How are Russian-Indian relations reshaping Pak-US relations?

“There is a personal interest behind every friendship. There is no friendship without self-interest. It’s a bitter truth” – Chanakya

This year, Pakistan and the United States celebrated their 75e anniversary of a bilateral relationship. Throughout, US-Pakistan relations have been on a rollercoaster ride and have been seen primarily through the prism of their relations with India, China and the former USSR. Later, Afghanistan took center stage in Pakistan-US relations.

Looking back, despite the close relations with Pakistan, when America decided to help India in the Sino-Indian war of 1962 and when the United States did not come to help Pakistan during the wars of 1965 and 1975 with India, Pakistan reviewed its foreign policy. Pakistan then decided to cultivate its foreign policy towards the Eastern powers, namely China and the former USSR. To achieve this goal, Marshal Ayub Khan and Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto visited China and the USSR to remove Pakistan from the complete sphere of Western influence and laid the foundation stone of Pakistan’s relations with the USSR. and China.

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Better understand the subject

If we go back to the recent past, when the Chinese launched the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the United States and its strategic partner in the Indo-Pacific framework, India came forward to criticize this flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative. Alex Wells, the former US Secretary of State for the South Asia region, has publicly warned Pakistan against the so-called Chinese debt trap. Some sources revealed that America has also used the international financial institution to pressure Pakistan, especially the International Monetary Fund IMF.

However, with the proximity of defense companies between India and Russia and the onslaught of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, the dependence of Pak-US relations on their relations with China and the India turned into dependency of their relations on Indo-Russian relations.

India, despite the threat of a secondary sanction, purchased the S400 missile air defense system, raising eyebrows for the policymaker serving in the Biden administration. Moreover, despite the boycott of the St. Petersburg Economic Forum by American-led Western countries, India participated in the dialogue. As a result, India was not invited to join AUKUS, a trilateral security pact between Australia, the UK and the US. to counter China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific mainly by supplying nuclear submarines to Australia.

Despite this, India is a strategic partner of the West in the region and India seeks to include nuclear submarines in its defence. India was not invited to join this pact.

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Curiously, during the Russian-Ukrainian tensions where Western countries discouraged the purchase of Russian oil and pledged to ban Russian oil last year, Russia became the second largest oil importer ahead of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. . Previously, Russia was in fourth place in terms of oil importers. For this reason, America repeatedly warned and blamed India for financing the Russian-Ukrainian war, but India was not ready to refuse the offer of cheap Russian oil.

The events mentioned above paved the way for the reshaping of Pakistan-US relations. The US sent a strong message to India by again exploiting Pakistan’s weaknesses. This is also highlighted by India’s Foreign Minister Dr. SJ Shankar in one of his interviews where he pointed out that US support for Pakistan has contributed to tensions between Pakistan and India.

The path to follow

It is pertinent to mention that despite gaining strategic partner status, the United States still does not have an ambassador in New Delhi, which clearly sends a strong message to India about the resentment of the United States. towards Indo-Russian relations. On the contrary, Donald Blome was sworn in as the United States Ambassador to Pakistan on April 11, 2022. Curiously, the appointment of Ambassador Donald Blome came when former Prime Minister Imran Khan was in power and he adopted, in the later stages of his reign, anti-American policies. .

Similarly, in the near past, the United States was not ready to accept the credentials of the new Pakistani Ambassador to the United States, Sardar Masood, due to strong resistance from the anti-Pakistani and anti-Pakistan lobby. Indian cashmere in America. The Indian lobby in Washington is using the delay as an opportunity to block Mr. Khan’s nomination by claiming that he supports the Kashmir liberation movement. However, the tables turned and the President of the United States, Joe Biden, with an unusual delay, finally accepted the credentials of Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States, Sardar Masood. Amazingly, the embassy also got the endorsement on February 5, which is recognized as Kashmir Solidarity Day by Kashmiris and Pakistanis all over the world.

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In short, Indo-Russian relations offer an opportunity to cripple Pakistani-American relations and we must exploit this by rekindling our relations with the West in general and with the United States in particular.

The author is an M.Phil. Researcher at Government College University, Lahore. The opinions expressed by the authors do not necessarily represent the editorial policy of Global Village Space.