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A journey back into Pakistan’s convoluted history by Brig(Retd) Asif Haroon Raja

A journey back into Pakistan’s convoluted history

Asif Haroon Raja

 

 

Pakistan’s years of infancy

The establishment of Pakistan, on August 14, 1947, was the result of the democratic struggle of Indian Muslims during the Pakistan movement under the leadership of All India Muslim League. After the creation of Pakistan, various domestic and international factors impeded the growth of democracy in Pakistan. After the untimely demise of Quaid-e-Azam in September 1948, it had to struggle hard for its existence and survival because of the innate animosity of India and that of Afghanistan, espousing greater Pakhtunistan, along with the former Soviet Union’s tilt toward India.

Heightened security concerns and political instability after the murder of Liaqat Ali Khan disallowed earlier leaders to achieve specific goals to make Pakistan politically stable, economically strong and secure. The tense geopolitical environment also impelled Pakistan to place all its eggs in the basket of the USA.  It was due to the leadership crisis, the East-West political wrangling and the frequent change of Prime Ministers which delayed constitution making for nine years and impelled President Iskandar Mirza to impose martial law in 1958.

Gen Ayub and Gen Yahya eras

The 1956 Constitution was abrogated and the National Assembly was dissolved. After deposing Mirza, Gen Ayub Khan assumed power and became the President through a referendum in 1960. He gave the new constitution in 1962 which introduced the presidential system, vesting all powers in the institution of President. The political parties made various types of alliances against Ayub Khan, who resigned in March 1969 and handed over his power to Gen Yahya Khan who imposed martial law and held first general elections in December 1970. Pakistan went through the traumatic experience of severance of its Eastern limb by India, helped by former USSR in 1971.

At his behest, DG FIA Asghar and Additional DG FIA Rahman Malik handed over Arab militants and Pak Jihadists involved in the Afghan war to the USA and also fed information about the Kahuta plant.

ZAB’s rule

After the separation of East Pakistan, the People’s Party of Pakistan (PPP) under Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (ZAB) formed its government. Charismatic and popular, ZAB galvanized the depressed nation. He terrorized the military through the Hamoodur Rahman Commission probe, terrified his political opponents through FSF and the Dalai torture camp. Pakistan then carried the baggage of ruinous nationalization scheme of ZAB. To get rid of him, an alliance of political and religious parties known as the PNA movement, espousing Nizam-e-Mustafa, sprouted in April 1977.

Gen Zia ul Haq’s rule

When the two sides couldn’t arrive at a political solution to break the logjam, the Army, under Gen Ziaul Haq, seized power in July 1977 and imposed martial law in Pakistan. Zia had to face the 10-year Afghan war, the RAW-KGB-KHAD-AlZulfiqar sabotage, series of political disturbances including the MRD movements in 1981 and 1983, but he remained firmly in his saddle and kept Islamizing the society till his death in a mysterious air crash.

In regard to this, In reaction to the hanging of their father on April 4, 1979, after the verdict of the Supreme Court, Al-Zulfiqar –  a militant wing of the PPP, led by the two sons of ZAB – came into being and it was assisted by Syria, Libya, Russia, Afghanistan, and India to undertake sabotage and subversion in Pakistan. The PPP stalwart Mustafa Khar, during his exile in London, was in contact with RAW to smuggle arms into Pakistan and when the Soviet forces occupied Afghanistan in December 1979, he stated that if Soviet tanks roll into Pakistan he will garland them and come riding on them.

Although the ten-year Afghan war helped Gen Zia in legitimizing his regime and prolonging his rule to 11 years, the Afghan war ended on a mix of happy and unhappy notes for Pakistan. It enabled Gen Zia to complete its nuclear program and carry out a cold test; victory in Afghanistan enhanced his and Pakistan’s prestige substantially; it enthused the entire Muslim world; it drew in over $ 3.5 billion US assistance, which helped in upping GDP to 8% and in inducting F-16s.

After the creation of Pakistan, various domestic and international factors impeded the growth of democracy in Pakistan.

On the negative side, Pakistan was callously ditched by the USA and put under harsh sanctions. Pakistan was burdened with 5 million Afghan refugees and the fallout effects brought in Jihadism, Kalashnikov and drug cultures. Abandoned Afghanistan became more explosive because of infighting among Mujahideen groups for power with negative consequences for Pakistan.

Benazir Bhutto (BB), during her period of exile in London, had made friends in the UK and the US higher circles. CIA and MI-6 cultivated her and once she fell in line and agreed to tow their line if brought to power, the pressure was mounted on Gen Zia and PM Junejo to let her return to Pakistan and start her political career. She was welcomed by a mammoth crowd at Lahore in April 1986. Her growing popularity didn’t upset the military as long as Gen Zia held the reins of power. But the situation took a dramatic turn after his death in a plane crash on August 7, 1988, which was masterminded by CIA.

There was a power vacuum since the country was without a president and PM. The military vacuum was quickly filled up by Vice Army Chief Gen Mirza Aslam Beg, and Chairman Senate Ghulam Ishaq Khan (GIK) took over as Acting President, but in order to fill the political vacuum, it was decided to hold elections in October that year.

Benazir Bhutto’s first stint in power

Alarmed by the rising popularity of BB owing to success of her narrative that her father had been judicially murdered by the military dictator, which had generated a huge sympathy wave in Punjab and Sindh, the civil and military establishment decided to form a countervailing force in the form of IJI in 1988 to prevent PPP from gaining two-thirds majority and usher in controlled democracy. The ISI, under late Lt Gen Hamid Gul, played a key role in this regard.

The list helped India in crushing the movement which was well poised to get linked with the liberation movement in Kashmir.

The main reason for taking this unpalatable act was that it had been ascertained that BB had been fed with an agenda to roll back the nuclear program, roll back the victory of Afghan Mujahideen, and keep Kashmir issue on a back burner and to befriend India. Despite the IJI, PPP managed to win a simple majority but found it difficult to form the federal govt. BB was allowed to take the reins of power under the conditions that GIK will be allowed to contest the presidential election, Lt Gen Sahibzada Yaqub will continue as Foreign Minister, there will be no change in Afghan and Kashmir policies, and that the military will control the nuclear program.

After assuming power as the first woman PM of a Muslim country, BB appointed a retired general as DG ISI, closed the Afghan and Kashmir desks in ISI and curtailed funding to the nuclear program. She fraternized with her Oxford friend Rajiv Gandhi and provided a list of Sikh leaders involved in the Khalistan movement to India in 1989. The list helped India in crushing the movement which was well poised to get linked with the liberation movement in Kashmir. To appease the Army, she awarded democracy medals to all ranks of the army and also initiated guided missile program. Zardari dented her popularity after he earned the nickname of Mr. 10% due to his craze for corruption. Mounting complaints of corruption, inefficiency and security concerns impelled GIK to apply the draconian Article 58 (2-B) and sack the govt in August 1990.

Political engineering in 1990

In order to make sure that the PPP doesn’t regain power in next elections, GIK directed COAS Gen Mirza and DG ISI Lt Gen Asad Durrani to arrange money and buy the loyalties of the politicians. The ISI arranged Rs 140 million through Mehran Bank manager Habib Yunis, who obtained a loan from Habib Bank. The amount was distributed among several politicians. Political engineering enabled IJI, under Nawaz Sharif, (NS) to win the elections and form a govt. NS fell from the grace of the President and he was booted out in April 1993. He was restored by the Supreme Court Chief Justice Nasim Hasan Shah, but he and the President had to abdicate power once Gen Wahid Kakar umpired the match between the two titans.

PPP second tenure

The PPP once again captured power in the next elections in 1994 but could survive only till 1996. This time her own party loyalist and her handpicked President Laghari dismissed her since Zardari’s corruption rating had upped to 20% along with the surfacing of mega scandals such as the Surrey Palace, the diamond necklace, the Swiss bank accounts, and several other scandals. At his behest, DG FIA Asghar and Additional DG FIA Rahman Malik handed over Arab militants and Pak Jihadists involved in the Afghan war to the USA and also fed information about the Kahuta plant.

There was a total intelligence vacuum in Karachi, Baluchistan, FATA and settled areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), allowing full liberty of action to proscribed groups to strike targets of choice.

In 1996, Lt Gen Asad Durrani who had been appointed an ambassador in Germany by the PPP govt, handed over a signed affidavit to Rahman Malik acknowledging that he had distributed money to politicians to ensure the defeat of the PPP. The then Interior Minister retired Maj Gen Naseerullah Babar stated on the floor of the parliament that money had been doled out to politicians in 1990.

Based on this revelation, late Air Marshal Asghar Khan heading Tehrik Istiqlal of which Imran Khan was the member, informed Chief Justice Nasim about pre-poll rigging and distribution of money to politicians to manipulate election results in 1990. The apex court, however, didn’t pursue the case and put it in a cold storage until it was reactivated by Chief Justice Iftikhar in October 2012. He ruled that the 1990 elections were rigged and directed FIA to proceed against the two generals involved in the racket. GIK by then was no more in the world.

