THE Trump administration’s first policy announcement on Monday is no different from previous such policies. Packed with warnings to Pakistan, it seems to be an effort at “damage control” after suffering a setback in Afghanistan. This time, a new point is added, which urges Pakistan to demonstrate that it’s a responsible steward of its nuclear assets, and warns that fears of a nuclear conflict with India remains a key concern in Washington.
What have successive US administrations done to reduce or eliminate this “feared conflict” in the subcontinent? Should one understand that giving India access to the Nuclear Suppliers Group is part of such “efforts”? Or is raising the bogey of Pakistan’s nuclear assets in the hands of terrorists that easy?
One may conclude that ever since Pakistan announced its response to India’s belligerent full spectrum nuclear/cold start doctrine, the US intends to restrict Pakistan’s response to only conventional response, where India has a numerical advantage, thus facilitating India’s ‘hegemonic posture’ in the subcontinent.
One great flaw of this new policy is that it relies heavily on India by making some “over-estimations” about India’s capabilities and most important, its willingness to accept such huge responsibilities.
As for the “unilateral steps” the Trump policy will have severe implications in store for the US and its allies, including India.
Abid Mahmud Ansari