News Analysis |
A few days back, it was reported that U.S military institutions are finding it hard to keep the reserved 66 slots for the Pakistani military officers after Donald Trump announced the budget cuts. The training program has been a key constituent for more than a decade in building the ties on the military level for the two allies after 9/11. Not only have the funds been not made available under the US government’s International Military Education and Training Program (IMET) but U.S National Defense University has been asked to fill in the position for leaving Pakistani officers from other countries for next academic year.
But concurrently Russia stepped up and signed an agreement which will allow Pakistani Officers to be trained alongside their Russian counterparts in Russian Military institutions. “Both countries signed the Contract on Admission of Service Members of Pakistan in RF’s (Russian Federation) Training Institutes,” the defense ministry said in a statement. The agreement was signed at the conclusion of the first meeting of Russia-Pakistan Joint Military Consultative Committee (JMCC), described by the defense ministry as the highest forum of defense collaboration between Pakistan and the Russian Federation.
The menace of ISIS in Afghanistan is a cause of concern for all the regional powers which has led to the formation of an unprecedented alliance of Russia, China, and Pakistan. In the current scenario, the United States needs Pakistan way more than another way around which is eminent from the failure and review of Trump administration’s South Asia policy in less than a year of enactment.
Pakistan and Russia signed their first cooperation pact in 2104 which was followed by another agreement which dealt with military cooperation and arms supply in 2015. Under the agreement, Pakistan has procured 4 Mi-35M combat and cargo helicopters from Russia. The special forces of both the countries, Russian Spetsnaz and Pakistan’s Special Services Group (SSG), have undergone joint exercises named “Friendship”.
There has been a remarkable paradigm shift between Pakistan and Russia. The United States and Pakistan were the primary reason behind the Red Army’s humiliating loss in Afghanistan. Those were the times when Russia shared serious resentment toward Pakistan and United States was the biggest supplier of Hi-tech military weaponry, including F-16s which are the backbone of Pakistan Air Force even now.
Read more: Russia and Pakistan: A Balancing Act?
But, Kargil war proved to be the pivoting point of United States’ drift toward India which was temporarily halted because of 9/11 as the United States needed Pakistani supply routes. But after the Salala incident, Pakistan mulled over balancing the reliance on the United States and ties with Russia were actively pondered upon to be forged with a new beginning.
After Donald Trump’s New South Asia Policy which he announced in September 2017, the understood notion of India being preferred over the long-term U.S. ally Pakistan was now being openly said and discussed. But by this time, both Pakistan and Russia had a lot in common which led to cooperation on multiple avenues and hence balancing the order to a reasonable extent. Both the countries are actively pursuing the goal for a long-term sustainable peace in Afghanistan which is a pre-requisite for regional peace.
The menace of ISIS in Afghanistan is a cause of concern for all the regional powers which has led to the formation of an unprecedented alliance of Russia, China, and Pakistan. In the current scenario, the United States needs Pakistan way more than another way around which is eminent from the failure and review of Trump administration’s South Asia policy in less than a year of enactment. It is imperative that Pakistan is one of the most significant stakeholders in the solution of the Afghanistan problem.
For the United States to reach a solution of its choice in Afghanistan, it is very important to keep Pakistan in the loop. The United States needs to balance it approach about Pakistan or else Pak-Russia cooperation, which is beneficial for both these countries, might not necessarily result in the same for the U.S in the region if it continued with the hostile policies toward Pakistan.