Gen Mirza and Gen Asad went into appeals against the court’s decision and the case were once again frozen. The 22-year old case was re-energized by the incumbent Chief Justice Saqib Nisar on May 4, 2018, in spite of the fact that the plaintiff Asghar Khan had passed away in January 2018. Notices were sent to the accused to restart the proceedings. On May 7, Saqib and other two judges, after reviewing their petitions against October 2012 judgment, rejected them. The govt has been asked to inform the court how to proceed against the accused.

Events from 1996 – 2018

In the intervening period between 1996 and 2018, major changes took place on the political front. Starting with the victory of PML-N in February 1997 elections with a heavy mandate, Ehtesab Commission was also opened and corruption cases against the royal couple and others were initiated. In May 1988, Pakistan became nuclear. NS rightly took the credit for it along with for the first ever Islamabad-Lahore Highway and for terminating floor crossing by passing 13th Amendment. However, by making Pakistan a nuclear power, he, as well as Pakistan became the eye of the storm. He was demonized by his opponents, captioning him as Ameerul Momineen.

NS fell from the grace of the President and he was booted out in April 1993. He was restored by the Supreme Court Chief Justice Nasim Hasan Shah, but he and the President had to abdicate power once Gen Wahid Kakar umpired the match between the two titans.

The Kargil route was taken by his own appointee Gen Musharraf to dethrone his two-thirds majority govt on October 12, 1999. NS was awarded life sentence but was rescued by the Saudi King Saud and he and his family were deported and banished from politics for the next 10 years. It was during his period of exile in which he and his sons purchased Azizya steel mills and Gulf steel mills in Saudi Arabia/Dubai and Avenfield apartments in London.

Democratic era (1988 – 1999)

The chaotic ten-year democratic era nosedived the economy, increased debt burden, made Pakistan dependent upon foreign financial institutions, heightened sectarianism, ethnicity and religious extremism and decomposed moral values of the society. PPP and PML-N ruled two times each but only for shortened tenures ranging from 20 months to 2 ½ years.

Gen Musharraf’s nine-year rule

The Supreme Court legitimized Musharraf’s take over and gave him 3 years to amend the constitution and then hold elections. His 7-point agenda had germs of success and the potential to rid Pakistan of its chronic diseases, but it was never implemented. So was the NAB, which was created for across the board accountability.

9/11 changed the whole dynamics of global politics. New laws were framed by the US and its strategic partners to undermine Islam and neo-colonize the Muslim world through the Muslim specific war on terror. Pakistan was among the listed target countries but it was made an ally and a tactical partner to achieve short-term objectives and subsequently was to be destabilized and denuclearized and Balkanized through the covert war.

NS rightly took the credit for it along with for the first ever Islamabad-Lahore Highway and for terminating floor crossing by passing 13th Amendment.

Gen Musharraf, in his quest for legitimacy and to gain the goodwill of the USA, readily accepted all the seven demands of Washington for which Pakistan had to pay a very heavy price and is still paying. Having roped in Pakistan to act as a frontline state to fight the war on terror, the insurgency was ignited by CIA and FBI in FATA and interior Baluchistan and subsequently the flames of terrorism were gradually spread to all parts of Pakistan.

While Pak security forces got engaged in fighting, the foreign-funded and equipped terrorists – India under a pre-planned program blamed Pakistan for all the acts of terror in India from 2001 to 2008, starting with an engineered attack on the Indian Parliament in December 2001 to culminating in Mumbai attacks on November 26, 2008. Likewise, Afghan President Karzai blamed Pakistan for all the attacks in Afghanistan from 2004 onward. The purpose was to build a narrative that the Pak Army and ISI were rogue outfits and Pakistan an abettor of terrorism while India, Afghanistan, and ISAF were victims of terrorism.

Musharraf committed the same mistake of his military predecessors by inviting the discarded and corrupt politicians to form a King’s Party in 2002 and leaning upon the shady bureaucrats and foreign imported Finance Minister cum PM Shaukat Aziz. Relief given by consumerism oriented economy proved short-lived. None realized that a country ridden with corruption, terrorism, moral decay and devoid of genuine leadership and true democracy can never progress.

2007, a precarious year

2007 proved to be a heavy year for Musharraf. The downslide in law and order, urban terrorism, economy, energy, and extremism began after the lawyer’s movement in March 2007. Lawyers, civil society, politicians and religious forces ganged up against Musharraf. The year saw the May 12, 2007 carnage in Karachi, Lal Masjid episode, birth of Punjabi Taliban, creation of TTP, sudden upsurge in urban terrorism, signing of NRO which dry cleaned PPP-MQM leaders and imposition of emergency. Civil-military relations soured and Musharraf became the most hated man while Army’s image dipped. It became difficult for officers and men to go to the market or travel in uniform, or display star plate/flag on an official vehicle.

The worst was when the judiciary unseated NS in July 2017, deprived him of his seat of party head and disqualified him from politics for life on Iqama and not in thePanama case.

NRO allowed Musharraf to rule for the next five years in uniform. Thanks to the patronage of Musharraf, MQM gained full control over Karachi-Hyderabad and expanded its influence in other urban centers in Sindh. The insurgency in Baluchistan morphed into a separatist movement. There was a total intelligence vacuum in Karachi, Baluchistan, FATA and settled areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), allowing full liberty of action to proscribed groups to strike targets of choice. The murderous attack took place on BB on October 17 in Karachi and on December 27, she was murdered in Pindi. There was mayhem in Sindh; over Rs 4 billion worth property was destroyed by the hooligans and Pakistan ‘Na Khapey’ slogan was chanted by angry Jayalas in Sindh.

PPP returns to power

Zardari’s slogan of ‘Pakistan Khapey’ dimmed the volatility in Sindh, enabling him to hijack his party with ease and take part in elections after getting himself absolved of all charges. The fragility of the state enabled the USA to install a dream team after March 2008 elections, making Zardari the all-powerful president. The PML-N govt in Punjab was the only eyesore. The coalition govt of PPP-MQM-ANP zealously pursued the US agenda to civilianize ISI, emasculate the Army, disable the nuclear program and make Pakistan wholly dependent.

Rahman Malik and NSA Mahmud Durrani docilely accepted the Indian claim that Pakistan soil was used for launching non-state actors into Mumbai in November 2008. Former admitted that the sole surviving accused Ajmal Kasab was a Pakistani and Anchor Hamid Mir traced his village in Faridpur. Although NRO was nullified by the Chief Justice in 2009, Zardari protected himself behind immunity shield and used his authority to bailout Rahman Malik and to let Hussain Haqqani (HH) fly out in 2012.

The Army couldn’t dismantle terrorism even after launching big operations in Swat, Shangla, Malakand, Dir, Buner, and six tribal agencies in FATA from 2009 to 2011. The reason was obvious; the proscribed militant groups had the full support of foreign agencies, but Pakistan danced to the tunes of the USA. Gen Kayani put a break on ‘Do More’ mantra by refusing to enter North Waziristan despite extreme pressure. Pakistan was punished for its defiance by way of the raid on Abbottabad on May 2 and the Salala attack on November 26, 2011.

The purpose was to build a narrative that the Pak Army and ISI were rogue outfits and Pakistan an abettor of terrorism while India, Afghanistan, and ISAF were victims of terrorism.   

The arrest of Raymond Davis in January that year followed by these two incidents, Memogate scandal, and monitoring of HH, Pak ambassador in Washington, opened the eyes of the security establishment. They realized how deeply the CIA and Blackwater had established their network in Pakistan. Over 8000 CIA contractors in different guises had been secretly settled in Pakistan between 2008 and 2011, and 400 houses rented in Islamabad, besides expanding the US Embassy in Islamabad beyond all proportions. The Interior Minister Rahman Malik assisted HH, and several MNAs/MPAs in KP were in touch with CIA.

What could the military do when all its so-called allies were playing a double game in the garb of friends and our own government was in cahoots with the enemies of Pakistan, wanting to enervate the military?

How could terrorism be defeated when the regime was aligned with the USA which had marked Pakistan as a target and was using terrorism as a tool to disable the Pak nuclear program? How could terrorism be reined in when the judges had no heart to hang terrorists and target killers and get hold of that financing terrorism? How could corruption be curbed when the ones indulging in loot and plunder could not be convicted? Chief Justice Iftikhar’s suo motos were aimed at self-projection only.

The dangerous plan to denuclearize and balkanize Pakistan was scuttled by the Army and ISI, but the vultures clawed away the meat and reduced Pakistan into a carcass in their 5-year inglorious rule.

India has so far not furnished any proof to substantiate its allegations, but NS cockeyed statement given in angst which is being hyped by Indian media will bolster Indo-US anti-Pakistan narrative.

