US policy on South Asia

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Tariq Khalil
ISRAELI Air Force jets had landed in Saudi Arabia at the invitation of Prince Mohammad new Crown Prince to avert any internal coup. Apparently this is true. In a follow up Trump visit has opened the cards and new alliances and grouping are evident . In response to my article new alliances, Loghon Israeli National news reacted and sent an article that what I postulated is already on ground: a strategic geostrategic coup in ME. This is important from Pakistan point as it clearly impacts its position. We have to be with Saudi Alliance, or Qatar. We have over six million Pakistani workers in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. In Qatar, the number is not that large. Nevertheless we have large economic agreements with Qatar and the ruling party has its own preferences. Balancing, how it will be achieved, time will tell. Pakistan is again at the strategic crossroads.
Since 1965 War, we are perpetually at war. As a matter of fact 1971 War the continuity of 1965 War. India’s humiliation in 1962 and 1965 Wars have killed the ego of Hindu mindset. During 1965 War, they observed the weakness of Pakistan in the eastern wing and struck after penetrating our body fabric and managed to create revolt. Again our politico-military elite made stupid political strategic blunders and Pakistan suffered.
Though Pakistan of today is a formidable force and one of the strongest Muslim country in the world but the so called democratic rulers corruption destroyed not only body fabric but also the governing apparatus, the administrative services , which are completely corrupted and today’s civil officer lack the will to take decisions and thus is the greatest hindrance in the honest development work . Pakistan’s enemies waged a persistent subversive and psychological war against Pakistan creating horizontal and vertical divisions in the body fabric of society. The governance in day to day affairs is at lowest ebb. A state of depression has set in and making people resigned to their fate. The fires are stroked by the nationalist leaders who leave no opportunity to demean the state of Pakistan , when they find political vacuum.This is further accentuated by the spate of terrorist activities perpetuating from Afghanistan . Funding is coming from multiple sources.
Nevertheless President Trumps Policy Statement singling Pakistan for all the troubles in Afghanistan is nothing but the echo of Indian propaganda propelled by Indian lobby in Washington and traitors sitting in USA. This coupled with naked threats did cause a stir amongst people of Pakistan . But the nation recovered quickly and the response , though expected by Washington, surprised them . Pakistan has to tackle the matter both through diplomacy and actions.
One has to understand American psyche. There are ego problems and a way out is not in sight. Most important the present policy has done away the time limit. US industrialist empire eye the vast treasures of mineral running into multi trillions of dollars . US presence in Afghanistan is also a watch tower hanging over Russia . This is indicative of future course of action especially in new geo strategic parlance. Where in China Russia and Pakistan New grouping with Iran is worrisome to US. This is the reason India is new darling , it is huge market for US goods . It is predominately matter of shared Geo strategic and commercial interests. Thus US has the capacity to stay for decades to serve their interests.
Pakistan must avoid knee jerk reaction . Army Chief’s approach has been logical measured based on facts. The fact is the amount of cooperation extended by Pakistan to USA is unprecedented in the history since Eighties. The speeches in National Assembly are more sentimental than logical. All these people are running the country since last ten years and if the reality is dawned, still welcome . The narrative of Pentagon, state department , and CIA is on the same page. They know our governance is weak . Super power planners always like to cut and make smaller countries on the maps and follow their strategic interests. Balkanisation of Pakistan is such a game plan. Ever since 9/11 it surfaced one way or the other. Earlier it was export of terrorism from FATA, since cleared DO more mantra and the Haqani network .
Then fear created, falling nukes to terrorist, now Talban leadership hiding in cities. It is the same as they did in Iraq in the name of weapons of Mass destruction, in Syria to regime change, or in Libya . They spread contracted black water mercenaries in Pakistan or supported TTP through proxies. But for Pakistan Army leadership which took the challenge and situation is ninety percent improved chagrin to our friendly enemies. USA blame Pakistan for duality yet the they themselves practice duality. Dump the ally when not needed or it is not following their dictates is long practice. Unfortunately, in a corrupt milieu they find cross sectional hands to do the jobs including political leadership who always look towards Washington to bring them to power.
President Trumps threats are therefore continuation of US policy in place from the last many decades. Its contours kept changing with change in Geo Strategic scenario. This time President Trump himself spelled it out following many months of policy reviews after his ascendancy. Therefore Pakistan must take these threats seriously. Though US diplomats are now trying to tone down and repair the damage done to US-Pakistan relations. Pakistan’s response should be measured and not emotional and taken in consultation with friends.
—The writer, a retired Brigadier, is decorated veteran of 65 & 71 wars and a defence analyst based in Lahore.
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