Arm Sales & India's flirtation with terrorism<br>By Aftab A. Christopher


Mr. Tony Blair recently visited India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. His visit to India and Pakistan was being seen to be a candid effort to broker peace and de-escalation between the two countries.

Since the September 11 terrorist assaults in USA and her war against terrorism India's malafide campaign against Pakistan boosted and they tried to grab every opportunity to defame and snub Pakistan. But nothing seemed to be successful as response to the International war against terrorism was wisely welcomed by Pakistan and all out efforts were taken by the government against terrorism even it hurt Pakistan's security interests in Afghanistan.
Though USA had not even once asked for India's help for war against terrorism India was clamoring at her over-fullest volume to give her fighter jets and airbases for the war and had aspired that the International community declared Pakistan also a terrorist country. But India had to cut a sorry finger as the whole world supported Pakistan and applauded her decision to support the coalition against terrorism. Economic reforms and help from the international donor agencies followed Pakistan's decision.
Then India staged in her bewilderment an attack on Kashmir Assembly in order to prove to the world that freedom fighters in Kashmir were actually terrorists from Pakistan. But their plan became public, as some Indians had seen with their own eyes Indian Army men killing their own leaders in the Kashmir Assembly. This earned overwhelming criticism from the Indian public
and shame for the RAW.
The RAW intrigues did not stop here and another drama was staged to accuse Pakistan that some extremist Pakistanis had hijacked Indian passenger plane which in the end was dubbed by Indian authorities to be a "mock exercise" as the plan failed to hit the end targets of Indian RAW. This could do nothing but earn laughter's of the world for Indians' childish behavior. Even some blunt international analysts could not help but call them 'fools.' May be fools of the 21st century.
Then on December 14, 2002, some unidentified terrorists attacked Indian National Assembly and once again the blame was thrown on Pakistan. On the other hand Pakistan had in a very clear manner condemned these terrorist attacks on the Indian National Assembly and told Indians that Pakistan is against all forms of terrorism.
The first impression one got from all this Indian flirtation with terrorism was that India wanted to defame Pakistan in the world because she was jealous of the response international community had given to Pakistan's decision to fight against terrorism. But, behind the curtain or undercover something else was also going on that was Indian leaderships' desire to by arms from USA, Britain and Israel in billions of dollars/pounds. The RAW spree for terrorism in India was multi-pronged:
(a) to defame Pakistan globally,
(b) to crush Kashmir cause by proving falsely to the world that Pakistan was committing terrorism in India in the name of Kashmir Freedom Movement,
(c) to prepare their nation for the purchase of arms from USA, Britain and Israel by forging a pseudo-cause by thawing dust in the eyes of their gullible public, and
(d) re-election of BJP for the next term. They were trying to kill many birds with one shot.
The international media on a Moscow Times' report says, "2001 was the best year since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Indeed, it has been an excellent year all round: Russia earned revenues of US$4.4 billion from arms sales, well over the US$ 2.84 billion figure for 2000. The surge in Russian arms sales signals the success of President Vladimir Putin's muscular, but clever and clear-eyed, foreign policy. On Dec. 29, Foreign Minister Igor Ivanor said 2001-marked "Russia's return to the international arena as a key player," Radio Free Europe reported. Moscow's achievements include improving relations with the United States and NATO and playing a larger role in Japan, Latin America and Africa. Of these, the U.S. connection, strengthened after Sept. 11, is what the Russians have been seeking for years."
Russia has taken lead in selling arms to the world. On the other hand USA was hit by terrorists, which resulted in loss of billions of dollars at home and billions more for the war against terrorism in Afghanistan. In the Gulf War for every military activity made my the allies against Iraq was paid by the Arabs and this is a general idea that the stocked and redundant arsenal piles were converted into dollars (one could say into gold) which in turn boosted US economy and afterwards a 99-year pact was signed with the Arabs which gave Americans control over the richest oil-fields of the world. But this time in Afghanistan they have lost more than they have gained. There are no Arabs to pay for their arsenal used in Afghanistan. There are no oil fields to be controlled and there are no pacts to be signed for 99 years. How to recover? How to match with the revenues earned by Russia? Arm sales could be the answer!
Why would Indians after all purchase arms? Commissions! A leadership who even did not spare their Kargil martyrs and is notorious for earning commissions on the coffins purchased from London for their soldiers who died in Kargil, how would not like to earn commissions on the arms expected to be purchased from USA, Britain and Israel? But how they get their nation ready for the purchase of the arms? Terrorist attacks in India! War like situation on borders! The threat of nuclear war, are the answers!
Only after a week Tony Bair had visited South Asia to broker peace between India and Pakistan, Tony Bair has been reported to promote arms sales to India for worth of one billion pounds. This has invited criticism at home for Tony Blair. Richard Bingley, spokesman for the Campaign Against the Arms Trade, has said: "It is diabolical that just days after Tony Blair was promoting peace in India, his government uses' money to fund activity which could achieve the exact opposite." The BBC reports: "The government is mounting an intensive campaign to boost arms sales to India, including 60 Hawk jets worth £ 1 bn, in spite of the danger of the India-Pakistan dispute over Kashmir spilling into war and destabilizing the region."
The BBC online further reports that: "British arms companies will be prominent at an arms fair in New Delhi, Defexpo 2002, devoted to naval and land warfare. On offer at the exhibition next month will be howitzers, anti-aircraft guns, missiles and tanks. Geoff Hoon, the defense secretary, has been pressing India to make a decision on the Hawk deal Britain's arms industry has been eager to get into an Indian that is market dominated by Russia. The government in 2000 granted nearly 700 export licenses for India for deals worth more than £64 million, a significant increase over the previous year, according to the latest official figures. The licenses covered items including equipment for combat aircraft and combat helicopters and missiles. Israel has also pledged to support India in the war and sale arms to India.
The whole game behind the escalation of war like situation between India and Pakistan is 'arm sales.' Arm sales to comparatively weaker nations of the world keep jobs, industry and economy of the big powers of the world intact and give boost to their economies. That's is why international powers are not willing to resolve the Kashmir issue. Ironically, when Pakistan was in all sincerity helping the international coalition to wage their war against terrorism in Afghanistan and facing inside threats for this, a plan to escalate war like situation was under way with India just for the sake of selling arms, and regaining the dollars spent on this expensive war by selling arms to both of the countries. It may also be recalled here that at the time of his visit to Pakistan, Tony Blair had offered a defense package to Pakistan.
Pakistani leadership here deserves homage for coming out clean from the whole situation. But, unfortunately, India seems to have succumbed to the intrigues of the arms selling nations and mistakenly feels that they are her allies. Big powers of the world are nobody's allies and their interests are their friends! It does not bother them that how many innocent lives would be destroyed and how much loss the both nations would suffer. It only creates business for them!

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