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Dawn (Pakistan Newspaper) ^
| September 11, 2001
Posted on 09/11/2001 5:53:29 AM PDT by stabtheheartmake$$$
Military cooperation between Israel and India now seems to be getting stronger and deeper. The latest in the high-level visits being exchanged between the two countries is the presence in New Delhi of Major-General Uzi Dayan, Israel's National Security Adviser. The aim of the visit is to continue the security dialogue that began with the setting up of a joint working group when Mr Jaswant Singh, India's external affairs minister, visited Israel in June last.
The Israeli general's visit comes in the wake of a massive defence deal under which India will import Israeli defence equipment worth two billion dollars. The items New Delhi will import include long-range surveillance equipment and night vision tools.
More important, from Pakistan's point of view, India is keen to import from Israel equipment that will be used against the resistance movement in occupied Kashmir. Specifically, the Indian military wants for its troops body armour, bullet-proof jackets and visors, besides jeeps and military vehicles to be used in tackling attacks by Mujahideen. Israel, obviously, has a long experience in dealing with resistance in the occupied territories and is in a position to "help" India. What is more, much of the equipment India will initially import from Israel will eventually be produced in India under licence from the Israeli manufacturers.
The military deals and the security dialogue in New Delhi are the result of a long-standing desire on the part of India and Israel to get closer politically and militarily. Until a couple of years ago, India, despite its deep and abiding goodwill for Tel Aviv, had maintained a low-profile policy toward Israel. Its main fear was that an overtly pro-Israel policy could antagonise Arab opinion and turn it in favour of Pakistan.
However, in the post-cold war period, with its economy doing so well, India has developed enough self-confidence to decide to ignore what the Arab world thought of its Israel policy. The closer military cooperation, thus, is in response to their common perception of the people inhabiting the vast land mass that separates them and who are regarded as antagonistic to their interests and ambitions. Both are also pitted against freedom struggles - one in Kashmir, the other in occupied West Bank and Gaza. No wonder, both read the same meaning into the word "terrorism": for both, it serves to describe an enslaved people's fight for freedom which the two would do anything to crush. In fact, nothing draws them closer emotionally than this criminal camaraderie against the oppressed peoples of Kashmir and Palestine.
Pakistan has always been aware of secret military contacts between Israel and India, especially in the field of intelligence sharing and nuclear technology. The Arab world, however, took notice of these contacts only recently. It is time, Pakistan and the Arab world woke up to the threat the Indo-Israel military collaboration poses to both. Unfortunately, barring some exceptions, there is little or no military cooperation among the Muslim countries, nor is there a security dialogue that could comprehensively take notice of the Indo-Israeli threat and prepare the Arab-Islamic world for the future.
India has big-power ambitions which go beyond South Asia to cover the area from Singapore to Aden. Given the military and industrial powerlessness that characterizes the Arab-Islamic world, it is time the supine Organization of the Islamic Conference developed some teeth. So far, the OIC has served merely as a debating forum.
From an economic and military point of view it has nothing to its credit. If the Arab-Islamic world wants to survive as an independent and self-respecting entity, and pick up the challenges it faces in the future, it must take at least some preliminary steps towards setting up a nucleus of defence organization which could later be developed into an instrument of active military cooperation among the member states. Pakistan has done well by trying to develop an indigenous capacity for defence production. It is time the OIC members pooled their resources to draw up plans for making the Muslim world independent of others in matters of modern arms.
TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
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