Evolving Indo-Pak Geo-Strategic Matrix
A Crucial Moment for Eurasian Century
A new moment may be changing Pak relationship with India, and the world
Even now India's think tankers, so-called security experts, including former Indian diplomats and empty talking heads on India's TV channels, when asked about the situation in Afghanistan and withdrawal of US troops from that country, coached and brainwashed, would parrot that American troops should stay on as long as possible. This is absolutely absurd. Yes, Moscow is facing onslaught by Obama led war mongers from the West, putting into great economic strain on Moscow specially in the strategic balance with Washington and its ever obedient poodle London planning to even create fast action troops bases East Europe, including Ukraine, a country which is being devastated by policies of USA and UK, and Poland . Let us hope something comes out of the current visit of German and French leaders to Ukraine and Moscow to find some kind of long-term ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine.
In spite of constant verbal and declarations and real onslaughts from the West, Moscow remains partly happy that US troops should stay on in Afghanistan and be bled , along with their remaining allies, while Pakistan tries to get its pound of flesh for allowing USA to maintain its presence in Afghanistan. The Afghans have not agreed that the heavy arms be shifted away from the country and better be left behind.
As far as India is concerned, the British, who created a weak buffer state of Pakistan in order to guard their oil Wells in Middle East, a policy which was taken over by the new bully on the block Washington, Pakistan has been a major security concern and the problem ever since the partition of the subcontinent .Even after the separation of East Pakistan as new state of Bangladesh, primarily because of support from U.S.-led West and China to Islamabad.
It has not led to any long-term advantage to the population of Pakistan, except that it has enriched all the military chiefs and senior officers and embedded feudal ruling lassies in Pakistan. Now with Washington's power declining and leaving many areas of the world after destruction and creating new problems on the way out .Finally, Pakistan feels neglected and realizes that the existential danger lies within from home grown terrorists and not from India. The savage attack by the terrorist in Peshawar on a school where children of military officers studied has brought home close to the skin ,where it hurts ,the fatal danger, by the terrorists created and mutated since 1979 in Pakistan and Afghanistan striking at the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan itself.
It is time that India's jingoist anchors and the usual suspects ceased talking nonsense on TV channels and misleading India's population. Okay, to pacify his constituency, Prime Minister Modi has sent the message that no more violations across the border will be violated. It is time that India looks at the problem afresh and realizes that Pakistan is ready to live in peace with India so that it can first deal with the problem of terrorism at home.
I reproduce below an enlightening article especially for Indian warmongers and jingoist anchors about the changes taking place in Pakistan's thinking specially in its military and strategic circles and the change in their perception about India-Pakistan relations. Can you imagine if India and Pakistan are major players within the overall Asian century, which will include China, India, Russia, Japan and Germany, along with Iran and Turkey as a major power and industrial block after the decline of American century and hegemony now on the horizon.
"Do not forget that during Mogul Empire, merchants from Delhi and Lahore could go with Hundis (letters of credit) to Ottoman capital Istanbul, Safavid capital Tehran and Sehbani Ozbeks bazaars of Bukhara and Samarkand and carry on business as usual. During Mogul Empire fruits from Central Asia used to be brought to the fruit markets of Delhi. Why cannot that be restored again and begin the restoration of good relations between Asian countries to initiate an Asian century for peace and progress. Without peace there can be no development, the slogan of Prime Minister Narendra Modi"
See below a thought provoking article on Pakistan by Khaled Ahmed.
K.Gajendra Singh. 6 Feb., 2015.Delhi
A new moment may be changing Pak relationship with India, and the world
Written by Khaled Ahmed |
Some Pakistanis have been hysterical, TV anchors worst of all. Officially, it was normal till the media hate-hype forced some ministers to go back to the familiar saber-rattling — with no sabers to speak of as the economy falters under homegrown terrorism. Urdu is the "poisoned mother tongue", carrying unrealistic challenges based on ghairat (honour) rather than anything credible.
Urdu newspapers leaned helplessly on retired generals, whom they otherwise abominate for having usurped democracy in the past, and let them spew the old ideological stuff on India and that old betrayer, the US. The clerics did their million marches against French blasphemy, recommending that Pakistan break with France as well as the US and resign from the UN if India joins the Security Council as a permanent member.
"The operationalisation of the Indo-US nuclear deal for political and economic expediencies would have a detrimental impact on deterrence stability in South Asia," said the advisor to the prime minister on foreign affairs, Sartaj Aziz. Former Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said US President Barack Obama "has preferred India to Pakistan". A columnist wrote, Obama was "a down-and-out first generation American who once slept roofless on a pavement in New York, whose friend was a drug-snorting Pakistani illegal alien, whose first fundraiser for a Senate seat was organised by his Pakistani friends in a Chicago restaurant (they raised $3,000)".
