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Pakistan’s foreign policy on Afghan front has achieved real success. Times of India report


By: RUPEENEWS

Success has many fathters, failure is an orphan. The Times of India in a well written article analyzies the defeat of Bharati dimplomacy on three fronts.

  1. Pakistan has thwarted Bharat’s offensive on Mumbai by creating a moral equivalency in Balauchistan–which has been accepted by the West. Most Western coutnries now accept the Paksitani position of Bharati inerference in Pakistan. ow could they not, the Bharati Prime Minsiter has accepted it.
  2. Pakistan has checkmated Bharati policies in Afghanstan–with the US requesting Bharat to close down its “consulates” along the Durand Line in Afghanistan.
  3. Pakistan has effectively destroyed the TTP in Swat restoring the image of the ISI.

The Times of India and Shobhan Saxena have it only partially correct. Its not abou Paksitan cunning or Bharati ineptitude. Its about bad policy. As always its about the “economy stupid”. The Bharati foreign policy was a house of cards built on false premises and nonsensical Bharat Verma type of thinking. The house of cards didn’t fall at Sharam El Sheikh. The Bharati policy in Afghanistan was built on a wish, and executed on a prayer. By wasting $1 Billion in Afghanistan, Bharat not only antogonized the Afghans, the Pakistanis, and the Chinese, it also upset Russia. Eventually, the Americans grew tired of Bharati policies and abandoned the land of the Ganges. The latest drone strike on the Bharati funded and armed band of murderers in Waziristan was the final nail in the coffin for the Bharati foreign office.

Blame it on bad excuses. South Block’s best explanation for the Sharm el-Sheikh “blunder” was bad drafting. That means the poor language skills of some of our top diplomats led India to make two huge concessions to Pakistan. But “bad drafting” was not the full story, namelt that the Indians weren’t really that careless; the Pakistanis were more cunning.

Balochistan was included in the document because the Pakistani team had carefully planned it that way. Sources say that Pakistan’s foreign secretary Salman Bashir played a key role in exerting pressure on India to include Balochistan in the statement Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signed with his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani. Bashir is said to have chalked out the “Sharm el-Sheikh plan” in the Prime Minister House. Gilani, officers from the Pakistan Army headquarters and interior ministry officials were present. It was so meticulously planned that senior Pakistani journalists reversed their decision not to travel with the delegation to Egypt. The hacks, it’s said, knew that Gilani and Bashir were “going to do something spectacular in Egypt.”

Hamid Mir, executive editor of the Islamabad-based Geo TV, was in Sharm el-Sheikh. He says, “Salman Bashir told Menon on July 14 not to link India-Pakistan talks with terrorism. He told Menon, ‘If you make noise on the Mumbai attacks, we will have no other choice than to expose the Indian role in Balochistan through Afghanistan and it will create problems for Afghanistan, NATO and also for US’.’’ The next day Gilani put two opposition MPs, who were part of the delegation, before the Indian Prime Minister. “They actually told Manmohan Singh that ‘we, the opposition, are with our government on the issues of Kashmir and Balochistan’,” says Mir. It was a carefully planned move to show that there were no fissures within the Pakistani establishment on this crucial matter.

The whole affair is thought to underline the hard work Pakistan is putting in on three fronts – the West, India and China. The team that’s doing the bold thinking and heavy lifting is a mix of hawks and doves:

  • l Prime minister Gilani
  • l Foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi
  • l Minister of state Malik Amad Khan
  • l Foreign secretary Salman Bashir
  • l ISI chief Lt Gen Shuja Pasha

Qureshi, whom Pakistan considers a dove, was not at Sharm el-Sheikh. “Qureshi is close to President Zardari who is also seen as soft towards India. So, it’s not surprising that Malik Amad went to Sharm el-Sheikh. He is 36, a former army officer from the Armoured Corps Regiment and an expert on military-strategic affairs,” says a source in Islamabad. “He is also considered close to the GHQ because of his background.”

Qureshi, meanwhile, has been focusing on taking the “all-weather friendship” with China to a new level. In October 2008, he chose China to make his first trip abroad as foreign minister. He went with the President but is thought to have worked overtime to make the visit a major success. The two countries signed agreements for a major cash infusion from China, arms sales and energy assistance. There were also moves on a possible civilian nuclear pact similar to the Indo-US nuclear deal. “Before leaving Beijing, Zardari called China the ‘future of the world’ and promised to return there every three months. It was all Qureshi’s work,” says an observer in Lahore.

Qureshi is said to work closely with Bashir on China. Bashir was Pakistan’s ambassador in Beijing before becoming foreign secretary. Meanwhile, it’s on the India front that General Pasha and his men play a key role. Insiders say that Pakistan’s defence and foreign policies are deeply entwined when it comes to India. The India desk at the ISI office has the final say on bilateral matters, in collaboration with GHQ. Policy briefs are reportedly directly conveyed to the President’s House and to the foreign secretary.

