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Global Power Dynamics and Pakistan’s Foreign Policy

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19th century has witnessed a multipolar order of the world, where, European powers were dominating world affairs. England, France, Germany, Russia, etc, had a powerful military and exceedingly growing economy. Due to the imperialistic approach of European powers, most of the world was under their control. Intense colonization by European regimes led to World War I, which resulted in the decline of the Ottoman Empire. Britishers conspired with the help of their allies to dissipate the Caliphate of the Ottoman Empire. The European powers ruled over the world until World War II.  After the bloody war, the world had shifted to bipolarity in which, the United States and Russia emerged as the new superpowers. The superiority of American and Russian technological warfare equipment played a great role in creating a hegemonic role for them. Thus, began the era of the cold war that has devastated the world for almost five decades. New states emerged after the decolonization by war-torn European powers. The economies of European powers were destroyed in the war, and they were unable to hold on to their colonized regions, thus, they started the process of decolonization. Both Russia and America tried their level best to make alliances with the newly independent states to strengthen their dominancy. The cold war era wrecked the peace of the world, as we have seen various wars, in which, both superpowers were directly or indirectly involved. Nuclear proliferation surged, where, both superpowers competed to gain superiority on the number of nuclear weapons. The defeat of Russia in Afghanistan was the cornerstone of the discontinuation of the cold war. After the disintegration of the USSR, America gained full superiority over world affairs. The dissolution of the USSR paved the way for unipolarity, in which America has become the sole superpower.

The 21st century is being seen as the decline of the unipolar world and the rise of a new world order. The economical development of China and the blunders did by the USA, have weakened the foundation of unipolarity. The irresponsible actions of the US, like the Iraq war, have forced the world to look for better options.

Since independence, Pakistan has been struggling in maintaining a balanced relationship between the west and the emerging Asian powers. It has been, however, a difficult task for the past governments to devise independent foreign policy due to its security and economic conditions. Due to bad and corrupt governance by the previous political leaders, Pakistan is facing economic turbulence, which the international lobbies used to gain mastery over Pakistan.

As a member of the United Nations, Pakistan respects all the sovereign states and has not intended to involve in the domestic affairs of a state, until or unless it harms the sovereignty and security of Pakistan. The constitution of Pakistan has directed to uphold basic human rights, as also mentioned in the UN charter. Pakistan has always invited its rival counterparts for diplomatic solutions to avoid any unnecessary confrontations.

So far, Pakistan has been successful in maintaining a positive relationship with the west due to its geo-strategic location. Although there is a trust deficit between Pakistan and the west and both blame each other for duplicity, but, both are also working continuously in collaboration, against the threat of terrorism. Also, Pakistan has been given the role of mediator in the Afghan peace process by America, which is a positive sign of relationship.

Pakistan’s foreign policy has changed over time due to the shift in the global order. The rise of China and Pakistan’s partnership in CPEC irritated the western powers. China is emerging as an economic and military power in the world stage, which the USA perceives as a threat for its dominancy. China and the USA are currently in a confrontation course of the trade war, and Pakistan is playing neutrality because it cannot afford to face any conflict with the USA. Pakistan has historic and strategic military ties with the USA, and still, Pakistan remained an essential military intelligence partner with the USA, in the war against terrorism. On the other hand, China has an economical partnership with Pakistan. Both countries are indulged in strengthening economical ties via various projects. CPEC is an invaluable project in developing a hardcore binding between both countries. Pakistan has been exhausted due to war on terrorism, as this war has cost billions of dollars to the economy, and worse, thousands of precious lives were lost amid the war. Due to those circumstances, Pakistan restructured its foreign policy to enhance economic prosperity rather than engage in military conflicts. The incumbent government of Pakistan conveyed the message to the world that it will not become a part of any war, but rather emphasize on diplomatic solutions. Pak-China friendship is historic, as both countries have strong economic and military ties with each other. China has always supported Pakistan’s stand on the Kashmir issue and also helped Pakistan in the FATF situation. Pakistan has suffered huge losses due to its partnership with the West, but now, with the collaboration of Asian powers, Pakistan is moving towards peace and prosperity. The foreign policy of the current government is more independent, and it is to strengthen the economic development of the country, with the help of China and other Asian states.

