Syed Qamar Afzal Rizvi
Evidence suggest that the geopolitical influence Pakistan holds in the South Asian region and its growing economic power via CEPEC has by all means become an envious concern in the eyes of international establishment whose players do not want to see a stable Pakistan since it may emerge as a strong bastion against their ulterior designs to divide and dominate the Muslim world. The western media is fully honeycombed with these reflections: Keeping a jaundiced eye on Pakistan’s nuclear programme; conspiring against our territorial integrity; and maligning our armed forces. With our strategic vision espoused by changing South Asian strategic culture, the Indo-US strategic agenda will certainly not succeed.
Put retrospectively, in his 2007 article,’ Destabilisation of Pakistan’ Professor Michael Chossudovsky argued: According to the NIC-CIA scenario, which Washington intends to carry out: “Pakistan will not recover easily from decades of political and economic mismanagement, divisive policies, lawlessness, corruption and ethnic friction” .The US course consists in fomenting social, ethnic and factional divisions and political fragmentation, including the territorial breakup of Pakistan.
‘’The broader objective is to fracture the Nation State and redraw the borders of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan’’. Balochistan’s strategic energy reserves have a bearing on the separatist agenda. Following a familiar pattern, there are indications that the Baloch insurgency is being supported and abetted by Britain and the US. British intelligence is allegedly providing covert support to Balochistan separatists. In June 2006, Pakistan’s Senate Committee on Defence accused British intelligence of “abetting the insurgency in the province bordering Iran” [Balochistan].Ten British MPs were involved in a closed door session of the Senate Committee on Defence regarding the alleged support of Britain’s Secret Service to Baloch separatists . Also of relevance are reports of CIA and Mossad support to Baloch rebels in Iran and Southern Afghanistan’’.
While comparing Michael’s Chossudovsky’s past appraisal with the present scenario, we find an irrefutable degree of truth given the underpinnings of the US-UK-Israel alliance on the one side; and the Indo-Afghan accord on the other. The recent displaying scenes in UK and Switzerland about Free Balochistan endorse these negative notions. Pakistan has rejected anti-Pakistan propaganda run by the proscribed Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) displayed on London-Geneva cabs and buses that directly attack Pakistan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua called in the British High Commissioner Thomas Drew in the Foreign Office recently and conveyed serious concerns of Pakistan on the issue.
The Chinese-led project has been India’s number one target because of two strategic reasons: firstly, CPEC dives through Gilgit-Baltistan, which Modi deceitfully claims as a part of their country’ regardless of the fact that internationally, this is a recognized part of the Pakistani territory for the last seven decades; secondly, in light of a non-Indian-controlled Chinese course of the Indian Ocean might contend for New Delhi’s hegemonic agenda of making the whole ocean rimland under its authoritative control. The hawkish mindset in New Delhi advocates that an additional clash with Pakistan equals to a non-sustainable development, causing internal and external instability, thereby questioning the viability of the CPEC. To quest for the RSS/BJP hyper-nationalist objective for ceasing CPEC, which adventitiously aligns mischievously with the US’ grand euphoric strategy to destabalise Pakistan, India supports the US on the lines of the Ralph Peters’ conceived Blood Borders’ geopolitical tapestry. Despite the denial made by Washington in 2006, the subsequent developments support the notion that west’s intentions about Pakistan are not fair.
As for the role of Pakistan military in Afghanistan, there seems America’s ridiculous expectation from Islamabad to toe its security policy on the lines dictated from Washington. Should not the American policy makers realise that being influenced by the changing geopolitical culture, the European Union has justifiably redefined its security doctrine thereby forming an independent security alliance free from the US dominated Nato’s trajectory. Similarly, Pakistan’s security establishment is justified in redefining its security policy vis-à-vis Afghanistan in the light of Trump’s new Afghan policy advocating an enlarged Indian role in Afghanistan. . Pakistan National Security Advisor (NSA), Lt Gen Nasser Khan Janjua (Retd) is right when he says that India’s created two front security situation on Pakistan’s eastern and western border is alarming for regional peace.
Understandably, a visible line of policy incongruence lies between Washington and Islamabad based on US’ inverted utilitarian foreign policy approach and Pakistan’s adopted pragmatic security policy revisionism. Washington needs a lot to wash out the Pakistani doubts about the US’ controversial and anti-peace role in region. US’ fait accompli mantra to do more has lost its justification. However, this has become a common western policy modus operandi that when they see that Pakistan is not fulfilling their ulterior demands then they try to develop a pressure or an unwarranted lèse majesté through other means ie criticising role of our armed forces; compromising our sovereignty via drone strikes; and targeting our nuclear programme.
But this western policy has lost its moorings since Pakistanis are intelligent enough to understand and counterfeit this western game. By all manifestations, the Chinese indoctrinated CPEC project of expanding soft power has become a leitmotiv of Pakistan’s foreign policy. We are united in our stand with China to comply the committed CPEC dynamics in the region. The growing China-Pakistan-Russia-Turkey-Iran alliance is an antidote to western engineered evil plot. The Brookings Institute expert Stephen P Cohen is not wrong when he says, “because of nuclearisation India can’t conceive of finishing off Pakistan. The only realistic option for India is cooperation’’.
— The writer, an independent ‘IR’ researcher-cum-analyst based in Karachi, is a member of European Consortium for Political Research Standing Group on IR, Critical Peace & Conflict Studies.
Syed Qamar Afzal Rizvi