Friday, September 02, 2005

Indian reaction to Israel/Pakistan talks

This interesting editorial seems to look at diplomatic relations with Israel as a prize for nations of the Indian subcontinent, with India falling behind in the race.

It is not often you see nations vying for Israel's affections!
Despite establishing full diplomatic relations with Israel in 1992, India deliberately avoided political visits at the highest levels. It took 11 years for an Israeli premier to visit India.

While the President and PM of Israel have visited India, Delhi has been unwilling so far to schedule return visits by either the PM or the President. Despite the fact that the Palestinians have often sought a greater Indian role in promoting the peace process with Israel, the presumed need for domestic political posturing appears to have overwhelmed the strategic sense of the Indian leadership.

While this ideological compulsion appears stronger within the UPA, the NDA too was paralysed by a presumed need to ‘‘balance’’ its ties with Israel and the Arabs.

If the UPA does not get its act together on Israel, Delhi might find Tel Aviv doing the balancing act between India and Pakistan.

More immediately, if the Indian PM and President do not find time to visit Israel, Musharraf could become the first head of government or state from the sub-continent to be serenaded in Israel.