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India’s UNSC entry is not `if’ but `when’: Pakistani daily

Islamabad, Nov 22 (IANS) India’s entry into the elite UN Security Council as a permanent member is ‘is not a matter of `if’ but of `when’,’ said an article in a leading Pakistani daily.

US President Barack Obama had made the announcement of support for New Delhi as a permanent member in the UNSC during his Nov 6-9 India visit.

Zahir Kazmi, who is a scholar of strategic and nuclear studies at the National Defence University, Islamabad, wrote in an article in the Dawn: ‘It seems that India’s entry into the elite club is not a matter of `if’ but of `when’…To some, India appears to be rising at Pakistan`s cost and the prospect of the latter becoming a pawn is unnerving.’

He added: ‘Letting New Delhi into the Security Council is akin to opening a Pandora`s box since there are other contenders with their eyes set on that door too. No matter what the rhetoric, the P5 (China, France, Russia, Britain, the US) will not let power slip out of their hands so easily.’

According to the article, the US has dangled the UNSC bait due to incentives offered by India.

‘The $100 bn military spending it plans in the next decade will give a fillip to America’s ailing economy and create some 50,000 new jobs. Lifting sanctions related to the Indian space programme will give an additional economic boost to the American industry.

‘Letting India satiate its civil nuclear energy needs means big bucks and the prospect of containing a rising China serves as the icing on the cake. That said, America will prefer to maintain the balance of power in South Asia – not to please Pakistan but to keep a check on India’s military power.’

He went on to say that Pakistan should be content that ‘its geographic significance, indispensability in terms of a settlement in Afghanistan and nuclear capacity provide it security. However, the poor state of the economy and education sector, and internal instability constitute its Achilles heel’.

The writer stressed that if the country ‘does not want to lose on the regional chessboard, it must match ambition with action’

Citing China’s economy as an example, the article stated that China became the world`s second-largest economy in three decades by ‘replacing central planning with market forces, breaking down collective farms and getting rid of state-run enterprises. Pakistan can customise the Chinese model to suit its requirements’.

‘Instead of seeking foreign aid and levying additional taxes, Pakistan must broaden its tax base while dealing with fraudsters and defaulters with an iron hand…Pakistan must gradually cut down on all the spending that forces it to get loans and compromise its sovereignty.’

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