Our Announcements

Not Found

Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn't here.

Archive for category CHINA -PAKISTAN FRIENDSHIP

China builds Digital Silk Road in Pakistan to Africa and Europe

China builds Digital Silk Road in Pakistan to Africa and Europe

PEACE cable will reduce Pakistani internet traffic going through India

Inline image

China is set to lay the final leg of a cross-border fiber optic cable in Pakistan, linking to a cable in the Arabian Sea. (Source photo by Getty Images)

MIFRAH HAQ, Contributing writer
January 29, 2021 14:09 JST

KARACHI — China is set to lay the final stretch of a cross-border fiber optic cable in Pakistan that will create the Digital Silk Road, serving the geostrategic interests of both countries. It will connect to a submarine cable in the Arabian Sea to service countries participating in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Europe.

Observers see this as a strategic move to circumvent international telecommunication consortiums dominated by Western and Indian companies.

Some BRI projects have been negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic and debt crises in partner countries, including a $6.8 billion railway project in Pakistan. Part of Beijing’s response has been to step up digital projects and development of communications infrastructure.

The Hengtong Group, one of China’s leading fiber optic and power cable makers, is heading a consortium of telecom companies from Africa, Pakistan and Hong Kong to install the Pakistan East Africa Connecting Europe (PEACE) cable in the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean.

The laying of sea cable in Pakistan’s territorial waters will begin in March following government approval this month for Cybernet, a local internet service provider, to construct an Arabian Sea landing station in Karachi, Nikkei Asia has learned.

The Mediterranean section of the cable is already being laid from Egypt to France, and the 15,000 km long cable is expected to go into service later this year.

Inline image

The PEACE cable will provide the shortest direct internet route between participating countries and drastically reduce the time taken to transfer internet data.

Meanwhile, the Special Communications Organization (SCO) — the telecommunications branch of the Pakistan Army — is about to lay a fiber optic cable between Rawalpindi and the port cities of Karachi and Gwadar. The $240 million project is in partnership with China’s Huawei Technologies, and was approved by the government on Jan 21. It will also connect with the PEACE cable in the Arabian Sea.

The 850 km northern section has been operational since 2018. The fiber optic cable links the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in southwest China to Rawalpindi, where the Pakistan Army is headquartered. The $37 million link provides secure communications between China and Pakistan, which have deepened economic and strategic ties in recent years with the $50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship BRI alliance.

The project will provide Gwadar with fiber optic connectivity for the first time. The deep seaport was built by China, which also runs it. Observers believe Gwadar’s limited communications infrastructure contributed to its failure to take off as a regional transit hub.

Inline image

With the help of China, Pakistan is untangling its growing number of communications lines, connecting Xinjiang and Africa with a fiber optic submarine cable.   © Reuters

In recent months, the CPEC Authority — the supranational body that oversees BRI projects in Pakistan — has accelerated efforts to improve Gwadar’s connectivity with major road and rail upgrades. According to Maroof Ali Shahani, chief operating officer of Cybernet, fiber optic cables will be laid alongside these new links to major national transport routes, connecting the port to the Pakistan’s national fiber optic backbone for the first time.

Pakistan is also looking for an alternate link to the internet through China. At present, most Europe-bound internet traffic from China feeds through terrestrial cables traversing Mongolia, Russia and Kazakhstan.

In 2017, Major Gen. Amir Azeem Bajwa, the then director general of SCO, told a parliamentary committee on information technology that much of Pakistan’s internet traffic was routed through India. This raised fears that sensitive data was vulnerable to hacking. According to local reports, that was when Bajwa sought approval for an alternative network to service Gwadar that avoided India.

“Heavy investment was required but Pakistan did not have the money to have a dedicated channel,” said Shahani, describing how China moved in to provide soft loans, equipment and engineering services.

Inline image

A factory in Zhejiang province producing fiber optic cables to support China’s shift from traditional BRI infrastructure projects to digital and communications-related infrastructure.   © Reuters

Pakistan is served by seven submarine cables at present, four of which come out of India, according to Telegeography, a Washington-based telecommunications market research company. These cable networks have been developed by consortiums that include telecom companies from India, Egypt and Pakistan.

The PEACE cable is expected to help reduce Pakistan’s exposure to internet outages from damaged submarine cables by providing an additional route for internet connectivity.

Eyck Freymann, author of One Belt One Road: Chinese Power Meets the World, told Nikkei that the BRI is evolving to place less emphasis on traditional heavy infrastructure, and more on high-tech cooperation and digital services.

“Beijing wants to dominate the physical infrastructure underlying global communications, particularly the internet,” he said. “This will give it an advantage in internationalizing its tech sector and pursuing future tech-related deals with partner countries.”

Inline image

“It is a way for Chinese firms to gain greater access to certain foreign markets, at a time when they are increasingly being shut out of building infrastructure like fiber optic cables and 5G technology in North America and parts of Europe,” Joshua Kurlantzick, a senior fellow for Southeast Asia at the Washington-based Council on Foreign Relations, told Nikkei.

Kurlantzick said the pandemic and ensuing debt crisis has contributed to the shift in focus from traditional infrastructure projects. “The Digital Silk Road, including this project, is a way of China continuing to show that the BRI will be a major initiative,” he said.

