The Trump administration has not exactly been charitable towards Pakistan, from accusing the country – without proof – of aiding the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network to cutting off almost all aid. At the same time, it has made clear that it sees India as a valuable ally, even going so far as to say that it should be more closely involved in Afghanistan. It comes as no surprise, then, that the US would mindlessly toe the Indian line on the Pulwama attack. In a recent interview, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that the conflict between Pakistan and India arose because of a terrorist who departed from our territory. This is not only an unproven claim, but it also serves to whitewash Indian crimes against the Kashmiri people and marginalises the home-grown liberation movement against the illegal occupation.
By reducing the Kashmir issue to one of terrorism ,supposedly directed at India by Pakistan, the Kashmiri people themselves and their decades of suffering are airbrushed out of the picture. This has always been India’s goal and Pompeo’s statement has served to help the Modi government achieve this aim. Government officials have struck back against Pompeo’s remarks but the harsh reality is that the US is not prepared to listen and will echo anything India says without caring if there is any truth in the accusations.
That US hostility to Pakistan is not just about terrorism can be seen in the fact that Pompeo raised the spectre of the proliferation of our nuclear programme. Pakistan has a command and control structure in place that guards against such occurrences but once again the US is not going to let the facts get in the way of its agenda. The nuclear deterrent may be the one thing that has prevented an all-out invasion from India and there is nothing it would like more than to be the only nuclear power in the region. While there are genuine concerns about nuclear safety in all countries, and denuclearisation should be our goal, what the US wants is not a nuclear-free world but one in which the US and its allies have nuclear monopoly. The US has tried to take credit for diffusing the possibility of war between Pakistan and India but Pompeo’s comments make clear that the superpower has – for the moment – picked its side.