US official gets bitter memories from a Sino-Pak conference after Indo-US nuke deal

An official from the US embassy at Islamabad was so ruffled by the harsh reactions of Pakistani foreign and defence experts to the Indo-US nuclear deal that he suggested a new name for the conference in a bitter account of his ‘travails’.

“…the conference should have been billed ‘Seminar on U.S.-Indian Perfidy (untrustworthiness)'” the official wrote in a 2006 cable written from the US’ Islamabad embassy to Washington.

The official was attending a conference on “55 years of Pakistan-China relations” organized by a foreign affairs think tank sponsored by the Pakistani foreign affairs ministry, soon after the Bush administration inked a historical nuclear co-operation agreement with India, which alarmed the Pakistanis.

Even the then Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz did not miss an opportunity to express his grief at US’ betrayal of a dear friend Pakistan, noting that unlike “transient” friends (implying the US,) China has always been there for Pakistan.

“Shaukat Aziz emphasized Pakistan’s deep military and economic relationship with China and noted that the bilateral relationship is not based on “transient interests”, but is “higher than the Himalayas, deeper than the sea,”” the American noted in the cable released by Wikileaks.

Aziz also warned that the US’ flirtation with India was pushing Pakistan into the willing and open arms of China. “He referred to Newton’s third law of motion — every action has an equal and opposite reaction — and explained a strong Sino-Pak relationship is a natural reaction to the Indo-U.S. relationship.”

Aziz’s barbs, however, were like rose-petals compared to what was yet to come, after the PM left the event. ” He was not present when the discussion descended into openly anti-American rhetoric… Pakistani comments about this “new” U.S.-India relationship were so vitriolic that members of the audience repeatedly turned around in their chairs to gauge poloff’s [US officer’s] reaction,” the official wrote, in one of the most bitter letters from Pakistan yet to be released by Wikileaks.

The US, under the nuclear deal with India, facilitated the lifting of many embargoes and sanctions against India by many Nuclear suppliers, helping the transfer of fuel and technology to fund India’s nuclear program. The same privilege was not extended to Pakistan, the US’ Cold war ally. Pakistani’s noted that the change in US’ attitude has come because of the emergence of China as a big player on the World scene.