TO HANDLE THE COLD WAR, PAKISTAN NEEDS WORLD CLASS LEADERSHIP
We should not judge multi-faceted crises of Pakistan including perennial wave of suicide attacks in isolation because rapidly developing geo-political differences among regional and global powers in Asia show that the next cold war which is in its embryonic stage is likely to be waged between the Russia-China alliance and the US-led nations, while Pakistan has already become its arena.
Despite cooperation, disagreements exist between Washington and Beijing over Chinese export of missile technology, human rights and Taiwan issue. American strategic thinkers take China’s military modernisation as a great threat to its military bases in the continent.
Some new developments have also revived the old animosity between Russia and the USA. Apart from differences over American occupation of Iraq and its national missile defence system (NMD), in August 2007, America blamed Russia in connection with an incident of a missile, dropped on Georgian soil. In that backdrop, the then Russian President Putin had openly stated that his country was returning to its Soviet era practice of sending long-range bomber aircraft on regular patrols near NATO airspace.
Now, it seems that differences of the US with Russia and China are moving from strategic partnership to strategic competition. Notably, it was due to Moscow-Beijing stand in the UN Security Council that the US could not succeed in imposing tough economic sanctions on Iran which is determined to continue its nuclear programme.
On 16 August 2007, during the annual summit, leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) displayed their strength against the rising dominance of the US in the region, calling for a multi-polar system in the world. The Russian President Putin had even proposed defence cooperation among the member states. Pakistan and Iran also participated in the summit as observers and are expected to get permanent membership. The SCO is seen as anti-American club, which is also against the NATO military presence in Afghanistan, near the region of Central Asia which is replete with oil and gas.
Last year, Islamabad and Tehran signed the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project without New Delhi as the latter was reluctant in this context owing to its pro-US tilt.
As regards India, frustrated in achieving its aims of getting the status of superpower power, Indian rulers have now openly started threatening Pakistan and China with war. In this context, Indian Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor vocally revealed on December 29, 2009 that Indian Army “is now revising its five-year-old doctrine” and is preparing for a “possible two-front war with China and Pakistan.”
India which successfully tested missile, Agni-111 in May 2007, has been extending its range to target all the big cities of China.
In fact, Pakistan’s province, Balochistan where China has invested billion of dollars to develop Gwadar seaport which could link Central Asian trade with rest of the world, irritates both Washington and New Delhi.It has even shifted the central gravity of the Great Game to Pakistan.
On the other hand, China has signed a number of agreements with Pakistan to help the latter in diverse sectors. So Sino-Indian cold war is part of the prospective greater cold war between the US and China.
America which signed a nuclear deal with India in 2008, intends to make India a great power of Asia to contain China and destablise Pakistan as well as Iran.
As Pakistan will be the arena of the next cold war, hence American strategic partners like India and Israel are creating instability by supporting separatist and hostile elements in the Frontier Province, Balochistan and other cities of our country. In this regard, besides suicide attacks and assaults on Pakistan’s security personnel, other incidents like kidnappings and killings of Iranians and Chinese engineers in the last three years might be cited as example.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and the ISPR spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas have repeatedly stated that they have concrete evidence of Indian support to terrorism in Pakistan through Afghanistan.
As a matter of fact, the United States has been playing a double game with our country. Tough conditions of the Kerry-Lugar aid bill coupled with the admiration of Swat-Malakand and Wiziristan’s successful military operations by Pakistan’s armed forces might be noted as instance.
Owing to American perennial wave of drone strikes and a blame game that Al Qaeda leaders are hiding in Pakistan, especially in Balochistan, a gulf has been created in Pak-US friendship which is likely to be widened in future. Our foreign minister calls it ‘a trust deficit.’
Besides, terrorism on global level has added a dangerous element of ‘hot war’ to the future cold war. Particularly, an unending ‘different war’ between the US-led NATO forces and the Taliban has created instability in Afghanistan, rendering the US power obsolete.
Nevertheless, the impending new cold war would divide the world between two blocks—Russia-China block and the US block. Main players of the game such as North Korea, Pakistan, Iran and Asian Republics are likely to align with Russia-China alliance. On the other side, Japan, Georgia, Ukraine, South Korea and India would join American block. In case of foreign troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan, the latter could also join the Russia-China block.
Since Pakistan is the only nuclear country in the Islamic World, hence US, India and Israel are determined to de-nuclearise it. It is mentionable that on October 7, 2009, BBC displayed a documentary movie regarding the eighth anniversary of the US-led NATO invasion of Afghanistan. It stated, “Now this war is being fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, and “it will soon spread to Pakistan.”
Nonetheless, Pakistan has already become the arena of the next cold war because of its geo-political location. Therefore unrest created by the foreign elements continues unabated in our country.
Sajjad Shaukat is a regular writer for Opinion Maker. He writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Affairs