PML-N captures power

When PML-N took over power in June 2013, it had inherited an empty national kitty, heavy debt burden, crippled state corporations, a depressed economy teetering at the edge of collapse, the worst energy crisis and a sunk image of the country. Law, order and the security situation was dismal and morality of the society had degenerated. In short, everything was topsy-turvy. It was an uphill task for the new govt to put everything back on the rails. NS wore the crown studded with thorns.

To the utter surprise of his critics, things started to improve dramatically within one year which alarmed his political opponents. Tangible results were achieved in the fields of economy, terrorism, law, and order, energy crisis and development due to better governance, financial management and launching intelligence-based targeted operations in Karachi, Baluchistan and North Waziristan.

Nawaz Sharif’s downhill journey

The PML-N’s development agenda made visible progress despite series of impediments created by PTI from June 2014 onward through politics of agitation and non-cooperation. The worst was when the judiciary unseated NS in July 2017, deprived him of his seat of party head and disqualified him from politics for life on Iqama and not in the Panama case. Law Minister Zahid Hamid was forced to resign, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar implicated in a corruption case sought refuge abroad, while the Foreign Minister was disqualified.

Several leading lights of the ruling regime have been charge sheeted on account of contempt of court, while NAB has become super active in Punjab. The Railway Minister is under the axe, while the Interior Minister was shot and injured but narrowly survived. An orchestrated campaign was launched to defame NS and his family.

Over 8000 CIA contractors in different guises had been secretly settled in Pakistan between 2008 and 2011, and 400 houses rented in Islamabad, besides expanding the US Embassy in Islamabad beyond all proportions.

It looks as if a willful effort is underway to fragment the ruling party and pave the way for others to gain power in next elections. The political coup in Baluchistan and Senate elections have reinforced this impression.

For the judiciary, PTI, PPP and segment of media allegedly backed by the establishment, NS is the target. Sufficient progress has been made in maligning NS and his family in a corruption case and he has been unseated from two seats of power and disqualified to hold any public office for life. Decisions on three references filed against him and his family and his conviction are around the corner. As a consequence, PML-N which till April had stayed intact has begun to crack and over two dozen MNAs and MPAs have deserted the party.

NS was expected to throw in his towel after his unseating on July 28, 2017, but despite the hard blows he and his party leaders have suffered, he is still in a defiant mood. Since August 2 last year, he is on the offensive trying to build a narrative of innocence to garner the sympathy of the people. He is repeatedly asking as to why he was ousted and inciting his voters to help him in restoring the sanctity of vote that was frequently dishonoured.

Encouraged by the response, he is urging the people to wait for his call and then ask his detractors as to why he was wronged. He is exhorting the people to return his party to power with a heavy majority so that the constitution could be suitably amended to clips the wings of the overactive judiciary. After targeting the judiciary he is now openly blaming the establishment and tags it as ‘celestial beings’.

It is this fear of amending the constitution that had in all probability impelled the unseen powers to carry out a political coup in Baluchistan last January and then resort to horse trading in Senate elections to disallow the incumbent govt under Abbasi to perform the surgery. This apprehension together with reported linkage of NS with India, as was exposed in the Dawn leaks scandal, has brought the judiciary and establishment together. A hung Parliament comprising of several parties is probably what is desired. It is to this end that BAP and JSNM have come into being. PTI is treated as a Ladla while sins of PPP are being handled softly. PTI is fully supporting the judiciary and NAB and pressing them to speed up completion of trials against NS.

Taking advantage of the hullabaloo, the US managed to whisk away its blacklisted Defence Attaché Col Joseph involved in killing a Pakistani under the pretext of diplomatic immunity. 

What was not taken into account was NS’s counter-offensive and his narrative of ‘Mujhey Kyun Nikala’, which initially made him a laughing stock but gradually generated a sympathy wave in Punjab. In spite of the hurdles, injuries incurred and smear campaign, PML-N remains a popular entity. In case, Shahbaz Sharif remains in his chair, in a fair contest PML-N stands a good chance to again win in next elections even if NS is jailed.

Nawaz Sharif’s desperation

Pushed against the wall and realizing that time for his landing in jail has drawn near, it has made NS fidgety and desperate. After consistently naming the establishment as ‘celestial beings’, in desperation he has fallen to cheap tactics to degrade the military. On May 3, he said he had many secrets tucked away in his heart, and that when it becomes too unbearable for him to hold them, he will begin revealing them one by one.

According to Dawn newspaper dated May 12, in his interview with Cyril Almeida at Multan, NS stated: ‘Militant organizations are active. Call them non-state actors; should we allow them to cross the border and kill over 150 people in Mumbai. He questioned, “Should we allow them?” He asked as to why no action has been taken against them. These were calculated salvos against the military and the judiciary.

Mumbai attacks were a false flag operation jointly enacted by RAW-Mossad-CIA to get the Pak Army and ISI declared as rogue entities. This was admitted by Indian Home Ministry officials in 2012 and recently by a Jewish German journalist Elias Davidsson. He has given out full details of the gory drama in his book ‘The Betrayal of India’, concluding that the whole drama was cooked up and enacted with specific objectives to undermine Pakistan. India has so far not furnished any proof to substantiate its allegations, but NS cockeyed statement given in angst which is being hyped by Indian media will bolster Indo-US anti-Pakistan narrative. What is most worrying is the possibility of NS receiving a pat from enemies of Pakistan to issue this statement.

There is an uproar in Pakistan and NS who was already under a heavy fire of his opponents and haters is being fiercely censured. They eye him as a traitor promoting the sinister Indo-US agenda to gain the sympathy of the international establishment. Many are demanding his trial under Article 6.

He is exhorting the people to return his party to power with a heavy majority so that the constitution could be suitably amended to clips the wings of the overactive judiciary.

NSC meeting – May 14

The Dawn story was so damaging for Pakistan that an NSC meeting presided over by PM Abbasi was held on May 14 at the request of the Army. Before the meeting, Abbasi held a meeting with NS and the latter informed him that his interview had been distorted and he had never said that Pakistan had sent non-state actors to India. As regards his mention of non-state actors and need for their control, NS told Abbasi that this had frequently been cited by Musharraf, Rahman Malik, Mahmud Durrani and lot many journalists and academicians and there was nothing new he had said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The press release issued after the NSC meeting termed the interview published in Dawn malicious, misleading and incorrect. The participants unanimously rejected the allegations and condemned the fallacious assertions. It was recalled that it was not Pakistan but India that had delayed the finalization of the case.

Abbasi held his own press briefing a little after the NSC meeting in which he tried to further tone down the negative effects of NS’s blooper in the light of his clarifications and stated that NS assertions were distorted and hyped by Indian media. NS in his public meeting in Buner in the afternoon didn’t express any regrets and stated that a national commission should be formed which should ascertain as to who all acted against national security, carry out trial and those found guilty should be publicly hanged.

Taking advantage of the hullabaloo, the US managed to whisk away its blacklisted Defence Attaché Col Joseph involved in killing a Pakistani under the pretext of diplomatic immunity.

 It seems NS has fatally shot himself in the foot at the wrong time when he was gaining an upper edge over chairman NAB on account of latter’s issuance of unverified press release insinuating NS for transferring $4.9 billion to India.

Blunder will prove costly for Nawaz

Whatever be the case, no amount of explanations will absolve NS of this blunder since his interview can have grave repercussions for Pakistan. He cannot justify his interview to Almeida, ill-reputed for distortions. It seems NS has fatally shot himself in the foot at the wrong time when he was gaining an upper edge over chairman NAB on account of latter’s issuance of unverified press release insinuating NS for transferring $4.9 billion to India. This ill-timed stupidity will prove costly for him. His future plans of energizing his voters to create law and order situation in Punjab may be jeopardized. It may also make a negative impact on PML-N’s performance in elections. This insanity has brightened the chances of PTI, which has already gathered the support of 70 electives in Punjab.

Future prospects

In case the PML-N loses the race in a peacefully conducted elections without political engineering in July, it will still retain Punjab. The next federal govt will possibly be a mix of several parties which will find it exceedingly difficult to pass bills for carrying out critical reforms. It will inherit a relatively healthy Pakistan and not a sick Pakistan as it was in 2013. Our GDP stands at 5.8 % and is likely to increase to 6%. Economic indicators are still in positive. CPEC by itself is an economic booster which has already sucked in $ 62 billion investment and much more is to come. Once CPEC becomes operational in next one year or so, with over 7000 cargo vehicles plying every month, and new investors flocking in, bags of money will pour in. Hence the prospects for the next set of legislators are much brighter.

