Thursday, Oct 09, 2003
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By C. Gouridasan Nair
The Left leaders have also seen a pattern in the military exercises and the earlier visit to the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, to India. The Tourism Minister, K. V. Thomas, it may be recalled, had come under fire for his having called on the Israeli Prime Minister and presented him a memento.
The Indo-U.S. naval exercises took place over 100 nautical miles off the Kochi coast and involved two war ships from the Seventh Fleet--USS Fitzgerald and USS Chosin, apart from a nuclear submarine and two warships from the Indian side, INS Brahmaputra and INS Ganga, and the submarine INS Shalki. The main focus of the war games was on anti-submarine operations and VBSS (visit, board, search and seizure) operations, the latter forming part of the joint Indo-U.S. strategy to counter the rising tide of terrorism. Roughly, 1,500 personnel from the two sides were involved in the exercises.
The CPI(M) State secretary, Pinarayi Vijayan, has said that the Indo-U.S. naval exercises would have far-reaching repercussions on the country's security. According to him, the joint naval exercises were unprecedented in scale and scope and indicated that India wished to have close links with the U.S. armed forces. The war games, he said, would throw the doors open for American imperialist forces to take advantage of India's vulnerabilities.
The CPI State secretary, Veliyam Bhargavan, termed the Indo-U. S. joint naval exercises as part of a clear agenda to coopt India to the Israel-U.S. axis. Commenting on the development, he said the war games would result in India becoming yet another pawn in the hands of the imperialist forces. "The U.S. is using Israel as a weapon against the Palestinian people today. Tomorrow, it may to use India against its future enemies," he said.
The RSP State secretary, T. J. Chandrachoodan, said the naval exercises would give the U.S. an opportunity to achieve its long-cherished hegemony in the Indian waters.
The Vajpayee Government's decision to surrender the nation's territorial waters to a foreign power ran counter to all tenets of national security. Coming as it did at a time when India was faced with serious threats from Pakistan, the experience that the U. S. navy had gained from the naval exercises could well prove beneficial to Pakistan, he warned.
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