Dr Shashi and Mr Hyde

Shashi Taroor states thusly…

“Of course, the real problem for many critics is not the agreement itself, but the Hyde Act, which requires the administration of the day in Washington to certify annually that India’s foreign policy is congruent with the US’s. The GoI’s stalwarts point out that the Act is not binding on India; its critics retort, with relish, that it is binding on the US. But neither side, for reasons one can readily understand, has publicly admitted that certification is a hollow requirement, routinely accepted by American administrations in the full knowledge that they can certify whatever they wish to certify. The famous Pressler Amendment required the administration to certify that Pakistan was not developing nuclear weapo-ns; successive American Presidents did just that, even though they were completely aware of Pakistan’s clandestine nuclear programme. When relations with Islamabad cooled, the certifications stopped. In other words, as long as an administration in Washington wants to preserve good relations with India ā€” for whatever reason ā€” it will certify that India’s policies meet the standards of the Hyde Act, even if we are regularly burning American flags at India Gate every week. And if we cease to matter, or a US administration wants to get tough on a government in Delhi, it can just as easily withhold such certification, even if India has been going out of its way to play footsie with Washington. The real issue is the state of the bilateral relationship, not the certification requirements in a piece of legislation.”

Highlighting is mine.

What does this mean?

Dr Shashi and Mr Hyde

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