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جمعرات، 20 دسمبر، 2012

China-Pakistan relations brought under strain

  It is obvious that India has never reconciled with all weather friendship between Pakistan and China. For its South Central and West Asia specific strategic interests, while India is constantly struggling to isolate Pakistan in South Asia it is also making efforts to disturb China's relations with Pakistan. India's objective is to establish its primacy in South Asia by weakening Pakistan economically and eroding South Asia strategic balance.

 This is mainly being done by India by using its soft power and well orchestrated finely tuned propaganda campaign, while apparently showing that it wants to expand its trade and economic relations with Pakistan. India’s propaganda themes are related to criticism of Pakistan’s role in war on terror as non NATO ally being fought in Afghanistan. For this purpose Indian leaders’ statements, its print media write ups, electronic media projections and articles and research papers written by its think tanks are branding Pakistan as an epicenter of world terrorism, blaming it for its alleged double role in war on terror in Afghanistan hurting NATO’s interests and highlighting that Pakistan is proving sanctuaries to the terrorists and Afghan Taliban.

This large scale malicious campaign being run by India against Pakistan becomes evident by surveying statements of its leaders, its print and electronic media presentations and think tanks writings during last ten years war on terror.

Through such a propaganda whereas India is trying to exploit sensitivities of the US and other western countries on Pakistan’s role in war on terror it is also trying to prove to China that Pakistan’s alleged support to Afghan Taliban and other terrorists is also hurting China’s commercial interests in Afghanistan and creating instability in its Xinjiang Province.

Having been influenced by Indian propaganda the US and western policy makers, media persons and think tanks have also started reflecting negatively on Pakistan on the issues of fighting war on terror and its alleged double role in Afghanistan.

In this context since the US wants to give primacy to India under its obligations of having signed the agreement of strategic partnership with it, the US and its western friends are also undermining Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan’s peace process, are creating apprehensions about safety of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, are showing no concern on resolution of Kashmir dispute and are even closing their eyes on wide scale violation of human rights in Indian held Kashmir.

Instead of acknowledging Pakistan’s spectacular achievements in fighting war on terror and immense human and financial losses suffered in the process, it is being propagated that due to terrorist attacks happening in Pakistan it is going to be internally destabilized and ultimately its nuclear weapons will not be safe from terrorist attacks.

In this context Indian and some western policy makers and scholars are trying to negatively influence China regarding Pakistan’s capacity of keeping its nuclear assets safe from terrorist attacks. In this context there is a strong perception prevailing in Pakistan that to make their argument logical some foreign intelligence agencies based in Afghanistan might be tacitly facilitating terrorist attacks inside Pakistan by financing some terrorist groups in FATA. Also, instead of economically assisting Pakistan in making up its colossal war losses it is being widely commented that Pakistan’s economy is going to collapse ultimately which might put its existence in danger. By propagating such theories, while foreign investments in Pakistan are being discouraged, efforts are also underway to mislead China that its efforts to assist its close friend Pakistan financially and its investments in this country will go waste.

By influencing China on safety of its investments in Pakistan India has recently attracted large Chinese investments in its infrastructure and real estate projects. Regarding provision of Chinese economic support to Pakistan, Liza Curtis has said in her article titled,”The reorientation of Pakistan’s foreign policy towards its region” that China’s fears about future stability of Pakistan, may limit the extent to which it will bail Pakistan out of its current economic difficulties. It is also being suggested to China that Pakistan will continue to support Taliban in Afghanistan which is against Chinese interests in Afghanistan and stability of its Xinjiang province.

Under the discussed scenario, to neutralize strains being brought in Pakistan-China relations and to further advance this partnership it is necessary for Pakistan to take appropriate foreign policy measures with respect to China.

While Pakistan should continuously remain in tough with Chinese leadership for making them aware about these engineered strains, it should also make special efforts for wider engagement of Chinese media persons, scholars community, business community, civil society segments and enhance people to people contacts to apprise them of the negative propaganda.

Pakistan should offer special incentives to Chinese investors to attract their investments in major developmental projects like management of Gawader port, energy projects and building of communication infrastructure.

For this purpose Pakistan Government should make special security arrangements for Chinese investors, engineers and entrepreneurs who come to Pakistan for business.

These measures are necessary for creating stakes for Chinese businessmen in Pakistan. Pakistan should also make concerted efforts for peace in Afghanistan in coordination with China so that its commercial interests in Afghanistan are made safe. Pakistan should also evolve a policy of extending a solid and consistent cooperation to China in addressing its concerns of terrorist threats in Xinjiang.

With a view to ensuring its peaceful rise since China does not want tensions with the US and even India, Pakistan should also shape its domestic, economic and foreign policy strategies in a manner that its internal house remains in order, its economy is made self sustaining and progressive, its disputes with the neighbours are resolved through negotiations and tensions are avoided so that while supporting Pakistan Chinese relations with India and major powers are not brought under strain. Likewise Pakistan should also keep its relations with the US, India and EU cordial so that it can address its economic, trade related and development issues in the long term perspective.

By Colonel Muhammad Hanif (retd)

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