Pak-India rivalry is significant and crucial for the peace and prosperity of the subcontinent. Both countries fought various wars in the past, and now both are equipped with nuclear arsenals. India has been lobbying against Pakistan to defame it internationally. The strong ties of India with Afghanistan have caused significant problems for Pakistan. India has invested heavily in Afghanistan to lure the Afghan government to work against Pakistan. Due to Afghan-Russia and Afghan-USA wars, millions of refugees migrated to Pakistan to seek safer grounds. India and Afghan governments are using their agents to create hatred among migrant Afghans, towards Pakistan, to create insurgencies and anarchy. India is using the Afghan border to create problems for the security of Pakistan. The peace in Afghanistan is inevitable for the security of Pakistan, and to achieve that, the PTI government is mediating to execute a peace treaty in Afghanistan to pave the way for the USA and NATO to withdraw their troops’ with tranquility.

Pakistan has adopted a clear stance towards the middle east crisis. Saudi-Iran tussle has brought havoc to the peace of the region. Both countries are struggling to acquire a hegemonic role in the middle east. Many scholars argue that this tussle seems to be ideological or sectarian, but, in reality, both countries want to get control over middle east politics. Saudi Arabia and Iran misled their public in the name of religion or more appropriately, through sectarianism. Pakistan adopted the policy to remain neutral in this conflict, since, Pakistan is the home of two Wahabi and Shiite sects, and Pakistan doesn’t want to trigger another sectarian violence in the country. Same is the case with Yemen when Saudi Arabia requested Pakistan to send troops to help overcome Houthi rebels in Yemen, Pakistan categorically denied being a part of Yemen war. Pakistan has learned from its past mistakes of not to be a part of any third-party war.

Pakistan has a clear position on the Palestine issue, as the former is the only country in the world that banned its citizens from visiting Israel. Pakistan discerns Israel as the biggest enemy for the Muslim world. Pakistan supported Muslim countries against the tyranny of Israel in Palestine. Pakistan’s policy is to support Palestine on all the forums of the world. Like Kashmir, Pakistan demands a right of self-determination for Palestine against the Zionists.

Russia has once again emerged as a major Asian power. Russia regained its lost military and economic strength to afresh its might. Russia is collaborating with its neighboring Asian powers like China and India to create influence over world politics. Russia wants to get access to the Indian ocean for its trade, and Pakistan has invited Russia to be a part of its CPEC project. Due to the inconsistency in the relationship of Pakistan with the West, the incumbent government of Pakistan is focusing on strengthening its ties with other emerging powers. It seems like China, Russia, and Pakistan will combine resources to build a regional economic zone.

Nuclear proliferation is seen as a threat to the existence of humanity. World powers are engaged in extensive development of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Pakistan developed nuclear weapons for deterrence against a permanent threat of India. Pakistan perceives India’s nuclear arsenals as a threat to regional security. Pakistan hasn’t adopted the No First Use policy but it has no intention to use nuclear weapons against its rivals as a preemptive measure. Pakistan clearly stated that it will use nuclear weapons only in the case of a threat to its sovereignty or security.

Kashmir issue is the centerpiece of all the disharmony, distrust, conflicts, and discords between Pakistan and India. Both countries have been in a continuous confrontation course to acquire control over the Kashmir region. Kashmir has paramount importance for Pakistan because the majority of the rivers pass through the Kashmir region. Since the revoke of 370 and annexation of Kashmir with India, Pakistan has adopted the stance of self-determination for Kashmir. Pakistan raised its voice for the support of Kashmir on all the forums of the world. Pakistan has highlighted the atrocities that the fascist Indian government is executing on the Kashmiri Muslims.

Pakistan is facing a tremendous amount of challenges in shaping a balanced foreign policy due to economic and security challenges. The current government of Pakistan has made some progress in changing the perception of Pakistan on International forums via a productive policy approach. Pakistan is tackling all the challenges to a considerable extent.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Ali

    May 20, 2020 at 5:34 pm

  2. Ghuffran Ali Relay

    July 2, 2020 at 2:56 am

    Pakistan has always acted as an observer and a very bit influencer over kashmir issue. No matter ho hard we try to scream over kashmir, the world has always been and would remain stubborn to the India’s narrative. India has a strong influential hegemony all across the world and we should accept it that we can do nothing for kashmir, neither we can get the attention of international powers to interfere nor a limited military action across borders….

