West’s business ethics sans morality
The primary motive in any business is to make profit. However, over the years progressive and right thinking business leaders have developed a system that tends to do justice to its employees and consumers simultaneously.
Ethics, in this backdrop, refers to a system or code of conduct based on moral duties and obligations, which indicates how we should behave; it deals with the ability to distinguish right from wrong and the commitment to do what is right. However, the western political leaders’ business ethics is sans morality. Last year, leaders of five permanent members of the UNSC and Germany visited India with a view to securing orders for military equipment and other nuclear-related materials. Except for China, all of them tried to raise India’s international image as an emerging global power, while turning a blind eye to its hegemonic designs and human rights violations in Kashmir and elsewhere in the country.
President Barack Obama’s statement supporting India’s candidature for the UNSC was reflective of the fact that humanitarian obligations and political ethics have no place while conferring this prestigious status. Anti-Pakistan statements by foreign leaders during their visits to India are indeed disturbing for us.
Also, Russian ambassador’s blame game, urging Pakistan to dismantle 40 terrorist training camps, German Chancellor’s views that Islamabad is using terrorism to reap political benefits, and French President’s claim that the world does not accept that Pakistan does not train the terrorists and a similar urging by British Premier, speak volumes about the overriding consideration they gave to business deals. They have shown utter disregard of Pakistan’s remarkable role played as a peace-loving and responsible state in the world.
Anyhow, after signing a nuclear deal with the US, the NSG countries are ready to sell materials and equipment to India. Besides the US, France, Britain, Germany, Japan (earlier a strong opponent of nuclear proliferation) eye its lucrative market; and they all are drooling to benefit from its economic growth. But they would not care that though India as a state is rich, but it is a land of appalling poverty where more than 400 million people live below a meanly defined poverty line. Its human rights record is also dismal, which is obvious from the reports of human rights organisations.
The French President had launched a fierce attack on Pakistan during his recent visit to India, accusing Islamabad of allowing terrorist groups to form safe havens in its territory. He said: “Terrorist groups were free to launch attacks on India and NATO troops in Afghanistan from Pakistan, which is not acceptable.” His comments echoed those made by the British PM, who during his visit to India in end July 2010, had said: “Pakistan could not be allowed to look both ways, and export terrorism to its neighbours.” During her visit to India in July the same year, Germany’s Chancellor in reply to a question said: “India is suffering as a consequence of terrorist attacks. We still remember the attack in Mumbai. At that time, we criticised what was done by these perpetrators. We want to do whatever we can to ensure that these terror attacks are not repeated.” It is true that foreign relations are no altruistic pursuit, but extremely self-centred, self-serving motivated actions. However, it is difficult to imagine that heads of these three European countries could stoop so low as to issue statements against Pakistan to please India just to sell their military hardware and other stuff.
The Indian defence-related deals worth billions of dollar with major powers, including the US, the UK, France, Germany and Russia proves that India is the largest buyer of lethal weaponry. It has capitalised the opportunity by asking the foreign heads of state to make anti-Pakistan statements, while signing different MoUs with them. This clearly projects the real face of India.
Further, the growing defence collaboration between India and Israel is a source of concern for Pakistan and other regional states. Indian expansionist designs are not only threatening its neighbours, but also engendering an arms race in the region. The world powers should recognise this fact and play their role to put the Indian leadership on a peace track, instead of letting collect and manufacture weapons. On the other hand, India is also wooing the Arab states to acquire their support for a permanent seat in UNSC. But the Arab countries should realise that Indo-Israeli strategic ties are harmful. They should understand that India being friend of their enemy Israel is their enemy as well.
France has signed agreements worth $20 billion with India, out of which $9.3 billion was for selling two nuclear reactors during a trade-centred visit by the French President. Other deals totalling 15 billion euros were signed with Indian companies, including a leasing agreement for 14 Airbus planes and the modernisation of 51 French-made Mirage fighter jets. “Negotiations (with Areva) have reached an advanced stage to pave the way for the launching of nuclear power reactors in partnership with Indian industry,” said PM Manmohan Singh in a joint press conference with President Sarkozy. The deal is short of a final sale contract, but it means Areva has moved ahead of the US and Japanese competitors in the race to sell reactors to India, which aims to tap atomic power for a quarter of its electricity demands by 2050. Sarkozy reiterated his support for India to have a permanent seat on the UNSC and suggested it might simply upgrade its current temporary seat in 2012.
In addition, India is to jointly build a surface-to-air missile with the second biggest weapons supplier Israel, and hopes for such collaborations with the other countries. After signing civil nuclear agreement with the US, it is poised to acquire nuclear plants to enhance its capability to make more nuclear devices. It has also increased its defence budget, and is poised to spend at least $50 billion on the installation of nuclear power plants, which will enhance its capacity to increase it nuclear arsenal. After the Indo-US nuclear deal, India has the capacity to increase from its current production capacity of six to 10 additional nuclear bombs a year to several dozen per year. Thus, from India’s shopping spree, it is not difficult to conclude that the US and the West have contributed to the asymmetry in South Asia to the detriment of Pakistan and other countries of the region.