Is Panama gate a foreign conspiracy to derail Pakistan? Part I
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Asif Haroon |

After splitting Pakistan into two in 1971 under an international conspiracy, Pakistan was once again marked as a target by Indo-US-Afghan-UK-Israeli nexus after 9/11. It is the only country in the world which is simultaneously subjected to three dangerous doctrines – namely India’s Cold Start doctrine, America’s Af-Pak doctrine and 4th generation warfare which aims at spoiling civil-military relations, creating distrust between the public and the Army, creating friction among the state institutions, weakening the federal government, fanning provincialism, ethnicity and sectarianism, accentuating political polarization, and spreading gloom.

Obama had stated that the US will spend $50 million annually on Pak media. Out of $ 7.5 billion Kerry Lugar Bill signed in 2009, $1.2 billion was for Pakistani media.

Media is bought and used to spread rumors, misgivings, uncertainty, widen societal cleavages, and to foment political instability and anarchy. Obama had stated that the US will spend $50 million annually on Pak media. Out of $ 7.5 billion Kerry Lugar Bill signed in 2009, $1.2 billion was for Pakistani media. India has gained considerable influence over several TV channels in Pakistan. The whole nation is in the grip of 4th generation hybrid war which is basically a disinformation war. This war cannot be countered by the Army since it lacks the requisite capability.

Read more: Change yourself before we change ourselves :US tells Pakistan

Why is Pakistan subjected to conspiracies?

CPEC has all the potential to remove the socio-economic fault lines of Pakistan and make it economically prosperous. The incumbent government in power which is being grilled by the Supreme Court Bench (SCB) on account of Panama gate has stated that it is being derailed under a well-planned conspiracy.

The reasons why Pakistan is a target and has been repeatedly subjected to conspiracies is that it is a Muslim country, it is a nuclear power, it has talent, hard working manpower, and plentiful resources, its people are resilient and Pak Army is the most battle hardened Army in the world. Above all, CPEC has all the potential to remove the socio-economic fault lines of Pakistan and make it economically prosperous. The incumbent government in power which is being grilled by the Supreme Court Bench (SCB) on account of Panama gate has stated that it is being derailed under a well-planned conspiracy.

It keeps a watchful eye on its border in the southwest with Iran with whom the relations are far from satisfactory. 180,000 security forces are deployed in the northwest while the whole of paramilitary forces led by Frontier Corps are fighting the insurgents in Baluchistan.

Pakistan Army is guarding the eastern border from where five-time superior India duly aided by USA, Israel and the West poses the main threat. It guards the 2600 km long western border because of cross border terrorism from Afghanistan under the patronage of RAW-NDS nexus backed by CIA. It keeps a watchful eye on its border in the southwest with Iran with whom the relations are far from satisfactory. 180,000 security forces are deployed in the northwest while the whole of paramilitary forces led by Frontier Corps are fighting the insurgents in Baluchistan. Sindh Rangers are dealing with urban terrorism in Sindh. Operation Raddul Fasaad which started in February 2017 is a countrywide operation focused against terrorists, facilitators, handlers, financiers and sleeping cells.

Read more:Is Pakistan still indispensable for the US in the region?

CPEC and its prospects for Pakistan

China-Pakistan-Economic-Corridor (CPEC) is the pivot of China’s One Belt-One-Road (OBOR) project. It is the only project out of the six planned corridors upon which work is going on with full steam and it has made rapid progress in less than two years. Its full development and operationalization will have far reaching prospects of progression for China and Pakistan in particular and the region in general. Apart from assured economic prosperity, CPEC is a harbinger of peace and connectivity of the volatile and under developed South Asia where majority are grinding in poverty. It aims at sharing the fruits of prosperity with Central Asia, Middle East (ME) and Africa as well as Europe.

This magnetism of CPEC has put the sinister plan of India to encircle and isolate Pakistan in great jeopardy.

Pakistan is the hub of CPEC and Gwadar deep seaport is its pivot. It has already become such a strong magnet that quite many Central Asian Republics, Russia, South Asian, Middle Eastern and African countries as well as some European countries are getting attracted to it and are evincing keen interest to invest and become trading partners. This magnetism of CPEC has put the sinister plan of India to encircle and isolate Pakistan in great jeopardy. This plan has further been jolted after Pakistan joined the Saudi led 41-member Islamic Alliance led by Gen Raheel Sharif. The moles of foreign powers inside Pakistan particularly in media and political parties have been trying hard to make CPEC as well as Gen Raheel controversial.