Pakistan's army chief, General Raheel Sharif, was in China telling his counterpart how he had attacked terrorists in the tribal areas. The Chinese fear these terrorists but couldn't get the old army chief, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, to go after them in North Waziristan. He had gone to China the same day that Obama arrived in India, prompting Urdu newspapers to say it was a strategic tit-for-tat, with the Chinese growling at poor India for hurting Pakistan's security.
But Raheel Sharif was telling his counterpart in Beijing that he had smashed East Turkestan Islamic Movement safe havens in order to wipe out the Uighur camps where Muslim rebels from Xinjiang trained with their Uzbek brothers. The day he left Beijing, the Pakistan air force killed over 30 terrorists, including "foreigners". After that, it killed 73 more, again including "foreigners".
The Senate defence committee was informed on January 26 that, during his visit to the US, Raheel Sharif had presented evidence of India's interference in Pakistan. But the general was hardly thinking of India in China. He was completely focused on the terrorists — alas, spawned by the Pakistan army itself. His post-Beijing statements were about how he would cleanse the curse of terror from "Gwadar to Chitral, Shawal to Bajaur". The Chinese were pleased to hear the good news, not about how India would be made to suffer for flirting with the US, but about how Pakistan was getting rid of the Uighurs. The Chinese had had a bad time with Kayani, who wouldn't move against them.
General Pervez Musharraf, currently under trial for treason, disclosed that Kayani might have been too scared to take on the terrorists: "Either General Kayani was scared or too reticent or too reserved… But that was for his own person. The army was clear in its views as a whole. They wanted action, even in Kayani's days. Kayani has to be asked why he did not act [against militants].
With Raheel Sharif going after elements inflicting cross-border terror in the region, Pakistan is mending fences with its threatened neighbours — China, Afghanistan and Iran. India should also be relieved because Pakistan used Afghanistan as a training ground for non-state actors, of all hues, who went into Kashmir. One supposes that Uzbekistan, too, is relieved. Its president was once nearly killed by terrorists trained in Pakistan's safe havens. This could become a persuasive reason for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to, in the ripeness of time, normalise relations with Pakistan. This would bring back on track Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's free-trade-with-India agenda, which had been a campaign promise.
A retired air vice marshal of the Pakistan air force, Shahzad Chaudhry, who has emerged as a "realist" opinion-maker, had this to say about the visit: "25 years from now, if not earlier, four nations will stand tall on the map of the world: the United States of America, China, Russia and India… India will soon be up there with them, which is why I say 25 years. If these countries interact, sometimes competitively and at other times harmoniously, it shouldn't come as any surprise."
About the alarm aroused by the not-so-new tidings that India may become a permanent member of the UN Security Council and that nuclear technology transfers worth $150 billion would take place over 10 years, he had this to say: "In Pakistan, this will be hard to swallow — but swallow Pakistan will. Again, not necessarily at its own cost because a great good lies for us too in the future as we must chart our route outside of the Indo-Pak stranglehold. As they say, the strategic layout of the world is changing and only the prescient will find their places sooner on it."
It is this "Indo-Pak stranglehold" that is keeping Pakistan back. But the positive and unavoidable geographic "hold" that will propel Pakistan forward will come with bilateral peace based on free trade and a liberal visa regime with India. Of course, Kashmir can wait to become irrelevant if the "infrastructural connectivity" Obama and Modi mentioned in their joint statement spreads in South Asia according to multilateral documents already signed at the Saarc.
Pakistan will have to swallow its Afghanistan policy earlier than its bilateral confrontation with India, which no one in the world appreciates, because Daesh (the Islamic State) has made its appearance in Punjab, Pakistan's ideological heart. The process has been started, with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah — especially the latter because his base in north Afghanistan has suffered much at the hands of Pakistan — and the so-called "friendly" terrorists being allowed to go into freefall by the Pakistan army.
For the first time, Pakistan will have to accept the Indian presence in Afghanistan in the same way it accepts the Chinese. India has the advantage of being Afghanistan's Saarc partner and historical ally. And Pakistan, under its new approach, will have to accept the strategic underpinning of India's presence. Pakistan admits it is under threat from within and its army has embarked on a comprehensive clean-up in which the world — if not India — is ready to help. The persuaders for Modi to switch off his current punitive policy towards Pakistan are bound to increase.
Writing in The Indian Express, Daniel Markey, senior research professor at Johns Hopkins SAIS, and once head of the South Asia portfolio at the US State Department, stated: "At present, however, he [Modi] has taken India out of serious bilateral negotiations with Pakistan. This missing piece of India's strategy is profoundly dangerous, even counterproductive. During his trip, Obama should press this point; not as a critic, but as a friend who recognizes the potential of peace through strength, Indian-style."
The writer is consulting editor, 'Newsweek Pakistan'