Pak’s regional supremacy | By Rizwan Ghani

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Pak’s regional supremacy


IF Pakistan plays its cards honestly, it can win supremacy in the region. After Kashmir, Delhi wants to usurp Pakistan and Afghanistan as continuation of country’s constitutional undertaking etched in “India” and “Bharata”.

America wants to stay in the region under Biden’s China policy of “competition not conflict”. This is a deadly alliance with no end in sight.

The antics of Kabul and all others are part of it. Islamabad should only move forward under Pakistan first policy.

Under West’s 3-step plan, Indian troops can be kept in Afghanistan with the assurance to provide it with the latest military equipment to augment its $70bn defence budget as Quad member.

The pressure to give India access to CARS economy through Pakistan is a corrupt compensation for its $80bn likely trade loss with China while outsourcing second Afghan occupation without control of parliaments and international laws. This time it can be a permanent arrangement.

To save the region, close the backdoors with footholds. The UNSC ISAF Resolution 1383 (2001) on foreign troops in Afghanistan is terminated.

In his April 14 speech, Biden said that under “in together, out together”, US troops, NATO forces and operational partners will be out of Afghanistan before Sept 11.

The US Congress should also repeal its 2001 Auth for the Use of Mil Force instead of replacing it to stop US presidents from waging unlimited wars and outsourcing them to corrupt regimes. Accordingly, India should also leave Afghanistan.

To deter India from staying in Afghanistan, there should be alternate plans of using BRI and CPEC for regional connectivity sans Afghanistan.

The blocking land access to CARS will accelerate Hexit of Seven Sister States and Southern Hindustan forcing Delhi to end Afghan occupation.

Under relevant international laws including US Domestic Terrorism Strategy (June 15, 2021), the word “India” has to be removed from its passport and world map.

The recall of Afghan diplomats aims to pressurize Islamabad. It could be used to block repatriation of 4.5 million refugees and sending more.

All Afghan refugees should be returned to Afghanistan irrespective of foreign forces as Ankara and Africa did with Europe.

Kabul should keep refugees on Afghan side of the border as IDP. Biden should recover $2.26tn from Kabul to help Afghan refugees and poor Americans back home.

Afghan government should face accountability for its policies against the Afghan public and the region. Russian has deployed tanks on Afghan-Tajik border.

The remaining neighboring states are being forced to secure their borders unilaterally or with the help of SCO military equipment including the option of deploying S-400s.

It will help restore peace in the region, stop propaganda against neighboring states, and end foreign interventions in the region.

The regional powers have to play active role in restoring peace in Afghanistan.

As a Eurasian alliance, SCO can help protect political, economic and security interests in the region.

China, Russia and Pakistan should stand with all Afghans for peaceful transition of power during the withdrawal of occupying forces to save the region from foreign interference and Afghan infighting.

India has no place in Afghanistan for peace and prosperity in the region. The idea of Central and South Asia’s connectivity is a red line for Pakistan.

By restoring old Pak-Afghan trade route, Islamabad can: a) refuse land access through Pakistan to protect its economy, industry and jobs in the region and from neighboring exporting giants. b) Deny Delhi access to CARS markets to disintegrate Quad and block bypassing China. c) Thwart Afghan reoccupation to derail Delhi’s Bharata takeover of the subcontinent. d) And block foreign troops to repatriate Afghan refugees.

Instead, there is need for Pakistan first deals. Trump scrapped NAFTA and signed USMCA under America First.

Obama could not sign TPP trade deal because it made US businesses unaccountable to other member states including judiciary and pubic. Pakistan should only approve deals, which bring jobs, revenue and technology.

There should be 100% transparency, zero corruption, and no foreign ownerships, public indebting and profits for private mafias at the cost of public funds.

The joint statement of both FM is welcome promising to expose and punish those involved in Dasu tragedy. A comprehensive policy is needed to end cross border crimes.

The use of word ‘terrorism’ should be replaced with ‘crime’ to stop its use for vested stakes including military attacks. It will allow states to protect their interests bilaterally, multilaterally and other platforms.

Rule of law is the best way to strengthen friendship, democracy, accountability and transparency.

Biden said in his press conference that Afghan war was over in 2011, there was corruption and US was not there for nation building.

The US media report, “Afghanistan Papers: Secret History of the War” (Washington Post), shows how three successive US leaderships kept lying on Afghan war for ten years. They all merit accountability.

It will stop new occupation of Afghanistan. Islamabad will have to stand up for itself in race for hegemony in the region to avoid pawning its future forever.

—The writer is senior political analyst based in Islamabad.

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