An Unworthy Ally – Time for Washington to Cut Pakistan Loose

By and

er since 9/11, the United States has provided Pakistan with a steady supply of security and nonsecurity assistance. U.S. officials have justified these generous transfers—worth more than $30 billion since 2002—on the grounds that they secure Pakistan’s ongoing cooperation in Afghanistan, bolster Pakistan’s ability to fight terrorism, and give the U.S. government influence over the country’s ever-expanding nuclear weapons program. Failing to deliver this support, the argument runs, could dramatically weaken the will and capacity of Pakistan’s security forces and possibly even lead to the collapse of the Pakistani state. In that event, Pakistan’s nuclear know-how, material, or weapons could well fall into the hands of nefarious actors.

Yet that logic is fundamentally flawed. Many of the weapons Washington gives Islamabad are ill suited to fighting terrorism, and continued transfers will do nothing to convince the Pakistani government to end its long-standing support for terrorist groups. In fact, U.S. assistance gives Pakistan an incentive to foster a sense of insecurity concerning its nuclear arsenal and expanding ranks of jihadists.

Since the current approach has little chance of aligning Pakistan’s interests with those of the United States, the time has come for Washington to change course. If Washington cannot end Pakistan’s noxious behaviors, it should at least stop sponsoring them.

OLD HABITS DIE HARD

Pakistan’s reliance on militant proxies is as old as its very existence as an independent state. As early as 1947, when Pakistan was emerging from the collapse of the British Raj, the new government was backing anti-Indian tribal militias in the disputed territory of Kashmir. In Afghanistan, meanwhile, by 1950, Islamabad was promoting a Pakistan-based Islamist party known as Jamaat-e-Islami. Members of that party would later become prominent mujahideen who, with the backing of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), would go on to fight both Afghanistan’s pro-Soviet leaders and Soviet troops in Afghanistan in the 1970s and 1980s. After 1989, Pakistan redeployed these battle-hardened fighters to Indian Kashmir, where they displaced indigenous secular nationalist insurgents in their battle against Indian rule in the province.

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Russia, China and Pakistan: An Emerging New ‘alliance’?

Russia, China and Pakistan: An Emerging New Axis?

Regional realities are shifting fast, with some significant ramifications for India.

By Joy Mitra

In geopolitics, strategic realities can change with surprising speed, and even before countries realize it decisive shifts occur that shape the future for the years to come. That seems to be the case with traditional Cold War rivals Russia and Pakistan, which have of late seen a gradual warming of ties. Traditionally an ally of India and hitherto supportive of India’s stance on Kashmir, Russia has shown clear signs of cozying up to Pakistan.

Having earlier lifted its self-imposed arms embargo on Pakistan, in November 2014 Russia signed a landmark“military cooperation” agreement with Pakistan, which spoke about “exchanging information on politico-military issues, strengthening collaboration in the defense and counter-terrorism sectors, sharing similar views on developments in Afghanistan and doing business with each other.” There have been reports that Pakistan may purchase Mi-35 combat helicopters apart from directly importing the Klimov RD-93 engines from Russiarather than via China for its JF-17 multi-role fighters. This could also mean a significant role for Russian equipment and spares in future development of the fighter. In addition, Russian state-owned firm Rostekh Corporation is planning to build a 680 mile gas pipeline in Pakistan in 2017 at an estimated cost of $2.5 billion.

The mutual overtures between Russia and Pakistan are part of a greater shift in international relations. In Europe, Russia is embroiled in a showdown with the West over Ukraine, with Moscow’s military adventure in Crimea being followed by Western sanctions. In the Asia-Pacific, China’s encroachments in the South China Seahas inflamed tensions with other Asia-Pacific countries allied with the U.S. These developments have forced Russia and China to look for allies, which explains the bonhomie between the two powers of late. Some analysts question whether a partnership motivated by external factors could lead to an alliance of countries that formerly distrusted each other. But the old adage “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” fits perfectly well here; the single most important factor that overrides all others is their concurrent perception of the U.S. and its “policy of containment” towards them. China needs allies to change the world order and it begins with Asia.

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Pak-China to cooperate in space as part of Karamay declaration

By APP

PESHAWAR: The Chinese government has agreed to a proposal by the Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, initiating the collaboration between Pakistan and China in space technology as part of the Karamay declaration under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

At the Pakistan-China forum meeting held in Karamay-Xinjiang last week, Ahsan Iqbal, proposed space technology collaboration between China and Pakistan, an official of the forum told APP.