Bashir, whose younger brother Admiral Noman Bashir heads the Pakistan Navy, is often the pointsman and is thought to have been fairly successful at engaging the Americans and Chinese on the Balochistan issue. Mir says that “Americans want to open a consulate in Quetta and maybe some bases as well. They need it to coordinate with their forces in south Afghanistan.”

Indeed, it’s on the Afghan front that Pakistan’s foreign policy honchos have achieved real success. The Pakistani army’s successful campaign against the Taliban in Swat valley seems to have not only destroyed the militants’ bases, but restored the ISI’s tarnished image somewhat.The Great Game continues. Who’s playing Pakistan’s shadowy Great Game? Shobhan Saxena, TNN 9 August 2009, 12:18am IST

While Mr. Saxena is brilliant in his analysis, however he focuses too much on the tactics in Egypt. He like most Indians are unable to see the holistic picture. The world around them has changed dramatically. The Obama Administration, the economic crisis, the fact that China holds $1 Tritllion in US T-Bonds, the Indo-Iranian drift, the return of Russia to Central Asia, the Chinese interest in SCO, the Russian-Pakistani entente, the Chinese issues in Ughuyistan and Tibet, and the rising tensions in South Tibet (Chinese occupied territory called Arunchal Pradesh by Bharat) are factors that have changed the dynamics of the region.

America and Europe want an exit strategy from Afghanistan  and Bharat has been unable to deliver them peace in Afghanistan. Iran is peeved at Bharat firstly for not going along with the IPI pipeline, but more importantly it is more than angry with Delhi for stabbing it in the back at the IAEA. Tehran is furious at Delhi for launching Iran-specific satellites for Israel. The Mullah in Iran are furious at Delhi for allowing Mossad to support the Jundallah at Indian training camps in Afghanistan. With the Tehran-Delhi relationship going up in smoke, the land route from Chahbahar to Kabul is in shambles. The Afghan Ring Road and the portion that Delhi built is unusable, in disrepair and returning to dust.

The condition of the Indian built road is emblematic of the Bharati policy in Afghanistan. Its bad policies in supporting the wrong horses led to its expulsion from Kabul for a decade. Today the Obama Administration is desperate for a peace deal in Afghanistan. Its bluster is but a way to hide the Exit strategy. The US does not have an additional 100,000 soldiers to spare for war in the Hindukush. Without the support of the Pakistanis it cannot end the war in 2011. The latest polls show that the American public is tired of the war in Afghanistan. The catastrophe in Iraq is having an affect on what was considered the “good war”. Now more than 44% oppose the war in Afghanistan. With a bankrupt economy, Chinese pressure to vacate the neighborhood, the British leaving in 2011, and an election looming in 2012, the Obama Administration is surely looking for ways to leave the graveyard of empires.

The war in Afghanistan has exacerbated the conditions beyond the Amy Darya in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and the other Central Asian republics. This riles Russia. Prime Minister Putin has reached out to Pakistan and is building a rail and road network connecting Tajikistan to Karachi. China is linking its Western states to Eastern Afghanistan, Eastern Tajikistan and Northern Pakistan.

Bharat faces issues on many fronts. It has to set its own house in order, and learn to make peace with all her neighbors. Unless Bharat resolves her boundary disputes with Pakistan, China, Nepal, Myanmar, Lanka, and Nepal it wil continue to be bogged down in the weeds. If Bharat wants to rise as a power, it needs the support of her neighbors. To get support of its neighbors, it needs to make some tough decisions on Kashmir (Chenab solution). Delhi needs to accommodate the Chinese in  South Tibet. It needs to end the bogey of Tibet and forget about Aksai Chin. Aksai Chin was resolved by Pakistan and China in favor of China. 500 Square miles of Pakistani territory bought unending rewards to Pakistan and helped the Chinese integrate Tibet into the mainland. Bharat needs to end its interference in Lanka and Nepal and quit thinking of Bangladesh as its hinterland. It needs to solve Assam and liberate the 450 million Dalits by giving them proportional representation in parliament. Bharat needs to rethink separate electorates for the Untouchables so that they can feel part of the country. Bharat needs to end tokenism and unleash the creativity of the Indian Muslims. To do this, it needs to liberate Kashmir, and give Indian Muslims separate electorate so that they can represent their own representatives. All this requires bold and innovative politics. Is Bharat up the challenge?

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  1. neel123
    August 11, 2009 at 1:33 am

    There is no secret about the fact that India will always support demand for liberation of the Baloch people.

    And the day is not far when the Americans and the British will also do the same.

    And Russia will never have a problem with that.

  2. agaahipk
    August 11, 2009 at 11:20 am

    keep on dreaming !!
    x)

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