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Monday, June 10, 2024

Has China dumped Pakistan?

Dr. Pirzada says Pakistan's absence from the High-level Dialogue on the sidelines of the BRICS summit is a clear sign of China's displeasure.

Prominent TV anchor and strategic analyst Dr. Moeed Pirzada said Pakistan’s absence from the ‘High-level Dialogue on Global Develop­ment’ on the sidelines of the BRICS summit on Friday is a clear sign of China’s displeasure.

In his vlog on Tuesday, Dr. Pirzada censured a ‘mealy-mouthed’ statement by the Foreign Office (FO) Monday, which said: “Regrettably one member blocked Pakistan’s participation.”

The FO did not name any country, but Dawn cited a diplomatic source saying it was India. However, Dr. Pirzada said it would be wrong to say that Beijing, being a bigger decision-maker, had succumbed to Indian pressure.

Read more: FO says Pakistan’s participation in BRICS dialogue ‘blocked’ by a member

The BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) brings together five of the largest developing countries in the world, representing 41 per cent of the global population, 24pc of the worldwide GDP, and 16pc of the international trade.

Pakistan’s absence was significant because this event is seen as the first step towards the expected expansion of BRICS, as Iran and Argentina have applied to join the group of emerging economies.

Dr. Pirzada said China lobbied with Russia to warm up to Pakistan in former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s tenure. He said Imran Khan visited Russia at the Ukrainian crisis’s peak and joined the China Winter Olympics opening ceremony in February amid a diplomatic boycott of the Games by some countries, including the US and the UK, over alleged human rights violations by China.

He said Pakistan wanted to quit the US camp since it played a heavy price in US’ war against terror post-9/11. He said we sponsored Jihad, used all our resources, and militarily trained volunteers to fight Washington’s war against Moscow. But recently, due to China, Russia had warmed up to Pakistan.

But in March, Pakistan’s internal political crisis deepened. Subsequently, Imran Khan lost the opposition’s no-trust motion in April, claiming that a US-backed regime change was the reason his government was ousted.

Read more: Iran’s 1953 coup vs. Imran Khan’s ouster

Dr. Pirzada said the world sees Pakistan as Washington’s ‘client state,’ which does not know what it wants and is unsure about its direction. On the one hand, he said Islamabad terms Beijing as its strategic partner and says that the Pakistan-China friendship is “Higher than the Himalayas, deeper than the ocean, sweeter than honey, and stronger than steel.” On the other hand, it conveyed to the US that China is only a commercial partner.

In a major setback to Pakistan, Dr. Pirzada said India has decided to hold the G-20 summit in Jammu and Kashmir next year. In contrast, Pakistan is still facing an internal political crisis due to institutional imbalance, which in turn harms its international political interests.

The anchorperson said a country without institutional balance cannot advance, orchestrate or defend its interests in the international arena.

He said China has not dumped Pakistan yet, but it closely observes the developments in Pakistan’s politics. Dr. Pirzada said, “The only solution to protect Pakistan’s interests is to hold free, fair, and transparent elections this year to ensure a genuine, meaningful, and true democracy in which all political parties can play their role and which reflects the will of the people in domestic politics, economy and international relationship.”