Pakistan should continue its diplomatic engagement with US

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Mohammed Arifeen

The US alliance with India has substantial negative indication for Pakistan’s security. The US has opened all military and technology doors to India, and encouraged Israel and other allies to do so as well. India has been the world’s largest arms importer. Sixty six percent of which are deployed against Pakistan. US military and political support encourages India in its belligerent behaviour towards Pakistan. Pakistan suffers great damage from the US arming of India against China. The US has imposed severe restrictions on Pakistan’s acquisition of advanced and dual-use technologies and weapons systems from the US or allied sources. Pressure has even been exerted on China not to transfer advanced weaponry and technologies to Pakistan. The confirmation of the Indo-US alliance comes at a time when Pakistan’s has limited concurrence with the US on Afghanistan. US conveyed to the Indians that the US has given up on Pakistan’s cooperation to stabilize Afghanistan, and wants India to play a larger role there. US appear to be encouraging closer ties between India and the GCC states, especially Saudi Arabia. India’s close relations with Iran and US-Iranian cooperation against the militant Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, collaboration between the US, India and Iran to ‘stabilize’ Afghanistan cannot be ruled out. In this context Pakistan must give diplomatic response to these adverse developments. India’s treatment of Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh should be a lesson against acceptance of Indian authority.
A large Indian surprise attack projected by the Cold Start doctrine, Pakistan can increase its short-range, conventional missile capabilities. Air defence can also be best assured by anti-aircraft and ballistic missile defence systems. On the sea, Pakistan cannot afford expensive aircraft carriers; its defence will have to rely on submarines, large numbers of fast missile boats, and anti-submarine warfare capabilities. Pakistan needs to continue to accelerate its short, medium and long-range missile capabilities. Ultimately, the deployment of nuclear submarine-based missiles offers the most second strike option. Pakistan also needs to do much more to enhance military and diplomatic cooperation with Russia. Pakistan should be clear that there should be no Indian military presence or use of Afghan territory for subversion against Pakistan. Promoting an understanding with Iran is essential. Pakistan and Iran should normalize their respective parts of Baluchistan and stabilize Afghanistan. Reviving a close relationship with Saudi Arabia will restrain Indian penetration in the Gulf. Pakistan should continue its diplomatic engagement with the US, although there will be rough times ahead in the relationship.
Pakistan cooperation is vital to ensure regional stability in south and west Asia, to prevent nuclear non-proliferation, and to defeat global terrorism. India-Israel nexus is a big threat to Pakistan and the US should play its role in balancing the situation for the sake of peace in the region. Pakistan’s enemies are colluding against the country after China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and Gwadar projects. They want to destabilize the country, already facing political instability. Since United States was important ally to Pakistan there is a need not only continuing relations with US but also establishing deep bond of friendship with US. Pakistan should promote mutual contacts with US keeping in view of country’s interest. Pakistan has deep and long partnership with US, which needs to be strengthened at all, levels between both the countries. Pakistan has sacrificed a lot in war on terror.
India-Israel ties are increasingly focused on Israel’s efforts to tip the balance of power in the region in favour of India, especially against Pakistan. Israel is now the second biggest defence equipment supplier to India, supplying 41 percent of its foreign purchases during 2012-2016 according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). India and Israel share an enmity with Muslims, despite India and Israel being home to proportionately large Muslim populations. It was not surprising, therefore, to see the Israeli prime minister facing protests not just from Muslims of India but also from liberals who see the Zionist state as an embodiment of usurpation of lands and repression of local populations (Kashmiris and Palestinians). Both countries face anti-state struggles for the right for self-determination and against the occupation of their territories for more than half a century. India especially would like to learn the techniques of repression Israel has employed against Palestinians, to stop the Kashmiri movement for freedom. India especially would like to learn the techniques of repression Israel has employed against Palestinians, to quell the Kashmiri movement for freedom. Israel supplied arms to India during the 1962 Sino-India war and the 1965 India-Pakistan war. Declassified American documents show that soon after Israel destroyed Iraq’s French built (under construction) Soiree nuclear plant in June 1981, India and Israel were developing plans to destroy Pakistan’s nuclear facilities. However, things were particularly heated in May 1990, when Pakistan detected an imminent strike on its nuclear facilities by India in connivance with Israel. But this was stop by Pakistan by sending and warning to India of a pre-emptive or counter-strike on Indian facilities. Israel provided crucial support to India during the Kargil War. India Today, in its issue of 5 July 2017 writes: “The Indian air force came across various problems while providing air support to ground troops including ‘inaccurate unguided missiles and limited sight of the Pakistani bunkers’. They even had orders not to cross the LoC under any circumstances. At this time, Israel provided laser-guided missiles for IAF Mirage 2000H fighters. With the regional balance in favour of India and friendship in the name of democracy when both are carrying out the most violations of human rights and repression of disenfranchised minorities. These developments are taking place at a time when the Middle East is burning and strange alliances are taking place in the Islamic world, like the unannounced Saudi alliance with Israel, against Iran and the proxy war being fought in Yemen. Pakistan can neither afford to ignore the exceptional Israel-India ties, nor can it disregard its geopolitical imperative of having a long border and historical brotherly ties with Iran. The support of the US in cementing Saudi-Israel alliance, on the one side, and Indian-Israel alliance, on the other, has to be taken into account. Underlining the close proximity of Indian-Israel lobbies in Washington, Arab countries be impressed how grievously Pakistan’s strategic interests are compromised by this Alliance.
“National interest shall be kept at premium while cooperating with all other stakeholders for regional peace and stability,” the corps commanders resolved at their monthly meeting chaired by Army Chief Gen Qamars Bajwa at the General Headquarters. The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement that the meeting reviewed the “geo-strategic and security environment” in the context of US policy towards the region. The three key messages conveyed by the Centcom chief, during the initial communication, were that the problems in ties were temporary; there would be no unilateral action against Pakistan, and that the US did not want a disruption in ties rather it wanted cooperation from Islamabad on areas of its concern. The message from the corps commanders meeting, therefore, looks to be designed in a way to dismiss any misgivings about the engagement being conducted with the US. The United States has urged the need for continued dialogue between Pakistan and Afghanistan. At a press briefing at the US State Department, US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan said during his recent visit to Kabul, the two sides focused on relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan and the need for continued bilateral discussion between them. He said the United States must continue to have its bilateral relationship with Pakistan. To a question, the US Deputy Secretary of State said Washington will continue to put pressure on Taliban to bring them to the negotiating table where the ultimate resolution will be through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process. He said the Afghan leadership assured him that despite the recent terrorist attacks, the Afghan government will continue to work to create necessary conditions to bring the Taliban to the negotiation table and establish an environment for a sustained peace.

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