This factor is watering the mouths of power seekers, particularly PPP, and hence their desperation to seize power. They want to be in control of the inflowing investments, taxpayer money and remittances from abroad so that they can undertake future development and social projects as well as personal enrichment. In the next five years, the ones sitting in corridors of power will multiply their fortunes. In their mad lust to amass maximum wealth, they will again lose sight of the welfare of masses for which they were elected. Service to people to better their lives will, as usual, be relegated to lowest priority and funds wasted on maintaining regal lifestyle, pomp and show and foreign visits. Tall promises will once again remain unaccomplished and gullible people would again wait for the arrival of a messiah.

The writer is a defence analyst, columnist, author of five books, vice chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre. asifharoonraja@gmail.com

 

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Will Pakistan’s Gwadar Become “Hong Kong West”? Riaz Haq, Blog: Haq’s Musings

Will Pakistan’s Gwadar Become “Hong Kong West”?

Riaz Haq,

Blog: Haq’s Musings

 

 

 

 

The port city of Hong Kong has played a pivotal role in China’s economic and trade expansion on the Chinese East Coast in the Pacific region. Meanwhile, China’s Western region has remained relatively underdeveloped.

China’s West Coast:

Is China looking to build and use Gwadar in Pakistan as Hong Kong West to accelerate development in its West? Will Gwadar serve as a superhighway for China’s trade expansion in Middle East, Africa and Europe? A point to project Chinese economic and military might westward?

Unlike the continental United States which has coasts on both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans allowing it easy access to Europe and Asia, China has only one coast, its East Coast along the South China Sea.

As the Americans look to Asia with the US Pivot to Asia and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Chinese are looking to expand westward with Central Asia as well as Africa, Europe and the Middle East with “One Road One Belt” initiative funded by Silk Road Fund and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Pakistan is a crucial partner in this strategy, particularly the development of Pakistan-China Corridor linking China’s western region with Gwadar port on the Arabia Sea. 

Gwadar Deep Sea Port:

The Chinese see Gwadar deep sea port and the town of Jiwani as Hong Kong West, a gateway to the Middle East, Africa and Europe. It will be the most important link in China’s Maritime Silk Route (MSR), a sort of superhighway to the West for Chinese trade.

Professor Juan Cole of University of Michigan has aptly described the Chinese strategy as follows:

China’s enormous northwest is much closer to the Arabian Sea than to the port of Shanghai. It is about 2800 km. from Urumqi (pop. 4 million, the size of Los Angeles inside city limits) to Karachi, but twice as far to Shanghai. China has decided to develop its northwest by turning Pakistan into a sort of Hong Kong West. Hong Kong played, and perhaps still plays an important role as a gateway for certain kinds of foreign investment into China. In the same way, Pakistan can be a window on the world and a conduit for oil and trade into northwestern cities such as Urumqi and the smaller Kashgar (pop. 1 mn.)

In addition to a major expansion of the deep sea port,  there are plans in place for building a modern city with several skyscrapers, an international airport, highways and industrial parks in Gwadar, Balochistan. There will be air, road and rail links to move people and freight to and from around the world. Oil and gas pipelines are planned to transport energy as well. When completed, it will be comparable to major international port cities of Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Baloch Insurgency:

Baloch insurgency is cited as a key threat to the implementation of the China-Pakistan Corridor in Pakistan. What is often not acknowledged by analysts is the fact that the Baloch insurgency is dying. It’s a fact that has recently been described in some detail by Malik Siraj Akbar who is sympathetic to the Baloch separatist cause. Here’s what Akbar wrote in December 2014 in a piece titled “The End of Pakistan’s Baloch Insurgency?”:

“Since its beginning in 2004, Pakistan’s Baloch insurgency is caught up in the worst infighting ever known to the general public. Different left-wing underground armed groups that had been fighting Islamabad for a free Baloch homeland have now started to attack each other’s camps……Frustration, suspicion, infighting and division are the common features of the end of a guerrilla fight. Perhaps that time has come in Balochistan. “

Language Map of Balochistan

The announcement of the Pak-China deal seems to have re-energized those who seek to hurt Pakistan. They are now trying to resuscitate the dying Baloch insurgency. Western media has widely publicized an interview of Bramdagh Bugti who is running the insurgency from the comfort of a Swiss hotel room.  In addition, Pakistan’s Western-funded NGOs (Front’s For CIA, MI-6, RAW,& MOSSAD) are being used to play up the Baloch insurgency in the media with events like “Un-Silencing Balochistan” event and by blaming the ISI for the murder of Karachi activist Sabeen Mahmud.

Summary:

The China-Pak Corridor deal could prove to be transformational for Pakistan’s economy, prosperity and rising living standards of its nearly 200 million people. As development work moves forward for Gwadar and China-Pakistan Corridor, I fully expect several hostile nations, including neighbouring India, to use their proxies on the ground in Balochistan and some members of the “civil society” made up of some foreign-funded NGOs in Pakistan to make progress as difficult as possible. There will be serious efforts by many to resuscitate the dying Baloch insurgency. Pakistani people and both civil and military leaders need to be prepared to deal with these hurdles.

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Indo-US and Indo-Afghan Relations Security Implications for Pakistan

Indo-US and Indo-Afghan Relations
Security Implications for Pakistan

May 2016

Issue Brief
The following issue brief has been prepared by the NUST Research Team in collaboration with Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly for limited circulation only

Courtesy to Pakistan Think Tank by NUST Research Team

The NUST Research Team (NRT) is an independent, non-partisan and not-for-profit think tank that works in collaboration with the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs with a vision to innovate future prospects for peace, security and security for Pakistan through intellectual discourse, and contribute to sustainable social, political and economic development.
Copy Rights © NUST Research Team (NRT) and the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs of Pakistan (FAC)
Conclusions or opinions expressed in the publications and programs are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the fellows, advisory groups, or any individuals or organizations that provide financial support to NRT.
Authors: NUST Research Team
Acknowledgments: Rushna Shahid, Hamzah Riffat, Ali Tahir
Introduction
Today the world may have come out of its bipolar neurotic race… but it is still composed of a multitude of contesting narratives. Even if limited to simply the state level actors, a mess of ideologies, nationalism, state philosophies and cognitive perceptions and understanding of the world create complex diplomatic narratives. In a world that is ‘widening deepening and speeding up global ‘inter-connectedness’ in all aspects of contemporary life, Diplomacy is no exception.

 

 

 


Pakistan is facing increasingly complex challenges of global influence, in terms of both ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ state tools of power projection. There are only nine states in the world today with nuclear weapons where Pakistan and India are deemed as two of the most critical and strategic members of the group. A 2014 book ‘Power Rules’ categorizes Pakistan as a Mid-Level State in a Global power pyramid. This is justified by our substantial military strength for self-defense, nuclear assets and strategic location for regional influence.iii India however, by virtue of its economic clout in addition to its strategic assets, holds a prominent position as one of the ‘8 Principals’.iv
USA
8 Principals: China, Japan, India, Russia, UK, France, Germany & Brazil
Oil Producing States: Saudi Arabia, Iran, smaller Gulf States, Venezuela, Nigeria
The Mid Level States localized potential as Regional Players: Pakistan, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan Responsible – 50+ states Switzerland, Norway, Singapore, Botswana, Chile etc. Bottom Dwellers/Problem States- 75 states: Afghanistan, Bosnia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Burma, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Chad, DR Congo, Uzbekistan etc.

Non-State Actors: NGOs, International Media, International businesses and TerroristsFigure 1Gelb, Leslie H. Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue American Foreign Policy. New York: Harper, 2009. Print
Henry Kissinger’s famous words “America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests”v, has become the mantra of all diplomatic literature. Even though the channels of state influence have become increasingly complicated and non-traditional, this basic philosophy holds true still. In line with this Pakistan’s traditional India-centric garrison, state policies need to evolve rapidly with the fast-paced globalized diplomatic narratives. Indo-US and Indo-Afghan relations have been steadily increasing over the past few years via multiple channels of state diplomatic as well as strategic economic and non-traditional interactions. It is imperative for us to not only understand this evolving trend but also to develop effective and creative long-term policies that can balance India’s steadily increasing regional influence on multiple fronts. This issue brief thus hopes to foray into the recent developments in Indo-US and Indo-Afghan relations and their strategic security implications for Pakistan.