His proposal was approved and made a part of the Karamay-Xinjiang Declaration. The declaration was later approved unanimously after the two-day meeting.

At the concluding session, Ahsan Iqbal said that bilateral collaboration on space technology would take Pakistan-China relations to new heights. He stressed upon a joint launch of space missions which would consist of astronauts from both countries.

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Clash reported between Afghan and Pakistan forces along Durand Line

By KHAAMA PRESS

A member of the Afghan Border Police was martyred following heavy clashes have been reported between the Afghan and Pakistani security forces along the Durand Line on Sunday afternoon.

The incident took place around 2:00 pm local time after the Pakistani security forces launched an attack on the Afghan Border Police and Afghan National Police outposts in Nari district of eastern Kunar province.

Provincial police chief Gen. Abdul Habib Syed Khel confirmed that a member of the Afghan Border Police lost his life during the gun battle.

A local official earlier said the Pakistani forces used heavy and lights weapons to target the Afghan security forces.

This comes as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned Pakistan’s ambassador in Kabul last month to protest against border violation and cross-border shelling.

According to the Ministry of Interior, the Pakistani soldiers were trying to establish military installations inside the Afghan territory in Angor Ada area in Barmal District of Paktika province when the skirmish took place.

News courtesy: Khaama Press
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Modi steps into Pakistan-UAE breach

BY JAWED NAQVI

NEW DELHI: Has Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stepped into the recent breach between Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates over Islamabad’s refusal to actively join the Yemen war against the Houthi fighters?

Indian media was clear that Mr Modi, on the last day of a two-day visit to Abu Dhabi and Dubai on Monday, made veiled but unmistakable references to Pakistan, particularly in the context of terrorism, during a large public address to the Indian community.

“I am sure those that are being discussed here know it’s about them,” he said at the Dubai cricket stadium to loud applause. A joint statement between the two countries has a few pointers to the implicit Pakistan angle.

He mentioned every South Asian country, from Afghanistan to Bangladesh, as a partner in India’s progress, saying: “Those who do not wish to join us can choose their own destiny.”

The first prime ministerial visit from India “after 34 years marks the beginning of a new and comprehensive strategic partnership between India and UAE in a world of multiple transitions and changing opportunities and challenges,” the statement said.

The joint statement spoke of an extensive framework of agreements, including economic, defence, security, law enforcement, culture, consular and people-to-people contacts constitute solid bedrock for elevating bilateral cooperation across the full spectrum of our relationship.

“The two nations reject extremism and any link between religion and terrorism. They condemn efforts, including by states, to use religion to justify, support and sponsor terrorism against other countries,” the statement said. “They also deplore efforts by countries to give religious and sectarian colour to political issues and disputes, including in West and South Asia, and use terrorism to pursue their aims.” Only in April this year, as Pakistani lawmakers called for the government to remain neutral in the crisis in Yemen, they evoked a strong response from the United Arab Emirates.

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Evolving Political World and Tragedy of Azad Kashmir

Nayyar1By Nayyar N Khan

Part 1: Historical background

Beginning of cold war, formation of the United Nations, decolonization on a mammoth scale and escalation in national liberation movements across the globe were some of the major achievements of post-World War II. Our political world entered into a new phase of history in the mid-1940s after the upheavals of Hiroshima and Naga Saki. Process of decolonization in Indian sub-continent was also a reverberation of the revulsions and rumbles of WWII. There was no single process of decolonization. In some parts of the world, it was serene, and methodical. In many others, independence was achieved only after a long-drawn-out uprising because of the competitive political ideologies of Socialism and Capitalism. Both Soviet Union and United States headed their respective camps and our political world got divided on ideological eminences. A wave of national liberation movements across the continents toppled and dethroned the colonialism. Many of the newly independent countries assimilated stable governments almost immediately; others were ruled by authoritarians or military juntas for decades, or suffered long civil wars. Some European governments welcomed a new relationship with their former colonies; others disputed decolonization regimentally. The process of decolonization coincided with the new Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, and with the early development of the new United Nations. Decolonization was often affected by superpower antagonism, and had a certain sway on the progress of that rivalry. It also ominously changed the configuration of international relations.

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