Strong Pak-China relations | By Rizwan Ghani


Strong Pak-China relations

CHINESE Embassy issued security alter on 18 July 2021 as three Chinese nationals were kidnapped by gunmen in Mali. But there is no warning from Beijing to the colonial power behind it in old Europe.

With long history of such challenges faced by China, the timing of Dasu tragedy merits strategic policy.

The words of China’s Public Security Minister that China and Pakistan are all weather partners are positive news. Here is how Beijing can help stop real perpetrators from such cowardly acts in future.

There is no military solution to Afghan situation. It is evident from the defeat of two superpowers in Afghanistan. Pakistan will not be militarily dragged into Afghanistan.

Pakistan will not allow any new military bases in the country because of its drastic fallouts in the last 20 years. It has pushed Pakistan 50 years back despite having a promising start.

Now it will follow “Pakistan first” policy in the region. Public wants to progress peacefully so the best approach is more cooperation between both neighbors.

The first thing is public safety. The preemptive use of IT, security and intelligence technology is the key to it

. By bringing critical communications infrastructure including ports, mobile networks and IT under state control, foreign interference can be controlled.

Security experts are aware of dual role of foreign chipmakers, private mobile companies and allied infrastructure in anti-state activities.

Pakistan is constant victim of dual use technology due to political decision of its privatization.

The UK has partnered with the US in Space operations. Pakistan and China can be ideal partners. Satellite technology is important for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

There can be no credible deterrence in the region without cooperation on safeguarding of communication, border control and information on Earth, in orbit, in cyberspace and in the electromagnetic spectrum.

Space and new technologies are critical for winning strategic competitions in economy, transportation and financial markets.

Internal security is a complex issue. There is need for balance in use of cameras, track and trace apps and facial recognition with individual liberties, constitutional protections and state powers.

The West uses it to win hearts and minds while portraying East as police states. The abuse of this technology by the police and the state has turned public against the use of dual-use-technology, which can be exploited for vested stakes.

Pakistan will have to enact police reforms for national security instead of state subjugation, political victimization and changing democracy into one-man rule.

Regarding police, the experts show that best police reform is taking away powers of police. The protests in US, UK and France have shown that independent policing has failed.

The power of police including its militarization is unconstitutional because it has to serve the public who pays for its salaries not the government, politicians or the state.

Policing can improve with distribution of its 90 percent powers to relevant departments including geo-fencing, CCTV footages, 24/7 district magistrate system, withdrawing their immunity, keeping chief constable highest rank, improving private investigator setups, and replacing FIR with parties defending their case in courts.

The use of terrorism word should stop. It is part of vocabulary used by the West in its geo-strategic objectives.

In his press conference on troop withdrawal, Biden admitted Afghan war was over in 2011 and there was mega corruption in Afghanistan. Trump is long criticized forever wars of America.

The peace in the region can be achieve lot quicker if countries uphold international laws on smuggling, narcotics, human trafficking, money laundering and cross border crimes. Corruption is international challenge.

It is now impacting national security. China has signed cross-border crime agreement with 37 countries as a deterrence against corruption. But it could only recover one person from USA during Trump era.

West is benefitting for stole public funds from the East through a complex combination of dual nationals, international banks and money laundering. There were $6.2tn in Western banks in 2019 (Politico) which need national and regional efforts.

There is a perception that Pakistan is not doing enough against West. China is keeping its options open with America, Europe and India.

In 2019-20, there were 372,000 Chinese students in USA. Biden has eased Chinese visa restrictions in 2021. US-China goods and services trade was $634bn in 2019.

In 2020, China-India trade was $87.6bn. It is good to have bilateral relations, trade and exchanges but then it should draw redlines to end the menace of cross border crime for vested stakes permanently.

The idea of regional connectivity cannot be linked to Afghanistan. Pakistan has suffered at the hands of India for the last 20 years in terms of life and economy.

It is a redline to give India access to CARS through Afghanistan. It will permanently kill Pakistan’s industry, jobs and economy. It will increase unemployment, poverty and debt.

Our policies will have to be based on Pakistan first to secure its interests in presence of two exporting giants and blocking India is part of this policy.

It will welcome and continue peaceful cooperation for nation building. It expects SCO to take appropriate steps to block new Western military bases in the region.

—The writer is senior political analyst based in Islamabad.

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