India Increases Defence BudgetFebruary 25, 2009
While urging citizens to ‘eat rats’…
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—News to the small group of ‘India-appeasers’ and ‘India-lovers’ in Pakistan, including those in power who never tire of professing their love for one Indian actress or another: India is amassing huge piles of weapons, even at the cost of its poor – the world’s largest concentration of poverty in once place – in order to crush Pakistan and be ready to play the role of an Anglo-American slave fighter in Asia, ready to take on China when ordered. Read Full Article | Ahmed Quraishi
Pakistani delegations that visit India are often told that this weaponization is not ‘Pakistan-specific’ and that India as a large nation is focused on ‘other larger threats’, meaning China.
But that is eyewash. India does not have the balls to battle it out with China, not without American, British, Japanese and Israeli support. The last Indian attempt to mess with China, during the riots in the Chinese province of Tibet planned from the neighboring Indian soil and backed by India and the United States, ended in a diplomatic embarrassment for India. Beijing saw through the Indian charade when New Delhi tried to shift the blame to Tibetan dissidents stationed on Indian soil.
So we in Pakistan are not the only skeptics on Indian weaponization. Some Indians are skeptical too. Read this interesting quote from an editorial appearing on Feb. 17 in a weekly news magazine published by the Communist Party of India:
“The Defense Ministry has “assured” the arms industry at the recently held arms expo near Bangalore that defense spending is “recession proof.” At the expo, it was Israeli and US arms manufacturers who dominated the show. In the past decade, India has emerged as Israel’s largest client and also the largest arms importer among the developing countries. In effect, at a time of recession, the UPA Government with its hiked defense budget has chosen to bailout the global arms industry rather than the Indian poor.”
Despite India’s sharp internal social and economic disparities, the Indian military is working overtime to pursue the country’s delusions of grandeur. Building military bases outside India and negotiating ‘basing agreements’ with other governments is something that New Delhi is borrowing heavily from the book of operations of the U.S. military. And what reason India gives for such moves? When India negotiated basing some of its air force jets at a base in Tajikistan, it said the reason was fighting terrorism, which is pretty much the same reason given by the U.S. to infiltrate Central Asia.
Recently, when it signed a basing agreement with Madagascar, India said its aim was combating pirate activity, which has been high in that part of the world. Piracy is the excuse the U.S. military and NATO is using to move into strategic sea routes close to oil-rich regions. The U.S. used kidnappings and guerrilla warfare in Africa to move troops closer to land-locked oil rich regions. In fact, some locals in those areas accuse the American CIA of funding rogue militias in order to weaken local governments and create an enabling environment for U.S. oil interests.
The Indian budget hike for 2009-2010, reaching U.S. $ 20 billion, is an eye opener for Pakistan.
In Pakistan, a small group of vocal self-styled liberals are in the habit of accusing their own country of over-militarization. They buy into the U.S. media propaganda of how the American and the Indian massive militarization in the region and beyond is somehow in the interest of humanity, while the steps taken by a relatively small nation like Pakistan to protect its interests are condemned.
These Pakistani liberal circles need to listen to an advice from an American business leader, Andrew Grove, the cofounder of Intel, who wrote a book summing his business strategy in the title, ‘Only The Paranoid Survive.’
It’s true for business. It’s true for realpolitik.