FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
In the driving seat
Posted:Sep 7, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
Pakistan’s civvies have yet again found themselves playing second fiddle. To the men in khaki. Our Foreign minister had pulled out all the stops to rebuild the trust with Afghanistan. Going as far as picking up the phone to Kabul to assure it of Pakistani support in all things bilateral.
 
Yet in swoops the COAS to steal the show. And steal it, he did. Without having to call a friend or otherwise.
 
Gen Bajwa’s talking tough was directed primarily at the US, with a little reserved naturally for India. Pakistan has, he noted, been paying the price for the US-fuelled flames presently engulfing the region — regardless of who started the fire and why chose to jump into the flames. And then the kicker: “a monopoly of violence should only be the prerogative of the state”. This is not simply a forceful reminder to the US that the security establishment remains firmly in Pakistan’s policymaking driving seat. It is also very likely an indirect pledge from the man-who-can that those behind the wheel are going to end their ‘policy’ of supporting certain proxies; that is, non-state actors. Though this, of course, refers largely to those acting in Afghanistan. Meaning that this seeming call to peace doesn’t extend to India. Indeed, for the latter comes the warning to stop meddling in Balochistan. Though let’s hope the world’s largest democracy doesn’t take this to mean a sanctioning of Indian state brutality in held Kashmir. It is also a warning to those waging the separatist insurgency in Balochistan.
 
That being said, we welcome the COAS’ comments on the way forward in Afghanistan. Like it or not, in today’s ‘democratic’ Pakistan, the security apparatus deals with the larger picture. Namely, that our geo-strategic importance as a gateway to the Central Asian market is wholly dependent upon a stable and secure Afghanistan. We offer the only viable access in and out of that area. True, there is always Iran. But even a fantastical thawing of US-Iranian relations would not displace Gwadar as the largest deep sea port of its kind in the world. Thus is it also in the US interest to have an equally stable and secure Pakistan on side. It will not want to push us too far. For we know as well as the Americans that we are their best bet. Unless of course Washington wants to risk reliance on China, the nation that represents the greatest challenge to the uni-polar world order and thus US supremacy.
 
Thus the COAS has offered Donald Trump an olive branch of sorts: we will rein in certain non-state actors, we will afford you access to our trade routes in return for an end to all this bullish talk, including threats to have us diplomatically isolated at the international level as well as holding our economy to ransom. Fair enough, really.
 
The question remains: just how much do you want peace in Afghanistan, Mr Trump?
 
Daily Times, September 8, 2017
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina assumed office again in Bangladesh in 2009, bilateral relations between New Delhi and Dhaka have been on a steady upward trajectory.
 
read-more
Desperate living conditions and waterborne diseases are threatening more than 320,000 Rohingya refugee children who have fled to southern Bangladesh since late August, including some 10,000 who crossed from Myanmar over the past few days, UNICEF said.
 
read-more
A unique and passionate gathering of acrophiles, or mountain lovers, took place in neat and picturesque Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram state in north-eastern India in September.
 
read-more
India’s foreign policy under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has attained a level of maturity which allows it to assert itself in an effective manner. This is aimed at protecting the country’s national interests in a sustained way.
 
read-more
With over 100 incidents of braid chopping reported in different parts of Kashmir, there is widespread fear and anger among the people.
 
read-more
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China's GDP expanded 6.9 percent year on year in the first three quarters of 2017, an increase of 0.2 percent above that of the corresponding period of last year.
 
read-more
As political roller coasters go, there is none as steep and unpredictable as the one shared by the United States and Iran.
 
read-more
In West Asia, the end of one war paves the way for the next. Raqqa, the Syrian capital of the self-styled Islamic State (IS), has fallen to a coalition of rebels, the Syrian Democratic Forces that is backed by the United States.
 
read-more
On “Defining Our Relationship with India for the Next Century”
 
read-more
Column-image

Title: The People Next Door -The Curious History of India-Pakistan Relations; Author: T.C.A. Raghavan; Publisher: HarperCollins ; Pages: 361; Price: Rs 699

 
Column-image

Could the North Korean nuclear issue which is giving the world an anxious time due to presence of hotheads on each side, the invasion of Iraq and its toxic fallout, and above all, the arms race in the teeming but impoverished South Asian subcon...

 
Column-image

Title: A Bonsai Tree; Author: Narendra Luther; Publisher: Niyogi Books; Pages: 227 Many books have been written on India's partition but here is a firsthand account of the horror by a migrant from what is now Pakistan, who ...

 
Column-image

As talk of war and violence -- all that Mahatma Gandhi stood against -- gains prominence across the world, a Gandhian scholar has urged that the teachings of the apostle of non-violence be taken to the classroom.

 
Column-image

Interview with Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande, whose book From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy, was released on June 17.

 
Subscribe to our newsletter
Archive