Saleem 25/6/2018
There are no permanent friends nor permanent enemies in the international order there is only time confined strategic partners or allies which change with the ever-changing interests and concerns of a state. This pattern has both, a positive and a negative side to it. The state being favored at some particular time must always keep its guards up or prepare for a fallback cushion because the only sure thing about international relations is that they are unpredictable. Pakistan once was the most favored NATO ally, and now it is on the verge of being Grey listed by FATF. This can prove to be a case study for the state’s next door neighbor. This downward spiral did not come upon Pakistan because it went rogue or started negating the US agendas. If anything, the state hosted the war on terror on its soil. However, the simple reason for this breakup was a shift in the US’ interests with shifting international dynamics. The reason why it is important to mention this shift of interests is that what happened to Pakistan then can very well happen to India at any point of time.
However, the current situation is that the international community is all in support of America’s new focal state. Exceptions are being made, and relations are being built. Why else would the NSG which was formulated after the Indian nuclear test grant waivers to the very same state? India has not committed to non-proliferation of its assets nor has it joined the NPT to streamline its program. Furthermore, its nuclear sites do not even come under the safeguards of IAEA. So what is the reason that India seems to be enjoying this special “responsible state” status? It is all because of American support. All of these blessings on India are because America chose for it to be blessed. The state has been admitted to MTCR, Wassenaar Arrangement, and Australia group. One might question as to why it is that these admissions were not made in the previous years and are readily being made now. The answer once again is that the American hand was not behind India ambitions in the earlier years.
Now that it is established that the US support bags special status for India from the international community we can analyze why that is so. The answer again lies in Geopolitics and maintaining the hegemonic status of the US. The US has always had an interest in the South Asian region. The motives, however, have been different every time. During the Cold War era, the purpose was to contain Russia through Afghanistan. During the War on Terror, it was to contain the terrorists in Afghanistan. The common ground here is that for both this motives Pakistan was a state of interest because it was the only state generous enough to cater to these demands and needs at that time where India was conveniently non-aligned. However, now the motive has become twofold. The US wants to target Pakistan through India and also contain the Chinese influence from spreading. The primary reason Pakistan has been put on the hit list is that of the state’s cordial relations with China and also because it has now stopped dancing on the American music. India fits into this situation because of the age-old concept that the enemy of an enemy is a friend and since India seems to be hostile towards both China and Pakistan historically, it fits in perfectly for the role.
The international community needs to realize that the US agenda will keep on shifting and so will its interests in the states but the international community can do better than just following the US in whatever it chooses to do in the international politics. NSG can prove to be a platform for showcasing a firm stand. Membership should not be granted to India just because the US desires so. The global community needs to realize that if the US has no regard for the treaties that include other states, like the US-Iran nuclear deal, then there needs to be no catering of the US interests. It is about time that the international world order comes out of the US shadow and makes an identity for itself because the US behavior is becoming unpredictable by the day. Followed by the withdrawal from Iranian Nuclear deal was withdrawal from the UNHRC simply because it did not comply with its interests in Israel. If the US can act according to what suits it right then so should the rest of the global community. If realism seems to be the popular trend, then it should be supported by all alike.