By Haseeb Asghar
The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is in the west and northwest of Pakistan, to the west of China, and on the north side are Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. 99% of the population of Afghanistan is Muslim, one percent composed of Sikh and Hindu, etc. The country has been occupied by the Iranians, Greeks, Arabs, Turks, Mongols, British, Russians and the United States. But its people have always been resisting against external occupation.
Afghanistan has been in a state of war for the past 35 years which has destroyed it and has made many generations displaced.
Today, Afghanistan is under the occupation of the Americans. Afghanistan is apparently recognized as an independent country and government, but the destruction of Afghanistan has for the most part been at the hands of foreigners who exert much influence over the current government and often this situation creates civil war.
Although Afghanistan lacks oil or other resources it has a geographical position which makes this country always important in South Asia. That’s why the colonial powers have always tried to capture or influence it. Much of the area of Afghanistan is stony and mountainous and therefore it is difficult to capture by any external power. People are mostly tribal, therefore they never recognize external powers and resist. As a consequence this country has not been able to secure peace for a long time.
Russia suffered unprecedented loss for its occupation of Afghanistan, but it could not succeed, due to the role of the US and its goal of the failure of Russia. This was a key element which led to the end of the USSR with the help of Pakistan.
After dismantling a great state like Russia, the US had the understanding that he it is the father of this world and what he wants will happen. If it is seen that the US could invade wherever it wants, feeling its Omnipotence, it forgot the lessons of history and itself became bogged down in the swamp in Afghanistan.
According to the statements of American journalists, intellectuals and others, the United States carried out an inside job, the 9/11 attack, to create the reason of assault on Afghanistan. The US has attempted to justify their actions to the world saying that the Taliban are doing the worst to the masses and are involved in terrorism while millions of troops have been sent to Afghanistan with their allies to occupy the golden strategically located country. As I have already stated, Afghanistan is geographically located in a place where almost all Central Asia can be controlled. That is why every country who has ruled India in the past has adopted Afghanistan as a pathway to enter the subcontinent.
Afghanistan’s geographical significance is not possible to deny; but without Pakistan’s cooperation, Afghanistan can never progress, there are many reasons which makes Pakistan very important for Afghanistan’s progress and development. One: is there is no sea port in Afghanistan and its main and most important part of its border is with Pakistan.
Pakistan is directly affected if terrorist activities and uncertain situations erupt in Afghanistan.
As much as a safe and secure Pakistan is important for Afghanistan even more important a safe and secure Afghanistan for Pakistan. In other words Pakistan is as worried about Afghanistan as it is the fifth province of Pakistan. This can tell the importance of Afghanistan for Pakistan. Pakistan utilizes all the world forms for stability in Afghanistan, which could open the path of peace and development in Afghanistan.
But there is a serious problem which is named US, which is not in favor of the creation of peace and prosperity in the Region and not in favor of favorable conditions for Pakistan. But it is taking a keen interest in its promotion of India in the region.
Despite the loss of trillions of dollars and the death of thousands of soldiers the US is not willing to leave Afghanistan. However the United States wants to get rid of Pakistan as such while the US is trying to give India more options in Afghanistan. The US accusation that Pakistan should be considered an ineffective country in the prevention of terrorism is a continuation of the US building pressure by its policies and statements against Pakistan. They do not acknowledge Pakistan’s success in the struggle against terrorism.s
On the 4th of January this year the US President cut the aid to Pakistan’s military while saying that Pakistan is not conducting sufficient action against terrorists in the country.
The United States’s announcement to stop aid, their unilateral military actions and drone strikes supposedly against terrorist in Pakistan increased the tensions in Pak-US relations which was not good already. Other US Senate members, including the US President, issued false statements against Pakistan, but while on the other hand America speaks wanting a stronger and improved relationship with Pakistan. It seemed as if the US is playing a role of both sides of “good cop / bad cop” with Pakistan.
Generally this attitude is taken when the opposition is unaware of your decisions and your mentality. Usually if the opponent will back down in response to your threat, eye to eye contact in real negotiations do not happen equitably. If they are not afraid by your threats toward them then they play a role of good cop and manage the situation with more humble ways. The US did not expect that Pakistan would speak fearlessly, eye to eye, against the policies and statements from US so that some softening of their approach to Pakistan is being adopted.
After the tough stand regarding the threats from the US there is a slight decrease in the stance of the US. The US President has proposed to keep $ 336 million for Pakistan in his annual budget, which seems to have been seen due to Pakistan’s stand and it seems the US President has been forced to revise his announcement.
