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   We will soon know who are our friends... (May 16, 1990)

We will soon know who are our friends and who are our foes, vis-ŗ-vis Pakistan. Saudi Arabia and Iran are offering squadrons of their air force to Pakistan to use against us, so they are our enemies. Never mind that the Saudi and Iranian air forces are not up to much.

In any case, we should not except support from countries that are exclusively fundamentalist and there are no greater ones than those of the Saudi sheikhs and the Iranian mullahs. It is natural that called upon to make a choice they would support an Islamic theocracy that Pakistan is.

About the other Arab and Islamic nations, I am not quite sure. Their sympathies may be with Pakistan, but they would not bother to physically assist it. If there is a war between Indian and Pakistan, they would stand on the sidelines and watch.

My impression is that the Gulf Sheikhdoms are neither our friends nor foes, they are too occupied with making and spending money to bother. It must also be remembered that in the Middle East (West Asia to us), it is not countries and governments that decide, it is one man. So it all depends on how the top man is disposed towards us. For instance, I would not trust Saddam Hussein of Iraq (Pakistan also cannot depend on him), but King Hussain of Jordan would be much more favourably disposed towards us and may even make a public statement to that effect.

In the next continent, Egypt, the North African states are too far removed to interfere in an India-Pakistan quarrel. To them, a conflict between India and Pakistan would be like a conflict between North and South Yemen for us.

When it comes to the US and the Soviet Union, they would not interfere but they would interfere but they would intervene. They would issue statements, they would send their officials, they would mediate, but they would do all this because they would feel responsible as major powers. There is no question of their being our friends or foes. And the Russians are no more our friends than the Americans are our enemies.

As for the rest of the world, it is totally indifferent to us; Europe, South America, the Far East, Australia and New Zealand. Most of them may not even be aware that there is a new dispute between India and Pakistan. And why should they know!

Eventually, we have to understand that we will have to fight our own war. And Pakistan should understand that more than us.

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