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India has a powerful pro-American lobby: Amb. Bhadrakumar

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India has a powerful pro-American lobby clamoring for forever wars, says Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar.

In an article published by the Counter Current on Thursday, Bhadrakumar argued that Sinophobia feeds into it seamlessly. "This lobby will only gain ascendancy, as India develops a defense industry and the corporate interests and their eventual nexus with the defense establishment come into full play, inevitably, in the domain of foreign and security policies."

Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar served the Indian Foreign Service for more than 29 years with assignments among other countries in the former Soviet Union, Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan.

Recalling US president Dwight Eisenhower's warning about the corrupting influence of the military-industrial complex, Bhadrakumar added: Eisenhower was prescient in laying down the red line universally applicable to all democracies upholding the civilian supremacy, but it is easier said than done.

The Indian narrative on the recent disengagement of troops on the disputed border with China in eastern Ladakh fits the above description in certain ways, although India doesn't yet have an avaricious military-industrial complex, Bhadrakumar argued and added:

Logically, the disengagement of troops in Eastern Ladakh ought to be a cause for celebration that the war clouds have dispersed. Even Chinese experts acknowledge that the disengagement signifies "a key breakthrough" that hopefully leads to peace and stability in short and medium term.

Looking ahead, pre-conditions now exist for a positive turn to the India-China bilateral relationship. Arguably, the recent India-China consultations over the upcoming agenda in the UN forum and a recent Reuters report that the government is getting ready to clear some new investment proposals from China in the coming weeks are discernible signs that the disengagement agreement is gaining traction.

A top Chinese expert, Qian Feng, director of the research department at the National Strategy Institute at Tsinghua University, a highly prestigious institution internationally, wrote that the disengagement agreement is "a wise and pragmatic decision" by the Modi Govt "after weighing the country's interests at both home and abroad."

No doubt, the decision is in India's national interests. Frankly, the curtailment of economic ties with China was an unrealistic move. India's imports from China actually increased in the second half of last year and China surged as India's number one trading partner, surpassing the US.

According to Bhadrakumar, rolling back Chinese investments in the Indian economy was a self-defeating policy, as post-pandemic economic recovery and job creation ought to be national priorities. China becomes an irreplaceable partner, given the state of world economy.

Despite the disengagement in Ladakh, the mutual trust in India-China relations has hit rock bottom. This is where the creation of buffer zones in the disputed border areas assume significance. Such underpinnings enhance mutual confidence & ensure that peace and tranquility is sustainable, Bhadrakumar argued and added:

"Yet, Indian analysts bemoan the creation of such buffer zones, saying it deprives the army from conducting "patrols" in disputed territories. Now, border transgressions can always be monitored through technical means, whereas, patrols risk "face-offs."

Why do Indian analysts look crestfallen? Bhadrakumar questions and answers, that fundamentally, the adversarial mindset inculcated through decades of indoctrination since 1962 explains it. It may be pointed out that in 1962 India suffered a humiliated defeat by China.

The government's decision on disengagement cannot and should not be a 'stand alone' decision. Downstream developments in the political and diplomatic arena become highly relevant.

The untimely QUAD meeting on February 18 that Washington convened bang in the middle of the disengagement in the Himalayas highlights the contradiction in the Indian policies, Bhadrakumar said adding: Suffice to say, India also has a powerful pro-American lobby clamoring for "forever wars".

3rd India-Australia-Japan-USA Quad Ministerial Meeting

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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