Thursday, March 31, 2005

F-16s to Pakistan, F-18s to India
(from a yahoogroup)

I  was outraged by the news of the US's promised sale
of the F-16s to Pakistan, and the F-18s and the
civilian nuclear technology to India. It is shameful
that the world's wealthiest nation takes advantage of
regional animosities, and cheats the poor countries
through such exploitive deals. It is equally
heartbreaking to see both India and Pakistan fall in
this trap. These developments are especially
discouraging because both India and Pakistan are on
the verge of breaking into a new era of cooperation
and peace. This news is a slap on the face of the
group of people that has embarked on a long peace
march from Delhi to Multan, going village to village
and understanding the problems of the common
folks--problems that are the same on both sides of the

I wish Pakistan had the courage to refuse to buy the
F-16s because this sale would put this already poor
country in heavy debt. I wish Pakistan had the
leadership that understood that strength is not gained
by buying military aircrafts, strength comes from
binding the nation together; a leadership that
understood that we are our own worst enemy; that doing
justice, sharing power with people, including all
groups in the decision making process ensure that no
external enemy would ever subdue the country.

I wish India too had the courage to cancel the
military deals with the US, and refuse to buy the
rejected nuclear technology that would generate tons
of radioactive waste every year. I wish the Indian
leadership had the wisdom to understand that a nation
doesn't become a 'major regional power' riding on
someone else's shoulders, that nations earn this
status walking on their own feet.

I wish the leaders of our region had the acumen to see
that in the sale of the F-16s to Pakistan, and the
F-18s to India, the only winner is the
military-industrial complex of the US; people who
understood that resolving conflicts through peaceful
means makes more economic sense than buying expensive
machines; and that regional cooperation brings
prosperity to all; that building a gas line from Iran
to India via Pakistan is in the economic interest of
all three countries.

I also wish that the leaders of the wealthy nations
understood that even when there are stupid leaders and
nations ready to be fooled, acquiring wealth at the
expense of such people is not only morally wrong, it
creates the inequalities that come back to haunt you
in the shape of a 9/11.


No comments: