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Why Obama's successful India visit scares Pak

Last updated on: November 10, 2010 08:27 IST

Why Obama's successful India visit scares Pak

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Tahir Ali

While India is terming the visit of American President Barack Obama as a very successful trip that will give a shape to the Indo-US strategic partnership, Pakistan is worried especially after Obama endorsed India's role in Afghanistan and India's right to a permanent seat in the Security Council.

Pakistani analysts and senior diplomats think that India is more important for the US due to its democratic and economic status but Pakistan cannot afford a greater Indian role in Afghanistan.

Talking to rediff.com, Tayyab Siddiqui, former Pakistani ambassador to several countries, said, "In the field of diplomacy it is a big achievement for India. An American President came to India while ignoring Pakistan is a matter of great concern for us."

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Photographs: PIB
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According to Siddiqui, Pakistan should worry about a greater Indian role in Afghanistan and not about US endorsement of India's permanent membership in UN Security Council.

"The announcement of membership of India in UN Security Council is good one but it is not so easy to become a member as changes in the UN charter are not too easy -- still the announcement shows how important India is for America."

He further said, "India talks about greater role in Afghanistan but it neither shares any border nor has any religious link with the Afghans, which is a matter of concern for Pakistan."



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Defence analyst Dr Ayesha Siddiqa, while commenting on Obama's visit, said, "The President's visit and the agreements made during this trip will further strengthen India, which is a worrying factor for Pakistan."

Talking to rediff.com, senior analyst Rahimullah Yusafzai said, "America has already said that the neighbouring countries should play an important role in Afghanistan especially in reconstruction. In this regard India has played a good role as Indians have invested a large amount there. At the same time Indian is a big democratic state in the world, so according to US it should play a role to strengthen democracy in Afghanistan."

He added: "But Indian investment will worry Pakistan since it will endanger its interests in Afghanistan. Pakistan does not have resources to take part in the race for investment with India in Afghanistan and as a result Pakistan will make friendship with the Taliban."


Photographs: Pete Souza/White House Photos
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Defence analyst Professor Hasan Askari says that India could be a good business partner for the US, so she is preferred over Pakistan.

"It is a useful visit for India to garner further American support while the US will seek economic gains in return. America is giving India more importance due to its economic status, while Pakistan's importance is restricted only to its role in the war on terror -- economic ties are better than all other relations," he said.

Pakistan's former Ambassador to Kabul, Ayaz Wazir told rediff.com, "After China, India is the second largest economy and power, that's why India is more important for Europe and US. Earlier America did not support India at the UNSC but now due to the changed situation in the world, America wants good relations with India."


Photographs: Pete Souza/White House Photos
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Wazir says that Pakistan should not worry about good relations between India and Afghanistan, as both are independent countries and know better their internal interests.

"Indians enjoys good relations with Afghanistan from the beginning; they supported the Northern Alliance (currently a ruling partner) against Mullah Omer's government and India has invested millions dollars in Afghanistan. But the point where Pakistan will disagree would be if the Indian Army enters Afghanistan or if they start training Afghan soldiers. Such activities could endanger the integrity and security of Pakistan."

Asia Times Online's Pakistan bureau chief Syed Saleem Shahzad told rediff.com, "India was given extraordinary importance and it implied that India will be the main partner in the region when push comes to shove."



Photographs: PIB
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