23 June, 2021

A Shot In The Foot?

The Pakistani plane's downing could negate the goodwill India had won in the world community

A Shot In The Foot?

The honeymoon was not over yet,the Indian diplomatic establishment was still basking in self-congratulation for isolating Pakistan on Kargil. Then the Atlantique affair happened. It came as a rude shock. The world, which was till recently showering high praise on India for the restraint it showed in Kargil, wasn't willing to extend unconditional support this time.

Criticism by any country other than the US wouldn't have mattered much. With American support on Kargil behind it, even the mild criticism by US spokesman James Rubin appeared to bother the Indians. The saving grace for New Delhi was that Rubin was critical of Islamabad too, while apportioning the greater part of the blame on India for shooting down the plane. While India tried to play this down, Lt Gen (retd) V.R. Raghavan of the Delhi Policy Group countered: It's a significant development. It's a change from the trend after Kargil, where the US saw India as the wronged country. Adds a western diplomat, Pakistan kept the pot boiling by attacks on army bases and acts of terrorism in the northeast. But intrusions...

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