Emperor Obama was in the neighborhood doing what the empire thrives upon: pitting neighbor against neighbor to grind its blood-soaked axe of global hegemony. For Pakistan and China, two clear targets for the upgraded US-India cooperation, it’s a good sign that it rained on New Delhi’s parade. As the cherry on the top, the brutal Saudi king died and the emperor rushed off to Riyadh. After all, the empire he leads has many neighborhoods to control, many wars to perpetuate and manage.

The gradual fall of India into the US embrace has been happening for years, from even before the Soviet Union broke up. The process had been impeded somewhat by India’s non-aligned and socialist past, but it has continued under different governments. Under Modi, the process is as good as complete. India is all set to be the empire’s chamcha number one in the region. On the face of it, that’s not such a good thing. But maybe it is.

For one, the lines are more clearly drawn after the Obama-Modi bear-hug. Modi’s India is clearly ready to follow the dictates of the US-led empire’s war agendas and of its hyper-capitalist economic model. This is likely to push other countries in the region closer together, and hasten the consolidation of the new pole of global power around China and Russia. India is a natural member of this emergent bloc that promises some respite from the ever-hungry jaws of the empire. But the tea-boy of corporate imperialism had to do what he’d been propped up to do; turn a potential regional power into a client state.

India will now push wars; against neighbors as per imperial strategic design, and against its own people through deeper integration into the exploitative hyper-capitalist economic framework of the empire. It’s already mouthing the US Pivot-to-Asia rhetoric on South China Sea directed at China, high on the gas of being inducted into the US axis with Japan and Australia. These are powerful pillars of the entrenched world order and Modi’s India is happy to be mentioned in the same breath, regardless of the real worth of its place on the table.

Regardless of the corporate media spins on the deepening relationship and all the boons it promises to bring India in terms of world status and dollars, it is weighed far more heavily on the empire’s side. The mini-me hegemon will echo the imperial narrative like a parrot, mimic its belligerent doublespeak and fight as a foot-soldier in imperial wars. It will sacrifice its poor hundreds of millions at the altar of the IMF’s neo-liberal wizardry and corporate profit. Hopefully, this kiss of death will not last long.

Each day, the hypocrisy of the empire and the mirage of its one-sided partnerships are being exposed for what they are. If our leadership needed any further proof of the imperial war being waged against Pakistan, the recent Modi-Obama joint statement and posturing should serve the purpose. Our war against terrorism obviously does not fit into the US war on terrorism of which we are the target.

The factories of terrorism in Afghanistan are not an oversight but an important and integral part of the occupation and imperial game plan in the region. Like in so many neighborhoods around the world, from the Middle East to North Africa, from West Africa to South America, from Ukraine to Central Asia, the US-led empire is bent upon using terrorism as a tool to destabilize Pakistan. Modi’s India is happy to be a part of the nasty project and hopes to reap better rewards for being an ally than we did. Good luck, neighbor.

So, if any doubt still persisted about the need for Pakistan to align itself decisively with the China-Russia nexus, they should evaporate completely now. No more talk about improving relations with the US and cooperating with it on fighting terrorism. Any assurances by the occupation forces to clamp down on the terrorist factories in Afghanistan are an eye-wash, designed to distract us. This war can’t be fought with the US. How can it be fought with it when the war is against it?

The UK will not help us by cracking down on Hizbut Tahrir and other terrorists it is nurturing, and neither will its assorted European cousins whose bleeding hearts can’t stop bleeding for convicted terrorists to be hanged. The House of Saud is not about to turn a new leaf and close down the assembly line manufacturing violent barbarians and propagating sectarian hatred. India is not about to stop unprovoked firing on the Line of Control.

We will have to design our war against the imperial proxies disguised as Islamic warriors without the help of countries we have touted as our friends. They are the ones that have been constantly stabbing us in the back, all the while pretending to be our well-wishers and allies. In any case, we need not go that far, hankering after dubious friends in distant continents. Not when we have the good fortune to have friendly neighbors around the corner. Of course it helps that we are all hounded by the same evil empire.

The Pakistan military is coming out of the spell of US cooperation. As Obama hugged Modi, he was in Beijing cementing defence and strategic ties with China. Headway is being made with Russia on these counts as well. It is these countries we need to cooperate with to fight the empire’s violent designs for the region. It is with them that intelligence sharing makes sense. Our servile political leaders are dragging their feet, addicted as they are to serve the crumbling empire. After all, the withdrawal symptoms might be fatal for some.

This complete disconnect with the national interest is a sad comment on our democracy project. But then, even the well-entrenched democratic governance in the world’s largest democracy next door hasn’t produced any better results on that count. We surely need to reinvent democracy. The world is changing fast and to ensure that we end up on the right side of this change, so should we.