Gwynne Dyer’s April 19 comments on India’s recent long-range missile test are not realistic (“Asia’s latest great power joins the game“). In 1971, the U.S. sent the 7th Fleet to intimidate India during its war with Pakistan. Since 1974, when India tested its first nuclear weapon, the U.S. and its Western allies have imposed sanctions against India regarding exports of any technological materials remotely connected to defense including space, nuclear and missile research. At the same time, however, the U.S. and its Western allies helped China to gain military and civilian technology, and to become an economic power.

Chinese maps show a large part of India as Chinese territory. Recently the Chinese ambassador to India claimed a northeastern province of India (Arunachal Pradesh) as Chinese. China has already built a naval base in Pakistan and supplied nuclear weapons and missiles to Pakistan with the full knowledge of the U.S. Despite Pakistan’s continuous support of international terrorism, the U.S. recently supplied massive amounts of military hardware to Pakistan knowing full well that all these would be used against either Afghanistan or India, but not against the Pakistan-based terrorists.

Given the fact that both China and Pakistan are armed with nuclear weapons, India has no choice but to develop long-range missiles to include all cities of China within its range.

It is absurd to think that the U.S. wants to set India against China. The U.S. has opposed India’s possible permanent membership of the U.N Security Council and India’s participation in the International Space Station as recommended by Russia. It has never removed sanctions against India regarding exports of technology, has destroyed the credibility of India’s R&AW intelligence service by bribing its chief to defect to the U.S., and now is trying to destroy India’s nuclear weapons capability by means of the Indo-U.S. nuclear treaty. Yet at the same time the U.S. is strengthening China economically and Pakistan militarily. These are not the acts of a friend.

dipak basu

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