The recent signing of Indo-US Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) between US and India has categorically brought concerns to the region specially Pakistan, critics acclaim. Although there is no official reaction yet from Pakistan, officials privately admitted that the Indo-US agreement could alter the strategic balance in the already volatile region.
The agreement signed between US and India on Monday is said to govern the use of each other’s land, air and naval bases for repair and resupply but does not foresee exclusive bases, so to say.
Analysts have given skepticism to this hasty alliance with the US claiming that it could undermine Indian security instead of bolstering it.
“If India hastily joins the US alliance system, it may irritate China, Pakistan or even Russia. It may not make India feel safer, but will bring strategic troubles to itself and make itself a centre of geopolitical rivalries in Asia,” wrote a Chinese state-run Global Times.
US and Russia remain arch rivals; with China, once vetoed by US. India would come a pivotal point with this alliance tilting the already fickle-region into zone vulnerable to hostilities.
Pakistan does not enjoy a great bi-lateral relation with India, already overwhelmed with the recent killings of innocent Kashmiris at the hand of Indian forces.
Though US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter and his Indian counterpart Manohar Parikar clarified that the agreement did not allow for basing US troops in India, there remains much skepticism among independent observers to believe that the agreement would irk China and Pakistan, currently working on $46 billion CPEC project that apparently upsets both Washington and New Delhi.
“It’s not a basing agreement of any kind,” Carter said. “It doesn’t have anything to do with the setting up of base. It’s basically logistics support to each other’s fleet, like supply of fuel, supply of many other things which are required for joint operations, humanitarian assistance and many other relief operations,” Parrikar added.
Interesting enough, the region where US once was Pakistan’s ally is now plotting joint operations with India, a country which Pakistan alleges to have vested interests with terrorist acts within its boundaries.