Posted by: Tony Carson | 19 August, 2007

India & Pakistan — 60 years after division

The two contrasting faces of the Asian subcontinent:  a giant, open democracy and a sclerotic but nuclear-armed garrison state.

Jim Hoagland in a column in the Washington Post entitled The Model That India Offers put it this way:

India celebrated its 60th birthday last week with a raucous parliamentary debate over nuclear energy and its new strategic relationship with the United States. New Delhi had the air of the capital of an emerging world power looking ahead into a promising, if complicated, future.

Pakistan marked the same occasion by sinking deeper into the past. The corrupt backroom dealing between military rulers and politicians that has produced a cycle of disasters for the Pakistani nation resumed — aided by the hidden hand of U.S. diplomacy working to preserve President Pervez Musharraf’s dwindling power in Islamabad.

Of course, the sad situation in Pakistan was aided and abetted by the US:

Hitting dead end in Pakistan did not just happen. It is the result of consistent U.S. decisions to apply short-term solutions to one of the world’s most serious long-term problems. To curry favor with China, to spite India’s notoriously prickly leaders, to bleed Soviet forces in Afghanistan or for many other immediate purposes, Washington has alternately indulged, bribed or ignored Pakistan’s leaders and their society’s deep-rooted problems.

The new U.S. relationship with India offers much for the future — including a model for dealing with a South Asian nation just turning 60 by seeking imaginative long-term change instead of pursuing traditional stopgaps to get through the latest crisis.


  1. Please Keep writing

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