For China, building a quick and safe route for internet traffic to Europe through a dedicated cable managed and supervised exclusively by the Chinese is vital.

Reference

, ,

No Comments

Why India and the US Oppose the CPEC… By Sajjad Shaukat

         Why India and the US Oppose the CPEC

By Sajjad Shaukat

 

India was openly opposing the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which is part of China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) or China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the US also joined New Delhi. In this context, on October 3, 2017, the then US Defence Secretary James Mattis told the Lawmakers, “The United States has reiterated its support for India’s opposition to China’s One Belt, One Road initiative…the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) a part of which traverses Pakistan-Kashmir.”

http://cpec.gov.pk/progress-update

 

Pakistan strongly rejected the statement from the American defence chief that the multibillion-dollar road and rail network CPEC will pass through a disputed territory of Kashmir, urging the international community to focus on blatant human rights violations and ‘heinous crimes’ committed by Indian occupation forces in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK), and reminded America that Washington had also participated in an OBOR summit.

 

Earlier, a statement from the Chinese foreign ministry also dismissed Mattis’ statement, saying that the OBOR plan was backed by the United Nations and that CPEC was an economic cooperation initiative.

 

In this regard, again, the Indian envoy to China Vikram Mistri told Chinese state media in March, last year that a part of the CPEC shall pass through Pakistani side of Kashmir and the OBOR or BRI does not respect India’s “concerns” of sovereignty and territorial integrity.

 

Addressing Indian concerns, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said on April 15, this year, “As for the Indian comments on not participating in the BRI [Conference] for various reasons, I’d like to say that the BRI is an open and inclusive economic cooperation initiative. It does not involve territorial and maritime disputes…Whether the Indian side will participate in the Belt and Road Forum, I think you need to ask the Indian side for a more specific answer. But here I’d like to re-emphasise that the BRI is proposed by China but it is already an international public good….The belt and road cooperation since it was first proposed…has been an open and inclusive initiative for all countries…interested in this…if the relevant side would like to wait and see, we do not oppose that. And as for more international organisations in the second BRI [Conference] meaning that some countries will lose opportunities, you may need to ask the countries themselves which do not participate in the BRI.”

 

It is notable that India which has consistently kept away from BRI did not participate in its second conference which was held in Beijing from April 25 to 27, 2019 and leaders of countries including heads of state and government from nearly 40 countries attended the meeting.

 

Pakistan’ s Prime Minister Imran Khan, in his speech at the opening ceremony called for greater attention to tackling poverty as Pakistan and China enter the next phase of the CPEC. He appreciated the significance of China’s BRI, elaborating, it “marks a new and distinct phase in the onward march of nations in the world along the path of globalization”.

 

However, India and the US continue opposing the CPEC. In this respect, Indian lobbies which are well-penetrated in the US administration and Europe, research centres, think tanks and so-called human rights groups utilize the media tools in defaming Pakistan internationally. Especially, Indian RAW is availing the opportunity of the US-led organized propaganda campaign against Pakistan. Now, CPEC is a special target of these hostile entities.

 

In this connection, much coverage was given by the external media to a report, released on April 13, 2017, by Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) which is in partnership with Mahatma Gandhi International AISBL. The subject report portrayed complete Indian negative propaganda themes about Pakistan’s provinces of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), Balochistan and Sindh. Based on falsehood, the report also said that the CPEC is a breach of international law and is being implemented without consultation or compensation to the people of the area.

 

Undoubtedly, GB is the gateway of CPEC into Pakistan, whereby GB’s strategic and socio-economic importance has increased manifold. Like Balochistan, the region has huge potential in trade with China, tourism, minerals, gems, precious stones, agriculture-farming and hydropower production. Therefore, GB’s people who are strengthening their association with Pakistan, pay no attention to the false propaganda.

 

While, these US-led Western entities, particularly India who also give undue coverage to the meetings and protests against the integrity of Pakistan, are especially exaggerating the statements of those Baloch separatist leaders who have taken shelter in Europe and America, and are fulfilling the agenda of their foreign masters against the CPEC.

 

The reality is that the establishment of CPEC between deep Gwadar seaport of Balochistan and the historic Silk Road city in western regions-Xinjiang of China will connect Gilgit-Baltistan through Khunjerab Pass. Beijing would also build an international airport at Gwadar, while the roads infrastructure in Gwadar would link the communication network of the rest of the country to facilitate the transportation of goods.

 

When Gwadar seaport becomes fully operational, it would connect the landlocked Central Asian states with the rest of the world. Being the commercial hub, the port is likely to increase the volume of trade, bringing multiple economic and financial benefits to Pakistan. It will enable high-volume cargo vessels to move in the major oceans. Gwadar project which is the backbone of the CPEC will uplift the impoverished people of Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan, including developments in other provinces by providing thousands of employment opportunities, particularly to the less developed areas by redressing their grievances. The resulting prosperity in Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan would damp the separatist sentiments of the people, which the hostile elements, supported by the US, India and Israeli do not want. Therefore, these entities and their media describe the CPEC in negative terms.

