March 04, 2006

Playing Favorites

Pakistan asked for a nuclear technology deal like the one Bush made with India and were turned down.

Of course they were. That country is one bullet away from being run by the Pakistani Taliban. But.

We need their help if we're to ever have a hope of finding Bin Laden. We need their help to deal with Afghanistan as a whole. We need to have enough leverage with them that we could step in as mediators in Kashmir should that become necessary. We need them to agree to stop selling nuclear technology to people we don't like.

And we just kicked them in the face. Publicly. Ostensibly because of issues having nothing to do with them and everything to do with China's growing power. Or possibly as a payback for India voting to refer Iran to the UN Security Council over their alleged violations of a treaty that neither Pakistan nor India has signed. Or possibly because we need a strong ally in that region like nobody's business and they're the only obvious takers. Nothing to do with Pakistan, really.

Must have been some deal, too. Because Bush has signalled the end of US opposition to the Iran-Pakistan-India natural gas pipeline. As discussed around thes parts previously, in return for Iran getting to ship natural gas to India via pipeline over land instead of under water, Pakistan gets a hefty royalty check. Serious negotiations about the exact route will begin shortly. It's a major concession, likely a sensible one given India's obvious energy needs, but the question remains whether that will be enough to give Musharraf the air of a man who's still bringing home the bacon for his country.

And damn, but what did India have to promise to pull this off?

Posted by natasha at March 4, 2006 01:05 PM | International | TrackBack(1) | Technorati links |