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Consolidating SCO: After Moscow Pakistani Leaders Head to Beijing

by on 05/17/2011

SCO_MAP In one of the biggest blunders of his presidency President Obama took full credit for the Osama raid. In doing so he disparaged the most pro-American government in Islamabad. Obama increased his popularity rating by a few notches by throwing Pakistan under the bus. This sort of theatrics may work in the Chicago crime family , but in international relations this sort of Ramboism just doesn’t work. Obama may have gained a few point in the poll rankings, but President Obama may not have thought this through. The raid onAbbotabad displays an IQ of 7, or a deep rooted plan to humiliate and and embarrass the Pakistan government and by extension the Army and the ISI. The Bharatis are having a field day with “I told you sos”.

One of the reasons for WW2 was the unfairness of the Treaty of Versailles. Abbottobad has created a tsunami of Anti-Americanism that is now ubiquitous in Pakistan. Members of all the major political parties as well as the PPP now share the common point of view–the US cannot be relied on for anything positive. Senator Kerry may try to smooth things over, but the raid on Wazirisitan House may have irreparably harmed US-Pakistani relations.

Operation Geronimo could have been used to build relationships and create a new American century. It was used to create confrontation with Pakistan. The events have heralded the rise of China as a South-West Asian power. It already is headed towards becoming a Super-power. The precarious US-Pakistan relations are on a knife’s edge. The impending withdrawal of US forces creates new realities in the neighborhood–as evidenced by the new chapter Russo-Pakistani relations. The Moscow-Islamabad reset clearly defines the new directions that Islamabad is looking at. The death of Laden has opened for a prosperous and powerful China to step up its presence as a regional player. The latest developments follow a historical pattern in Asia, in which rising tensions between the West and an Asian nation offer regional powers like Russia and China new opportunities to advance their influence. The destruction of the Ottoman Empire in the name of “democracy” allowed Lenin to take over the Central Asia Republics and it tried to incorporate them into the USSR. Half a century of suppression could not eliminate their distinct identify.

The angry voices calling for a suspension of US aid to Pakistan were rebutted by Beijing. The support for Islamabad has come from Beijing, Moscow, Istanbul, Riyadh, and a host of other countries. China pivoted swiftly to laud Pakistan for its “vigorous” efforts to fight terrorism. The Chinese foreign ministry praised Pakistan’s stellar record of fighting terrorist groups. China hailed Pakistan’s anti-terror strategies “based on its own domestic situation”. Neither China, nor Pakistan, nor the Muslim world consider the Kashmiri freedom fighters as terrorists.

Moscow has signaled superb support to Islamabad, and doubled it up with billions of Dollars of projects. Unlike US aid that only corrupts and bribes, and fills the pockets of US contractors, Russian aid has built steel mills and other infrastructures that have benefited the country and provided employment to thousands. As the cacophony of bad media reports begin to peter out in Washington, Pakistani leaders are getting ready to visit China, where will be receiving unqualified support. Pakistan’s prime minister, who has called China an inspiration for his country, has extolled China’s friendship as being “taller than the Himalayas and deeper than the oceans”. The Pakistani visit repeats a past pattern in which China has played the role of a steadfast friend. Every segment of Pakistani society appreciates the valor of the Chinese in maintaining the bonds of brotherhood.

A prosperous economy, a massive military, a contiguous border, $3 trillion in foreign exchange reserves allows China to be a potent and reliable counterweight to the whims of an unreliable and according to some treacherous US. Washington will eventually gloss over the current rift but the scar will remain. Operation Geronimo has pushed Pakistan into the Russo-Chinese camp. As the US begins to withdraw their forces from Afghanistan, its influence will vane, while that of China will increase exponentially. According to most analysts, the US will begin the withdrawal in a few weeks, and it will be expedited much before the end date of 2014. US dreams of leaving behind a presence will remain that dreams.

PM Gilani clearly told Kabul to brace for a Chinese future. It is pedagogical to note that Karzai was recently given a lavish reception in Beijing.The deep chasm with the US created by the raid in Abbottabad opens up a new chapter of Sino-Pakistani relations. Pakistan is the buffer state between Chinese Uighurs and Tajiksitan. Beijing learend a long time ago, that good relations with Pakistan are to its eternal benefit. As Pakistan extricates itself out of South Asia and integrates itself into Central and West Asia, the US invasion of Afghanistan will look more the invasion of Vietnam–insignificant and unimportant.



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