The budget for 4 billion dollars sent by the White House to the Congress has included $256 million for civilian support of Pakistan and $ 80 million in military support. This aid will be helpful in creating economic stability of Pakistan and opportunities for US investment in Pakistan.
In addition, the US State Department’s Budget Tips 2019 include Pakistan’s economic and military assistance. These unconditional applications have been allocated to the US $ 20.2 million annually for 2018 and 2019 by the Economic Support Funds Development Fund.
This was the role of America in the region. Now I want to show other side of the project. In the past two decades, India has received great support from the United States and Israel in the arms and technology sector. Israel has given more than 200 Caliber 155mm / 39 Ultra Light lightweight cannon.
These cannon are capable of aiming at long distance targets using satellite and radar and that can be easily installed in mountains and rocky area s. They have Laser guided Munitions. India has also installed these cannon on working bonds, installation of guns on working bonds is a violation of international laws which are not permissible while there is not actual warfare between Pakistan and India. That is why Pakistan is demanding that this issue requires diplomatic action in international platforms.
Now the balance of power is shifting. The US is facing defeat despite having become the premier super power.
The US has not yet succeeded in Afghanistan after the loss of trillion dollars and thousands of soldiers after 17 years. The US President has acknowledged that the Taliban control over 70% of Afghanistan’s territory.
Just consider the fact that Pakistan has successfully completed the world’s largest military operation against terrorism, thousands of civilians and soldiers have died in this war and millions of dollars have been expended. All its efforts are being ignored while India sows instability in the region.
This is the current attitude of the United States. International experts say that there was no tougher attitude towards Pakistan before.
In my opinion, CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor) is a reason for American harsh behavior, which can play a key role in changing the affairs of the world, including South Asia. When CPEC is completed successfully Pakistan will become a very important country in the world. This is what is unacceptable for US, Israel and India. CPEC is more beneficial for China then Pakistan, but Pakistan’s benefits, though hard to estimate, will be large.
Let me tell you a very important thing that China’s 94% population lives in South China, whereas 6 percent of its population lives in western China, which is about 55% of China. And western China borders Pakistan. After the completion of CPEC, China’s western part will be able become fully developed. Moreover, after completion of CPEC, China will be able to much cheaper trade relations with Central Asia.
There are many countries which are upset by CPEC but India is most among all. Indian security affairs experts have declared CPEC’s to be the biggest threat to India’s survival. India is not in a position to do anything against CPEC but it is using Afghanistan’s soil to destroy this comprehensive project. India is investing a heavy amount of money in Afghanistan to gain the trust of Afghan authorities. India has inaugurated Salma Dan in Afghanistan while invested $ 300 million in Heart for a Hydro Power Plant. This is India’s highest historical investment in any country.
Apart of this India is construction Chabahar Port in Iran which is just 70 kilometers away from Gwadar Port.
India has been building at the port at Chabahar in Iran since 2003, but due to economic sanctions on Iran last year, the construction work was slow. Now after the end of these restrictions, India has signed a $ 85 million agreement with Iran to build this port in May 2016.
It is also worth considering that, as soon as the port was needed to stop China’s way, the United States agreed to the nuclear weapons deal in weeks and Iran’s old position has been somewhat restored.
China will trade through CPEC and will take measures for its security. Thus, Gwadar’s port will also base ships of the Chinese Navy. While this is the place from which India deals with the Middle Eastern countries for its oil needs, India knows that if a CPEC is completed, China can control this route and cut India’s supply lines. While relations between China and India are tense, India can be placed under economic pressure and China can surround India from two different sides.
This is the short story of super-mastery of this region that has disturbed India and why it is taking steps to make CPEC fail.
For this, India means supporting insurgency in Balochistan , because the CPEC will pass through Balochistan Therefore India is providing everything to the rebels of Balochistan, to strengthen the insurgency. Consequently to destroy CPEC.
CPEC will be the game changer for the Region where its security and success is also a great challenge for Pakistan. Because on one side, you have the security of the longest border with the country of India, which keeps its treasury open for the enemies of Pakistan While on the other border, TTP, ISIS and other terrorists threaten security in Pakistan by using Afghanistan’s side as a base.
As I said earlier, peace in Afghanistan and Pakistan are connected with each other. We can say that Afghanistan is as much important to Pakistan as its fifth province of Pakistan.
(Source / 03.03.2018)