 

In fact, since the occupation of Afghanistan by the US-led NATO forces, the country has become a centre of American CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad which are in connivance to obtain the covert designs of their countries and some Western countries against Russia, China, Pakistan and Iran. Under the cover of fighting terrorism, these intelligence agencies which are also in collaboration with the Afghan intelligence agency National Directorate of Security (NDS), support the militants of ISIS and Afghanistan-based Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), including their linked outfits which have been conducting terror-assaults in Afghanistan and Pakistan as part of the secret strategy of the US-led countries. Besides, these terrorist outfits are weakening Tibetan regions of China and Iranian Sistan-Baluchistan through subversive activities.

 

It is mentionable that Pakistan’s Armed Forces have successfully broken the backbone of the foreign-backed terrorists by the military operations Zarb-e-Azb and Radd-ul-Fasaad. Army and top intelligence agency ISI have broken the network of these terrorist groups by capturing several militants while thwarting a number of terror attempts. Peace has been restored in various regions of Pakistan, including Karachi and Balochistan province.

 

But, in the recent past, blasts in Balochistan and other regions of the country showed that the US-led India, Afghanistan and Israel have again started acts of sabotage especially to weaken Pakistan and to damage the Pak-China project of CPEC. Foiled terror attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi on November 23, 2018, was part of the same scheme. Nevertheless, CIA, RAW and Mossad are assisting the separatist elements of the Balochistan to thwart the CPEC project.

 

It is of particular attention that during P.M. Imran Khan’s second trip to China, on April 28, this year, Islamabad and Beijing embarked on the new phase of the CPEC by signing a memorandum of understanding-agreements on the first Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and socio-economic development and a new agreement on free trade. The new phase of the CPEC would be characterised by industrialization—20 factories is being set up in Rashakai, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.  In view of trade is an important element of the CPEC, the two sides concluded the second stage of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) aimed at strengthening trade ties between the two countries. Under the new FTA, China would open up 90 per cent of its market for Pakistani goods whereas Pakistan would share 65pc of its market with Chinese exports. This would also help in redressing, to a certain extent, the yawning trade imbalance between the two countries, which stood at $9.7 billion last year.

 

The two sides also signed an agreement on a technical package for upgradation of Pakistan’s main railway line-Mail Line-One (ML-1) under which a double track from Peshawar to Karachi will be built with China’s help. China who will spend $1bn on 27 projects, help Pakistan Railways in improving its capacity.

 

Nonetheless, China has clarified Indian concerns on the CPEC or OBOR. But, apart from the US, India is particularly opposing the CPEC as part of the anti-Pakistan and anti-China approach.  

 

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is the author of the book: the US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is the author of the book: the US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

 

No Comments

China to sell an aircraft carrier to Pakistan

 

China to sell an aircraft carrier to Pakistan

 


China, as part of its recent military and foreign policies, has planned to upgrade on a large scale its first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, to sell it to Pakistan, its ally, in order to compete with India. This selling is to increase Pakistani Navy’s strength, facing India equally and making of Pak a better ally for China.


China to sell an aircraft carrier to Pakistan 2An aircraft carrier fleet of the Chinese PLA Navy arrives in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on July 7 for a visit to mark the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China. The fleet comprises the country’s first aircraft carrier Liaoning, two destroyers and a frigate. The fleet will leave Hong Kong on July 11.  (Picture source: PLA HK Garrison)


An official media report separately disclosed that China has planned to carry out a “large-scale upgrade” of China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, and “sell it to Pakistan to compete with India”! It described Pakistan “as the best destination for it” and said that by then the Liaoning, which was commissioned into the PLAN in September 2012, will have served the Chinese Navy for about 18 years. Gwadar and Karachi are already described by Chinese Navy strategists as a “logistics base” and “PLA Navy (PLAN) base” respectively. This does mean that the carrier could be sold to Pak by 2020.

This isn’t the only military vehicle that China wants to sell to Pakistan. During the past few months, plenty of armament and vehicles have been sold to Pakistani armed forces, including nuclear weapons technology, warships, aircraft and missiles. In addition to that, China and Pakistan both take part to more and more joint exercises on their shared borders. Moreover, is China sending aircraft to Pakistan to help them understand Indian aircraft’s technologies and characteristics, in order to counter them more efficiently (J-11, J-11B and Su-30MKK to simulate India’s Su-30MKI, and J-10C to simulate the Rafale fighters India is to acquire).

Military cooperation between those two countries seems to increase more and more all along the months. And China appears intending to integrate Pakistan into its military system to fulfil its global ambitions. Pakistan would then become an outpost for Chinese extended global maritime reach.

All of this can largely be explained by the intentions China has to extend its military and political influence beyond its borders. Recently, China actually has shown to the world its desire to militarily secure the South China Sea, and maybe even the Indian Ocean, by increasing its military power and presence in these areas. In order to make it possible, China has made the decision to deeply transform its armed forces by enhancing its naval capabilities, through the building of brand new vessels, but also through the training of more maritime personnel.

PLA Navy (PLAN) strategists emphasized that, in order to be able to achieve such goals, China would have to launch new carrier battle formations in East and South China. Therefore, China has decided to build 5 aircraft carriers and launch them by 2025-2030. Another 6th could even be considered but whether this one will be built remains uncertain.


