Best columns: International
The U.S. has formed an axis with India
Jalees Hazir The Nation
It’s now clear that India is “an enlisted member of the hegemonic U.S.-led cabal,” said Jalees Hazir. For more than half a century, India has boasted about its role in founding the Non-Aligned Movement— a 120-strong group of nations that is not formally allied with or against any major power bloc. But last week, India and the U.S. signed a defense deal that will greatly increase Indian access to U.S. technology and contact between the two nations’ militaries. Coming on the heels of India’s designation as a “major defense partner” of the U.S., the agreement exposes New Delhi’s “multipolar pretensions” as a lie. This public embrace of America should help Russia and Iran “see through India’s deceptive engagement with them.” As for Pakistan, we know what’s in store. The new alliance will “speed up the hybrid war against Pakistan in the garb of ‘stabilizing Afghanistan’ and ‘countering terrorism.’” Assisted by the “puppet government in Afghanistan,” the U.S. and India are working to destabilize our borderlands and launch terrorist attacks throughout Pakistan. So what will our prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, do about it? So far, he has behaved like a “certified pawn of the empire.” Only Pakistan’s military is “alive to the threat we face” from a U.S.-backed India.
What happens when there’s no successor?
Alexei Malashenko Vedomosti (Russia)
Uzbekistan’s dictator for the past quarter-century died last week and there’s no designated successor— but don’t panic, said Alexei Malashenko. If President Islam Karimov gave the former Soviet republic nothing else during his 26 years in power, he gave it stability. Uzbekistan’s party elite, business leaders, and clans “are interested in preserving the stability that ensures their tranquil existence.” So they may follow in the footsteps of another ex-Soviet state, Turkmenistan: After its strongman, Saparmurat Niyazov, died suddenly in 2006, his personal dentist emerged seemingly out of nowhere to continue the cult of personality at the top. Or Uzbekistan’s various familial clans could choose a compromise candidate as president but shift power toward the legislature. The danger lies in the third, least likely possibility: a battle for power in which one faction tries to harness the country’s Islamist militants. But because the terrorist group Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which has struggled for years to establish an Islamic state in this Muslim country, has recently declared allegiance to ISIS, it would be extraordinarily foolish of any clan to ally itself with Islamism. Instead, we’re likely to see “one authoritarian ruler replace another.” Hail to the new chief, whoever he may be.