By Dr. Haider Mehdi

“The facts have changed, now we must change too.”
                        George Monbiot – author of The Corporate Takeover of Britain

This is a Pakistan foreign policy specific article.

It is not a historical coincidence that the US has been engaged in over 100 military conflicts, foreign invasions, covert overthrows, destabilizations and overt interventions in the affairs of other nations during latter half of the 20th century and in the first decade of the current era. It has been the result of an ideological project to subjugate the Third World to the military-political-economic-financial domination of US-Western capitalism and to exploit other nations’ resources for their own enrichment. This political-economic-military neo-colonialism has been a specific undertaking in which the US-Western European political establishments, bankers, multi-national corporate top managements, business elites and the military-industrial complex have had equal stakes and expedient participation. No wonder repeated military interventions all over the globe, under fabricated pretexts and ideologically-designed confrontations, have been the foreign-policy mantra of the US-led Western alliances.

Resilient US-Western capitalism and the pursuance of its ideological expansion during the post-Second World War era have wreaked havoc all over the globe. Countries in the Third World that chose to submit to US hegemony and formed the Western sphere of influence were spared military interventions and domestic destabilizations for the time being. However, those nations are now confronted with domestic turbulence and political-economic unrest. It is because US-Western strategic interests and the vested interests of the ruling elites in those countries are identical – and this alliance has worked contrary to the interests of common people in all of those nations. This brand of strategic political management has divided those nations into “haves” and “have-nots” to create classes of politically and economically powerful ruling elites that conduct themselves with clear and visible contempt for the masses. Past and contemporary Pakistan is a prime example of this reactionary, regressive and backwards political management model.

But facts and ground realities have changed; now we must change too. US-Western political hypocrisy has been exposed. Democracy and human rights mantras are just “slogans” for political manipulations. The US-led Western strategy for a New World Order is all too obviously a plan to further control Third World resources and political establishments in the service of expanding global capitalism and the ever-reaching tentacles of the multi- national corporate culture.

We know now though historical experiences and logical analysis that systematic, methodically planned and deliberately organized violence and selective killing of humanity has been a commercial enterprise for the US-Western corporate capitalism and its media-promoted so-called democratic doctrine. The Afghan and Iraqi invasions are the most recent examples of the US-West’s military interventions for this purpose, and Iran and Pakistan, in all probability, are next on their list. NATO’s covert and overt military incursions in Libya, Yemen and other Middle Eastern countries are other glaring instances of the US-Western political hypocrisy and its continued foreign-policy doctrine for neo-colonial global expansion.

The point is that the US-West’s myth of “capitalism” as an ideology and driving force for the development of human civilization has been shattered. The entire world is in shambles. National economies everywhere are shattered: Europe is in financial crisis, Greece is facing an economic meltdown; America, itself, the cradle of modern capitalism, is facing the Wall Street movement against “capitalistic order.”  Political stability in US-West capitalistic model-affiliated nations is rare (again Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan are prime examples); military interventions and political warfare are the modus-operandi of modern day geo-political systems spearheaded by the US-West’s capitalistic democracies and there is no end in sign of continued military-political global confrontations under US-led capitalistic-democratic world order.  Peace, prosperity, stability for human civilization have become remote possibilities. Even the future environmental existence of humanity is threatened: “We have confused threats to the living planet with threats to industrial civilization (meaning capitalistic dominated civilization),” wrote Monbiat in a recent article, “they are not the same thing. Industry and consumer capitalism… are more resilient than many of the natural systems they threaten.”

It is time for Pakistan to finally grow out of its toxic alliance with the US and conduct its foreign-policy and diplomacy with more maturity, independence and in its national interests. Pakistan must look for fresh foreign-policy options. It must redefine its foreign-policy objectives. It must reinvent itself in its diplomatic initiatives and must combine its domestic priorities with its strategic approach in foreign affairs. In order to do so and to survive in a most volatile time and circumstances, Pakistan will have to “disengage” itself from the US-led Western alliance and pave for itself a fresh course of foreign-policy directions and discourse.

And, indeed, such opportunities are knocking at its door.

I will explain my perspective on these fresh opportunities later, but the vital questions are: Is Zardari/Raja/ Khar’s Pakistan capable of making such transformational change in this country’s foreign policy? Is the present regime, a pure creation of US-Britain patronage, able and competent enough to allow itself such dignity and courage against its masters? Does the incumbent political establishment have the capacity for such a vision of an altered foreign policy approach? On the face of it and having restored the NATO supply route unconditionally, or at least with insignificant conditionality, the responses to these questions are not in the affirmative.

President Putin’s fresh diplomatic initiative with Chinese partnership to develop a strategic alliance with Pakistan along with Iran, Afghanistan, India and other regional nations in Central Asia is a monumental opportunity for Pakistan to devise a new course of action for its foreign policy approach and transformational change in its foreign alliances. Ambassador Zamir Kabulov has already visited Pakistan and has offered Islamabad stunning proposals and prospects of great significance that can place Pakistan in a major role as a central player in the regional and geo-political power politics. These proposals include cooperation and technological-financial assistance for the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline, the TAPI project, and development of Pakistan’s energy sector as well as Russian participation in CASA (the Central Asia and South Asia project) and oil, gas and mineral exploration in Pakistan. On the global political platform, Russia desires an effective role in the stabilization of Afghanistan, a fundamental convergence of interests with Pakistan’s, and in providing overall security to Central Asian Islamic States. “All in all, Moscow’s strategy is to develop new sinews of cooperation with Pakistan that are sustainable, durable… with Russia’s vibrant strategic partnerships with China, India and Iran,” wrote MK Bhadrakumar, a former Indian diplomat, recently.

The consequences of a Pakistan-Russian strategic alliance would be far-reaching, staggering and monumental in terms of its domestic politics and its role in the arena of regional and global politics.

But the important question is: Will the NRO-implanted Pakistani so-called democracy take up the challenge when President Putin visits Pakistan in September?

Or will Washington-London pull the rug from under Pakistan – of course, with the contrivance of their collaborators in the ruling mafia in this country?

But that will have to be seen!