Former senator of the United States Larry Pressler today said India is getting “more weight” as compared to Pakistan under the Trump administration, although the two countries were treated equally by the US in the past. “Under the new regime of US President Donald Trump, India is getting more weight than Pakistan. Earlier, both the countries were treated equally, but now the situation has changed,” he said. Pressler was speaking here at the launch of his new book — “Neighbours in Arms: An American Senator’s Quest for Disarmament in a Nuclear Sub-Continent”.
During his speech, he dwelt on a wide range of issues, including Indo-Pak relations, China, growing tension among countries holding nuclear weapons and lobbying that is influencing the foreign policy of countries, including the US. “An octopus-like nexus of lobbyists, arms dealers, law firms, PR and consultancy firms has been active internationally and influencing the foreign policies,” Pressler said. On the Indo-Pak relations, he said, “Pakistan was a pet state of generals in the Pentagon, more so of the arms lobby and more so of the octopus, hence was the equal treatment to India and Pakistan, despite India’s reservations. We do need generals, but they needed to be controlled by the Congress.”
On Pakistan’s role to support the US war against terrorism and how the latter got disappointed with it, he said, “We never got any help in Afghanistan from Pakistan”. “In fact, they harboured terrorists including (Osama) Bin Laden…I have asked (the US government) to declare Pakistan as a terrorist state, equal to North Korea, a rogue state. And Trump may declare it,” he said. He also said that China’s continued support to Pakistan would worsen its already tense relationship with India. “I think China is not getting anything from Pakistan. It (China) is a smart country,” the former Senator from South Dakota said.
Commenting on the US foreign policy, he said, “We had almost lost control over our foreign policy. The law firms had at least a law of not having clients from both the sides, but the newly-emerged consultancy firms…they do not have such a binding.” “India-China are not going to have war. China might build few roads, but it is not relying too much on Pakistan. I am not worried about China and Pakistan doing (anything serious) together. They can make loud noise,” he said in response to a query.