Monday, September 12, 2011

The World: India's Conditions

The Indians are still angry with the Nixon Administration for its one-sided support of West Pakistan during last December's war over East Pakistan, now Bangladesh. They were not mollified by Richard Nixon's offer two weeks ago to hold a "serious" dialogue with New Delhi over mutual problems, provided the Indians had "an interest in maintaining balanced relationships with all major powers." To the Indians, that seemed less an olive branch than a thorn, an effort to justify Nixon's own heavv-handed policy in South Asia.

The Indians are prepared to hold discussions, but they have made it clear to Washington that they will insist on certain implicit conditions: the U.S. should 1) not resume arms sales to Pakistan, 2) recognize Bangladesh, and 3) most important, accept New Delhi's view that the Indian-Pakistani balance of power no longer exists on the subcontinent. In return, the Indian government is prepared to offer guarantees to Washington that it supports the principle of an independent Pakistan and will refrain from any kind of interference in Pakistani affairs.