Why Hillary Clinton wants to compare Ukraine-Russia with India-China, but not talk about Pakistan
Why Hillary Clinton wants to compare Ukraine-Russia with India-China, but not talk about Pakistan

Why Hillary Clinton wants to compare Ukraine-Russia with India-China, but not talk about Pakistan

Note the one country that Hillary Clinton did not mention in her speech at the Times Network India Economic Conclave: Pakistan. Instead, she came up with a completely wrong analogy, comparing what Russia did to Ukraine with what China did or intends to do to us. This is wrong for several reasons. To begin with, the Russia-Ukraine dispute is about a divided ethnicity and history, followed by a division and unresolved issues that arise from this division. Secondly, it has to do with a slowly failing security dilemma that Russia faced, an increasingly irreconcilable hostile Ukraine that became a battleground for external regime change operations. Third, much of the security dilemma facing Russia in Ukraine was born out of extreme government instability. Fourth, the basis for Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian soil has been less about history and more about ethnicity.

In fact, this situation does not reflect the confrontation between India and China, but rather the conflict between India and Pakistan. The conflict between India and China has never been and is not about ethnicity, rather it has always been about paying tribute to China through donations of land by accepting their ultimate interpretation of bilateral relations and borders. Second, China does not face a security dilemma with India’s declared and de-facto non-alignment, in stark contrast to Russia’s Ukraine’s desire to join NATO. Remember the previous cases of Chinese invasion and aggression that took place in 1959-62, 1975, 1986-87, and all of them were when India was resolutely non-aligned. Since then, while China has attributed its hostility to the new Quad, it is still a fact that this was a persistent pattern even before the creation of the Quad. The quad can then not be empirically justified as the cause of renewed Chinese aggression.

But if one looks at the India-Pakistan situation, many parallels emerge. To begin with, Pakistan against India in 1948 did exactly what Russia does against Ukraine – an invasion based on alleged historical transgressions and ethnicity. Just as Russia justified its annexation of Crimea and its creation of Luhansk and Donetsk as independent states based on the Russian majority, Pakistan used the pretext of Kashmir’s Muslim majority to partially annex this state. Remember, at that time there was absolutely no international condemnation of Pakistan, do not share the blame, not to mention any sanctions. That invasion is a continuing invasion. To this day, Pakistan illegally occupies parts of Kashmir and continues its desired annexation of Indian Kashmir through terrorism, which in other words can be described as a “special military operation”. India has throughout its history been a robust democracy, Pakistan on the other hand has witnessed military dictatorship to at best civilian puppet governments.

Despite this, the West and specifically the United States and Britain have never distinguished between democratic India and army-controlled Pakistan. Despite Pakistan’s repeated and blatant violations of “rule-based” order, neither Britain nor the United States has ever punished Pakistan, except when their own self-interests have been affected. To this day, if you ask the US President, Secretary of State, Ambassadors to formally declare that Pakistan is a state sponsor of terrorism against India, they will refuse to do so. Just a month ago, when Britain’s Foreign Secretary Liz Truss visited India, a persistent journalist slapped her in the corner and formally asked her to attribute Pakistan terrorism to India. She was asked to do this three times in three separate formulations, and all three times she refused or avoided the question. Remember, unlike the West’s repeated and discreet threats and bad speeches and public disgrace of India for not breaking ties or implementing sanctions against Russia, India has never demanded the same from the West in its dealings with Pakistan or China. There is therefore absolutely no issue of reciprocity, let alone camaraderie, to do here.

This raises the question: What exactly is it about the rule-based order that the West is talking about? Clearly, the only rule that applies is their self-interest and nothing close to democratic camaraderie or persistently applicable first principles.

Hillary Clinton is a wise woman. She knows full well that all this talk of a “rule-based order” and “democratic camaraderie” is cheap propaganda. Yes, under her own secretariat, she oversaw a significant transfer of taxes and weapons to Pakistan, which would eventually be used against India. It therefore suits her very well to bury her own record and her country’s record of money laundering Pakistani territorial aggression, revisionism and terrorism and instead compare the Russia-Ukraine situation with China.

In the end, this is not India’s fight. We have to deal with Russia exactly as the West treats Pakistan, which means a glance-blink-nudge-nudge ‘my interests are rules, your interests are guidelines’ approach. We have endured Pakistan for the last 70 years, it is now high time that the West handles a dangerous revisionist Russia for the next 70 years on its own. NATO deserves Russia, and Russia deserves NATO, and India’s policy towards Russia must reflect Western policy towards Pakistan.

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The author is a senior fellow at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent the position of this publication.

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