PTT Archives: Afghan Pakistan Iran Summit to thwart ‘Blackwill plan’…

PTT Archives: Afghan Pakistan Iran Summit to thwart ‘Blackwill plan’…

Nature abhors a vacuum. Iran along with Russia and China totally understand that thePakistani foreign policy is on a course correction that happens every decade. Islamabad has already planned reduced political, economic and military dependence on the US. This opens up new vistas for Pakistan.

The greater Levant is being constructed. Pakistan’s move away from South Asia and towards Central Asia is almost complete. Islamabad does not see itself as a player in South Asia–it sees itself as part of the Central Asian region aligning itself with the Turkic people to its West and North. Ironically President Ahmedinejad is a Neo-Turk and recognizes the common links with Turkey, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Americans used to call it the Greater Middle Eastwith Saudi Arabia as its anchor there. Ambassador Bharadkumar, a right-winger Indian writing for the Asia Times says that AfPakIr “has become a strategic hub of immense significance to the geopolitics of a vast region stretching from the Levant to the Ferghana Valley”.

With the decline of US Pakistani relations, it is obvious that Iran wants to come in and fill the gap. Tehran has offered to foot the bill for the construction of the Iran Pakistan pipeline which it has constructed on its own nickel right up to the Pakistani border. It now want the gas pipeline to have a electrical lines running parallel to it.  This will integrate the Pakistani electrical grid to the energy rich Iranian grid. Iran has also offered to sell 1000 MW of electrical power at subsidized rates to Pakistan. These offers cannot be refused despite opposition from Washington. Iranian intelligence is very active in the Middle East, in Afghanistan and in Pakistan. Tehran is now sharing facts about the CIA with Islamabad.

The current US policy of striking deals with the Talibs without Mr. Karzai or Mr. Zardari’s knowledge has created new suspicions about American goals in the region. All these factors are bringing Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan closer–all egged on by Russia and China. Tehran has a strong interest in keeping the Americans out and bringing Afghanistan and Pakistan closer together in a local partnership. Since Bharat joined the American camp, the Iranians have no love lost for them.

Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan realize that partition along ethnic lines will destabilize all of Central Asia. Bharat has been trying to convince the Americans of the strategy to partition Afghanistan along ethnic lines, something that was also proposed for Iraq. Blackwill outlined a strategy in which US troops would be relocated to the Amu Darya region on a long-term basis. The Germans are connecting Mazari-i-Sharif with Termez base in Uzbekistan across the Amu Daryaa railway grid that will connect to Europe. Hillary Clinton in a recent speech in front of the US Congress described this plan in detail.

“I think we have to recognise that the overriding strategic framework in which Pakistan thinks of itself is its relationship with India …Every time we make a move toward improving our relationship with India… the Pakistanis find that creates a lot of cognitive dissonance,” Clinton said noting, “So are you our friend or are you their friend? It’s all a zero-sum game to them (Pakistanis)…Pakistan “wants to be sure that whatever happens in Afghanistan will not affect its strategic interests. So it has in the past invested in a certain amount of instability in Afghanistan” as it also does not want Afghanistan to become a satellite of India…”India and Afghanistan have a historical affinity. And historically, Afghanistan has supported elements within Afghanistan, which Pakistan has seen as inimical to its own interests…So if Pakistan could be assured that what would be left would be favourable to and even, in their view, subservient to Pakistani interests, that would be fine with them…the Indians aren’t going to sit around and accept that. The Uzbeks and the Tajiks are not going to sit around and just accept that”.

So here it is the US plan in a short paragraph.

Divide Afghanistan along ethnic lines, let the Pakhtuns deal with Pakistan, and let the Tajiks and Uzbeks resist the Pakhtun domination–perpetual war in the region. Thus Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran have large incentives to cooperate and thwart the Anglo-American scheme to directly negotiate with the Taliban behind their backs. Neither Moscow nor Beijing will allow US forces in their backyard. The rise of the SCO and the quiet Saudi acquiescence of negotiations with Iran bode well for a regional “Afghan led” solution for Kabul.

Former Pakistani Ambassador Karamatullah K Ghori who has served in many countries describes it well in Asia Times “A divided Afghanistan would not only denude Pakistan of its strategic depth, vis-a-vis India, but may also become a cause for the Pashtuns on both sides of the Durand Line, the poorly marked border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, to unite. Such unity could only mean further dismemberment of Pakistan and open up a Pandora’s box. Pakistan simply can’t countenance such an outcome and will pull no punches to thwart it.”

whose diplomatic assignments took him to the United States, Argentina, Japan, China, The Philippines, Algeria, Kuwait, Iraq, Macedonia and Turkey.

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The draw-down will bring the US troop strength to pre-surge levels by next year and per pour prescient predictions, the retreat will begin in earnest.  After most US troops leave Afghanistan, then it will simply be drones taking off from Termiz and attacking the Pakhtuns. Each technology has its run–the U2 had their hey day. The Soviet shoppers once owned the Afghan skies. Sooner or later the stinger type of missiles will be able to shoot down the drones. On that day the Americans will face the decision to either return to Afghanistan or leave the “Graveyard of Empires” to its own dispensation.

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