Posted on 08 November 2010.
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Pouring over every word in the Indo-US joint statement one can discover a few facts that have not been highlighted by the Bharati media. The Bharatis are giddy with happiness and may not realize the give and take in the deals between Delhi and Washington.
Here is an analysis.
1) The US holds out the ephemeral promise of a UNSC seat when and if the UNSC is expanded. The UNSC seat is predicated on resolution of Kashmir. Major impediments are China and the group led by Italy and Pakistan. The UNSC expansion does not envisage veto powers for the new members. The UN has been talking about it for a decade. The change may take 3 to 5 years or longer and may include a Muslim member (Indonesia, Egypt or Pakistan). Pakistan must ask for it through the OIC.
2) Membership in the NSG will have to overcome objections by China.
3) Other memberships may or may not be that important.
4) A lot of talk about Bharat’s involvement in Southeast Asia.
5) A Nuclear Security and Monitoring Center in Haryana.
There is one thing that is missing in the joint statement. There is no discussion of or promise of any Bharati involvement in Afghanistan. In fact while Mr. Obama mentioned Pakistan’s role in the new establishment in Afghanistan, all he could do was muster up encouragement for Bharat to continue its arts and crafts activities in Afghanistan. In affect, Mr. Obama wants Bharat to invest money in Afghanistan, but does not see it participating in the political setup of Afghanistan.
This is a colossal defeat for Bharati diplomacy but it has been glossed over by vague promises of UNSC seats and memberships to exclusive clubs. In all these Bharat will the poorest member with very little clout.
New Delhi : Underlining “increased responsibility” that comes along with “increased power”, the US today indicated that while “it looked forward to a reformed United Nations Security Council (UNSC) that includes India as a permanent member”, it expected New Delhi to move on Iran and speak up on issues like rights violations in Myanmar.
While US President Barack Obama said so in his address in Parliament, it was reiterated in the joint statement, issued three hours later.
It said both leaders Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Obama underscored that all states have an obligation to comply with and implement UNSC resolutions, including “UN sanctions regimes.”
The statement made a direct reference to Iran — the first since Iran’s nuclear programme came under sanctions — and said that “the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to diplomacy to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue, and discussed the need for Iran to take constructive and immediate steps to meet its obligations to the IAEA and the UNSC”.
South Block sources said that the phrase, “commitment to diplomacy,” was worked out at New Delhi’s insistence since India has always favoured that route over sanctions.
On terrorism and Pakistan, the joint statement echoed what Singh and Obama said at the press conference earlier in the day. It said that “all terrorist networks, including Lashkar-e-Taiba, must be defeated,” and called for Pakistan “to bring to justice the perpetrators of the November 2008 Mumbai attacks.”
On counter-terrorism, the two leaders reiterated that success in Afghanistan and regional and global security require “elimination of safe havens and infrastructure for terrorism and violent extremism in Afghanistan and Pakistan”.
On Afghanistan, the two sides resolved to pursue “joint development projects” with the Afghan government in capacity building, agriculture and women’s empowerment.
Building on the Counter Terrorism Initiative signed in July, the two leaders announced a new “Homeland Security Dialogue” between the Ministry of Home Affairs, India and the US Department of Homeland Security and agreed to further deepen operational cooperation, counter-terrorism technology transfers and capacity building.
The joint statement further said, “They (the leaders) expressed a commitment to strengthen international cooperative activities that will reduce the risk of terrorists acquiring nuclear weapons or material without reducing the rights of nations that play by the rules to harness the power of nuclear energy to advance their energy security.”
Without mentioning China and its activities in the South China Sea, it said the two leaders have a “shared vision for peace, stability and prosperity in Asia, the Indian Ocean region and the Pacific region and (are) committed to work together, and with others in the region, for the evolution of an open, balanced and inclusive architecture in the region”.
Singh and Obama reaffirmed their support for the East Asia Summit. “The two leaders agreed to deepen existing regular strategic consultations on developments in East Asia, and decided to expand and intensify their strategic consultations to cover regional and global issues of mutual interest, including Central and West Asia.”
Without naming Indian entities taken off the US entity list, the joint statement said the two leaders decided to take mutual steps to expand US-India cooperation in civil space, defense, and other high-technology sectors. “Commensurate with India’s nonproliferation record and commitment to abide by multilateral export control standards, these steps include the United States removing Indian entities from the US Department of Commerce’s “Entity List” and realignment of India in US export control regulations,” it said.
On the issue of membership to the elite export control bodies, the joint statement said that US intends to support “India’s full membership” in the four multilateral export control regimes (Nuclear Suppliers Group, Missile Technology Control Regime, Australia Group, and Wassenaar Arrangement) in a “phased manner”, and to consult with regime members to “encourage the evolution of regime membership criteria, consistent with maintaining the core principles of these regimes, as the Government of India takes steps towards the full adoption of the regimes’ export control requirements to reflect its prospective membership, with both processes moving forward together.”
On the nuclear deal, the two sides reiterated their commitment to strong India-US civil nuclear energy cooperation through the participation of the US nuclear energy firms in India on the basis of “mutually acceptable technical and commercial terms and conditions that enable a viable tariff regime for electricity generated… India will continue to work with the companies. In this context, they welcomed the commencement of negotiations and dialogue between the Indian operator and US nuclear energy companies, and expressed hope for early commencement of commercial cooperation in the civil nuclear energy sector in India.” US echoes India on terrorism but redflags Iran
Shubhajit Roy Posted online: Tue Nov 09 2010, 03:50 hrs.
There seems to be a trade-off for Bharat. She has got the prestige she needed in exchange for an end of its involvement in Afghanistan, and resolution of Kashmir. Mr. Obama gets Pakistani cooperation for a face saving exit from Afghanistan. Of course Bharat is renege on its promise on Kashmir made out to Mr. Obama, and it will try to break its agreement on Afghanistan. As soon as the Americans begin to leave, Bharat will begin interfering in Afghanistan again.