manmohan singh

Manmohan Singh’s predicament

Monday, February 02, 2009

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is in for a tough time after the UK foreign secretary said that the Kashmir dispute needs to be resolved if terrorism is to be tackled effectively. I feel sorry for the Indian prime minister. I am not sure if Simi Garewal suggested to him that the UK should be carpet-bombed, but someone must have asked him why India should spend millions on sending a rocket to the moon if it can’t fire a few missiles to devastate Britain. For a few minutes he may even have thought that the ISI must have somehow influenced Mr Miliband (in India, it is assumed that the ISI is involved in anything that goes wrong). He’s probably wondering how the Israelis can get away with killing innocent people in Gaza, while India is told to find a political solution when it does the same thing.

In fact, Mr Singh may have desperately wanted to call the British prime minister and ask him to sack Miliband, but knowing that India is not yet a superpower, he refrained from doing so. And finally, even though fundamentalists like Bal Thackeray would have been delighted, he didn’t even consider snapping ties with England. Chidambaram and Pranab Mukherjee may think that all options are open to resolve the Miliband issue, but they are not saying anything for the moment. India is beset with too many problems already, it can’t afford to have another one.

Shakir Lakhani