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Re: Week's Topic: Defence & Foreign Policy

At 10:43 AM 10/16/98 -0700, Arvind wrote:

>As for nuclear policy, I suggest that India unilaterally dismantles her
>weapons and give the other countries 10 years time to do the same.
>If nobody else follows, we could renuclearise.

If India unilaterally dismantles, it places its national security at risk
for the next 10yrs. Plus, for this to work, for some reason, the rest of the
world must, when India first denuclearizes, accept India's moral leadership
w.r.t. nuclear weapons (which they do not, as of now). If not, no one will

>I oppose anything to do with reunification with Pakistan. I also oppose
>what Dr.Roy suggested - i.e, a confederation with Pakistan and Kashmir
>being a common zone. The solution would be to increase trade with 
>Pakistan and be friendly with them.

There is nothing wrong with stating as policy the eventual reunification
with Pakistan (and Bangladesh) if there is a consensus among an Indian
party's political support. E.g., look at China's relationship with Taiwan.
Thus, if we develop a consensus in IP regarding reunification, we should not
be hesitate to include it as a goal. However, what we need to do is obey
international law and alleviate Pakistan's fears. That is, we must state IN
VERY EXPLICT TERMS that we will not unilaterally force such a decision on
the Pakistani people, and leave it as an open-ended offer. In order to
alleviate the Pakistani military's fears, we must work on confidence
building measures between the two.
I understand that explicitly stating such a goal could set our relations
back with Pakistan 10yrs (or so it may initially seem). However, the
Pakistani elites are not stupid enough to think that, because the Indian
govt does not explicitly state such an objective of reunificiation despite
the overwhelming consensus among Indians (and I am in NO WAY saying there is
even a majority consensus), they will take the govt's word at face-value. To
sum up, if we have a consensus on some issue, no matter how politically
sensitive, we must be brave enough, at the minimum, to state it and then
work to achieve that goal or, at the minimum, to live with that consensus.

>It is time we stopped bullying our neighbours. The greatness of a country
>is reflected in its act of treating other countries as its equals. Why have
>we antagonised even Nepal and SriLanka? Even Maldives which was saved
>from Mercenaries by India supported Pakistan on Kashmir.

If other nations call India a bully, that does not imply that it is so!
Indeed, my understanding of India's relations with its neighbors is that
they use anti-India rhetoric to bolster support within their respective
countries (and the fact that India cannot retaliate for fear of being
branded a bully by countries outside of South Asia). Indeed, I believe that
India has a duty to be the regional power military-wise (unless we can
change the way international politics works, which seems highly unlikely)
and that, in all other issues, India has to treat its neighbors at par, and
even go one step further to assuage their fears of a military invasion.

>We should also help out other countries in times of emergency - for
>example, we could have helped North Korea by giving them our surplus

India is not in the position to give out aid to all in times of emergency
(it first needs to feed itself). However, such actions can solidify
international relations, and I would suggest doing so, but, given limited
resources, confined only to South Asia for now.

- Pratap Raju

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