Read more: The US “Mini-surge” in  Afghanistan: Tough times ahead for Pakistan?

Taking into account China’s heavy financial stakes ($56 billion so far) and global ambitions to become leading economic power through its OBOR policy of which CPEC is the watershed, it can be assumed that Pakistan and China security concerns have become common. China will come to the rescue of Pakistan whenever militarily threatened by India and even by the USA.

The US-Chinese rivalry

The US is feverishly providing sophisticated arms, equipment and technology to India to make it a bulwark against China, not realizing that 80% of India’s strike formations are poised against Pakistan.

For the USA, China is its arch economic rival and it has been striving hard to undermine it. CPEC has morphed into biggest geo-economic and geo-strategic threat for the USA since it not only strengthens Pakistan but also breaks its plan to encircle and contain China’s economic resurgence by ringing around the South China Sea with the help of Australia, Japan and India.

The US is feverishly providing sophisticated arms, equipment and technology to India to make it a bulwark against China, not realizing that 80% of India’s strike formations are poised against Pakistan. On July 14, the US House of Representatives passed a $621.5 billion defense policy bill and proposed advancing defense cooperation with India.

Commissioning of CPEC and Gwadar Port will free China from the compulsion of using the route via the US dominated Malacca Strait which is very long and vulnerable to interdiction by India. China will now be able to transport its goods to foreign markets through shortest and cheapest route via Gwadar. CPEC has been laced with three Highways and soon railway network will be added to speed up two-way trade. Pakistan is providing security to the corridor which it rightly terms as a game-changer and has deployed a special security division headed by a Major General.

Read more: Yet another US drone strike in Pakistan

Iran and Dubai’s concerns on CPEC

It, therefore, signed an economic agreement with Iran and India in 2016 to upgrade Chahbahar Port which is planned to be linked with road and rail networks built by India inside Afghanistan.

Besides the US and India’s concerns, Iran and Dubai view CPEC cynically since Gwadar will outshine Chabahar, Bandar Abbas and Dubai seaports and impact their trade. Afghanistan under the tutelage of USA and India is also unhappy since CPEC tends to enhance the dependence of Afghanistan on Pakistan. It, therefore, signed an economic agreement with Iran and India in 2016 to upgrade Chahbahar Port which is planned to be linked with road and rail networks built by India inside Afghanistan.

The Indo-US-Israeli nexus

The Indo-US-Israeli nexus never accepted the reality of Pakistan becoming the 7th nuclear power in 1998, and has been conspiring to disable it. When Gen Musharraf signed an agreement with China in 2003 to develop Gwadar into a commercial seaport, alarm bells started to ring in Washington, Tel Aviv and New Delhi. With eyes on Gwadar, Baluchistan was shoved into the cauldron of insurgency the same year. Lt Col Ralph Peters map published in 2006 showed Baluchistan as an independent state. Major objectives of covert war against Pakistan were to disable its nuclear program, scare away the Chinese engaged in developing Gwadar, secularize the country and make it a client state of India or else Balkanize it.

Read more: US’ betrayal: What are the options left for Pakistan?

The trio joined by Afghanistan and aided by Britain are feeling upset that its highly expensive covert war has failed to destabilize Pakistan, sink its economy, and extract its nuclear teeth and to scuttle CPEC. They have been making use of Afghanistan as the major base of operation with Iran as an auxiliary base for abetting, funding, equipping and launching proxies since 2003/04. The focus has been on FATA, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Baluchistan and Karachi. Clandestine operations have been supplemented with drone war, media war and coercive tactics.

Asif Haroon Raja is a retired Brig Gen, a war veteran, defense and security analyst, author of five books, Vice Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre. Takes part in TV talk shows, delivers talks and take part in seminars. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.

Asif Haroon Raja is a retired Brig Gen, a war veteran, defense and security analyst, the author of five books, Vice Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, and Director Measac Research Centre. He takes part in TV talk shows, delivers talks, and takes part in seminars.

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