 

 

 

 

 

Reference

 

 

,

No Comments

Bajwa’s Beijing sojourn by S M Hali

Bajwa’s Beijing sojourn

According to the Chinese media, in all the meetings, both the sides have resolved to strengthen the relations between, Pakistan and China and continue the progress of the CPEC. China appreciated the security initiatives taken by the Pakistan Army for the ongoing CPEC projects and expressed the desire to benefit from Pakistan’s military experience

, , , , ,

No Comments

Zionist-led Double Game has Taken the Pak-US Relations on Backtrack By Sajjad Shaukat

Zionist-led Double Game has Taken the Pak-US Relations on Backtrack

By Sajjad Shaukat

 

 

Although the former presidents of the United States George. W. Bush and Barack Obama were secretly acting upon the Zionist-led double game as part of the South Asian policy, yet President Donald Trump clearly exposed America’s double game in South Asia. 

 

Despite the repeated assurances of Pakistan’s military and civil leadership that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are well-protected and are under tight security arrangements, having well-coordinated command and control system, a deliberate propaganda campaign against the safety of these weapons keeps on going by the US, India and some Western countries who are acting upon the Zionist agenda to ‘denuclearize’ Pakistan as the latter is the only nuclear country in the Islamic World. Besides, some other developments such as America’s pro-Indian and pro-Israeli policies, and anti-Pakistan, anti-China, anti-Russia and anti-Iran diplomacy are also part of the Zionist-led double game of the US who is in collaboration with India and Israel. Particularly, Washington which is in connivance with New Delhi and Tel Aviv has been destabilizing Pakistan politically and economically.

 

In this regard, a few days after the US cancelled USD 300 million in military aid (The so-called Coalition Support Funds) to Islamabad, accusing the latter of failing to rein in the terror groups operating from its soil in Afghanistan, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the former CIA chief who along with the US Joint Chief of Staff Chairman General Joseph Dunford had arrived on an official visit to Islamabad met with Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on September 5, this year.

 

In a statement, Pakistan’s Foreign Office said that Qureshi highlighted that the priority of the new government was socio-economic development and for the success of people-centred agenda and economic reforms, an enabling regional security environment was imperative. He said improving relations with neighbours was a priority, in an apparent reference to strained ties with India and Afghanistan, which often accuses Pakistan of providing safe havens to terrorists to conduct cross-border attacks. Qureshi also reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to continue efforts for promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan.

 

The statement elaborated: “The two sides agreed that present conditions in Afghanistan were conducive to intensifying efforts for a political settlement. They underscored the need for the Taliban to seize the opportunity for talks in response to the Afghan President Ghani’s offer for an unconditional dialogue…Mr Pompeo stated that the US fully supported the reform agenda of Prime Minister Khan and wished the government success in its implementation…Mr Pompeo conveyed the US desire to work with Pakistan in furthering the shared objectives of peace and stability in Afghanistan.”

 

At the same time, reviving the US old blame game regarding cross-border terrorism, Pompeo emphasized upon Islamabad “to do more” at the meeting.

 

The international community knows very well that Pakistan’s Armed Forces have successfully broken the backbone of the foreign-backed terrorists by the military operations Zarb-e-Azb and Radd-ul-Fasaad. Army and top intelligence agency ISI have broken the network of these terrorist groups by capturing several militants while thwarting a number of terror attempts. Peace has been restored in various regions of Pakistan, including Karachi and Balochistan province.

 

But, like the previous diplomats of America, Mike Pompeo’s statement shows an unrealistic and contradictory approach towards Islamabad, as Zionist-controlled elements control the foreign policy of the US. Overtly, American high officials remark that they seek stability in Pakistan, but covertly, they continue to destabilize it to obtain the illegitimate interests of Israel.

 

Pakistan’s new Prime Minister who knows Zionist designs and American double game has vowed to review Pak-US relations. In this respect, Qureshi had said: “The disconnection between Washington and Islamabad was addressed in the meeting with Pompeo as both sides agreed to reset the two-way linkages.”

 

After meeting Pompeo, next day, addressing the Defence and Martyrs Day ceremony and hinting towards the US, Prime Minister Khan said: “The country will not be part of anyone else’s war, rubbished the myth of a civil-military divide in the country…We both [civil, military] have a common goal and that is to take this country forward.” He “saluted the valour and sacrifices of the armed forces, which stood strong against all odds in the aftermath of the 9/11 and the unconventional war that followed, to safeguard the interests of the country.

 

Addressing the ceremony, Chief of Army Staff Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa said:  “Our forces and nation have rendered sacrifices in the war against terrorism…Our houses, schools and leaders were attacked. Efforts were made to weaken us internally.” Noting that more than 70,000 Pakistanis were martyred and injured in this war, the army chief vowed to collectively fight this menace of terrorism.

 

Gen. Bajwa added: “The country passed through a very difficult phase during the past two decades and the war is still continued.” He also said that the continuity of democracy was necessary for the country.

 

After visiting Pakistan, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo went to India where US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was already present.  Pompeo and Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met separately on September 6, 2018, before joining top defence officials for talks.

