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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 79

The illusive US arms bazaar

[b]The illusive US arms bazaar[/b]

By Atul Cowshish - Syndicate Features

Two roadblocks await the forward move in the Indo-US bilateral relations early in 2006. First, the issue of nuclear cooperation with India may look more uncertain than before with the non-proliferation Ayatollahs in the US and its Congress becoming increasingly hostile to the idea of extending that cooperation with India. An equally big irritant may surface when Washington sits on judgement on what items from its inventory of sophisticated offensive arms to sell to the two major rivals in South Asia—India and Pakistan.

The arms sales do appear to be on, if for no other reason than the fact that the US arms industry is in desperate need of buyers. One thing that can be said with some certainty, going by past experience, is that the US will ‘balance’ the arms sales in the sub-continent. This is something that will please the client state of Pakistan and disappoint those in India who swears by a transformed US that is said to be sincere in befriending us.

'‘Balance' in US sales of arms to India and Pakistan has always meant a tilt in favour of Islamabad. The US now claims that it is cultivating a new post-cold war relationship with India outside its bilateral ties with Pakistan. But that will not prevent the old US theory of ‘balance’ being put into practice.

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