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Gaurav asked: Should India leverage the tensions in Pakistan-US relations to widen the rift, or should it adhere to principles of non-interference in the bilateral relations of its neighbours?

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  • Priyanka Singh replies: Before we get down to weighing whether India could take advantage of the current rift between US and Pakistan, it is imperative to examine whether India actually has the leverage to do so. As far as Pakistan and the larger issue of terrorism are concerned, India recently met with a degree of disappointment. USA’s reluctance and delay to allow Indian investigation agencies access David Headly and failure to persuade Pakistan to handover Mumbai perpetrators to India have shown certain limitations inherent in India-US relations. Much has been talked about de-hyphation of India and Pakistan by US but the fact remains, Pakistan is crucial to India-US relations and so are US-Pakistan relations to India.

    US Pakistan relations have become discordant as US has taken a more strident stand on Pakistan’s duplicitous role in the fight against the Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Meanwhile, India has been closely observing the developments across its western border. India probably realizes that its stand against Pakistan abetting terrorism and using it as a state policy stands vindicated. All these years India has been constantly raising the issue with US, but without much impact.

    The best approach for India (which is being practiced currently) is to wait and watch. For now, India needs to insulate its borders with Pakistan and simultaneously secure its interests in Afghanistan which face constant threat from Pakistan’s ISI. Digressing from its traditional policy of non interference would not give any added strategic dividends to India presently. Hence, as events unfold in the region India should just keep a careful watch on them so that it could act in a timely manner and effectively, if needed.

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