 

Taking to the media, Swaraj remarked, “India attaches the highest priority to its strategic partnership with the United States. We see that the United States is our partner of choice. Pompeo said the U.S. values its relationship with India and noted we fully support India’s rise.”

 

Mattis and Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sithataman also met separately before joining the other two leaders. Sitharaman in her opening remarks stated: “Defense cooperation has become one of the most significant dimensions of the countries’ relationship. We have acquired various advanced defence platforms from the U.S. We are thus partners in building defence capability in the broadest sense of the term.”

Mattis said:  “Today our partnership has become one of the most consequential in the region and in the world.”

 

There are sticking points, however, including the purchase by India of Iranian oil and the Russian S-400 ground-to-air missile system, which could trigger US sanctions on India.

 

Pompeo told reporters “talks were ongoing on whether to grant waivers for India from U.S. sanctions on Iran — India’s second-largest oil supplier — and Russia. Our effort here is not to penalize great strategic partners like India.

 

Pompeo and Mattis later met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and conveyed Trump’s support for “India’s role as a leading global power and regional security provider.”

 

  1. Raja Mohan, one of India’s top foreign policy analysts and the director of the Institute of South Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore, opined that US-India ties have strengthened immensely over the past couple of decades, and Trump has ramped up diplomatic pressure on India’s main rivals, Pakistan and China, earning him plenty of goodwill.

 

In fact, the agenda for Indo-US talks included previous key issues such as anti-terrorism, maritime security and particularly countering China’s growing influence in the Indian Ocean and the region.

 

Strategic analysts remark that there are no permanent friends and enemies in international politics because of friendship and enmity change in accordance with the states’ interests which are of primary importance.

 

After having a strong relationship with the United States for more than 60 years, a rift has occurred in Pak-US ties which are moving on backtrack because of a number of reasons, and Pakistan has been further strengthening its relations with China. It has also inclined towards the Russian Federation which also needs the latter. Particularly, the US-led secret strategy which is part of the Zionist-led American double game compelled Pakistan to fortify its relations with Russia. 

 

In this connection, an agreement has been signed on August 7, this year between Pakistan and Russia for the training of Pakistani troops in Russia, decided at the culmination of the first meeting of joint Military Consultative Committee (JMCC) in Islamabad. Pakistan’s defence ties with Moscow are growing strong with each passing day and this pact has opened new avenues of cooperation between the two countries. A desire from both sides has already been seen in the near past in boosting economic and political relationships. Obviously, these moves are seen with suspicion by the US and India, including Israel. The fact of the matter is that American President Donald Trump’s pro-Indian strategy and anti-Pakistan policies have forced Islamabad to find new alliances.

 

Earlier, America announced to stop military training programmes with Pakistan. In this respect, Western media said: “The U.S. has stopped financing military training in the U.S. for Pakistani soldiers…The effective suspension of Pakistan from the US government’s International Military Education and Training program (IMET) will close off places that had been set aside for 66 Pakistani officers this year.”

Pakistani officials warned it could push their military to further look to Russia and China. Pakistan’s Chairman of the Foreign Affairs committee, Senator. Mushahid Hussain called the American move “wrong and counterproductive” and stated: “The U.S. is repeating past mistakes through a failed policy of trying to bully and browbeat Pakistan with such shortsighted sanctions.”

 

On August 3, this year, the US Congress had approved a $716 billion defence authorization bill to cut Pakistan’s defence aid from $750 million to $150 million. The Senate passed the conference report on National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA). The bill then was sent to president Trump seeking his assent. Last year, US defence bill had authorized a significant aid of $700 million for Pakistan under Coalition Support Fund that had been reduced afterwards. The defence policy bill backed President Donald Trump’s call for a bigger, stronger military and sidestepping a potential battle with the White House over technology from major Chinese firms.

 

It is notable that in an interview with CNBC television on July 30, 2018, the US Secretary of State Pompeo had warned on that any potential International Monetary Fund bailout for Pakistan’s new government should not provide funds to pay off Chinese lenders. Pompeo explained that the United States looked forward to engagement with the government of Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Imran Khan, but there was “no rationale” for a bailout that pays off Chinese loans to Pakistan.

 

Islamabad has dismissed America’s concerns that any new International Monetary Fund bailout for the nation would be used to repay Chinese debt as “totally wrong”.

 

It is mentionable that soon after the victory of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in the general elections of 2018, China agreed to further US$ 2 billion loans to aid its foreign currency reserves, something which cites trust in the new government. The then Chairman of PTI, Imran Khan emphasized close ties with Beijing and the implementation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). This came timely, as Pakistan has continued to face strained relationships with the US government, and did not want to rely on the IMF for a bail-out. Chinese announcement caused Pakistan’s rupee to jump the most in nearly a decade, as Khan was likely to take power with an economy in chaos. Beijing has stepped up to reinforce a geopolitical alliance which shapes the South Asian nation’s policies towards the US and India which are following a secret strategy of Israel against Islamabad. The gesture showed to Pakistan’s overwhelming reliance on China as a source of financial, diplomatic and military support at a time when US President Donald Trump has cut military aid to Islamabad.

