Geopolitics of Peace
By Brig Nadir Mir
Regardless of US, Pakistan remaining allies or not, they were never destined to be enemies. Yet anti Americanism grows in Pakistan and frustration with Pakistan increases in America. Even though 'disenchanted allies' for long, the last decade, post 9/11 has resulted in a growing animosity. This is a result of American geopolitical naiveté, Pakistani wishfulness and Indians deceit creating an explosive brew. Yet there is a clear distinction between US and Pakistani global perceptions. US being a global albeit sole super power has to worry about a long list of geopolitical rivals, allies, surrogates and fence sitters.
Washington has to relate to Putin’s Russia, China's rise, the Middle East Arab Spring, Turkish growth and independence, keeping Israel on a tight leash, Iran’s defiance, North Korean wild card antics, European economic gloom and doom (of EU), India unreliable both as friend or foe etc. Besides the mess American Neo Con policy resulted in at home and abroad (bankrupt at home and over stretched abroad).
Pakistan's case is much simpler. Its geopolitical world is limited. Indian threat, Afghanistan issues and American relations are key subjects for now. Afghanistan the geopolitical square on the global chessboard for testing both! American stock in Pakistan has plunged to the lowest depth. America needs Pakistan, while it is in Afghanistan. But Washington will need Islamabad even more later. Pakistan's geography is globally pivotal. (This scribe’s book 'Gwadar on the Global Chessboard' makes it quite evident). Pakistan’s demography will be the most numerous in the Muslim world (3 billion Muslims by 2030). Pakistan may be the world's 3rd or 4th most populous state decades from now. According to Mr. Bruce Riedel (former CIA and advisor to President Obama) Pakistan will possess the world's 4th or 5th biggest nuclear arsenal in the next decade. The key question Americans should address – how to improve its image in Pakistan?
A few cardinal points to ponder are presented here:
The only people who are duped by Fox TV, Neo Con plus Globalists Media etc are some gullible Americans. The rest of the world including Pakistanis are quite clear about these issues. Even if the majority of Pakistanis lack high end education, there is ample rustic wisdom in the Pakistani Nation. America’s constant reference to Pakhtoons, Baloch, Punjabis, Sindhis, Sunni, Shia etc, are seen as attempts to divide the Pakistani people. As is US patronage of dictator dispensation and elite, viewed as corrupt plus treacherous by many in Pakistan. Washington's investment in Pakistani liberals is also a complete waste as far as containing extremism is concerned. Pakistani Nationalists with moderate views are the best recipe for dealing with extremists of various hues. Pakistan's liberals are frequently and often correctly seen as puppets with self aggrandizing agendas. Many NGOS have been discredited due to American links. Even European or other western NGOS, organization have fallen in disrepute (for no fault of theirs) as being fronts and full filling US agenda.
Bottom line: ‘Befriend the people of Pakistan'.
Pakistani nukes though guarded by its military are the pride of the nation. In a country of corrupt elite, hungry and angry people, internal and external threats, the nukes are seen as deterrents, equalizers and symbols of national pride.
Relentless American inspired propaganda against Pakistani nukes – missiles (even if contributed by India and others) is threatening, shocking and pride snatching for Pakistanis. Indo – US nuclear deal is nuclear apartheid for Pakistan. (Regardless of what Americans say about AQ khan’s affairs). Pakistani Nation would prefer nukes to be used if it ever faces – ‘use them or lose them scenario’.
The average Pakistani knows that India does not have the capability or courage to attempt nuclear defanging of Pakistan. But the Gungho – cow boys might attempt it, resulting in a regional – global catastrophe.
Bottom line: US should accept 'Nuclear Pakistan' or at least stop its tirade against it.
Centre of Gravity
Geopolitically speaking ISI – Pakistan military is the centre of gravity. Though over all historically speaking, it is the freedom spirit of the Pakistani Nation. A concerted campaign against ISI and Pakistan military, amounts to degrading its centre of gravity. (After ten years of Pakistanis sacrifices in blood, treasury, infrastructure, national emotions in the so called global war on terror).
Bottom line: US should abandon attempts to divide Pakistani Nation from ISI – Armed Forces and forgo demonizing them.
Genocide in Kashmir by Indian Army has resulted in hundreds of thousands of Kashmiris killed besides thousands of Kashmiri women raped. US intervention in Bosnia, Libya and numerous other places was for much less. Unresolved Kashmir is the core issue preventing peace in South Asia. By condoning Indian war crimes (2000 plus in unmarked graves recently identified in Indian held Kashmir), US is aggravating the problem.
Bottom line: Help resolve the Kashmir issue.
The majority of Pakistanis want peace in Afghanistan. Peace cannot prevail until foreign forces leave Afghanistan, whether by agreement or other quick exodus. As long as foreign forces remain, the Afghans will resist. It is not a question of Haqqanis involvement or anyone else for that matter but of US departure.
Bottom line: US should relent and withdrawal its forces from Afghanistan. A negotiated peace agreement in Afghanistan involving Pakistan is the solution.
A history of US betrayal haunts Pakistani minds. The current issue is not only US walking away from Kabul but installing Indians before departure. As American drone strikes killing many innocents and attacks on Pakistani Soldiers signify US hubris, entrenching Indians in Kabul would once again prove American betrayal. If Washington does this, it will lose the Pakistani nation’s confidence. Any US or US sponsored attempt, be it diplomatic or military against Pakistan’s nukes, would end Pakistani nation’s relations with USA forever. (Lead to a conflagration and create a sea of radioactive hostility).
So far the PERCEPTION of American strategy towards Pakistan has been:
§ Patronize liberal puppet elite
§ Divide Pakistani nation
§ Demonize ISI, nuclear, military in Pakistan.
§ Support the enemies of Pakistan to destabilize and encircle it.
§ Aim to denuclearize and balkanize it.
Obviously this has resulted in the lowest level of US – Pakistan relations in history. Going further down can best be summed up by the German philosopher’s famous quote.
“When you look into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you”