The Indo-US Strategic Partnership

The Indo- US strategic partnership encompasses multiple dimensions, such as shared principles of democracy and ensuring stability in Afghanistan. Both countries agree that this stability shroud be is realized through investments in human capital and the joint military cooperation. The relationship has cemented itself in line with common foreign policy objectives, ranging from curbing terrorism in South Asia to establishing defense agreements with Israel. Furthermore, India’s robust relationships with the oil-rich Gulf States, which the United States views as a vital cog in maintaining stability in the Middle East Vis a Vis Israel, is another aspect of the partnership which is of strategic significance.
The partnership in contemporary times heavily relies upon around the corporate sectors influence in both economies, where free market capitalism allows the flow of investments and expertise to either state. Furthermore, India’s status as a nuclear weapons state when it conducted its tests in 1974 has ensured that it creates a credible deterrent to ward off threats to its territorial sovereignty particularly in the aftermath of the 1962 border conflict with China. China’s rise as a potent economic power and its influence being recognized by the close relationships it has with countries such as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and particularly, Pakistan; where the latter is a recognized nuclear weapons state and maintains a policy of ‘Full Spectrum Deterrence’ to ward off conventional imbalances with Indian aggression, has meant that India’s relationship with the United States becomes particularly relevant. The United States policy which involves containment of China in sensitive regions such as the South China Sea and South East Asia has meant that both India and the United States converge over the objective of ensuring that China’s economic and military expansion is curbed. China as a factor in the strategic calculus of both India and the United States is extremely important if one has to analyze the strategic disposition of this relationship and partnership.
As of current, India is the world’s largest arms importer with a total cache of $100 million, out of which, $67 million is directed towards Pakistan (Haider, 2016). In the past, this spending has shown an increasing trend when Pakistan has responded to Indian conventional and hegemonic designs through TNWs or Tactical Nuclear Weapons as an option to deploy on the battlefield. The support from lobbies inside the United States which vouch for Pakistan’s containment also allows India to
assume a hardened stance against the country which is characterized by aggressive rhetoric and responding to acts of terrorism allegedly perpetuated through its own soil, with doctrines such as the Cold Start (which involves quick mobilization, punitive strikes on enemy territory and little room for the adversary to respond).
While the Cold Start Doctrine (CSD) might signal an alarming trend that could potentially have an impact on the US- India military partnership where the latter wishes to have strategic stability in South Asia, the fact that constraints have been imposed by the US on Pakistan’s dual-use technologies and weapons systems, buttresses the point of the US tilt towards India. In contrast to Pakistan’s nuclear weapon program which has been viewed with suspicion over aspects such as command and control and nuclear terrorism, the US-India nuclear deal in 2008 has allowed India to benefit from a waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers Group which permits it to gain access to civilian nuclear technology and fuel. This deal has greatly weakened the Non-Proliferation order in South Asia, where undue favoritism towards India leaving Pakistan with little or no access towards such technologies and having to rely on other partners such as China for investment into the nuclear sector.
Currently, the relationship between Pakistan and the United States has witnessed another jolt in the form of limited convergence over stability in Afghanistan. The United States widely accuses Pakistan of doing less to counter the Haqqani Network and the schisms between both countries which emerged regarding the sale of F-16s underlines how the strategic partnership which already exists between India and the United States gains added relevance. This partnership is likely to cement itself even further, where a Post P5+1 Nuclear Iran allows India to encircle Pakistan by forging amiable ties with Iran, investing heavily in Afghanistan and forging strong ties with states in the Middle East. Though the Middle East has historically allied with Pakistan, but due to several issues such as Pakistan’s policy of neutrality regarding the Yemen crisis, relations have soured particularly with states such as the UAE. The United States pushing for India to capitalize on regional dynamics has meant that Pakistan would need to exercise strategic foresight and prudence to avoid being encircled by India. The strategic partnership will thus, gain more relevance with India’s economic expansion, the US reservations over Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and dual-use technologies as well as pushing for more investment and stability in Afghanistan through India’s efforts at the expense of Pakistan which is viewed to have a dualistic policy over terrorism.

The Indo-Afghan Strategic Partnership

The Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) of 2011, between India and Afghanistan, laid the foundations for a long-term commitment to security and development in Afghanistan. It outlines assistance in the field of infrastructural and institutional development, offers educational guidelines and technological aid to developing Afghan Capacity. More importantly, the agreement encourages investment in Afghan natural resources, provides duty-free access to Afghan exports into Indian markets and aims to strengthen an Afghan-led process of peace and reconciliation. Efforts at high level bilateral political partnerships have materialized in agreements, collaborations, and conferences such as the Heart of Asia peace process and ANAASTU. India advocates a “no exit” policy with regards to Afghanistan, which has been endorsed by Afghan leadership (Ministry of External Affairs; Government of India, 2016).
Bilateral trade between the two economies has grown steadily (by approximately 0.20% annually) for the past three years. Despite the lack of direct access, India is the second largest market for Afghan exports with total bilateral trade amounting to $684.47 million in the year 2014-15 (BS Web Team, 2016). Naturally, India sees economic interests in Afghanistan, but its objectives in the region also hold political motives. Threatened by armed struggle for freedom in Kashmir, India benefits by cutting terror roots, their ideology and any networks within Afghanistan, that could aggravate the Kashmiri armed struggle (Baloch & Niazi, 2008). The resurgence of legitimate Islamic independent movements challenges India’s social fabric by providing cannon fodder to oppressed minorities. Moreover, eradication of terrorism helps stabilize the region, promoting trade. India benefits from undermining cordial Pak-Afghan relations; geostrategically speaking, Pakistan would always serve as a more suitable ally and partner for trade and commerce, being closer to Afghanistan (Usman, 2008). Geo-economic motives, of capturing Central Asian energy markets fuel India’s long run pursuit of Afghanistan. India’s push to develop Chabahar port in Iran consolidates earlier fears of Pakistan’s encirclement by India. Its presence isolates Pakistan, both politically and economically and also circumvents it, robbing it off its geo-strategic advantage. Furthermore, it nullifies Pakistan ability to use Afghanistan as an asset of strategic depth (Riedel, 2011). Numerous Indian consulates near the Pak-Afghan border are a legitimate cause of concern for Pakistan for two primary reasons. Generally, consulates protect and promote, commercial and individual interests, and hence are opened in areas that are densely populated. However, the majority of
Indian consulates are found in population scarce areas (Cheema, 2013). Pakistan has thrown multiple state level accusations at the Indian establishment and specifically its Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) for aiding militancy, separatist movements and terrorism on Pakistani soil while using the consulates as ground zero for such operations (Zeb, 2006). Earlier Pakistan has provided intelligence that links Brahimdagh Bugti (son of the late Akbar Bugti) and the Baloch Republican Party (BRP) to Delhi and the former Karzai government (Walsh, 2010). Pakistan’s former Interior Minister, Rehman Malik suspected Brahimdagh Bugti to be responsible for recruiting militants in Afghanistan and went on to accused India and Afghanistan for supporting the insurgent Baloch National Army (BNA) and also charged Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) for abduction of foreign nationals (Major Dr. Khalil-ur-Rehman, 2013). Recently the Kulbhushan Yadav episode has exposed RAW’s intelligence networks aimed towards destabilizing Pakistan and retrospectively speaking this warrants extreme caution on behalf of Pakistan upon any Indian presence near its borders (Ahmad, 2016).
India has pledged over $2 billion to Afghanistan up till now, as part of a reconstruction and development aid package (Fair, 2010). This is inclusive of institutional development, within which India has constructed a new parliament building for Afghanistan (Hindustan Times, 2015). Immensely closes ties with India were previously also enjoyed by the former Karzai government whose embrace of India was a source of great irritancy to Pakistan in light to the 2005 Indo – US civil nuclear deal (ISAF, 2012). Consequently, Pakistan perceived Indian assisted dam construction in the province of Kunar as a way to divert water resources away from Pakistan (Kiani, 2013). Pakistan’s insecurities over the matter have been a cause of concern to US and India, who point fingers at Pakistan of having ties to the Haqqani network, and allegedly accusing InterServices Intelligence Agency (ISI) for supporting the 2008 attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul (CNN, 2008). The U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen has gone to refer to the Haqqani network as, “a veritable arm of the ISI” (Bumiller & Perlezsept, 2011).
From the above qualitative analysis, we conclude that Pak-Afghan relations are negatively correlated with Indo-Afghan relations. While all counties would ideally benefit from holistic, all-encompassing political and economic initiatives for growth, miss -trust and historical animosity has pivoted these regional powers against each other’s best interest (Mir, 2015).