 

Besides China, Prime Minister Imran Khan is also strengthening Pakistan’s relation with Russia, Iran and Turkey which are facing the US sanctions.

 

As regards Pak-Russian ties, in this connection, Pakistan’s Army chief Gen. Javed Bajwa arrived in Russia for a two-day visit on April 24, this year. It was General Bajwa’s first visit to Russia.

 

The statement of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said, “Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa arrived in Russia…where he met with Commander of Russian Federation Ground Forces Colonel General Oleg Salyukov at the Kremlin Palace…During the meeting, the Russian ground forces commander acknowledged achievements of Pakistan Army in the fight against terrorism and contributions for regional peace and stability. Colonel General Salyukov said that Pakistan is a geo-strategically important country and Russia is keen to expand its existing bilateral military-to-military cooperation…The COAS thanked the Russian commander and said that Pakistan reciprocates desire of enhanced bilateral military engagements. General Bajwa said that Russia has recently played a positive role to help resolve complex situations in the region.” 

 

 

Image result for pakistan china russia iran alliance

 

However, during the meetings between the top military and security leadership of the two countries, Pakistan and Russia reaffirmed their commitment to intensify and expand bilateral military cooperation.

 

In his meeting with the Gen. Qamar Javed, Russian Ground Forces Commander-in-Chief Colonel General Oleg Salyukov said his country was interested in expanding the existing military cooperation with Pakistan. Gen Bajwa, too, expressed Pakistan’s desire to enhance bilateral military engagements with Russia.

 

The two countries had in February, 2018 agreed to set up a military cooperation commission for promoting military cooperation. Both sides had signed a defence cooperation agreement in November 2014 and later inked military-technical cooperation accord, which allows arms trade between the two countries and cooperation in weapon development, in October 2015.

 

The press service of the Russian Security Council reported that in their meeting, “issues of bilateral military cooperation in information security and countering international terrorism were studied.”

 

The army chief’s trip was preceded by the visit of National Security Adviser retired Lt. Gen. Nasser Janjua to Russia. His meeting with Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev resulted in an understanding that the security cooperation between the two countries needed a boost.

 

Islamabad, Moscow and Beijing share the common opinion that the presence of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan failed to restore stability in the country.

 

Speaking to Chief of General Staff of Russian Armed Forces Gen Valery Vasilevich Gerasimov, Gen. Bajwa stated; “Russia supported Pakistan’s efforts towards reconciliation and peace in Afghanistan” and it was “willing to play a role towards that end.” He noted that Pakistan welcomed any initiative which could bring peace and stability to Afghanistan and the whole region would benefit from it.

 

Notably, in 2002, the 7th meeting of the Pakistan-Russia Consultative Group on Strategic Stability was held in Moscow. The two sides had discussed matters of mutual interest relating to international issues, including arms control, nonproliferation and counter-terrorism. On May 12, 2011, Islamabad and Moscow agreed to promote trade, investment and joint projects particularly in energy, infrastructure development, metal industry and agriculture. Russia has shown a special interest in energy projects. A working group of both countries had met in October 2011 to explore cooperation in this sector. Islamabad is interested in Russian investment in its oil and gas sectors as well as in heavy industries.

 

Russia has offered Pakistan counter-terrorism equipment. The package includes 10 MI-17 helicopters of unarmed configuration. When Russian military Chief Col-Gen. Alexander Postnikov visited Pakistan in May 2011, he discussed with the former Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani—the possibility of expanding defence ties by holding joint military exercises, exchanging trainees and trainers and selling and buying weapons. Moscow has also offered to sell Sukhoi Superjet 100, a modern aircraft with a capacity of up to 95 passengers, while up-gradation of Pakistan Steel Mills by Russia is being finalized. In the recent past, it was the first time that joint military exercises were conducted between the two countries in Pakistan.

 

In 2011, Putin publicly endorsed Pakistan bid to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and remarked that Pakistan was a very important partner in South Asia and the Muslim world for Russia. In the recent years, besides, various annual summits of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation which includes Russia, China and four Central Asian states including Pakistan and Iran, on 16 August 2007, in their summit, the leaders of the SCO displayed strength against the US rising dominance in the region and military presence in Afghanistan, near the region of Central Asia.

 

 

Related image

 

 

It is noteworthy that on June 9, 20, Pakistan’s ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif held a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of SCO summit in Astana, Kazakhstan. President Putin stated that Pakistan is an important partner for Russia in South Asia and congratulated the then Prime Minister Sharif on Pakistan’s full membership to the SCO. Putin elaborated, “Russian-Pakistani relations have been constructive and mutually beneficial…our relations are developing in many areas, and our trade has increased.”

 

In a major development, Russia has offered its support for Pakistan’s entry into a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), of which Russia is a leading member.

 

The disqualified Prime Minister Sharif who thanked the Russian Federation for supporting Pakistan’s full membership in the SCO, said, “The SCO gives us a powerful platform for partnerships to promote peace, build trust and spur economic development for shared prosperity…it helps us all combat terrorism…expansion of the SCO has taken place at an opportune time, as China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative has transformed the global economic landscape…in Pakistan, we are diligently implementing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is a flag of the OBOR.”

