India

WikiLeaks’ India Gate

M Reyaz, BeyondHeadlines

New Delhi: After embarrassing the World leaders WikiLeaks has arrived India, and the first victim is Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.  Dr Singh, who has already been facing flaks from the opposition for scams in 2G spectrum allocations, Commonwealth Games and appointment of the vigilance commissioner, found himself in the thick of controversy when a leading English daily – The Hindu – tied up with Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks to release 5,100 cablegates.

The Rajya Sabha (upper house of Indian Parliament) on this morning reverberated with WikiLeaks disclosure on cabinet reshuffle, Mumbai terror attacks and other issues.

These diplomatic cables give insights into India’s foreign policy, economic and domestic affairs.

PM isolated on Pakistan: One such cable describes MK Narayanan, incumbent governor of West Bengal and former national security advisor  as close to the Congress party high command and part of the “coterie.” After meeting him, American Ambassador Timothy Roemer cabled his bosses in the United States, which referred to Narayanan saying “not a great believer in Pakistan.” Dr Singh is seen isolated in “peace talks” with Pakistan.

Pro-US tilt in Cabinet shuffle: Cables reveal that the January 2006 Cabinet reshuffle was aimed at sacking Mani Shankar Aiyar who is seen “contentious and outspoken Iran pipeline advocate” and appointment of a “pro-US” Murli Deora as the petroleum minister. The US Embassy in New Delhi described it as “determination to ensure that the relations between India and the United states continue to move ahead rapidly.”

India’s Arab relation Muslim “vote” driven: The United States appreciated India’s walking tightrope in balancing its ties with Israel and its traditional relation with Palestine and other Arab countries. “With a large Muslim population that plays a critical role supporting the ruling Congress party in national elections,” the United States sees it as Muslim “vote” driven besides acknowledging its colonial experiences.

Indo-Iran relations: The United States realises India’s domestic compulsion in its relation to Iran. In addition, energy security India and Iran has been traditional allies. It further acknowledges India’s reluctance to “aggressive approach” towards Iran and that it is not much concerned about its alleged nuclearisation.

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