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Huge Blast In Beirut Killed 10 People and Injured Hundreds [Watch Live Video] (Updates)

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UPDATE (Wednesday): 

A bomb blast near the Lebanese capital, Beirut, has killed at least 78 people and injured more than 4,000. The Red Cross fears the death toll could rise sharply.

According to the international news agency, Lebanese Health Minister Hamad Hassan said that a great tragedy has taken place in Beirut. The death toll could rise many times over. At present, all the hospitals in the city are full of injured.

According to the local news agency, the blast took place in a warehouse where the confiscated explosives were kept. Lebanon’s interior minister says a preliminary investigation has revealed that the warehouse contained sodium nitrate seized from a ship a year ago and was to be disposed of. The blast was heard several kilometers away, and buildings shook in the distance.

Tuesday:

A blast near the Lebanese capital, Beirut, has killed at least 10 people and injured hundreds, while hundreds of buildings and vehicles have been destroyed.

According to the International News Agency, a horrific explosion took place in the port area of ​​Beirut around 6 pm local time on Tuesday, as a result of which the surrounding areas shook and buildings and vehicles in different parts of the city were destroyed. According to the British News Agency, the destroyed buildings include the house of former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

According to the local news agency, the blast was caused by a fire in the warehouse of firecrackers, however, this claim has been denied at the official level. The blast was heard several kilometers away, and buildings shook in the distance. However, no details have been released about the cause and severity of the blast at the official level.

Earlier, Lebanese Health Minister Hamad Hassan confirmed that hundreds of people had been injured in the blast. In addition, photos and videos taken from nearby buildings at the site of the blast show the devastation caused by the magnitude of the blast and the smoke billowing into the surroundings.

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TikTok has been Given a Deadline to Reach an Agreement

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The importance of TikTok is growing worldwide, which is why the American IT company Microsoft is also preparing for an agreement with Tiktok management. But US President Donald Trump has announced on July 31 that the Chinese mobile app Tiktok will be shut down in the country. They have announced a ban on the app under an executive order within a week.

After which IT company Microsoft gave Tiktok management 45 days to negotiate the agreement. Prior to the deal, Microsoft had hinted that it wanted to buy the Tiktok app in the United States.

The US security agency suspects that China is spying on people with this app and get access to users’ data after they install it on mobile phones, which is a threat to national security.

TikTok’s proprietary company, ByteDance, has said it does not share US consumer data with the Chinese government, but that the data is stored in the United States and Singapore.

Microsoft says it believes in looking closely at national security issues and protecting US economic interests in the process of buying Tiktok.

ByteDance said in a statement that the company is exploring all possibilities to continue streaming in the United States. In a memo, the company’s chief executive officer in Beijing, Zhang Yiming, said his team is working 24 hours a day to make the best results possible.

In the memo, Zhang said the current geopolitics and public opinion climate is becoming more complex. We have always fully protected our customers’ data.

On the other hand, US officials say that such assurances are meaningless because companies in China have no choice but to obey the Communist Party of China.

Tiktok is used all over the world, including the United States, which has been downloaded by 2 billion people, according to the statistics released so far, of which it has been downloaded more than 160 million times in the United States.

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CPEC & Chabahar Paving the Way for China’s Supremacy in the Region

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The Cold War between the United States and China is still going on and it will go on for a long time until one wins. This war is to gain a hegemonic role in the region as well as in economic superiority. China is rapidly becoming an economic challenge to the United States, and its extraordinary growth has forced the United States to impose economic sanctions on China.

This annoyance of the United States is also an announcement of its undeclared defeat. In such a situation, it was inevitable for China to retaliate, which it did. The US president then made derogatory remarks against China itself. In response, the Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a “shut-up call” to the United States. The United States has banned Chinese technology company Huawei. It made it almost impossible for China to access 5G technology, but the frustration of the US increased when China made it clear to them that it had completed work on 5G technology with its own resources, and the shock of the ban on Huawei could easily be endured. Huawei has also begun to gain a foothold in Asian markets outside of US markets by improving its technology, while a report suggests that Huawei could also benefit from European markets.

ALSO READ: Global Power Dynamics and Pakistan’s Foreign Policy

According to US experts, Trump’s poor policies have widened the gap between China and the United States, which does not appear to be closing in the near future. According to them, the United States should have given China a tough time, to improve its trade, to go to more markets, to improve the situation in Africa, and convert it into a market as well. But imposing sanctions in this way will send a message to the world about the weakness of the United States system.

