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US arms Pakistan before Modi visit

New Delhi,Sep 20 (): US like China is sending out a message that its foreign policy on South Asia will not change with Narendra Modi’s visit on September 29. It will follow the divide and rule policy in South Asia, with just ten days to go for Modi’s scheduled visit.

US will give $198 million worth MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) numbering 160 vehicles to Pakistan and it comes with spare parts, according to Dawn newspaper report today. The American State Department’s green signal comes for Pakistan’s military’s ‘Zarb-i-Azb’ operation against militants in North Waziristan which is a tribal area, the Dawn said.

In a release, the America-based Navistar will deliver the MRAP, said Defence Security Cooperation Agency. Navistar will give all logistics support and US agency has given the Congress the certification of the company with headquarters in Illinois and office in Michigan where it has a company selling defence equipment.

Navistar had a JV with Mahindra and Mahindra for supplying engines and later withdrew from it. Dawn says US has said that supplying the MRAP will not alter the balance in the region. Dawn quotes US who says that by arming Pakistan will only help security of its own boundary and helping a country like Pakistan is very important to the American foreign policy in the region.

The US government will depute Navistar representatives and government officials to Pakistan for 18 months to train Pakistan army of using the MRAP supplied to it. Last year, there were reports that MRAP vehicles were on the way to Pakistan which has been made official now.

Dawn claims that as US is withdrawing from Afghanistan and the war is over, it is arming Pakistan. The policy is always to keep Pakistan armed to check India despite it harbouring militants who work against it. Secondly, it wants to keep Pakistan on its side as China is gifting nuke weapons.