Regional situation, impact on Pakistan | By Samreen Bari Aamir


Regional situation, impact on Pakistan

ON one hand, the United States has hinted at withdrawing its army from Afghanistan, On the other hand, the growing relationship between China and Iran is moving in a new direction.

Furthermore, China and Russia are ready to forget all their past strained relations and are ready to move in a new direction.

Moreover, Pakistan and Russia have started new dawn to warm their relations. Let’s take a look at the global events that are creating excitement in the region.

President Biden has announced that the US will withdraw all its forces from Afghanistan by the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

The decision demonstrates the trade-offs that the Biden Administration can make in order to move the United States’ global attention away from counterinsurgency operations, which dominated the post-9/11 environment and toward new goals, such as increasing military rivalry with China.

The change in US strategy toward China, from collaboration to neo-containment, may have enhanced the importance of closer cooperation with Moscow for Beijing.

Cooperation between China and Russia has had inconsistent results in recent years. The partnership has flourished in some fields, such as political and normative opposition to the West, oil, and stability.

Xi Jinping’s anti-American rhetoric has started to mimic Vladimir Putin’s 2007 Munich address.

On the other hand, India and Russia did not hold their annual summit for the first time in two decades.

This comes after Moscow voiced strong concerns about New Delhi joining the Indo-Pacific Initiative and the Quad.

Growing relationship between Pakistan and Russia is also a matter of concern for India. However, Russia has always helped India in every way, be it defence or social.

Even in the tense situation between Pakistan and India, we do not see any help from Russia to Pakistan nor does it appear to have a role to play in resolving disputes.

But now the ice seems to be melting. In this context, the visit of the Russian Foreign Minister to Pakistan is of utmost importance.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s latest two-day visit to Islamabad (April 6-7) was the first by a Russian Foreign Minister in almost a decade.

President Vladimir Putin had sent him a “sensitive” fax. Lavrov arrived in Islamabad after spending two days in New Delhi (April 5-6).

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed dissatisfaction and avoided meeting Lavrov.

The visit of the Russian Foreign Minister is of utmost importance in the changing context of the region.

Where Pakistan and Russia have forgotten their past bitterness and are moving towards a new height of friendship, the growing Sino-Iranian relationship is no less important.

Iran and China signed an agreement on March 26 expressing their intention to expand collaboration and trade ties for the next 25 years.

This Strategic Cooperation Agreement, as it is officially called, has been praised as a major reboot of Sino-Iranian relations, with China expected to spend somewhere between $400 and $600 billion in Iran, with some figures reaching $800 billion.

As a result of all these circumstances, it is important to know whether the United States will stick to its decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.

Pakistan is becoming more and more important in the changing circumstances of the region.

Now it is up to Pakistan’s foreign policy to decide what alliances to make in the face of changing circumstances in the region.

—The writer is a researcher and a visiting lecturer at BUKC and IU.