No advantage for India in strained Pak-US relations, say analysts


Strained US- Pakistan ties following the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden are being seen in India as an opportunity to ramp up pressure on Islamabad over militant groups. But analysts say India’s leverage remains strictly limited as long as the US priority in South Asia remains the conflict in Afghanistan for which Washington’s dependence on Pakistan shows no short-term sign of waning.
In the immediate aftermath of bin Laden’s death, India seized on the fact that the Al-Qaeda leader had been hiding barely two hours’ drive from Islamabad as proof of the Pakistani establishment’s collusion with outlawed militants. “This fact underlines our concern that terrorists belonging to different organisations find sanctuary in Pakistan,” Home Minister P Chidambaram said. Foreign Minister SM Krishna called on world powers to help eliminate “safe havens that have been provided to terrorists in our own neighbourhood.”
The hope is that Washington will now take a tougher line with Pakistan and push Islamabad to crack down on militant outfits, especially the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which India says was behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks. However, most analysts believe that hope will go unrealised because of the US reliance on Pakistan cooperation in its pursuit of Islamist extremists and the supply of 100,000 US troops stationed in Afghanistan.