News Analysis |
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Friday said that “emerging big power friction” was threatening peace and prosperity in Asia. He, while addressing the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, said that the renewed East-West tensions might engulf Europe in another “Cold War”.
“Peace and prosperity in Asia is threatened by emerging big power friction and rising tensions in South, East, and West Asia,” Abbasi added. The prime minister said the Middle East was wracked by war and violence in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere.
It is incumbent on it to navigate a path through Superpower politics engulfing the region as well as acquiring independence in military and economic spheres
On Afghanistan, the prime minister said that peace could be restored in Afghanistan only through a negotiated settlement. He called for promoting negotiations between Kabul and the Afghan Taliban for a peaceful settlement in Afghanistan. Abbasi said neither Kabul and the coalition forces nor the Afghan Taliban could impose a military solution on each other.
“Having suffered and sacrificed so much due to our role in the global counterterrorism campaign, it is especially galling for Pakistan to be blamed for the military or political stalemate in Afghanistan,” Abbasi said, adding: “We are not prepared to be anyone’s scapegoat.” The Prime Minister did not directly target US president Donald Trump but maneuvered in an indirect manner.
The foreign interference in neighboring Afghanistan has sparked the bloodiest conflict in Pakistan’s short history leading to massive losses to both life and property
Now as the Peaceful rise of China threatens to eclipse the American dominance of the world, Pakistan yet again faces an India being armed and supported by Western powers in their bid to use New Delhi as a counterweight to China. It also faces a hybrid war against the economic project of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor as it threatens the interests of foreign powers.
South Asia has long featured on the lens of many powers over the years. Its geostrategic location, huge population and natural resources have beckoned many a foreign power. In the age of colonialism, the British and the Empire of the Tsars played a “Great game” in the region, and in the Cold war manifested in the form of Spy Plane bases, CENTO & SEATO, military aid and invasions. Suffice to say none of this external interference was healthy for the region.
South Asia has long featured on the lens of many powers over the years. Its geostrategic location, huge population and natural resources have beckoned many a foreign power
The current Indo-Pak conflict owes much to the wrangling of the Cold War. It was attempted by both superpowers, the USA and the USSR who in their bid to woo India that let the Kashmir issue fester. Both sides also played a crucial role in arming Indian and Pakistan to the hilt in pursuit of their regional objectives.
The same can be said of Afghanistan, once known as the “Heart of Asia”, after the Soviet Invasion of 1979 and subsequent American arming of armed rebels in 1980, the country has been experiencing a civil war with no end in sight. Even now the presence of Western military forces under the leadership of the US has been a source of violence in the war-stricken country.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Friday said that “emerging big power friction” was threatening peace and prosperity in Asia
Pakistan has largely been afflicted by the foreign interference in regional affairs. It has to fend off a larger powerful neighbor in the form of India, often armed by one superpower or the other as well as having lost its eastern wing in 1971. The foreign interference in neighboring Afghanistan has sparked the bloodiest conflict in Pakistan’s short history leading to massive losses to both life and property.
As explained above, once again events outside the region are leading back to an international interest within the region. India is trying to be used as a western pawn against China. This bodes ill for Pakistan as it may face a two-front conflict against Afghanistan and India as well as a foreign-funded terrorist campaign from inside.
Pakistan is at a crucial phase of its history. It is incumbent on it to navigate a path through Superpower politics engulfing the region as well as acquiring independence in military and economic spheres. For that, it is paramount to start revisiting the foreign policy followed by the last three decades.