“The strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must!”- Thucydides
By Ayesha Villalobos
While” the Dragon is roaring, the giant is awakening and the world is trembling with awe “Pakistan and her territorial sovereignty and domestic legitimacy are once again under challenge by external and internal forces. Pakistan had been accused of either being slack to suppress pro-Taliban militancy within its territory on playing a double game, wherein the state officially claimed to support U.S objectives in Afghanistan while overtly aiding cross border Taliban attacks.
Yet, under serious scrutiny of Pakistan snowballing record reveals vagueness and expediency and a willingness to acquiesce to intervention under narrowly defined circumstances. It had remained superficially reactive (?), rather than pro-active actor for the most part, one that has only very unwillingly and cautiously acknowledged the responsibility to protect? (R2P).
Pakistan retains a weak under side, as political hostility and protest against extra –judicial killings by extremists and the indiscriminate US drone campaigns continue to occur. Consequently, the entire canvass, Pakistan presents a wary and hesitant country whose affirmed respect for sovereignty, non-intervention and non-use of force was neither exclusive nor cynical but existed in some tension pack with a mixture pouch of ideational security interests.
Pakistan had manifest an almost complete disparity between motion of intervention and her lack of established priorities, yet its ability and willingness to translate anxiety into confrontation had been checked by a number of factors such as super massive politicking, geo-strategic environment brought about by the aftermath of the Cold War and the War on Terror . The nation was left at a loose end almost overnight following the controversial demise of Osama Bin Laden Osama’s Reported Death: Some Troubling Questions , executed by her vital (?) ally namely, the U.S, which have provided more predicaments than solutions, while at the same time it become more susceptible to U.S pressures in variety of issues, included above all the real characteristic of U.S –Pak relationship which can be labelled as the “history of mutual suspicion and antagonism”.
With the U.S now resolute to have the opulence of creating new strains of simultaneous fracturing of Pakistan’s sovereignty Pakistan: Our Wuthering Sovereignty! Also evident in the recent drone attackU.S. intensifies drone aircraft attacks in Pakistanhttp://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/12/us-binladen-idUSTRE7410D320110512 and Pakistan Forces Clash with NATO Forces .
While the global observer would expect to be questioning Pakistan of their sovereignty why they have permitted foreign powers to gain foothold of their military presence inside their territories, control their infrastructure, or dictate their policies. This is specially so when there is an imminent threat from a third power to balance and thus Pakistan subordinate sovereignty with the United States cannot be refuted in this context. Pakistan is forming temporary alliance for their security, thereby her sovereignty have become loaded with subordination, contestation, domination and causal machinations, from sovereignty subordination Pakistan had succumbed to sacrificial sovereignty. Which eventually plunge Pakistan deeper into the realm of “variegated anarchy” and sovereignty as a “negotiated relationship that state holds different degrees, in different issues at different times “ (1) in which a state cedes partial authority over its security or economic policies to other state.” Pakistan’s sovereignty only applies to certain areas, on decision making on the issues of social polity such as health and education while ceded decision making authority in vital areas of its security policy to the U.S. Applying this approach to Pakistan polity, we have witnessed how Pakistan domestic rulers negotiated their subordination (i.e. Kerry-Lugar Bill) to great power, while the tensions and risks involved in the process. Its setback and consequences is fatal.
At its nucleus, the immediate concern about Pakistan is how to determine the conditions in which to protect and defend its sovereignty which is under attack from security at all three levels, individual, domestic and worldwide. Pakistan should emphasize and assert of fully making the United States of America realize and respect that Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, which the priority and absolute responsibility to protect its sovereignty lays within Pakistan herself.
From Unipolarism, bipolarism to Multi-polarism
The current scenario of Pak-US relationship tells us that it will soon be tossed into the dustbin of history. While Pakistan put great store in its relationship with China. It is even all the more demanding for Pakistan to recognize that the great power they are relying upon is now entering an imperial twilight. Lethargy, prehensile attitude and the power vested interest explicate why elites in the empire persist to share and believe the narrative that hegemonic ability to exert global dominance and its influence still exists.
US are now in front of a geostrategic decline, their military is now overstretched and short of victory in Afghanistan and a rotting economic base loan to China is making it complex to maintain expansive global objectives. The era of unipolar reign is now coming to a conclusion and rising global powers are producing conditions for the dawn of multipolarism
During the Cold War Pakistan – Russia relation were characterised as indifferent. However in 1991 these relationships have marked a promise of advancement in specific areas of economic, diplomatic, and political. The recent trip of Pakistan President Asif Zardari to Russia http://tribune.com.pk/story/166320/zardari-goes-to-russia-for-talks-with-medvedev/ , was a signal that Pakistan is now seeking strategic alliance from bipolarism to multipolarism. Russia and Pakistan’s Diplomatic relations was established on May 1, 1948, the relationship suffered a major setback when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979 they thought they were in for an easy victory.Pakistan allied with the Mujahideen helping them with training, military strategies, ammunition and by providing monetary assistance received through the CIA and Saudi Arabia,but they underestimated the power of the resistance. After Russia’s painful defeat in Afghanistan in 1987 its defeat marked the beginning of the end of the USSR’s military power and allowed mass national movements to pull the empire apart. Through the years Pakistan Trade turn over with Russia is 362.70.
Pakistan should pursue a policy based on what it considers to be its nationalized interest and more on economic and social issues rather than warfare and military expansionhttp://www.dawn.com/2011/05/12/pakistan-russia-agree-to-promote-trade-investment-pursue-joint-projects.html . China desires other nation to trade with them and to respect and even fear them, and do not necessarily share in the American myth of becoming into world hegemony, but the idea of regional hegemony is imminent. Changes in status and power of nations, just like in economic conditions are sadly evident. Pakistan in her pursuit to re-align and establish pact wanted to cement and alliance with Russia. While the truth remains that China, Russia, India and Pakistan are the only major Eurasian states equipped to exercise military power of consequences on their peripheries. And each in turn, faces its own impediment, regional rivalries, alliance and conflicts (i.e. Indo-Pak, Sino –Pak conflicts and Pak-Russo scarred history) on the road to some degree of supremacy, because of Geographical issues –innately distrusted of one another, external rivalries and alliances influenced the internal politics and conflict in the region.China has a great deal of influence and she found herself a credible military ally with Pakistan. President Asif Zardari’s trip is very timely since Russia over the years is busy regaining and re-building its tainted image among the peripheries.
In the bipolar system, (China, US, Pakistan) predominantly in presence of high external threats, balancing was widespread and alliances were more cohesive. However, in a bipolar system, when the external threat level was relatively low and the internal threat level was high, tethering and balancing was common. In the multipolar system (Russia, China, US, Pakistan), when the external threat level was low and the internal was low, balancing behaviour was common, and cohesion was moderate. There was also a low level of commitment. In a unipolar system only taking into account the relations between U.S.and Pakistan, it was balancing-bandwagoning behaviour.
Pakistan cannot survive alone, but as an enthusiast of” realpolitik”. Indeed it is worthy to mention that Pakistan’s survival relies on identifying that Nations have no permanent friends and no permanent enemies. Only permanent interests.