Historic move by India, US
– Logistic Treaty Signed.
– Become Partners against China.
India is only one step away from getting into the US embrace, from becoming as close an ally as a NATO partner. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had on Monday visited Pentagon and signed a logistic treaty with the US. He was given an unprecedented welcome. The treaty signed by Parrikar and US Defence Secretary Ash Carter allows both the countries to use each other’s land, air and naval bases for repairs and refuelling. This milestone pact would further reinforce the special defence relationship between the largest and the mightiest democracies.
Parrikar said the US had agreed to elevate the defence and technology sharing with India to a level commensurate with its closest allies and partners.
Both the Minister and the Secretary of Defence said while making cooperation between the two countries easier this pact does not envisage the US troops to be based in India or vice versa.
‘Freedom of navigation and overflight and unimpeded commerce in the Indo-Pacific region is the desired goal India would be pursuing’, said Parrikar.
This kind of treaty was unthinkable during the Cold War or during the tenures of Jawaharlal Nehru or Indira Gandhi.
The international scenario and the deteriorating relationship between India and Pakistan and the solid backing it has from China had left no other option for India. The bold move by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his Independence Day message, to speak about Balochis’ struggle against Pakistan had marked a clear departure from the traditional Indian foreign policy even after the Cold War ended in 1989. No Indian Prime Minister before Modi extended public support to the freedom fighters in Balochistan although there has been covert cooperation with the rebels. It has become inevitable after Pakistan started a fresh campaign against India raising human rights bogey on international fora taking advantage of the bad situation in Jammu & Kashmir. Pakistan has unstinted support from China in this regard. India has to mobilise international support to withstand China-Pak onslaught. The US has been looking up to India to be a partner in its pursuit to counter the aggressive posture China had adopted of late on South China Sea after the judgement of the International Court. It suits the needs of both India and the US to join hands and form a formidable alliance with Japan and South Korea to counter the belligerent China. The emerging situation would demand that Russia should take a stand. There were meetings recently between the top leaders of China and Russia. When Soviet Union was a Super Power, China was a developing country. Now China is almost a Super Power next only to the US. It has matching wealth and power. One has to wait and see what role would Russia play in the changing international relations. One thing is certain: This would not be the same for long- for better or worse.