Lessons for Pakistan

The negative correlation between the Indo-US strategic partnership and the Indo- Afghanistan partnership with the US-Pakistan and the Pakistan Afghanistan relationship, clearly suggests that Pakistan must capitalize on opportunities which are present in its region and globally through conducting an appraisal of regional dynamics and capitalizing on its relationship with states such as China which has heavily invested in the country and continues to contribute towards its arms buildup. Exercising prudence requires foresight, but to counter the growing India- US strategic partnership, Pakistani policy makers can undertake the following recommendations at the diplomatic level:
1. Capitalization of the strategic partnership with China: Although the indomitable relationship with China is characterized by a high level of mutual trust and convergence of strategic interests, it is imperative for Pakistan to consider the possibility of similar nuclear agreements in line with the Indo-US Nuclear deal, particularly with a state that has a rising global profile and has been benign as far as its investments to Pakistan is concerned. The strategic partnership between the US and India is defined by economic interests as well as a military cooperation and Pakistan should continue to ensure that its economic and military partnership with China acts as a balance to less concessions and avenues for cooperation with the United States. 2. Capitalizing on the limitations of US/ Indian strategic foresight: While the strategic partnership between the US and India has alarming implications for Pakistan’s security it is critical to understand that the US and India have often failed in resolving key disputes with states through erroneous policies which have encompassed military interventions and neglect. US policies in the Gulf region, particularly with regard to Iran have had an impact on Iran’s ability to assert itself as a dominant player in the Middle East. Yet at the same time, in line with the P5+1 Nuclear Deal, Pakistan can cement its relationship with the Islamic Republic by emphasizing on energy deals and projects which have previously been held hostage to sanctions and time lags. Similarly, states such as Sri Lanka and Nepal have grappled with Indian policies which include interference in sovereign affairs. Sri Lanka’s hostility towards India has historically stemmed from India’s peacekeeping force which exaggerated the ongoing civil war with the Lanka Tamil Tiger Eelam as compared to
Pakistan, where the efforts of the Pakistan Army in assisting the downfall of the insurgency has proven to be fruitful and has fostered goodwill amongst both countries. A multidimensional approach towards Pakistan’s foreign policy in its immediate neighborhood is required for the country’s rising regional profile. 3. Reassessment of Pakistan’s Afghan policy: The India- Afghanistan relationship has fostered on the grounds of joint collaborations between both governments over infrastructural development including education, health sectors and building of intellectual capital. Afghan/ Pakistan trust deficits emerge on the security fronts with allegations over cross border terrorism on either side jeopardizing the relationship. Yet a more innovative approach towards dealing with Afghanistan where competition with India centers on increased investments and energy generation could prove to be vital. CPEC’s opportunities allows Pakistan to address its domestic energy concerns and simultaneously vouch for similar investments in Afghanistan which could act as a counter to growing Indo- US strategic convergence over the subject of sustainable stability in Afghanistan. 4. Economic Profile as a diplomatic tool: In an age which is defined by increased regional connectivity and economic cooperation, it is important that Pakistan’s policy makers focus on generating higher productivity for its domestic markets while simultaneously allaying concerns of potential investors. A critical element of the Indo- US Strategic Partnership has been the rising Indian corporate sector which has allowed it to benefit from the 2008 Nuclear Deal despite the fact that it weakened the Non- Proliferation Order significantly and contributed towards instability in South Asia. While differences over the role of TNWs in the battlefield, nuclear terrorism and Pakistan’s policy of Full Spectrum Deterrence will continue to persist alongside accusations of doing less to counter the Haqqani Network; a rising economic profile while simultaneously addressing its domestic energy concerns will at least give Pakistan relatively more strength in its diplomatic negotiations particularly with global powers such as the United States which it has shared a fractious relationship with. 5. Encapsulating ‘Realpolitik’, as a feature of foreign policy: As a concept and as a theory which gains considerable traction in modern times, policy makers in Pakistan need to be made aware of what a dynamic approach is; of which ‘Real Politik’ or diplomacy based on circumstances of given circumstances and factors becomes important. So far the Indo-
Afghan and the Indo- US strategic partnership has been based upon Real Politik and for Pakistan to ensure that such partnerships can be countered, Real Politik as a concept needs to be understood, where relationships are less about ideology, religion and cultural beliefs, but more about political influence, economic clout and military supremacy.

References
Ahmad, N., 2016. Analysis: Kulbhushan Yadav’s RAW move. [Online] Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/1074812/analysis-kulbhushan-jadhavs-raw-move/
Baloch, Q. B. & Niazi, A. H. K., 2008. Indian Encroachment in Afghanistan: A New Imperialism in the Making, s.l.: s.n.
BS Web Team, 2016. 6 things to know about the India-Afghanistan relationship. [Online] Available at: http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/5-things-to-know-aboutthe-india-afghanistan-relationship-116010400230_1.html
Bumiller, E. & Perlezsept, J., 2011. Pakistan’s Spy Agency Is Tied to Attack on U.S. Embassy. [Online] Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/23/world/asia/mullen-asserts-pakistani-role-inattack-on-us-embassy.html?_r=0
Cheema, P. I., 2013. Afghanistan’s Crisis & Pakistan’s Security Dilemma. Asian Survey, 23(3).
CNN, 2008. Afghan official: Pakistan spies behind Kabul attack. [Online] Available at: http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/07/08/afghanistan.explosion/index.html?eref=rss_l atest
Fair, C. C., 2010. ndia in Afghanistan and Beyond: Opportunities and Constraints, s.l.: s.n.
Haider, M., 2016. India’s growing military spending threatens Pakistan, says NSA Janjua. [Online] Available at: http://www.dawn.com/news/1250121
Hindustan Times, 2015. Modi inaugurates new Afghan Parliament built by India in Kabul. [Online] Available at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/modi-in-kabul-pm-meets-ghani-toinaugurate-afghan-s-parl-building/story-wua2CtN8gj4IQsRnmNknHM.html
ISAF, 2012. State of the Taliban, s.l.: s.n.
Kiani, K., 2013. Pakistan, Afghanistan mull over power project on Kunar River. [Online] Available at: http://www.dawn.com/news/1038435
Major Dr. Khalil-ur-Rehman, (. A. O., 2013. [Interview] (12 Janruary 2013).
Ministry of External Affairs; Government of Inida, 2016. India – Afghanistan Relations. [Online] Available at: http://eoi.gov.in/kabul/?0354?000
Mir, H., 2015. Indian’s Allegation & Pakistan. [Online] Available at: http://www.currentaffairspk.com/hamid-mir-urdu-column-about-indians-allegationpakistan/
Riedel, B., 2011. Deadly Embrace: Pakistan, America, and the Future of Global Jihad. s.l.:s.n.
Usman, T., 2008. Indian Factor in Pak-Afghan Relations. Research Journal of Area Study Centre (Russia, China and Central Asia).
Walsh, D., 2010. WikiLeaks cables reveal Afghan-Pakistani row over fugitive rebel. [Online] Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/nov/30/wikileaks-cables-afghan-pakistanifugitive
Zeb, R., 2006. Cross Border Terrorism Issues Plaguing Pakistan–Afghanistan Relations. China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly, Volume 4.
iGrassie, William. “Seeking Truth in a World of Competing Narratives.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 30 Apr. 2012. Web. 13 Mar. 2014. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/william-grassie/seeking-truth-in-a-world-_b_1452389.html>.
iiCampbell, Francis. “Has Globalization Changed the Nature of Diplomacy?” Proc. of Ethical Standards in Public Life, St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge University, UK. N.p., 20 Feb. 2015. Web. <http://www.vhi.st-edmunds.cam.ac.uk/resources-folder/campbell-2015>.
iiiGelb, Leslie H. Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue American Foreign Policy. New York: Harper, 2009. Print.
iv Ibid

v”“America Has No Permanent Friends or Enemies, Only Interests”.” Goodreads. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2014. <http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/633024-americaIndo-US and Indo-Afghan Relations
Security Implications for Pakistan
May 2016
Issue Brief
The following issue brief has been prepared by the NUST Research Team in collaboration with Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly for limited circulation only

The NUST Research Team (NRT) is an independent, non-partisan and not-for-profit think tank that works in collaboration with the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs with a vision to innovate future prospects for peace, security and security for Pakistan through intellectual discourse, and contribute to sustainable social, political and economic development.
Copy Rights © NUST Research Team (NRT) and the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs of Pakistan (FAC)
Conclusions or opinions expressed in the publications and programs are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the, fellows, advisory groups, or any individuals or organizations that provide financial support to NRT.
Authors: NUST Research Team
Acknowledgements: Rushna Shahid, Hamzah Riffat, Ali Tahir
Introduction
Today the world may have come out of its bipolar neurotic race… but it is still composed of a multitude of contesting narrativesi. Even if limited to simply the state level actors, a mess of ideologies, nationalism, state philosophies and cognitive perceptions and understanding of the world create complex diplomatic narratives. In a world that is ‘widening deepening and speeding up’ii global interconnectedness in all aspects of contemporary life, Diplomacy is no exception.
Pakistan is facing increasingly complex challenges of global influence, in terms of both ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ state tools of power projection. There are only nine states in the world today with nuclear weapons where Pakistan and India are deemed as two of the most critical and strategic members of the group. A 2014 book ‘Power Rules’ categorizes Pakistan as a Mid-Level State in a Global power pyramid. This is justified by our substantial military strength for self-defense, nuclear assets and strategic location for regional influence.iii India however, by virtue of its economic clout in addition to its strategic assets, holds a prominent position as one of the ‘8 Principals’.iv
USA
8 Principals: China, Japan, India, Russia, UK, France, Germany & Brazil
Oil Producing States: Saudi Arabia, Iran, smaller Gulf States, Venezuela, Nigeria
Mid Level Stateslocalised potential as Regional Players: Pakistan, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan Responsibles– 50+ states: Switzerland, Norway, Singapore, Botswana, Chile etc. Bottom Dwellers/Problem States- 75 states: Afghanistan, Bosnia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Burma, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Chad, DR Congo, Uzbekistan etc.
Non State Actors: NGOs, International Media, International businesses and TerroristsFigure 1Gelb, Leslie H. Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue American Foreign Policy. New York: Harper, 2009. Print
Henry Kissinger’s famous words “America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests”v, has become the mantra of all diplomatic literature. Even though the channels of state influence have become increasingly complicated and non-traditional, this basic philosophy holds true still. In line with this Pakistan’s traditional India centric garrison state policies need to evolve rapidly with the fast paced globalized diplomatic narratives. Indo-US and Indo-Afghan relations have been steadily increasing over the past few years via multiple channels of state diplomatic as well as strategic economic and non-traditional interactions. It is imperative for us to not only understand this evolving trend but also to develop effective and creative long-term policies that can balance India’s steadily increasing regional influence on multiple fronts. This issue brief thus hopes to foray into the recent developments in Indo-US and Indo-Afghan relations and their strategic security implications for Pakistan.

