By: Fakhar ur Rehman
After the second World War in 1945, Pakistan was one of those countries which had emerged on the global map as an Independent Muslim State. With very little resources those were its nascent days.
Government of the day in early 50’s had decided to establish its diplomatic relations with all the countries that recognized it. Decision to visit Washington first , by the then Prime Minister Liaqat Ali Khan had many implications which later proved to be correct.
The diplomatic course should have been balanced. Moscow visit should have also been given priority and importance. Unfolding events proved that joining US led camp gave Pakistan less and cost it more.
Being US strategic partner in South East Treaty Organization (SEATO) or later on Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) of 1955 Baghdad Pact , gave us nothing rather we lost Eastern part which is Bangladesh of the day.
China in those days was a new emerging country like Pakistan. Former USSR was too complicated because of its communism system. The USA was the victorious power of 2nd World War. For a country like Pakistan it was an immature stage to comprehend bipolar politics. Pakistan was fighting for Kashmir soon after its independence . 1948, 1967 and 1971 wars with India were enough for it to focus on building its internal defense.
Pakistan played a very important role in the establishment of diplomatic relations between Beijing and Washington. Those were the times when India had embarked on building nuclear assets. Pakistan too had to go for it.
The then Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was the most popular leader of Pakistan in those days . He was critical of the UN’s biased role visa vis the Kashmir issue. The UN resolutions on Kashmir for a plebiscite needed to be implemented. However, Kashmiris still wait.
ZA Bhutto had too decided for Pakistan to become a Nuclear State in early 70’s. In 1969 the Muslim countries had a clandestine Summit meeting in Rabat’s, Morocco. Leaders had sworn on Quran to keep the agreement secret. The Islamic bloc was formed, United Islamic Army Force was decided to be built. But later on, Israel got wind of the plan via their agents in one of the Arabian state.
While Pakistan had embarked on a mission to becoming a nuclear power, the third OIC Summit was held in Lahore, Pakistan. The then Prime Minister ZA Bhutto was the Chief host. Palestine and the Indian illegal Occupied Kashmir issue were the main issues. Use of Oil as weapon strategy idea turned bloody. Following the summit King Faisal, President Anwar Sadat we’re assassinated. ZA Bhutto faced the same conspiracy. US had warned Pakistan to stay away becoming a Nuclear power state.
While the US had planned to impose sanctions to refrain and dissuade it from nuclear weapons, USSR Forces invasion of Afghanistan changed the dynamics. Moscow’s ambition to have access to hot waters in Arabian Sea needed to be defeated. India was already an ally to Moscow.
Pakistan became “ the front-line state“ to stop the Red Army which became big success for West in 1989 with not only Soviet troops withdrawal but also disintegration of it in 15 independent states within the next couple of years.
Pakistan was not only again left by US high and dry but it imposed sanctions under the Pressler Law of 1985 under which delivery of F16 fighter jets were made subject to the US President clearance letter that Pakistan was not going ahead with its Nuclear weapon programme despite the fact that it had paid in advance.
After Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, US had planned to move in to Middle East , the opportunity was well orchestrated when Iraq under Saddam Hussain invaded Kuwait . The US troops landed in Saudi Arabia. Declared aim was to liberate Kuwait but hidden agenda was to take over control on oil wealth . 9/11 events changed the scenario. While Al-Qaida was sorted out in Afghanistan, military operation to bring down Saddam Hussain was launched simultaneously in 2003. Oil rich Iran was destroyed financially and militarily in 8 years long war with Iraq. Today Iraq, Libya, Syria stand crushed militarily with oil wells under US led West control.
After a 29 year long war against so-called terrorism, the US led NATO faced a humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Pakistan, despite having suffered heavily in terms of loss of over 80 thousand lives and 120 billion USD , still has been blamed for collusion and despite fulfilling 32 conditions out of 34, it is still kept in grey list FATAF. The US political proxies in Pakistan are out of power after 30 years of rule one after another. Now a third political force Pakistan Tehreek Insaaf with its Leader Imran Khan as the Prime Minister is running the affairs. He has rejected idea of giving bases for US drone attacks in Afghanistan, brushed aside pressure to condemn Russian invasion of Ukraine and not to give up strategic relationships both with Beijing and Moscow.
Immediately after withdrawal from Afghanistan the US has hastened its Russia and China containment policy. Moscow had taken over Crimea in 2014, military naval port providing access in to Black Sea. US plans to have Ukraine as its military partner in NATO is the main reason for current ongoing war in the Eastern Europe region for nearly a month now.
Here in Pakistan, “ foreign sponsored regime change plan has been going on for nearly two months with same objective to install a government of Washington’s choice in Islamabad to successfully achieved the objective that is China containment . US obviously want to see a pro Pentagon Army Chief and a Political set up. Both Pakistan People Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) have minced no words to condemn PMIK statements on providing bases to US and rejecting West pressure to condemn Russian invasion of Ukraine. Khan is sticking to his policy of not making Pakistan “a part of any war”.
The whole new game started when PMIK visited China and Russia in last February rejecting US demand to not to go. For the last nearly four years the US Ambassador is awaited . The Biden Administration has not established any direct contact with PMIK. Army leadership visits are still to take place.
As if this was not enough Pakistan hosted 57 members OIC Foreign Minister moot in Islamabad where Chinese Foreign Minister was the Chief Guest. Today Pakistan is a formidable nuclear power with latest ballistic short, medium and long-range missiles.
The Arab world with Saudi Arabia is rallying around Pakistan. KSA too is going in with massive investments in China amounting to multi billion dollars, China Pakistan Economic Corridor or BR silk route. Both countries also intend to sign defense agreements.
Today Pakistan is facing a turning point, whether to join US led bloc or Russia China block or remain neutral as bridge of mutual cooperation?
PMIK government is facing a no confidence move of the United Opposition Parties in the National Assembly who are now being seen as mainly pro west . His government is standing on 17 votes of two coalition partners – PML-Q 5 seats, MQM 7 seats and BAP 5seats – in a house of 342 where figure of 172 is the golden number to stay in the government.
Lot of politics is going on to foil the no confidence move with PMIK addressing public meetings in different parts of the country. One such mega event is scheduled on Sunday which could be a public declaration as to where should Pakistan stand . Both PPP and PML-N two big parties main stream leadership are facing corruption cases . The question before the people to decide is that whether they want return of corrupts and stooges of the West or they want a leadership safeguarding their honour, independence, self-respect and national pride. To say that tomorrow is the turning point for Pakistan won’t be an understatement. The political Sunday is awaited eagerly. Whether it will bring an end to Political , Military Ethnic , Sectarian, Judicial, Elite proxies in Pakistan or not , is anxiously awaited.
Fakhar ur Rehman is a Senior Journalist who has worked with Pakistani and International Media. Turkish NTV, CNN Turkish, NBC News USA, Aaj TV, Dunya TV and Samaa TV coveting Defence, Diplomatic, Political, Judicial issue’s, war against terrorism.