A large segment of the world still believes that the Coronavirus is a product of the US-China war, which is taking its toll on the world. It can be true but what is reality? Its secret will be revealed only after many years. At the moment, the situation is such that China has become a challenge for the United States in the region. The US thought that if it supports India both economically and militarily, it would give China a tough time. But here American research and calculations proved wrong. India could not give China a tough time in any field despite the support of the United States, on the contrary, it began to be alone in the region. A recent example of this is the major developments in Iran, where Iran has sidelined India and started making trade agreements with China.

ALSO READ: China-Iran Strategic Agreement & its impact on the Changing Geopolitical Alliances

According to a recent agreement, China will invest $400 billion in Iran over the next 25 years. Estimate how big this amount is when in 2018, our government needed only $6 billion to avoid default and run the country. The volume of CPEC of Pakistan and China is currently about $65 billion. Chabahar is almost 80 km from Gwadar. It is also a deep water port. Shortly after Pakistan and China launched CPEC, India announced work with Iran on the Chabahar port. India’s real intention was to sit here and promote proxy war in Pakistan and destabilize Pakistan. An example of this is the arrest of Kulbhushan Yadav and his revelations.

Iran was also in the anti-Pakistan camp because of India and its territory was also used against Pakistan. India’s sole purpose in this whole scenario was to use Chabahar to harm Pakistan and CPEC. While this situation was unacceptable for Pakistan, it was also unacceptable for China and that is why after a few years of hard work and backdoor diplomacy, Iran has now shaken hands with China and on the other hand, it has sidelined India from Chabahar projects.

ALSO READ: The Reality of ‘Shining India’ & Genocide of Muslims

According to Iran, India’s plan was to increase tensions for Pakistan from Chabahar. India was only talking verbally while Iran was spending money. Investment is a difficult task for Iran, which is mired in global sanctions. Therefore, keeping in view the situation, Iran has sidelined India and preferred friendship with China. Due to this situation, the Modi government in India is also being severely criticized that India has spoiled relations with its neighbors at the behest of America, while America has a history of not being anyone’s friend and it uses countries for its own purposes regardless of color, race, religion.

Recently, Iran’s ambassador to Pakistan has sharply criticized India without naming it. He said that when a country is reluctant to maintain relations with Iran and needs the permission of other countries for its normal relations, it is clear that it is not capable of long-term planning and implementation. He made the statement in view of the lack of seriousness of India’s Chahbahar to Zahedan rail project, in which India has been making statements, but in practice, it has done nothing.

ALSO READ: China’s Economic Revolution & World Power Politics

It is also clear that a new alliance is being formed in the region comprising China, Turkey, and Russia, which will include key countries in the region, including Malaysia. Pakistan is naturally present in this alliance because of Turkey and China and now Iran’s participation will further strengthen this alliance. However, due to US conspiracies, relations between Pakistan and Iran have not been good for a long time. Pakistan and Iran have been in separate camps since the Soviet war. Pakistan’s relations with Arab countries have also played a role in spoiling relations with its neighbors and on the other hand, the proxy war has left no stone unturned. The two countries have a long history of suffering, but now that China is investing heavily in Pakistan and Iran, so it is time for the two countries to mend their diplomatic and trade ties.

On the one hand, Pakistan can benefit from Chabahar, while Iran can also benefit from Gwadar and CPEC. India’s influence is also disappearing from Iran, so now Pakistan will also deal with Iran in different ways. As far as Saudi-Iranian relations are concerned, this ideological Cold War began after the Rightly Guided Caliphs, and will probably continue in the future. Therefore, the two countries must accept each other, respect each other’s religious views and, most importantly, get out of the abyss.

ALSO READ: How ‘Wuhan Model’ can help in Overcoming COVID-19 Devastation?

China is a strategic partner for Pakistan but on the other hand, it needs to be made with the United States as well. Iran is Pakistan’s neighbor and on the other hand, Pakistan has to maintain relations with Saudi Arabia. It is a double-edged sword in diplomacy that is extremely difficult to wield. But if Pakistan learns to wield this sword successfully and if we learn to balance relations, it will be a great achievement not only for Pakistan but for the region.

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