Sunday, November 7, 2010

Obama on India and Pakistan

I am not in the habit of agreeing with President Obama, but I think he is correct on his comments about Pakistan while visiting India.
The Indian media has made a great fuss about his lack of criticism of Pakistan during his recent India visit, and when he reluctantly did speak, he indicated that the U.S. would not be drawn into a role of fully controlling Pakistan.
Perhaps the more accurate phrase would be "could not."
If the U.S. were to chastise Pakistan to the extent that would appease the Indians, the U.S. would have no role whatsoever in Pakistan. China would be more than happy to fill any void created by a U.S. exit.
Still, there are many in the U.S. and in India who would say that that role accomplishes very little -- and they are correct.
But no role at all would not remove Pakistan from India's border, nor would it take away the Pakistani nuclear weapons, nor would it solve the problems of terrorist elements operating in Pakistan.
India should take the president's visit for what it is worth. He is recognizing India and he did not include Pakistan in his stops. (Politics aside, just imagine the security that would have been involved in a visit to Islamabad.)
Why did he make such a visit -- to both the Indian leaders and the people? Because India is a rapidly growing economy -- No. 4 in the world and gaining on Japan to take over as No. 3. It is the world's largest democracy. And it holds an increasingly important role on the world stage.
But as a growing world power, Indians also cannot expect others to solve the problems that exist on their doorstep.
Welcome to the top of the pile.


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