India on Wednesday expressed concern over sales of arms to Pakistan by the United States and said it could impact the ongoing peace process between the nuclear-armed rivals.
“India’s strong concern regarding repercussions of arms sales to Pakistan by the United States — including on the ongoing India-Pakistan dialogue — has been conveyed at high levels to the US government,” junior foreign minister Edappakath Ahamed told parliament, according to the Press Trust of India.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars and came close to a fourth three years ago when gunmen attacked India’s parliament. New Delhi claimed they were sponsored by Islamabad.

The neighbours since January 2004 have been engaged in a slow and delicate peace dialogue to normalise relations. ~SpaceWar (from Agence France-Presse wire)

American interests have little to do with the continued armament of Pakistan. Indeed, ever since Nixon’s separation of China from the erstwhile Sino-Soviet bonds of communist solidarity, a thoughtless favouritism for Pakistani interests has pervaded American counsels, especially the Republican and thus typically more outspoken anticommunist figures in government. How are these sales remotely justifiable? Gen. Musharraf continues to use the excuse of the ‘legitimate’ rebellion in Kashmir for fomenting violence and terrorism inside India. Imagine how appalling it would be to us if India had, for some dubious geopolitical reasons, allied with a state sponsoring anti-American terrorists while proclaiming itself to be a friendly power. Yet it was Pakistan and our own goverment were once the sponsors of the Taliban, and Pakistani agents who continue to protect members of that old regime and al-Qaeda members as well. It is impossible to distinguish between a jihadi in Kashmir, one in the Northwest Provinces and one in Afghanistan: they are linked, and not only by shared ideology, but by a shared support system and a common set of enemies. Our government has been taken in by this arch-proliferator, terrorist-sponsoring regime so much that Pakistan has become an ally with the same status as our NATO allies–what has Pakistan ever actually done for us that it was not compelled to do out of its desire to make up for its own extraordinary guilt in encouraging and developing the Taliban as a fighting force and political power?

Consider the situation: one nation has repeatedly attacked and threatened to attack again its neighbour, stirs up internal violence and launches terrorist attacks, and another nation sells the aggressor weapons. One would have to assume that the nation being attacked by the aggressor must the enemy of the nation selling the weapons. Washington therefore must conceive of India as its enemy. That this is a ludicrous and dangerous tendency ought to be very clear to all involved.

It must stop, or some future Pakistani strongman may begin to believe that the United States would tolerate progressively greater violence against India, and the Indians will eventually tire of it and retaliate in force. This will have devastating consequences for south Asia and the world, and it must be prevented. The Pakistani alliance, though useful in certain limited respects, contradicts not only a host of general policy principles (especially those enunciated by the present administration) but undermines American security and empowers the very state that harbours and protects the principal enemies of our country.

If it ever had any purpose in the Cold War, which is now very doubtful after seeing the consequences of this alignment for America itself, the Pakistani alliance is outdated and unnecessary. Not only is it a grand symbol of our hypocrisy to the rest of the world, tolerating one nuclear, terrorist-supporting state while castigating all those aspiring to have a bit of nuclear energy or perhaps a bomb, but it has blinded us to the dangers that the self-styled Islamic state poses to American interests.

It is quite right that India should protest these arms sales, which have become an annual event, when it is very clear that the allies of Islamist terror do not live south of the Line of Control but north of it. If the “War on Terror” were an effort to eradicate or seriously weaken anti-American Islamism, Pakistan would have to be treated more as a suspect than a friend. Sadly, there is no such effort: Pakistan serves as an anchor to the American domination of central Asia, and the hegemonists will not sacrifice that anchor even if legitimate American security interests might dictate rapprochement with New Delhi.