Asif Haroon Raja
AFTER the World War-II, US and Soviet Union emerged as two super powers and the two rivals got locked in a Cold War for next 46 years. Bi-polarism had its own flaws but to some extent it suited the weaker nations in the developing world. Break up of Soviet Union in 1991 and shrinking to Russian Federation changed the world dynamics from bi-polarism to uni-polarism and the US emerging as the sole super power. While the US wishes to maintain its hegemony over the world and to capture the mineral resources of CARs, Caspian Sea and Middle East, Israel seeks to establish ‘Greater Israel’. Adid Yenon had given out the map of ‘Greater Israel’ which stretches from River Nile to River Euphrates. Lt Col Ralph Peters had also in his article written in Pentagon’s publication in 2006 published a map showing changed boundaries of Middle East. Balochistan was shown as an independent State.
India believing in the myth of Akhand Bharat aspires to change the boundaries of South Asia by Balkanising Pakistan and Afghanistan. In this regard, RAW’s former chief Dr. Amarjit Singh in his article in Indian Defence Review in 2013 sought elimination of Pakistan by making Balochistan, Sindh, Punjab independent, but under the control of India; and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP)-FATA merged with Southern and Eastern Afghanistan to form ‘Greater Pashtunistan’, and Northern Afghanistan to form a separate county. Amarjit exuded confidence that the West would not shed tears on the demise of troublesome Pakistan. He urged Indian leadership to knockout Pakistan when it was dizzy and imbalanced.
The US want Israel to become the unchallenged power of Middle East and India to become the policeman of South Asia with its influence extending up to Asia-Pacific. It also wants India to become a bulwark against China and help in containing China. The US has been helping the two countries to accomplish their respective dreams. It has destroyed the militarily and economically powerful States of Iraq, Libya and Syria in Middle East, while it has facilitated India in gaining a strong presence in Afghanistan and in bolstering India’s conventional and unconventional capacities. Indo-US navies are collaborating to dominate Indian Ocean and now US-Japan-India alliance is in the making to confront China in South China Sea.
The US is desperate to checkmate ever growing economic resurgence of China which is its chief rival and for that reason intends to shift its strategic pivot from the west to Asia-Pacific Region. Russo-China alignment, China’s domination and militarisation of South China Sea, China-Pakistan collaboration and above all China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) are matters of serious concerns for Washington. Operationalisation of CPEC which connects Sinkiang with Gwadar seaport will break America’s strategic encirclement of China and India’s strategic encirclement of Pakistan. The duo is making frantic efforts to scuttle CPEC.Another aspect which is an eyesore for the US, Israel and India is Pakistan’s nuclear programme, which the trio is looking for an opportunity to disable.
Although commonality of interests have brought India, Afghanistan, USA and NATO on one platform, however, India’s strategic relationship with USA which has been blossoming since 1993 is out of expediency since it has its own ideological goals of converting India into a Hindu State and subsequently creating Maha-Bharat.Target of India is Pakistan while targets of the US are China, Pakistan and Russia.
Though Afghanistan is war torn and divided on ethnic lines between Pashtuns and Northern Alliance of non-Pashtuns, it forms the critical space. Without its stabilization, none can make profitable use of the resources of CARs. The Taliban are rapidly gaining ground in Afghanistan and the Afghan security forces backed by Resolute Support Mission (RSM) are finding it difficult to contain their resurgence. Departure of RSM will create a big security vacuum in Afghanistan which India helped by the US is eager to fill. This will prove calamitous for Indian military, as had happened in Sri Lanka in 1987, where it had to beat a hasty retreat in the face of Tamil Tigers onslaught. Criticality of security situation in Afghanistan has impelled USA to maximize pressure on Pakistan to fight and expel all Afghan Taliban allegedly hiding in Pakistan, or else force them to ceasefire and hold peace talks.
Instability in Afghanistan has affected Pakistan the most, particularly because of deep-rooted involvement of RAW-NDS network in Balochistan, FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). Pakistan has successfully dismantled all the bases of TTP and its affiliates and flushed out militants of all hues including Haqqani network. The runaway militants of TTP and Jamaat-e-Ahrar patronised by the two intelligence agencies are now using bases of Nuristan, Kunar and Nangarhar for cross border attacks. The US has been playing a double game with Pakistan since September 2001 by pretending to be a friend and an ally but in reality, Pakistan was marked as a target. Under the pretense of friendship, Pakistan has been profusely bled by making use of proxies. It has now removed the mask of friendship and come out openly in support of India to harm Pakistan and derail CPEC. After the series of high profile economic, nuclear and defence deals with India, the US military has now signed ‘Maritime’, ‘Strategic Communications’, and ‘Logistics’ Agreements with Indian military and has adopted an aggressive posture against Pakistan.
President Obama referred to Pakistan as an ‘abysmally dysfunctional country’. Chairman of the US Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs Matt Salmon stated, “We should completely cut off all funding to Pakistan”. In his and Zalmay Khalilzad’s view, Pakistan is a State sponsor of terrorism. Other members of the Committee chimed that Pakistan is an ‘epicenter of terror’ and its military and intelligence assets are behind every act of terror committed across its borders.
Some senior US Congress Senators are spewing venom against Pakistan and openly supporting separatist agendaof rebellious Baloch. John Kerry has endorsed India’s demands to take concrete steps against Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad and probe Mumbai and Pathankot attacks. The US-China-Pakistan-Afghanistan grouping for Afghan peace has been replaced with US-Afghanistan-India alliance. Indian military is now actively supporting ANA in Afghanistan.
—The writer, a retired Brigadier, is Director MEASAC Research Centre Rawalpindi.