The public’s memories of Modi’s US visa refusal have begun to wane. This is the same man denied entry into the United States in 2005 under a US law that prohibits the entry of government officials responsible for severe violations of religious freedom. The same man who Joe Biden, just last year, avoided meeting. Now, rubbishing the visa refusal as the stunt of the Bush administration, Senator John Kerry’s visit to India shows US keenness to partner with the Modi government in its vision of “Sabka saath sabka vikas” or ‘cooperation of all, development for all.’ According to the US, most of the American military aid to Islamabad for counterinsurgency has gone into buying equipment to fight India and the US Congress has constantly spoken of Pakistan as a failed state. Additionally, the newly elected Indian government of the nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has become more confident about showing sympathy for Israel. Having won national parliamentary elections this year despite Modi’s role in presiding over the killings of Muslims in communal violence in 2002, the BJP is in a strong position to override any objections at home to warming ties with Israel, or worsening them with Pakistan. Additionally, India’s relationship with Israel does not prevent it from building ties with Muslim countries due to the Arab world’s own pragmatism and divisions on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. It has been able to improve ties with Saudi Arabia — a country that is militarily close to Pakistan, while maintaining positive relations with Iran, a Saudi and Israeli rival.

It seems about time that the US and India came on the same page with their development and military plans. The delay was not incurred because Pakistan was the favoured friend all along. It was because the time has never been right to make this bond between India and the US. Russia is a looming threat and Pakistan has been an absolute mess of a strategic partner in the last ten years. We have faced constant criticism and demands to “do more” - regarding being a charity home for terrorists. Zarb-e-Azab is too late to save our international face. Afghanistan openly and vocally is unhappy with us and is off conducting economic business with India. We should feel concerned about isolation in the region.

The new Indian army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag, on the very first day of holding office, issued threats to Pakistan. He was referencing to the alleged beheading of an Indian Soldier by Pakistani soldiers in January 2013 and promised an “intense and immediate” response. This, on the very first day of stepping into office. With the BJP at the helm and the Indian military so brazen, it would seem the gloves are truly off. India can say and do these things because right now it has everything going for it. Over time, Pakistan has made the US its traditional enemy in public discourse. While India remains an enemy in the written narrative. And we have to realise, with the implosion within, we are not in a position to make such large enemies.