Fair again!

Christine Fair of Georgetown University, Washington, DC, is proving to be a far more trenchant critic of Pakistan’s strategy of asymmetric warfare — terrorism under the nuclear overhang policies, and more persuasive than any Indian analyst, and more convincing to the US policy establishment than the Indian Embassy working on the margins can ever be. See her piece of clear writing available at:
Her larger case is that the “false equivalency” between India and Pakistan assumed by US policymakers when assessing the situation in South Asia ends up unfairly dividing the responsibility for bad things happening in this part of the world equally between the two countries. Fair argues that at the bottom of Islamabad’s risk-acceptant policy of constantly needling India is its confidence that the US will always come to its rescue. If Washington corrects its posture by warning that it would not intervene in any crisis initiated by terrorism perpetrated by Pakistani supported outlaws, the problem would end because then there would be no one to save Pakistan if Delhi decides to retaliate and Islamabad would be forced to jettison its confrontationist policy. Christine’s case is built around the UN Resolution 47 of 1948, the fact that its conditions have never been met by Islamabad, and the false cultural history (of Muslims mistreated under Hindu majority rule and constituting a separate nation) and flawed Muslim demographics in the subcontinent at the core of the Two Nation Theory, which is the ideological undergirding of the Pakistani state.

In my writings over the last thirty years, I have analyzed the “false equivalence” aspects of America’s South Asia policy (and Western policy, generally) and its deleterious outcomes but from the perspective of the manifest inequality in every respect and the sheer disparity in the size, potential, and capabilities of the two countries which, in realpolitik terms, should have been decisive in influencing Washington’s thinking but wasn’t because short-term benefits and Pakistan’s utility as a “frontline” state ( in the Cold War, and in anti-Islamic terror and Afghanistan military campaigns since) over-rode strategic good sense.

About Bharat Karnad

Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, he was Member of the (1st) National Security Advisory Board and the Nuclear Doctrine-drafting Group, and author, among other books of, 'Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security: The Realist Foundations of Strategy', 'India's Nuclear Policy' and most recently, 'Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet)'. Educated at the University of California (undergrad and grad), he was Visiting Scholar at Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies, and Henry L. Stimson Center, Washington, DC.
This entry was posted in Asian geopolitics, Culture, domestic politics, Geopolitics, Great Power imperatives, India's Pakistan Policy, India's strategic thinking and policy, Indian Politics, Internal Security, Nuclear Weapons, Pakistan, Pakistan military, Pakistan nuclear forces, society, South Asia, Strategic Relations with the US & West, Terrorism, United States, US.. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Fair again!

  1. ashok says:

    Don`t you think western nations know this and this equivalence on their part is part of a long term strategy to keep India on the back foot

  2. Shail says:

    We must extract the price of a defanged Pakistan for that kind of unalienated support

  3. rohit pandey says:

    Mr Karnad could you provide a reading list on topics such as international political economy and other subjects for we are still learning .

    • In no particular order — in international political economy — Robert Gilpin, The Political Economy of International Relations; Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers; Michael Porter, Competitive Advantage; and, Daren Acemoglu & James Robinson, Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty.

      • rohit pandey says:

        sir i have read the following books except Robert Gilpin, The Political Economy of International Relations , could you please give another list with more books , thank you

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