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In an ideal world where India-Pakistan relations are on the upswing, with the oneday series between India and Pakistan being tied at 2-2 with 1 match to go, the Pakistani crowds would applaud both teams in the final match for whatever efforts they put in. However, the reality is that if India ends up looking like winning the series, whether in a closely fought game or in a very convincing manner, it would be worth keenly watching sections of the the Pakistani crowd, waiting for them to start throwing things on the field and trying to disrupt proceedings or hurt the players or begin to utter provocative slogans directed at the Indian supporters in the crowd. The bonhomie so far in the crowd has been too good to be true and all it takes is for Pakistan to look like losing the series, the crunch game, for the feel-good factor to be shattered.
Former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao in a 2-part essay, talks about the post Cold War world and the role of democracy and economics in shaping the future.
The US is now contemplating providing India a 'major non-NATO ally' status as well, shortly after this was announced for Pakistan. Yesterday's White House press briefing had this interesting section:
Q Scott, can you please clarify two reports? One, last month when the President made an announcement in Mexico that U.S. is giving India a special status partnership -- Now last week, Secretary Powell was in Pakistan. He announced a special status with Pakistan, non-NATO status. What the difference between the two? Are they the same? Or is this opening the door for Pakistan to buy the U.S. weapons, or remain the same between the two countries, or triangle?
MR. McCLELLAN: I'm sorry, does what remain the same with the two countries?
Q The triangle -- having same relationship with the U.S. will have with both countries, or is this special status with Pakistan, non-NATO alliance or allies?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think we made it clear that we're willing to explore the same possibility of similar cooperation with India. That's something we've made clear.
I was quite disappointed that the Indian government expressed its disappointment over Colin Powell not sharing information with the government on the plan to give Pakistan the non-NATO ally status. I think the government (and bureaucrats/diplomats) should be mature enough to realise that if we kept trying to have a zero-sum game vis-a-vis Indo-US and Pak-US relations, we'd never get anywhere. The US and Pakistan have been natural allies for the last 50 years while Indo-US ties have been looking up only in the last couple of years. The US was always going to give special status to Pakistan, which would now mean greater access to military technology, defence equipment and training. But that was something they've had, clandestinely or officially, all the while. So, in my opinion, the new knighthood given to Pakistan is immaterial. If India kept complaining whenever Pakistan was given sops, all nations of the world would look at their relationships with India in the context of their relationship with Pakistan and that'd be extremely detrimental to us. Imagine, if Britain decided that as part of economic co-operation with India, more British companies would be setting up call-centres but that India would only get 75% of those opportunities, the other 25% going to Pakistan. This'd result in a significant loss for Indian industry. It is high time we stopped complaining like a child whose sibling has been given a new toy.
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