Pakistan needs to come out of its India centric mindset: US
"Pakistan's strategic view and posture vis-a-vis India is, at least in this senator's judgment, and I think for many people who so talk about it is absurd in this modern context," senator John Kerry, chairman of the senate foreign relations committee, said at a congressional hearing.
"Both nuclear nations, both with much bigger interests that would take them, under good reasoning, to, you know, a very different conclusion, but there just seems to be a kind of, you know, automatic historical, cultural desire to keep focusing on India.
"And it is depleting their ability to focus on their own economy, on their own needs, to learn that they have increased their nuclear arsenal, when, by most people's judgment, they already had a bigger one than India and an absolutely adequate capacity to deter as well as to destroy within the region simply doesn't make sense," Kerry said at the first of the series of hearings on Pakistan convened by him.
Resorting to rhetoric, Pakistan Army and the government yesterday warned India against any Abbottabad-like "misadventure", saying it would be responded to "very strongly" that could lead to a "terrible catastrophe".
Senator Richard Lugar, the ranking member, argued that the US should not cut off its relationship with Pakistan. "Distancing ourselves from Pakistan would be unwise and extremely dangerous. It would weaken our intelligence gathering; limit our ability to prevent conflict between India and Pakistan; further complicate military operations in Afghanistan; end cooperation on finding terrorists; and eliminate engagement with Islamabad on the security of its nuclear weapons," he said.
"When I visit Pakistan, I get the sense that the Pakistani business community, the political classes, get it that they have no future if they're at constant war mentally with India. I think a lot of people get it now. But the national security establishment, which is a rather important part of Pakistan, still doesn't get it," said Michael Krepon, co-founder and senior associate South Asia, Henry Stimson Center.
The US ties with India are going to continue to get better, as they should.
"And Pakistan's national security establishment is going to feel more insecure as a result," he said. "We can't convince Pakistan's military to befriend India. We can work with them to have a more normal relationship with India, especially in the areas of trade and regional development. The biggest challenge facing Pakistan's national security establishment is to recognise how growing links to extremist groups mortgage that country's future," he said.