Saturday, February 2, 2008

Pervez and Ehud "Chance" meeting, An interesting Perspective:

Some interesting observations by M.K. Bhdrakumar, a 29 year career diplomat with Indian Foreign Service, regarding the recent "chance" meeting between Prez (i) Mushie and Ehud Barak in France.

Both Pakistan and Israel have reason to upgrade the level of their interaction. A good clue is available from Lieberman's itinerary in Islamabad, which included two unusual appointments for a visiting US senator. Lieberman had separate meetings with Pakistani army chief General Parvez Kiani and the director general of the Strategic Planning Division (SPD) , Lieutenant General (retired) Khalid Ahmad Kidwai.

Following these meetings on January 9, Lieberman paid handsome compliment to the SPD's professional capability in managing the command and control system for the security of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. "I am deeply impressed by the professionalism of the team headed by the general [Kidwai] to secure the nuclear assets of Pakistan," he said. The SPD went out of the way to give a detailed briefing to Lieberman.

The Pakistani intention was clear - Lieberman would transmit the impressions of his visit to Israel. Islamabad has been visibly edgy about the orchestrated media campaign in recent weeks that Pakistan's nuclear arsenal might fall into the hands of jihadi elements. Anyone could tell from a mile that the campaign stank. Pakistan was being threatened that it was about to be stripped of its crown jewels. It was hardly justified and was manifestly an attempt at blackmail.

And in conclusion:

As India gives formal shape to its contacts with NATO and openly participates in the US's missile defense program, the trajectory of US-India strategic cooperation will begin to impact on Russian interests, unless, of course, Delhi takes corrective measures, for which, however, political will becomes necessary. Washington is, in any case, resolute in steering its strategic cooperation with India precisely in such a direction that it leads to an all-round rollback of Russian influence in South Asia.

All this adds up to mean that the US-India strategic partnership need not be the end of the world for Pakistan. An altogether new strategic equation may develop in the region between Russia, China and Pakistan. With the regional security environment in such a flux, Musharraf's message to Barak would have been direct: Pakistan is in no way threatening Israel's security directly or in league with a third country, and Pakistan expects Israel to reciprocate. Coming from one soldier-turned-politician to another, that is not too much to ask. Barak would have understood.

Full Article here at Asia Times And definitely worth a read (and it is plastered all over the intarwebs by now anyways)

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