The Indo-US Strategic Partnership
The Indo- US strategic partnership encompasses multiple dimensions, such as shared principles of democracy and ensuring stability in Afghanistan. Both countries agree that this stability shroud be is realized through investments in human capital and the joint military cooperation. The relationship has cemented itself in line with common foreign policy objectives, ranging from curbing terrorism in South Asia to establishing defense agreements with Israel. Furthermore, India’s robust relationships with the oil rich Gulf States, which the United States views as a vital cog in maintaining stability in the Middle East Vis a Vis Israel, is another aspect of the partnership which is of strategic significance.
The partnership in contemporary times heavily relies around the corporate sectors influence in both economies, where free market capitalism allows the flow of investments and expertise to either state. Furthermore, India’s status as a nuclear weapons state when it conducted its tests in 1974 has ensured that it creates a credible deterrent to ward off threats to its territorial sovereignty particularly in the aftermath of the 1962 border conflict with China. China’s rise as a potent economic power and its influence being recognized by the close relationships it has with countries such as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and particularly, Pakistan; where the latter is a recognized nuclear weapons state and maintains a policy of ‘Full Spectrum Deterrence’ to ward off conventional imbalances with Indian aggression, has meant that India’s relationship with the United States becomes particularly relevant. The United States policy which involves containment of China in sensitive regions such as the South China Sea and South East Asia has meant that both India and the United States converge over the objective of ensuring that China’s economic and military expansion is curbed. China as a factor in the strategic calculus of both India and the United States is extremely important if one has to analyze the strategic disposition of this relationship and partnership.
As of current, India is the world’s largest arms importer with a total cache of $100 million, out of which, $67 million is directed towards Pakistan (Haider, 2016). In the past this spending has shown an increasing trend when Pakistan has responded to Indian conventional and hegemonic designs through TNWs or Tactical Nuclear Weapons as an option to deploy on the battlefield. The support from lobbies inside the United States which vouch for Pakistan’s containment also allows India to
assume a hardened stance against the country which is characterized by aggressive rhetoric and responding to acts of terrorism allegedly perpetuated through its own soil, with doctrines such as the Cold Start (which involves quick mobilization, punitive strikes on enemy territory and little room for the adversary to respond).
While the Cold Start Doctrine (CSD) might signal an alarming trend that could potentially have an impact on the US- India military partnership where the latter wishes to have strategic stability in South Asia, the fact that constraints have been imposed by the US on Pakistan’s dual use technologies and weapons systems, buttresses the point of the US tilt towards India. In contrast to Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program which has been viewed with suspicion over aspects such as command and control and nuclear terrorism, the US-India nuclear deal in 2008 has allowed India to benefit from a waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers Group which permits it to gain access to civilian nuclear technology and fuel. This deal has greatly weakened the Non Proliferation order in South Asia, where undue favoritism towards India leaving Pakistan with little or no access towards such technologies and having to rely on other partners such as China for investment into the nuclear sector.
Currently, the relationship between Pakistan and the United States has witnessed another jolt in the form of limited convergence over stability in Afghanistan. The United States widely accuses Pakistan of doing less to counter the Haqqani Network and the schisms between both countries which emerged regarding the sale of F-16s underlines how the strategic partnership which already exists between India and the United States gains added relevance. This partnership is likely to cement itself even further, where a Post P5+1 Nuclear Iran allows India to encircle Pakistan by forging amiable ties with Iran, investing heavily in Afghanistan and forging strong ties with states in the Middle East. Though Middle East has historically allied with Pakistan, but due to several issues such as Pakistan’s policy of neutrality regarding the Yemen crisis, relations have soured particularly with states such as the UAE. The United States pushing for India to capitalize on regional dynamics has meant that Pakistan would need to exercise strategic foresight and prudence to avoid being encircled by India. The strategic partnership will thus, gain more relevance with India’s economic expansion, the US reservations over Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and dual use technologies as well as pushing for more investment and stability in Afghanistan through India’s efforts at the expense of Pakistan which is viewed to have a dualistic policy over terrorism.

The Indo-Afghan Strategic Partnership

The Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) of 2011, between India and Afghanistan laid the foundations for a long-term commitment to security and development in Afghanistan. It outlines assistance in the field of infrastructural and institutional development, offers educational guidelines and technological aid to develop Afghan Capacity. More importantly the agreement encourages investment in Afghan natural resources, provides duty-free access to Afghan exports into Indian markets and aims to strengthen an Afghan led process of peace and reconciliation. Efforts at high level bilateral political partnerships have materialized in agreements, collaborations and conferences such as the Heart of Asia peace process and ANAASTU. India advocates a “no exit” policy with regards to Afghanistan, which has been endorsed by Afghan leadership (Ministry of External Affairs; Government of India, 2016).
Bilateral trade between the two economies has grown steadily (by approximately 0.20% annually) for the past three years. Despite the lack of direct access, India is the second largest market for Afghan exports with total bilateral trade amounting to $684.47 million in the year 2014-15 (BS Web Team, 2016). Naturally, India sees economic interests in Afghanistan, but its objectives in the region also hold political motives. Threatened by armed struggle for freedom in Kashmir, India benefits by cutting terror roots, their ideology and any networks within Afghanistan, that could aggravate the Kashmiri armed struggle (Baloch & Niazi, 2008). The resurgence of legitimate Islamic independent movements challenges India’s social fabric by providing cannon fodder to oppressed minorities. Moreover, the eradication of terrorism helps stabilize the region, promoting trade. India benefits from undermining cordial Pak-Afghan relations; geo strategically speaking, Pakistan would always serve as a more suitable ally and partner for trade and commerce, being closer to Afghanistan (Usman, 2008). Geo-economic motives, of capturing Central Asian energy markets fuel India’s long run pursuit of Afghanistan. India’s push to develop Chabahar port in Iran consolidates earlier fears of Pakistan’s encirclement by India. Its presence isolates Pakistan, both politically and economically and also circumvents it, robbing it off its geostrategic advantage. Furthermore, it nullifies Pakistan ability to use Afghanistan as an asset of strategic depth (Riedel, 2011). Numerous Indian consulates near the Pak-Afghan border are a legitimate cause of concern for Pakistan for two primary reasons. Generally, consulates protect and promote, commercial and individual interests, and hence are opened in areas that are densely populated. However, the majority of
Indian consulates are found in population scarce areas (Cheema, 2013). Pakistan has thrown multiple state level accusations at the Indian establishment and specifically, it’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) for aiding militancy, separatist movements and terrorism on Pakistani soil while using the consulates as ground zero for such operations (Zeb, 2006). Earlier Pakistan has provided intelligence that links Brahimdagh Bugti (son of the late Akbar Bugti) and the Baloch Republican Party (BRP) to Delhi and the former Karzai government (Walsh, 2010). Pakistan’s former Interior Minister, Rehman Malik suspected Brahimdagh Bugti to be responsible for recruiting militants in Afghanistan and went on to accused India and Afghanistan for supporting the insurgent Baloch National Army (BNA) and also charged Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) for the abduction of foreign nationals (Major Dr. Khalil-ur-Rehman, 2013). Recently the Kulbhushan Yadav episode has exposed RAW’s intelligence networks aimed towards destabilizing Pakistan and retrospectively speaking this warrants extreme caution on behalf of Pakistan upon any Indian presence near its borders (Ahmad, 2016).
India has pledged over $2 billion to Afghanistan up till now, as part of a reconstruction and development aid package (Fair, 2010). This is inclusive of institutional development, within which India has constructed a new parliament building for Afghanistan (Hindustan Times, 2015). Immensely closer ties with India were previously also enjoyed by the former Karzai government whose embrace of India was a source of great irritancy to Pakistan in light to the 2005 Indo – US civil nuclear deal (ISAF, 2012). Consequently, Pakistan perceived Indian assisted dam construction in the province of Kunar as a way to divert water resources away from Pakistan (Kiani, 2013). Pakistan’s insecurities over the matter have been a cause of concern to US and India, who point fingers at Pakistan of having ties to the Haqqani network, and allegedly accusing InterServices Intelligence Agency (ISI) of supporting the 2008 attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul (CNN, 2008). The U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen has gone to refer to the Haqqani network as, “a veritable arm of the ISI” (Bumiller & Perlezsept, 2011).
From the above qualitative analysis, we conclude that Pak-Afghan relations are negatively correlated with Indo-Afghan relations. While all counties would ideally benefit from holistic, all-encompassing political and economic initiatives for growth, miss -trust and historical animosity has pivoted these regional powers against each other’s best interest (Mir, 2015).

