By William Markiewicz

Usually I don't analyze countries' internal matters or the relations between neighbours. War between neighbours interests me when some godfather enters into the process and determines the outcome. Then it becomes part of a more global process. Perhaps India and Pakistan are too huge to be engaged in a purely "local" war. Though size doesn't always matter; war among small neighbours -- as in the Balkans -- degenerated into a major hell fueled by the godfathers. Even if India is, perhaps, stronger on its own, it seems to me that Pakistan possesses a privileged position. The U.S. has interests in paying a debt of gratitude to Pakistan for important help in Afghanistan. It would also please Pakistan's neighbouring Muslim countries like Uzbekistan and Tajikistan who joined the US and its allies in the Afghanistan campaign. Recently China declared unconditional support for Pakistan. It reminds me of Russia's gesture when she presented herself as an uninvited ally of the U.S. in Afghanistan, joining the potentate for her own interests. Perhaps China for the same purpose joins the US vis a vis Pakistan. It may considerably warm the relationship between China and the U.S. and, strangely enough, we can see U.S., China, Taiwan in an unexpected tandem. There is an important political and economic relationship between Taiwan and Pakistan. In this situation, India seems quite isolated. The only traditional ally India has is Russia, hardly a help in this situation. Will India be obliged to bow, to accept all Pakistan's requirements? Despite all, no, because with all its good will the U.S. cannot afford to accord too much to Pakistan, which could be interpreted as a victory for terrorism. China also has a problem with its own Muslim isolationists. So, it doesn't matter how much they favour Pakistan, all must insist on a negotiated end to the conflict. This is India's trump card averting defeat.

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