Stabilizing South Asia

Article excerpt

Ambassador Shivshankar Menon's piece on India's Pakistan dilemma ("Hostile Relations," Fall 2009) explains the obstacles Pakistan poses to India's ascent. He describes India's ability to "solve" the issue of its multi-ethnic and multi-religion demography through elections and legal protections for minorities. The failure of extremist Islamist groups to radicalize India's Muslim population over the issue of Jammu-Kashmir attests to India's success as a democracy.

India peacefully seeks a benign international environment to continue its economic growth. While jealousy explains Pakistan's position, Menon is awfully generous to China, which does not want to see an influential power emerge on its western flank and has consequently been Pakistan's foremost patron.

Information continually emerges about China's support of Pakistan's nuclear program. After India's recognition as a nuclear power with the US-India nuclear accord in 2008, China pledged to increase the provision of civilian nuclear power to Pakistan. While the United States and India negotiated their nuclear deal, Pakistan started producing more plutonium for its nuclear arsenal. …