By Raja G Mujtaba
Germans are a rare and a pure breed that has its own pride in her Aryan roots. It’s this pride that keeps her unique in many ways. Today, most of the Pakistanis are also Aryans as a result of Aryan migration from Germany in times immemorial. Perhaps, this maybe one of the reasons for a close German affinity with Pakistan.
Due to her national pride, Germany has always maintained an independent thinking and pasture that is not always supportive of the US in the global game.
3rd October 1990 is a historic day for United Germany now known as Federal Republic Of Germany. It did not happen overnight, it was an end result of the vision of the German leaders who in spite of the fact of being defeated in 2nd World War, kept their German pride and objectives very clear. In the instruments of negotiation, it was referred to as one Germany, this kept the window of unification open that made it convenient for German Democratic Republic to merge into Federal Republic of Germany. If some similar option could have been kept open in the constitution of Pakistan for Bangladesh, it could have provided some hope and a possible bridge.
On this occasion, S M Hali hosted Dr. Michael Koch — German Ambassador in a Talk Show on PTV that is embedded below.
Here historians would not fail to give General Zia a place in becoming instrumental in the process of German unification when he became the victor by defeating the Soviet Union in Afghanistan that brought cracks in the Berlin Wall. Soviet Union defeat Afghanistan weakened her to the extent that she could not hold on to her colonies and territories that she had annexed over the decades.
German: Deutsche Wiedervereinigung was the process when Berlin reunited into a single city, as provided by its then Grundgesetz constitution Article 23. The start of this process is commonly referred by Germans as die Wende (The Turning Point). The end of the unification process is officially referred to as German Unity (German: Deutsche Einheit), celebrated on 3 October (German Unity Day).
The East German regime started to falter in May 1989, when the removal of Hungary's border fence opened a hole in the Iron Curtain. It caused an exodus of thousands of East Germans fleeing to West Germany and Austria via Hungary. The Peaceful Revolution, a series of protests by East Germans, led to the GDR's first free elections on 18 March 1990, and to the negotiations between the GDR and FRG that culminated in a Unification Treaty, whilst negotiations between the GDR and FRG and the four occupying powers produced the so-called "Two Plus Four Treaty" (Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany) granting full sovereignty to a unified German state, whose two halves had previously still been bound by a number of limitations stemming from their post-WWII status as occupied regions. The united Germany remained a member of the European Community (later the European Union) and of NATO.
Bonn hosted a conference after Operation Enduring Freedom in which the Taliban government was toppled in Afghanistan, in December 2001, of Afghan leaders at Hotel Petersberg, to choose the leader of an Afghan Interim Authority – widely known as the Bonn Conference. What proceeded at the conference was a foregone conclusion that it would only endorse the American nomination. The Conference chose Hamid Karzai, who was subsequently elected President in 2004. Karzai subsequently appointed many of the anti-Taliban allies and regional leaders to senior posts within the interim government, or to senior posts in the Provincial governments. Karzai although a Pakhtun has no popular base in the Pakhtuns.
In context of contemporary developments in world politics, Germany an important NATO member has a global role to play. Here it must be noted, since the demise of USSR, NATO is becoming more embroiled in destabilizing the Muslim world. Here Germany can and should play a positive role to avoid the wars in the Muslim lands that has become the US target and NATO is being used towards that end. It demonstrated a strong rejection of the US attack on Libya where France and the UK were in the lead, later joined by Italy. Lately her role in Afghanistan where she has some 5000 troops, came under criticism but again a General of her’s in 2009 was very critical of Afghan war who wanted an end to this game going on.
Germany has been a staunch supporter and sustainable partner for Pakistan over the years. Successive governments in Pakistan and Germany have worked for the promotion of relations between both countries. Even during times of great divide for the Germans, Pakistan maintained cordial relations with both East and West Germany. Germany for its part, has not let the people of Pakistan down in their times of trial and tribulation. Pak-German relations were further cemented during the 1980’s by developing military cooperation and went on to include other aspects such as trade and commerce during the 1990’s when both countries jointly formed the Pak-German Business Forum. At present, Germany is Pakistan’s 4th largest trade partner in the world and 1st largest trade partner with in the European Union. Pakistan has expressed its desire for greater market access of Pakistani products to the EU to improve our economy and Germany has offered its support in this respect to the Pakistani proposal. Furthermore, German investors are particularly interested in investing in Pakistan, but a troubled law and order situation in the country remains the major hurdle in this respect. Apart from restoring peace and eradicating terrorism, the government needs to cut down on tariffs to encourage potential investors.
High level visits between both countries have been instrumental in bringing both countries close to each other. In January this year, the German foreign minister, Dr. Guido Westerwelle visited Pakistan. German Chief Of Defence Staff Visited Pakistan earlier this year also.
German assistance to Pakistan after the devastating floods of 2010 was greatly appreciated by the people and its government. Germany’s total relief aid to Pakistan was estimated to be around 3.75 billion rupees which was brought to use by German humanitarian organizations. The German public beat out contributions by the German government and donated 23.8 billion rupees for the people in flood-hit areas.
Another important project to improve water and sanitation conditions in Gilgit-Baltistan , “The Water Sanitation Extension Programme” is run by Agha Khan Planning and Building Service, Pakistan but is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office. Germany provided a grant of 3.2 million Euro in this respect. More than 240,000 people in 307 villages in Gilgit- Baltistan and Chitral region benefitted from this project. The German government has also participated in the construction of a large number of heath projects such as the Health Care Centre at Shimshal.
Germany appreciates Pakistan’s efforts in the war on terror and would like to see Pakistan eradicating this menace altogether which not only threatens Pakistan’s stability but stability of the entire region amidst Germany’s own security concerns.
There have been cooperation in the defence sector also but no major area can be identified as such. However now Germany is offering class 214 submarines that have been evaluated and found to be far superior compared to the French Agosta but Pakistan may lose this deal for some obvious vested interests. Here it must be remembered that Sarkozy, the French President is already under investigation for kickbacks from the last submarine deals that were confirmed in times of Benazir Bhutto.
Germany enjoys cordial relations with both Pakistan and India and encourages rapprochement and peaceful resolution of all outstanding issues between both states. Pakistan, for its part would like to see Germany playing a more active role in bringing both India and Pakistan closer and assisting in promoting better relations between the neighbourly states by settling a major flashpoint, Kashmir that has all the potential of an all out nuclear war.