THE partial lifting of sanctions is an invitation to dance. Let's see if this Indian government agrees to be the dance partner." This is how a senior American analyst explained president Bill Clinton's ostensibly conciliatory move, made months after he clamped down on India after the Pokhran blasts.
But it seems unlikely India will accept the invitation. On November 7, the day sanctions were partially lifted, New Delhi criticised the "selective and discriminatory" approach—in permitting multilateral institutions to lend to Pakistan, while barring that facility to India. The US justified this move to prevent an "implosion" in Pakistan.
A day later, prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee weighed in. He argued that the US decision was a vindication of New Delhi's stand on the nuclear issue, but at the same time was a discriminatory act.
What exactly is India protesting? In broad terms, what has happened is this: the US has lifted the ban on the US Exim Bank and Overseas Private Investment...