The Pakistani policy and governing establishment stands strongly peeved with the United States over US President’s recent visit to India not only for missing out Pakistan from his South Asia itinerary but also that President Obama did not come out forcefully on issues on which Pakistan was expecting and had virtually goaded the US Administration that the US President should pressurize the Indian leadership. Pakistan as a country has always wanted the United States to treat Pakistan as a strategic-co-equal of India and the United States was so doing so far. In a sign of the changing times the United States has been forced to acknowledge the emerging reality that Pakistan can no longer continue to be propped as a strategic co-equal of India.
Galling for the Pakistan military establishment and the Pakistan Army Chief was the emerging reality that equations are changing and they would have to accept and adapt to this fact. It is not going to be an easy task for them and India can expect that the pronouncedly anti-Indian Pakistan Army Chief can be expected to create strategic disequilibrium on India’s western borders and particularly the Kashmir Valley and the northwestern regions of Jammu.
Pakistan has come out strongly against President Osama’s declaration that the United States would endorse India’s candidature as a Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council. Pakistan can be expected to prevail over their strategic patron, namely, China to impede if not openly oppose India’s membership of the Security Council as a Permanent Member.
The big question now is whether the United States would succumb to Pakistani pressures not to reinforce its evolving strategic partnership with India. The United States even on the eve of President Obama’s visit to India announced a US $ 2 billion gratis advanced weaponry package for Pakistan and significantly of military hardware that is unusable in counter-terrorism operations to assist the US operations in Afghanistan but more capable of being used by Pakistan in offensive operations against India. India did protest to the United States but there have been no indications that the United States would not go ahead with the arms package aid to Pakistan
The biggest disappointment to Pakistan and its military machine has been that the US President did not come out strongly on Kashmir in the manner that Pakistan desired. While President Obama did send some false signals in Mumbai on Kashmir and Pakistan Army’s complicity with terrorism against India while interacting with students and this greatly enthused the Pakistani establishment who that evening were exuberant on the discomfiture to India. But this exuberation was short lived because President Obama on the final leg of the tour in New Delhi either made a mid-course correction or was saving it as a grand finale when he asserted that Kashmir was an issue which had to be settled bilaterally between India and Pakistan.
Consequent to President Obama’s visit to India and the statements he made on key issues which bedevil Pakistan’s relations with India, a fairly large number of Pakistani strategic policy analysts and senior retired Army officers have advocated that Pakistan should recast its foreign policy and rather than confronting India, Pakistan should work for accommodative stances and reconciliation so that peace can prevail in South Asia.
This is a tall order for the Pakistan Army and its Generals who thrive in whipping up anti-Indian stances to stay in power. If peace prevails between India and Pakistan then the Pakistan Army military hierarchy would be run out of business.
A lot depends on the United States as they have the leverages to bring the Pakistan Army to heel and force them to shift away from their military adventurism against India. It remains to be seen whether the United States maintains continuity in not letting the impression to prevail that Pakistan is a strategic co-equal of India.