 

In this context, to bolster its strategic contest with China and Russia, the US is moving towards a military alliance with India. America which is backing Indian hegemony in Asia, especially to counterbalance China is supplying New Delhi latest weapons, arms and aircraft.

 

During ex-President Barack Obama’s second visit to India, the Washington and New Delhi had announced a breakthrough on a pact which would allow American companies to supply India with civilian nuclear technology, as agreed upon in 2008. During Indian Prime Minister Modi’s first visit to America, President Obama had strongly assured him to favour India’s membership in the coming meeting of the Nuclear Supplier Group. Earlier, Washington also pressurized the International Atomic Agency (IAEA) to sign an accord of specific safeguards with India. America had already contacted the NSG to grant a waiver to India for starting civil nuclear trade on a larger scale.

 

During his trip to the USA, Prime Minister Modi’s first meeting with the American President Donald Trump held on June 27, 2017. Both the leaders pledged to work together to boost their respective economies and other fields. Besides, President Trump and Prime Minister Modi pledged to deepen defence and security cooperation, building on the US’s recognition of India as a major defence partner. The president also thanked India for seeking a $2 billion arms deal with the United States for 22 naval surveillance drones.

 

Trump said, “The relationship between the United States and India is very, very strong and very, very powerful.” While, ignoring ground realities that the US-led Israeli Mossad and Indian RAW are sponsoring terrorism in Asia and Western countries, in the joint statement, Trump hailed pledges of closer cooperation between India and the United States, especially in the fight against the Islamic State group (Also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh). 

 

As a matter of fact, since the occupation of Afghanistan by the US-led NATO forces, the country has become centre of the intelligence agencies such as CIA, RAW and Mossad which are in connivance to obtain the covert designs of their countries and some Western countries against Russia, China and Pakistan, including Iran. Under the cover of fighting terrorism, these foreign agencies which are also in collaboration with Afghan intelligence agency, National Directorate of Security (NDS) support the militants of ISIS and Afghanistan-based Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), including their linked outfits which have been conducting terror-assaults in Afghanistan and Pakistan as part of the secret strategy of the US-led countries. Besides, these terrorist groups are weakening Tibetan regions of China and Iranian Sistan-Baluchistan through subversive activities.

 

Apart from Islamabad, the US has also accused Iran and Russia of assisting the Taliban in Afghanistan. The main purpose of Washington is not only to pacify their people and justify the unending war in Afghanistan but also to fulfil the secret strategic designs of the Zionist Jews against Russia, China, Pakistan and Iran.  Trump has so far focused on outreach to China, India’s strategic rival, as he also initiated a trade war with China.

 

It is of particular attention that India was openly opposing the CPEC and China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative; the US also joined New Delhi. In this connection, on October 3, 2017,  the then US Defence Secretary James Mattis told the Lawmakers, “The United States has reiterated its support for India’s opposition to China’s One Belt, One Road initiative…the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) a part of which traverses Pakistan-Kashmir.”

 

Islamabad strongly rejected the statement from the American defence chief that the multibillion-dollar road and rail network CPEC which is part of China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative, passes through a disputed territory of Kashmir, urging the international community to focus on blatant human rights violations and ‘heinous crimes’ committed by Indian occupation forces in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK), and reminded the US that Washington had also participated in an OBOR summit.

 

Earlier, a statement from the Chinese foreign ministry also dismissed Mattis’ statement, saying that the OBOR plan was backed by the United Nations and that CPEC was an economic cooperation initiative. Russia also supports the OBOR and CPEC.

 

It is worth mentioning that Washington and New Delhi do not want to see peace and prosperity in the region. Sadly, Pakistan’s dominant role in Afghanistan’s peace process under the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) has, deliberately, been sabotaged by the killing of the Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansur in the CIA-operated drone attack in Balochistan. After the incident, Afghan Taliban leaders refused to participate in the US-sponsored talks with the Afghan government. While, in the recent past, with the help of Pakistan, a series of meetings were held in Islamabad and Kabul among the representatives of Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and the US to develop an understanding for the earliest possible resumption of stalled talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban with view to ending nearly 17 years of bloodshed in Afghanistan.

 

During the sixth Heart of Asia Conference which was held in the Indian city of Amritsar on December 3 and 4, 2016 proved fruitless in achieving its goals due to the secret diplomacy of the US, India and Afghanistan owing to the blame game, especially of New Delhi and Kabul against Islamabad. In his opening remarks, following American secret diplomacy in Asia, in his frenzy and ferocious speech, Indian Prime Minister Modi had lashed out at Pakistan on terrorism as the central subject of the moot.

 

Speaking in the Indian tone, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani also accused Pakistan of providing sanctuary to terrorists and cross-border terrorism in Afghanistan.

 

Addressing the conference, Russian envoy Zamir Kabulov had rejected the Indian and Afghan allegations against Pakistan. He stated that Afghanistan is the pivot of the conference and the agenda of the conference should not be hijacked. He added that being friends and supporters, we should avoid the blame game and work together. He also said that Pakistan’s Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz’s speech at the conference was friendly and constructive.

