Pakistan’s patrons : Washington and Beijing

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by ejazr, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Oct 8, 2009
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    Hyderabad and Sydney
    Pakistan’s patrons | Opinion | DAWN.COM

    INDIA remains thoroughly non-aligned, even after its civil nuclear deal with Washington. Pakistan, in contrast, needs patrons, and has succeeded in having two powerful ones — Washington and Beijing — to counterbalance India, a significant diplomatic accomplishment.

    No other country has managed to draw significant, concurrent support from both Washington and Beijing, both before and after these powerhouses started speaking to each other.

    Afghanistan is a trivial pursuit in geopolitical terms. This poor, unfortunate state matters most in geopolitical terms as the locus of follies conducted by others within its borders. Afghanistan matters far less than the demise of the US-Pakistan partnership. A complete split would constitute a loss for both parties, but Pakistan, the weaker party, will suffer far more for losing a patron.

    The United States and Pakistan have been partners since the 1950s. Pakistan`s perceived utility to the United States extended long after John Foster Dulles` regional alliances to contain the Soviet Union — Cento and Seato — dissolved.

    Paradoxically, the rise and revitalisation of the Taliban, with Rawalpindi`s support, created conditions whereby Pakistan could initially renew and then jeopardise its partnership with the United States. In June 2004, Washington declared Pakistan to be a major non-Nato ally. It`s been a downhill ride ever since. Reversing this slide will take a good long while, especially if the Taliban retake Kabul with Rawalpindi`s help.

    China, Pakistan`s other powerful patron, is an `all weather` friend, providing significant support for Pakistan`s ballistic missile and nuclear weapon programmes in the past.

    After the Bush administration gifted New Delhi with a qualified exemption to the rules of nuclear commerce, Beijing consented to repeated Pakistani requests for nuclear power plants at concessionary rates — reactors that may no longer be built on Chinese soil.

    Islamabad is increasingly looking to Beijing for investment and infrastructure development, but big steps forward are hindered by Pakistan`s internal security problems.

    In a stunning blow to Pakistani economic development plans, the China Kingho Group pulled out of a $19bn deal to build coal mines, power and chemical plants in Sindh because Beijing feels that Karachi is not safe to invest or reside in. Beijing has also called out Pakistan — a very unusual move — because of unrest in China`s western border areas stoked allegedly by militants trained in Pakistan. Islamabad has pledged to deal with the issues causing Chinese discontent, and seeks to get investment back on track.

    During crises with India in 1990, 1999 and 2001-02, Pakistani civilian and military leaders made beelines to Beijing seeking backup.

    They received polite but unmistakable advice to resolve their difficulties with New Delhi without major new weapon shipments or shrill public warnings against Indian military adventurism. Beijing helped the United States, South Asia`s essential crisis manager, more than it helped Pakistan during these three crises.

    During the millennial flood of 2010, the United States provided $550m to help Pakistanis in great distress, including $62m in seeds and agricultural implements so that farmers could produce a bumper wheat crop after the waters receded. After prodding by US officials, China reportedly added $200m in flood-related assistance to its initial offering of $47m. Pakistani government leaders have tried to strengthen their partnership with China in tangible ways as ties with the United States fray. One method of dealing with Washington`s growing disaffection is by characterising security assurances purportedly made in private by Chinese officials in ways that Beijing has notably refrained from reaffirming.

    For example, during Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar`s trip to China in May 2011, he spoke appreciatively of Chinese construction of the Gwadar port, while expressing an interest in Chinese construction of “a naval base” there. When asked about this request, a senior Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson replied, “I have not heard about it.”

    This odd exchange took place around the same time as a meeting in Beijing between Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. Pakistani media outlets dutifully reported a Pakistani foreign ministry press release that, “China has warned in unequivocal terms that any attack on Pakistan would be construed as an attack on China. Beijing has advised Washington to respect Pakistan`s sovereignty and solidarity… The Chinese leadership was extremely forthcoming in assuring unprecedented support to Pakistan for its national cause and security.” Chinese media outlets did not report this assurance.

    Similarly, after Adm Mike Mullen vocalised his assessment about Rawalpindi`s ties with the Haqqani network before leaving his post as chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, Prime Minister Gilani asserted the following week, during a visit by Vice Premier Meng Jianzhu, China`s minister of public safety, that China “categorically supports Pakistan`s efforts to uphold its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity”. Again, Chinese media reports did not use this formulation.

    Pakistan`s military will increasingly rely on Chinese equipment. But the track record of China-Pakistan relations — especially during natural disasters and crises with India — suggests a relationship in which Pakistan asks for much and Beijing is circumspect about giving.

    The writer is co-founder of the Stimson Centre in Washington, D.C.
  3. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

    Feb 12, 2009
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    No mention of UK and Saudis?
    Nagraj likes this.
  4. Tianshan

    Tianshan Regular Member

    Jun 2, 2011
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    pakistan did well in diplomacy to get both usa and china on their side, but did not take care of their economic fundamentals. bad decision.

    i very much hope they can reverse the bad economic situation.
  5. maomao

    maomao Veteran Hunter of Maleecha Senior Member

    Apr 7, 2010
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    I think you do not understand the politics and ideology of pakistan; they can never be an economic power without getting dope from their self-appointed masters. They have many centers of power namely the most dominating being the Feudal na-pakistan army and isi the - rough agency run be corrupt retired jihadis and destructive pakistani army officers. Their army will do everything and anything to maintain their power and supremacy, even if it means converting pakistan into something worst that Somalia (as it is equivalent to Somalia at present).

    Economic development can never flow in a bigoted, brainwashed and deluded populous - until unless they go on a plundering spree like the golden hordes of Islam; however they cannot pull this off knowing the fact how despicably coward and low on moral they are and moreover gone are the days of loots and plunderers, no one tolerates the old Islamic ways these days. For development to happen, the na-pak army would have to lose its grip and let a pluralistic society to mushroom which will again negate the already collapsed 'two nation theory' and lead to the fall of Islamic bigotry in failed state pakistan; the army will never let it happen as it would impact its feudal system and army owned industries (which are the largest in pakistan, ever heard of this). This kind of a system may liberate pakistanis (I mean the common man not the elite army and feudal class) which will expose them to modern education and philosophy which may make them realize the falsehood propagated by their agencies and mullahs alike regarding the misconstrued supremacy of Islam, and this would further lead to decimation of na-pak army's clout over the paki population which literally work for the state as slaves. Hence, pakistan if ever would get developed on its own would have to dissolve it na-pak army and other rough agencies such as isi, which will never happen and failed state pakistan is poised to get further disintegrated.

    P.S: Failed state pakistan does not have huge Oil reserves so kindly refrain from giving out CCP taught statements (I am referring to US induced development in Middle East in exchange of oil).
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2011
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