- In the current uneasy state of Pak-US relations, the present visit manifests a shift in policy from reliance on the US to mutual cooperation with regional powers. It is time that Pakistan followed the policy of "back to the region and the regional countries" to sustain itself in the post post-US pullout from Afghanistan.
While others, as has our time-tested friend China again just recently, commiserate with us for our travails, they have no tears for the unbearable losses in lives, limbs and blood that we have suffered on account of their spurious war on terror. They are only on a demanding spree, asking for shedding more of our blood. And one knows not what a terrible predicament we would be in, once they give the finishing touches to their abortive Afghanistan adventurism. Even as their foray has failed irreversibly, they harbour the overriding ambition of establishing a permanent military presence as well as bases in Afghanistan. That is sure to turn Afghanistan into a cockpit of rivalries of competing world powers. Russia has already expressed its aversion to any such American move. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in its recent summit conclave has called for a “neutral Afghanistan”. And in one of its earlier summits, it had affirmed to keep the region free from the interference of outside powers. Clearly, any US military presence after the withdrawal of the coalition forces is bound to embroil Afghanistan in a big powers rivalry, in which Pakistan would get sucked too merely for being part of the US-led war on terror. That would be a terrible thing to occur, as it could afford no such involvement, getting bloodied as it is already so horrendously on account of this false war. It must chart out its own independent course right now, suiting its own national interests and its imperative needs and wants. Keeping tethered to the American hoof would predictably bring it more gloom, catastrophe and pain. But working on natural interdependencies and complementarities with its neighbours to explore avenues and opportunities for the revival and reinvigoration of its economy, its Achilles heel for the present, would serve it well. Even joint efforts with regional states, including Afghanistan itself, could possibly bring peace to that beleaguered land. And with no big boss breathing down its neck, it may possibly tackle the menace of terrorism and extremism on its own land more effectively. The president’s visits to Iran were thus augur well for our nation.