Lessons for Pakistan

The negative correlation between the Indo-US strategic partnership and the Indo- Afghanistan partnership with the US-Pakistan and the Pakistan-Afghanistan relationship, clearly suggests that Pakistan must capitalize on opportunities which are present in its region and globally through conducting an appraisal of regional dynamics and capitalizing on its relationship with states such as China which has heavily invested in the country and continues to contribute towards its arms buildup. Exercising prudence requires foresight, but to counter the growing India- US strategic partnership, Pakistani policymakers can undertake the following recommendations at the diplomatic level:
1. Capitalization of the strategic partnership with China:

Although the indomitable relationship with China is characterized by a high level of mutual trust and convergence of strategic interests, it is imperative for Pakistan to consider the possibility of similar nuclear agreements in line with the Indo-US Nuclear deal, particularly with a state that has a rising global profile and has been benign as far as its investments in Pakistan is concerned. The strategic partnership between the US and India is defined by economic interests as well as a military cooperation and Pakistan should continue to ensure that its economic and military partnership with China acts as a balance to fewer concessions and avenues for cooperation with the United States.

2. Capitalizing on the limitations of US/ Indian strategic foresight:

While the strategic partnership between the US and India has alarming implications for Pakistan’s security it is critical to understand that the US and India have often failed in resolving key disputes with states through erroneous policies which have encompassed military interventions and neglect. US policies in the Gulf region, particularly with regard to Iran have had an impact on Iran’s ability to assert itself as a dominant player in the Middle East. Yet at the same time, in line with the P5+1 Nuclear Deal, Pakistan can cement its relationship with the Islamic Republic by emphasizing on energy deals and projects which have previously been held hostage to sanctions and time lags. Similarly, states such as Sri Lanka and Nepal have grappled with Indian policies which include interference in sovereign affairs. Sri Lanka’s hostility towards India has historically stemmed from India’s peacekeeping force which exaggerated the ongoing civil war with the Lanka Tamil Tiger Eelam as compared to
Pakistan, where the efforts of the Pakistan Army in assisting the downfall of the insurgency has proven to be fruitful and has fostered goodwill amongst both countries. A multidimensional approach towards Pakistan’s foreign policy in its immediate neighborhood is required for the country’s rising regional profile.

3. Reassessment of Pakistan’s Afghan policy:

The India- Afghanistan relationship has fostered on the grounds of joint collaborations between both governments over infrastructural development including education, health sectors and building of intellectual capital. Afghan/ Pakistan trust deficits emerge on the security fronts with allegations over cross-border terrorism on either side jeopardizing the relationship. Yet a more innovative approach towards dealing with Afghanistan where competition with India centers on increased investments and energy generation could prove to be vital. CPEC’s opportunities allow Pakistan to address its domestic energy concerns and simultaneously vouch for similar investments in Afghanistan which could act as a counter to growing Indo- US strategic convergence over the subject of sustainable stability in Afghanistan.

4. Economic Profile as a diplomatic tool:

In an age which is defined by increased regional connectivity and economic cooperation, it is important that Pakistan’s policy makers focus on generating higher productivity for its domestic markets while simultaneously allaying concerns of potential investors. A critical element of the Indo- US Strategic Partnership has been the rising Indian corporate sector which has allowed it to benefit from the 2008 Nuclear Deal despite the fact that it weakened the Non- Proliferation Order significantly and contributed towards instability in South Asia. While differences over the role of TNWs in the battlefield, nuclear terrorism and Pakistan’s policy of Full Spectrum Deterrence will continue to persist alongside accusations of doing less to counter the Haqqani Network; a rising economic profile while simultaneously addressing it’s domestic energy concerns will at least give Pakistan relatively more strength in its diplomatic negotiations particularly with global powers such as the United States which it has shared a fractious relationship with.

5. Encapsulating ‘Realpolitik’, as a feature of foreign policy:

As a concept and as a theory which gains considerable traction in modern times, policy makers in Pakistan need to be made aware of what a dynamic approach is; of which ‘Real Politik’ or diplomacy based on circumstances of given circumstances and factors becomes important. So far the Indo- Afghan and the Indo- US strategic partnership has been based upon Real Politik and for Pakistan to ensure that such partnerships can be countered, Real Politik as a concept needs to be understood, where relationships are less about ideology, religion, and cultural beliefs, but more about political influence, economic clout, and military supremacy.

References
Ahmad, N., 2016. Analysis: Kulbhushan Yadav’s RAW move. [Online] Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/1074812/analysis-kulbhushan-jadhavs-raw-move/
Baloch, Q. B. & Niazi, A. H. K., 2008. Indian Encroachment in Afghanistan: A New Imperialism in the Making, s.l.: s.n.
BS Web Team, 2016. 6 things to know about the India-Afghanistan relationship. [Online] Available at http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/5-things-to-know-aboutthe-india-afghanistan-relationship-116010400230_1.html
Bumiller, E. & Perlezsept, J., 2011. Pakistan’s Spy Agency Is Tied to Attack on U.S. Embassy. [Online] Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/23/world/asia/mullen-asserts-pakistani-role-inattack-on-us-embassy.html?_r=0
Cheema, P. I., 2013. Afghanistan’s Crisis & Pakistan’s Security Dilemma. Asian Survey, 23(3).
CNN, 2008. Afghan official: Pakistan spies behind Kabul attack. [Online] Available at http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/07/08/afghanistan.explosion/index.html?eref=rss_l latest
Fair, C. C., 2010. India in Afghanistan and Beyond: Opportunities and Constraints, s.l.: s.n.
Haider, M., 2016. India’s growing military spending threatens Pakistan, says NSA Janjua. [Online] Available at http://www.dawn.com/news/1250121
Hindustan Times, 2015. Modi inaugurates new Afghan Parliament built by India in Kabul. [Online] Available at http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/modi-in-kabul-pm-meets-ghani-toinaugurate-afghan-s-parl-building/story-wua2CtN8gj4IQsRnmNknHM.html
ISAF, 2012. State of the Taliban, s.l.: s.n.
Kiani, K., 2013. Pakistan, Afghanistan mull over power project on Kunar River. [Online] Available at http://www.dawn.com/news/1038435
Major Dr. Khalil-ur-Rehman, (. A. O., 2013. [Interview] (12 January 2013).
Ministry of External Affairs; Government of India, 2016. India – Afghanistan Relations. [Online] Available at http://eoi.gov.in/kabul/?0354?000
Mir, H., 2015. Indian’s Allegation & Pakistan. [Online] Available at http://www.currentaffairspk.com/hamid-mir-urdu-column-about-indians-allegationpakistan/
Riedel, B., 2011. Deadly Embrace: Pakistan, America, and the Future of Global Jihad. s.l.:s.n.
Usman, T., 2008. Indian Factor in Pak-Afghan Relations. Research Journal of Area Study Centre (Russia, China, and Central Asia).
Walsh, D., 2010. WikiLeaks cables reveal Afghan-Pakistani row over fugitive rebel. [Online] Available at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/nov/30/wikileaks-cables-afghan-pakistanifugitive
Zeb, R., 2006. Cross Border Terrorism Issues Plaguing Pakistan–Afghanistan Relations. China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly, Volume 4.
iGrassie, William. “Seeking Truth in a World of Competing Narratives.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 30 Apr. 2012. Web. 13 Mar. 2014. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/william-grassie/seeking-truth-in-a-world-_b_1452389.html>.
iiCampbell, Francis. “Has Globalization Changed the Nature of Diplomacy?” Proc. of Ethical Standards in Public Life, St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge University, UK. N.p., 20 Feb. 2015. Web. <http://www.vhi.st-edmunds.cam.ac.uk/resources-folder/campbell-2015>.
iiiGelb, Leslie H. Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue American Foreign Policy. New York: Harper, 2009. Print.
iv Ibid

v”“America Has No Permanent Friends or Enemies, Only Interests”.” Goodreads. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2014. <http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/633024-america

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