Evolving geostrategic scenario and Pak security | BY Dr Muhammad Khan


Evolving geostrategic scenario and Pak security

THE geopolitical positioning of Pakistan has always been of great interest and extreme significance for the major powers and regional sates of Asian Continent.

Among the three contemporary major powers; China and Russia are situated in the closer proximity of Pakistan, thus remain concern about the happenings in and around Pakistan.

On its part, despite being thousands of miles away, United States maintains deep interest and exceptional attention about the geopolitical location of Pakistan for its own strategic motives.

Since the concept of evolving geostrategic settings at regional and global level have its implications for Pakistan, therefore, it needs deliberations and well thought-out way forward.

The concept needs lot of research at strategic level and deliberations at the level of academia, intellectuals, media and civil society of Pakistan.

From its immediate outlook, the concept can be observed and analysed from three perspectives; national, regional and global; all interconnected and related with each other.

At national level, the concept warrants a broader national harmony and social cohesiveness to discard the agenda driven fault lines evolved over the years and destabilized the state and society of Pakistan.

These fault-lines include the undesired widening factor of ethnicity, the idiotic element of sectarianism and the narrow minded approach of sub-nationalism.

The ill-intended but well considered domestic and external motives of these fault-lines needs immediate bridging and attention by the political governments at federal level and provincial level.

Besides, the educational institutions and civil society needs to play a dominant and responsible role by reflecting the true concept of national harmony and social cohesion among the Pakistani youth.

The socio-economic reasons of these fault lines needs special attention with clearly defined strategies to address them on priority.

At regional level, Pakistan is very significant country from two perspectives; its geopolitical location and its ideological foundations.

Whereas, these two peculiarities are the real strength of Pakistan, the fact remains that owing to these distinctiveness, the external forces (rivals) have always tried to weaken and destabilize it in last over seven decades of its history.

By its mere location, Pakistan is a pivotal country in Asia, joining various regions of the Asian Continent all around.

Pakistan is a true reflection of the concept of geographical pivot. The concept of geographical pivot was developed by Halford John Mackinder, a Royal geographer in 1904 as heartland theory.

Mackinder was a geographer, academic, politician and above all is considered as the pioneer of both geopolitics and geo-strategy.

Mackinder’s heartland theory covers the entire globe from the perspective of geopolitics and geostrategic.

The location of Pakistan has made it significant for its neighbours as well as the other regional powers right from its inception in 1947.

Indeed, owing to short-sighted leadership, continual political instability, interest of rival forces and repeated bad governance, the pivotal location of Pakistan has been down-played throughout in its history.

At global level, the geopolitics of Pakistan has been a gate-way of the conflicts between super powers.

Contrary to the concept given by American political scientist Francis Fukuyama in 1992, the cold war and rivalry between great powers is still continuing.

In his book, “The End of History and the Last Man” Francis Fukuyama proclaimed about the ascendancy of Western liberal democracy and liberal values after the demise of former Soviet Union.

He along with liberal political thinkers of the United States and West concluded that, humanity has reached to the end point of its history, hence no more “ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.

” To the disappointment of Francis Fukuyama, his concept of ‘End of History’ proved wrong just in a period of less than two decades.

There is a new cold war (s) with multiple dimensions:a) US-China economic war and perceptible strain in Asia Pacific over Taiwan issue and b) US-Russia cold war after Crimean annexation by later in 2014 Russian attack of Ukraine in February 2022.

Like the earlier cold war between US and former Soviet Union, Pakistan is the most effected state from the perspective of strategic implications of either of these evolving scenarios; indeed, evolving geo-strategic milieu.

In fact, Pakistan is in the centre of these new and evolving geo-strategic settings. It cannot escape this strategic rivalries and power politics where conflicts are rising with each passing day.

In August 2022, there has been exchange of strong statements between Beijing and Washington over the Taiwan issue.

Earlier in June 2021, NATO leadership declared China as a major security challenger for this military alliance for the first time in its history.

NATO leadership clearly accused China of undermining the rules-based international order. On its part, China defended its policies by saying that, “Our pursuit of defence and military modernisation is justified, reasonable, open and transparent.

” Beijing also urged NATO to focus on promoting dialogue rather heading towards conflict.

“Geo-strategy links geography with strategies of war. It places the planning and management of war in the context of geographical, physical, and artificial (man-made) characteristics of the operational region.

” According to Geoffrey Sloan and Colin Gray, geography is “the mother of strategy”. While analysing the rapidly evolving global geopolitical situation, the impending strategic and security challenges arising from the rivalry of the great powers will have wider security implications for Pakistan.

In order to meet the emerging security and strategic challenges, let’s develop national consensus, establish durable political stability, and promote a culture of domestically sustained economic development with a strategic vision of safeguarding the national interests and elements of national power of Pakistan.

— The writer is Professor of Politics and IR at International Islamic University, Islamabad.


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