What should we be concentrating on?

According to Ram Guha, Education, Health, Environment and Foreign affairs — in that order. However, this assessment by Ram Mohan makes me want to change the priorities and make Foreign Affairs the top one:

The signals coming out from US moves in Pakistan reinforce this view. Relative silence on the release of Saeez Hafeez; a massive aid package for Pakistan in order to reinforce its war against the Taliban; Pakistan upping the ante on Kashmir. The unkindest cut of all: the US state department advisory to American nationals against travelling to India.

In his election speeches, Obama had made references to Kashmir that were not exactly music to our ears. It does appear that he sees the resolution of the Kashmir issue as an important item in his agenda, next only to the Palestinian problem, although he chose to omit any reference to Kashmir in his Cairo speech. The signs are that the US is willing to allow Pakistan to bring Kashmir to the top of the table in return on Pakistani cooperation on Afghanistan and the Taliban.

This must inevitably mean more firing across the LOC and greater infiltration into Kashmir and into India generally in the coming months. This may sound terribly grim but the US advisory does seem to point to an increase in terrorist activity in India in the months ahead. We have been patting ourselves on the back on the improved domestic outlook with the installation of the a stable government at the centre. Not to spoil the party, but it appears the domestic pluses may come to be outweighed by the minuses on the external front.

Not at all good news!


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