Diplomacy or Duplicity?


Any visit by a president of the United States to India is a cause for great expectation and fanfare within the echelons of Indian politics and its polity, and Obama’s upcoming visit is expected to create no less an effect. However, India’s expectations of support and empathy from the US with regard to its perennial conflicts with Pakistan have always fallen flat, insofar that America cannot afford to ingratiate India at the expense of Pakistan, while the reverse may be true to some extent. The ascent of Obama to the highest post in the US has so far not augured very favorably for India, in that Obama’s stance towards the Indo-US nuclear deal and the offshoring of US jobs to Indian shores has not been particularly agreeable. These fears find further confirmation in the diplomatic jugglery resorted to by the US High Commissioner in India, Mr Tim Roemer, when, in a recent interview to Times Now TV channel, he was quizzed by new journalist Arnab Goswami about the prospects of US president Barack Obama’s upcoming visit to India. Goswami’s questions on US policy regarding Indo-Pak issues and Kashmir seemed to fall on deaf ears as Roemer ducked each of them by digressing into issues of little or no importance. For example, when asked about the continued American support to the Pakistan government in spite of that country’s abysmal record in nuclear proliferation and its continual abetment of all forms of terrorism against India, Roemer chose to talk instead about the number of Indian students that are studying in the US, the grand opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games, and many more things totally irrelevant to the crux of the question. Either Roemer is totally uneducated in the affairs of the subcontinent, or his attitude is a reflection of the current American stance towards India’s problems, which, if true, does not reflect very well on the prospects of Obama’s visit to India. It may well be another charade of superficial affection hiding the intent of double diplomacy that US has forever pursued in this region.

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