Some US Congressmen of the past and present have asked their president including potential President Hillary Clinton to ditch Pakistan while suggesting to embrace India more firmly. Since strategic relations and interests of India with the US and EU countries converge because India continues to overwhelmingly share their sorts of threat perceptions specifically Pakistan’s relations with China, nuclear position and issues of terrorism, therefore, hawks in the US and its allies have logically engaged India for a meaningful but prolonged partnership in the region — CPEC is the new dimension in the converging threat perception of these allies. Naturally, India has readily volunteered to play a forceful role in the region, also in anticipation to bleed Pakistan in addition to making efforts to turn the country irrelevant in the future strategic calculus including the country’s role in Afghanistan as well as SAARC. This may be one objective out of a plethora of aims to include containment of China and burying the Kashmir issue once for all. Understandably building on this notion, several congressmen of the present and past including Gary Ackerman, a New York Democrat, had urged the US president to forsake its efforts to endow on Pakistan because it is about to collapse and instead build strong relations with India which, in his opinion, is the strategic centre of gravity for the region. Similar discernment have also been expressed by other significant officials of the US to include Chairman US Congressional Panel, Steve Chabot, a Republican from Ohio and the US State Office official Robert Blake who have been acknowledging basic divergences of the US government on vital issues with Pakistan. It appears that the American lawmakers, irrespective of their political affinity, are apparently convinced that India can play a primary role in the region to safeguard the West’s interests whereas Pakistan is likely to falter.
As said earlier that the Balochistan situation has long been an ‘Achilles Heal’ for Pakistan and a playground for external players, in such a scenario it can safely be concluded that Balochistan has become one of the important areas of focus by the global players, especially because of China’s taking over of Gwadar.
Convergence of strategic interests in the region especially to deal with the nuclear armed Pakistan, has thus united several regional and extra regional forces on one platform. However, achieving a single objective of undermining Pakistan at all costs appears to be the prime aim of the gang. Unfortunately, Pakistani policy gurus, despite having knowledge and consequence of emerging challenges, are also willing to fall prey to such designs which ultimately would be harmful for the entire region.
India is encircling Pakistan as it has established formidable foothold in Afghanistan while maintaining a military base in Tajikistan. Most recently India has shown willingness to provide required support for NATO drone operations after a new strategy of zero option articulated by the global powers. Indian intentions to use military bases in countries neighboring to Afghanistan for stealthy Predator operations inside the Pakistani territory cannot be underestimated. India is already playing an active role in supporting the Balochistan insurgency while trying to exploit the inflammable conditions in GB and KPK.
Indeed there is a need to link many dots to understand the future picture being framed for the CPEC. The emerging situation also warrants assembling such pragmatic policies which in real sense should be able to ward off the impending challenges.
With particular focus on Balochistan, GB and AJK situation, policies need to be staved off through pursuing of the political course resolutely to change the existing ethnicity, militancy and extremism that is taking toll in vulnerable areas of Pakistan.
Though we cannot claim to have clear cut ready-made quick fixes to the ensuing challenges including the Balochistan quagmire, but answers to harsh questions and solutions to mistakes can be traced in history and traditions.