 

Earlier, due to the double game of the US and failure of the QCG, China, Russia and Pakistan held secretary-level trilateral talks in Moscow on December 27, 2016, and discussed regional stability, including the restoration of peace in Afghanistan. The meeting also discussed anti-terrorism cooperation amid growing influence of the ISIL in the region and a peace process between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

 

It is mentionable that the American President Trump has withdrawn from the Iran nuclear deal and is following war-mongering diplomacy against Tehran by toughening sanctions, while Israel is also doing the same against Iran. Hence, Iran could abandon the US-backed India-Afghanistan Chabahar project and could join the CPEC project.

 

Notably, in the recent years, unbridgeable trust deficit existed between Pakistan and the United States owing to America’s double game with Islamabad. But, President Trump’s flawed strategy in South Asia, based upon anti-Pakistan moves, has taken the Pakistan-US ties to point of no return.

 

During the heightened days of the Cold War, despite Pakistan’s membership of the US-sponsored military alliances SEATO and CENTO, including Pak-US bilateral military agreement, America did not come to help Pakistan against India which separated East Pakistan in 1971.

 

After the end of the Cold War, the US left both Pakistan and Afghanistan to face the fallout of the Afghan war 1. By manipulating the nuclear programme of Islamabad, the US imposed various sanctions on Pakistan.

 

But, after the 9/11 tragedy, America, again, needed Pakistan’s help and President George W. Bush insisted upon Islamabad to join the US global war on terror. Pakistan was also granted the status of a non-NATO ally by America due to the early successes, achieved by Pakistan’s Army and country’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) against the Al-Qaeda militants.

 

Within a few years, when the US-led NATO forces felt that they are failing in coping with the stiff resistance of the Taliban in Afghanistan, they started accusing Pak Army and ISI of supporting the Afghan Taliban. They constantly insisted upon Pakistan to do more against the militants and continued the CIA-operated drone attacks on Pakistan’s tribal areas by ignoring the internal backlash in the country.

 

Reviving the double game as part of anti-Pakistan strategy, President Donald Trump stated in his tweet on January 1, this year, “The US has foolishly given Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies and deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”

 

Weeks earlier of this tweet, while, unveiling national security strategy, Trump had said, “We make massive payments every year to Pakistan. They have to help.”

 

In his speech on August 21, 2017, while announcing the US new strategy regarding Afghanistan as part of the policy in South Asia, President Trump, particularly, singled out Pakistan for criticism. Using tough words against the US ally Pakistan, Trump revived the old blame game of his predecessors Bush and Obama regarding the cross-border terrorism in Afghanistan by saying Washington could “no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations”, and threatened to target the terrorists’ sanctuaries in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Trump stated, “We have been paying Pakistan billions of dollars, at the same time, they are housing the very terrorists we are fighting…that must change immediately.”

 

Regarding Pakistan’s regional rival India, Donald Trump added, “We appreciate India’s important contributions to stability in Afghanistan…We want them to help us more with Afghanistan.”

 

Meanwhile, on January 5, 2018, the US suspended $255 million of military aid to Islamabad as a condition to do more against terrorism.

 

Taking cognizance of the latest tweet of President Trump, Pakistan’s civil and military leaders, including all the mainstream political parties united against the US aggressive stance against the country and offered a stark response to Trump’s false accusations. The then Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif remarked, “Terrorist sanctuaries are present in East Afghanistan. It is from these safe havens inside Afghanistan that terrorist attacks are being launched on Pakistan…The claim by Trump regarding the funds, if we account for it, they include reimbursements too for the services rendered by Pakistan…Our land, roads, rail and, other different kinds of services were used for which we were reimbursed.”

 

According to the earlier statement of the ISPR, “Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa stated that “Pakistan was not looking for any material or financial assistance from the USA but trust, understanding and acknowledgement of our contributions…peace in Afghanistan is as important for Pakistan as for any other country.”

 

While encouraged by the US President Trump, Indian Prime Minister Modi is flowing aggressive diplomacy against Pakistan, and India has continued shelling in Pakistani side of Kashmir which remains a nuclear flashpoint between both the neighbouring countries.

 

And various other developments such as Russia-Iran-Turkey alliance to fight the ISIS, and US decision to dispatch more troops in Afghanistan etc. are equally notable.

 

Nevertheless, taking note of the Zionist-led US double game, the new government of Pakistan led by Prime Minister Imran Khan is further fortifying country’s relations with Beijing, Moscow, Tehran and Ankara. Especially, he will prefer Russia and China over America.

 

It is also of particular attention that two days after the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s transit visit, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is reaching Islamabad on Friday (September 7, 2018) on a three-day visit. Besides meeting his Pakistani counterpart, Mr Wang is likely to meet Prime Minister Imran Khan and president-elect Arif Alvi during his stay in Islamabad to have discussions on bilateral issues with a focus on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects.

 

We can conclude that the Zionist-led double game has taken the Pak-US relations on the backtrack, and in future, the Russian-led China-Pakistan-Iran-Turkey alliance will emerge.

 

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is the author of the book: the US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

 

Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

 

Courtesy Veterans Today

, , , , ,

No Comments


Skip to toolbar