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'America trying to denuclearise South Asia'
Tara Shankar Sahay in New Delhi |
May 02, 2003 21:41 IST
Noted defence analyst Dr R R Subramaniam on Friday said that the overall American strategy was to denuclearise South Asia 'which cannot happen because the Rubicon has been crossed'.
Speaking exclusively to rediff.com, he said the upcoming visit of US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, next week, to India and Pakistan was basically another exercise to ensure that the two countries capped their respective nuclear programme and eventually eliminate it.
Dr Subramaniam, who specialises in nuclear studies in the Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis, said, "The Bush administration like the Reagan administration in the past has never really paid much attention to nuclear proliferation the way Clinton or Carter did. So the Bush administration is trying (before the impending US elections) to beat the Democrats on their criticism that it has not done much about nuclear proliferation."
Asked how the US could even conceive to denuclearise the two sub-continental neighbours when both possessed nuclear weapons, he said, "Washington feels that their nuclear development had not reached an advanced level like China or Israel. Washington still hopes that it can make India cap its programme through economic and political pressure.
"The US thinks that it can get India and Pakistan to some sort of an agreement (on nuclear non-proliferation) like Argentina and Brazil, which is nonsensical because those two countries are Catholics. South Asia is a different ballgame altogether." He said that the US was confronted with a different culture in South Asia where two different religions, other than Christianity, dominate.
The Americans thought that they had softened things so much (in the region) in the unipolar world where nobody could challenge them, he said. "That is where the Americans are making a fundamental mistake. But we have to see the outcome of the Armitage visit."
He ridiculed a newspaper report that the American pointman in Iraq, Jay Garner, had said that the deadline for solving the Kashmir dispute was 2004. Washington denied the report and one state department official said, "We checked up with Mr Garner and he said he hasn't said anything about Kashmir."
"It is Pakistan-motivated and mischievous reporting. I am glad that the US has denied the report. The newspaper should have checked its facts. A Pakistani reporter allegedly talking to Garner should not have been taken as veracity and it should have been verified.
"I have no doubt in my mind that the US is quite clear in fighting terrorism. The US wants to go after states sponsoring terrorism and dictators. This involves not only Syrians and North Koreans but also Pakistan," he said.
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf would have taken note of the report, he said, which contributed towards anti-American thinking of the radical variety and was doing nobody any good.
He dismissed as 'sheer nonsense' the recent Central Intelligence Agency report in the US that Pakistani missiles were more advanced and lethal than their Indian counterpart and said that the American intelligence agency had a history of 'trying to psyche the Indian nuclear establishment'.