Pak quest for peace & stability


Sikandar Noorani

Recent developments at national and regional canvas once again proved that Pakistan is in dire need of internal stability and consensus based policy formulation mechanism. Whimsical approach on sensitive matters is bound damage the national interests in many ways. Latest waves of spicy statements and unauthentic breaking news about foreign policy matters are enough to comprehend the prevailing collective non-seriousness. No long explanations are required to prove the importance of bi-lateral relations with time tested friends like KSA and China. At a critical juncture once complex challenges dictate more coordinated acceleration with old partners, some dubious spoiling forces diverted the focus in undesired direction. Leaving aside the agenda-driven criticism, it must be kept in mind that foreign policy is neither formed nor altered on day-to-day basis. National interests, not the personal inclinations, define the level of engagement with any nation. Level of trust or friendship with any nation can be gauged with the unity of interests on multiple issues, however, absolute consensus on all matters is not a justified yardstick to measure the depth of bi-lateral relations. Hue and cry about Pak relations with KSA was very much aimed at widening the gulf between trusted allies. Archrival neighbour India threw its full weight to spoil the decades-long Pak-Saudi friendship. The BJP influenced-opinion twisters are still busy in fabricating artificial analysis to prove the diplomatic isolation of Islamabad. Why is this shaping up so rapidly? Answer to this important question cannot be rightly framed without having a true insight of regional arena. Before laying focus on surroundings, it must be clear that Kashmir is the biggest worry of New Delhi for which no one else should be held responsible other than Pakistan.
Two fundamental flaws in Indian thinking have brought the whole region to the brink of a destructive war. First, denial of public demands through violence which pushed the Kashmiris towards freedom movement. Second, blaming Pakistan for self-created disasters in Kashmir. When Islamabad invites world’s attention towards humanitarian crisis in Kashmir and mega security threats emanating from Indian side, New Delhi launches a counter attack on diplomatic and military fronts. Mega economic project between China and Pakistan disturbs New Delhi because later might get stability out of it. Unilateral conversion of Kashmir in two union territories and New Delhi’s growing ties with US are adding more fuel to regional disputes. India is now giving threats in more clear and direct method. Foreign-based Baloch and Sindhi separatists are being brought to strike at Pak-China joint interests through terrorism. Indian-influenced media houses are publishing misleading content about CPEC and portraying the RAW sponsored terrorism as strategic success of Modi regime. This dangerous enthusiasm of Modi has found Trump’s patronage which primarily aims at fixation of China through a deadly combination of military, diplomatic and economic manoeuvres. India, being US policemen in the South Asian region, has a lead role in this mega coercive plan. New Delhi is no more restricted to ceasefire violations at LoC against innocent Kashmiri civil population. Grand military adventure is rapidly unfolding in Himalayan mountains. Galwan valley brawl with Chinese troops was just the tip of a huge ice berg. Heavy military build-up at LAC against China needs to be carefully deciphered. Induction of Raffale aircrafts, near future acquisition of hammer warheads, construction of new defence roads for speedy shifting of troops at Pak-China borders, procurement of advanced Israeli drones armed with laser precision munitions are a few of the recently accelerated plans at military front.
There were joint naval exercises between US, India, Japan and Australia in South China Sea with highly offensive posturing towards Beijing. It will be fair to say that India, under Modi’s ultra-ambitious chase, has expanded the fronts of Kashmir dispute. What has compelled Beijing and Tehran to ink a strategic deal revolving around $ 4 billion Chinese investment? Obviously, Washington’s desperation to crush the both rivals has brought them close enough to form a retaliatory front. Pakistan cannot remain unmoved on these major developments which have a direct linkage to vital national interests. Peace and stability in neighbouring states is a justified desire of Islamabad for which maximum efforts should be dedicated. World has witnessed the positive contribution from Pakistan in highly complex Afghan peace process. Spoilers led by India are going all out to derail the peace process in Afghanistan. This must be understood that New Delhi has chosen a wrong path to dominate the region through violent coercive means. A small peaceful neighbour like Nepal has refused to kneel before New Delhi! Playing games on behest of global players against China, Pakistan and rest of the regional stakeholders may fetch some short term advantages but in the longer run India will only find a loss in balance sheet. Pakistan is doing right by keeping the diplomatic engagement functional with Riyadh and Beijing. Against the wishes of New Delhi, now Pakistan should carve out convergence of interests between the mutual friends to extinguish the fire fuelled by the spoilers.
—The writer is a free lancer who often contributes in national newspapers.

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