Prime Minister Narendra Modi is Tokyo-bound, there to sign a nuclear cooperation deal along the lines of a similar deal in 2008 with the United States. Have often wondered in my writings this incomprehensible desire of the Indian government headed by whosoever — Manmohan one year, Modi the next — to hamstring the country strategically. This deal with Japan too will have the clause of the deal-break in case India resumes nuclear testing at any time in the future. Because Japan has grown more hypocritical with the years even when compared to India, this anti-nuclear attitude of the Shinzo Abe regime occasions even less understanding, given Japan can become a nuclear weapon state quite literally over little more than a weekend.But the Japanese government, long in the American shadow, is habituated to aping the US.
However, this N-testing provision as deal breaker is sought to be kept hidden by GOI and, at Modi’s request, Tokyo agreed not to mention this conditionality in the public document, but rather in a separate “secret” document, as if this basis for the deal is a big secret. The Modi PMO, however, fears it will unnecessarily remind and rile up the few of us who remain concerned about GOI so easily surrendering its sovereign right to credible nuclear security, by postponing open ended N-tests and thereby persisting with untested and unproven fusion weapons arsenal.
There’s also some doubt whether Modi will be persuaded by Abe to be a bit bolder in his foreign policy where China is concerned, because New Delhi’s posture turns leonine only when Pakistan comes into view. The Indian PM hasn’t had the strategic wit to shrug off American pressure and expeditiously transfer the Brahmos supersonic cruise missile to Vietnam. So, it is unlikely he appreciates the need to strategically hamper China all along its coastline in the South China Sea, the East Sea, and the Yellow Sea, or the value of intensive military cooperation with Japan.
This reluctance of Modi’s makes no sense whatsoever in the light of China shopping its supersonic cruise missile — CM-302 in its export form, YJ-12 at the Zhuhai Air Show. How long do Modi, Doval & Co. believe it will be before the Pakistan Navy secures this missile? It stands to reason they will not even appreciate the fact that India’s repeated buckling under US pressure and postponing the Brahmos transfer has lost New Delhi the opportunity to leverage the threats of arming other states on China’s periphery with this sea-skimming anti-ship missile to prevent to, at least, limit the sale of the YJ-12s to Pakistan.