Logistics Support Agreement with the U.S: Congress, Left Attack the Modi Government
Article111.pngThe Modi government has come under sharp attack from the Congress-Left combine on its in principle decision to sign the Logistics Support Agreement with the U.S., expressing strong reservations and claiming that it was intrusive and amounted to compromising national sovereignty and strategic autonomy of the country. Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Anand Sharma said that the LSA was earlier proposed by the U.S. in 2004 but the UPA government, led by the Congress, had resisted it for the past 10 years on the basis of some valid concerns. The agreement, still under negotiation, envisages providing logistical support, fuel supplies, services and repair facilities to each other’s military.
Mr. Sharma said the LSA would be misconstrued by India’s other strategic partners as India being drawn into a Military Alliance with the U.S. and two other agreements form the part of The Foundational Agreements as they are called â€“ the second one is CISMOA i.e. The Communication and Information Security MOA and the third is BECA – Basic Exchange and Co-operation Agreement. “”Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government do not have a national mandate to push India into a situation in closer, deeper Military Alliance and become part of the larger operational designs and requirements of the US in Asia, in Pacific and South China Sea. It would be detrimental to India’s interests, our security interest and also undermine or rather underrate the critical geo-strategic balance and also the balance for forces in India’s extended neighbourhood in the Region,”” Mr. Sharma said.
He clarified that India has refused to be drawn into any Military Alliance and has only strategic partnerships. He asked the government to retrace its steps and ensure that India’s past position of not leaning or being drawn into Military Blocks is respected. He also questioned the U.S. decision to supply lethal weaponry, including F-16 fighter jets, to Pakistan knowing fully well that Islamabad’s armed forces do not have any friendly intention towards India and its people. The Communist Party of India (CPI) feared that the proposed agreement would allow the US Armed Forces to be stationed on Indian soil in the name of repairing and maintenance facilities for American ships and aeroplanes.
“”While the people of Japan, Philippines, Cuba and other countries are fighting to remove the American bases from their soil, India is providing such a facility to USA, though in the name of â€œMaintenance facilityâ€ is very dangerous. The CPI said such strategic agreements should be discussed in Parliament and there should be no compromise on the question of national sovereignty,” the CPI said in a statement. The CPI (M) said the Modi government has taken the dangerous step of deepening military collaboration with the U.S. by agreeing to allow US armed forces to use base facilities in Indian naval and air force bases. In doing so, the BJP government has crossed a line which no other government has done since independence – converting India into a full-fledged military ally of the United States. All political parties and patriotic citizens should oppose this surrender to the USA, the CPI (M) said.”