When Will China Stop Supporting Pakistan


Ed

Ramakrishnan C M
Ramakrishnan C M, Colonel, Indian Army, retd, BSc, PGDM, MA(Political Science)

 

       China’s relationship with Pakistan has provided it with good dividends over decades and there is no reason at present that China should let go of its South western neighbour.

      Sergey Lavrov’s ‘Post – West world order’ is In its early nascent state, with China as the major player in Asia; with Eurasia and maybe the world to follow. China has had decisive leadership over the last three decades, and has honed its abilities to grab strategic opportunities to consolidate its position economically and militarily. China’s relationship with Pakistan should be viewed with its geography, trade and hegemonic ambitions in mind.

    China’s relationship with Pakistan has provided it with good dividends over decades and there is no reason at present that China should let go of its Southwestern neighbour.

Some of the major advantages of China’s support of Pakistan are:

CPEC Route Gwadar: #

CPEC Route Gwadar: The difference between CPEC Eastern route and CPEC Western Route

#(CPEC Bulletin)

  1. Chinese access to the blue waters of the Arabian Sea, from the Port of Gawdar in Baluchistan will enable domination of the Arabian Sea with its expanding spread of naval bases. Port of Gawdor will enable transhipment and passage of crude oil and petroleum products utilising the CPEC highways under construction. This will eliminate the Malacca funnels and choke points on the shipping routes from Middle East to Eastern shores of China. (Expected to save upto 10 days in transit time)

2. China is investing heavily in the CPEC, estimates varying from  42 billions to 62 billions. This will enable Chinese infrastructure behemoths to move to Pakistan and set up manufacturing plants and move finished products to and from Pakistan. If Pakistan can manage the inputs  judiciously, it can benefit greatly from CPEC.

3. “So far, China insists that CPEC has purely economic aims, while Pakistanis continue to assume it is a strategic project that would enhance the country’s security.”*

4.Minerals of Baluchistan are an additional attraction for The Chinese.

5. Afghanistan is an area where the Chinese are keen to move in, Afghanistan has an abundance  of mineral wealth also. However even though Chinese may not be comfortable with the Taliban, they expect that with Pakistan on its side Taliban will be pliable, after all Pakistan has been fully supportive of Afgan Taliban in its attempt to overthrow the lawfully elected Afgan government.

6. China’s efforts to silence the Muslim Uygurs, by various means including concentration camps and ‘education ‘ has been condemned universally by all countries except Pakistan. China expects that Pakistan will not take up the issues of Muslims in China and keep control of its homegrown terrorist organisations like, JeM, etc.

7. China is only too happy that Indian security forces are kept busy by Pakistan on its western borders. Pakistan gets its military equipment almost free from USA, as also billions in aid. India has to pay for every single  item of defence purchase. India’s resources are limited and instead of infrastructure and welfare projects, India is compelled to divert scarce resources to defence equipment. Under these circumstances India will be at least 20 years behind China in every aspect, economic or military.

The above are some of the issues that will continue to consolidate Chinese Pakistani relationship. So there is no reason for China to stop supporting Pakistan.

Wikipedia

  • Anhui Construction Engineering Group.
  • Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Group.
  • Beijing Construction Engineering Group.
  • CDIG.
  • CEIEC.
  • CGCOC Group.
  • Chalieco.
  • China Communications Construction (China Harbour Engineering, China Road and Bridge Corporation, Zhenhua)
  • * Reimagining Pakistan by Hussain Haqqani

**China, the largest trade partner of Pakistan, has further increased its exports to $11.458bn; an increase of $1.381bn compared to FY17. However, exports to China increased by just $120 million to $1.744bn, creating a trade gap of $9.7bn which accounts for over 30 per cent of the overall trade deficit of the country. (Dawn.com)

Do Taliban belong to Afghanistan or Pakistan? What does Taliban mean and what do they want?


“The word Taliban comes from tālib, “student” in Arabic”.

Under Zia Ul Haq, the then president of Pakistan, a number of madarssas  were opened to cater for fighters to take on the Army of USSR which had moved in to Afghanistan. USA was very Keen to ensure that Russians lose their war in Afghanistan and lose face around the world. USA and Saudi Arabia funded Pakistan and also provided heavy weapons including Stinger missiles for use against Russian aircraft.

      Hundreds of uneducated and unemployed Pashtun youth were brainwashed in these  Madarassas with extreme fanatical Islamic views and let loose inAfganistan. Pashtuns form the majority of Fighters in Taliban, though there are Turkmens, Tajiks, Uzbeks and even a few Hazaras.

Afganistan has over ten ethnic groups. It is a land that has never allowed any external force to dominate for any length of time. Tribal loyalties are on the top of the cultural scale followed by Islam. A Central government in Kabul  has limited say in how things are governed in the urban areas,  and  almost none in the hinterlands.

Consequent to the Russian army pulling out, Taliban took over the country and established a government. Pakistan was the first to recognise Taliban government and persuaded Saudi Arabia to follow suit. Pakistan assumed that Taliban government would be a puppet, working under its directions. But the Afgan Taliban, even though funded trained and supported by Pakistan proved difficult to handle.

Taliban giving protection to members of Al Qaida, Osama bin Laden, subsequent US intervention and displacement of Taliban are a part of history. Under attack by US forces Taliban moved to Pakistan where it was given sanctuary.

After the debacles of 1965 and 1971 Pakistani army had formulated a policy of ‘depth’, ie Afghanistan will form a safe staging area for its forces in case of problems with india on its eastern front. This meant a pliable government in Afghanistan. However with Taliban having been sent packing and a democratically elected government in Afghanistan in  place Pakistan found itself without its perceived ‘depth’.

Therefore for the past nearly two decades Pakistan has been needling the Taliban to fight and destabilise the Afghan government, which the international community had managed to set up against all odds. Today Taliban controls nearly half of Afghanistan, and USA is planning to withdraw its 8500 troops in Afghanistan. If that happens Approximately 12000 allied troops will also leave. Afgan Security forces are no match today against Taliban which is being backed by Pakistani army. It is only a matter of time before Taliban moves into Kabul as apart of a coalition government or even a complete domination. This is what Pakistan is aiming for. A puppet Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

As mentioned earlier, Pashtuns form the Majority of fighters in the Taliban. Unfortunately for Pashtuns, the Durand Line, an artificial divide, a perfidy perpetrated by the British has separated the ethnic Pashtuns in two, Afghanistan has never accepted the Durand line as the border with Pakistan.

Tehrike Taliban came into the picture in 2007. Pakistani army lost its leverage with TTP when it commenced military actions in NWFP, and therefore allowed USA to target its leaders by use of drones. TTP has been conducting operations against Pakistan army ever since and even civilians.

Today there is the strange dichotomy in the Pakistani army, which, even while giving all out support to Afgan Taliban, is hell bent on destroying TTP ie Pakistani Taliban.

     Will it succeed? Not to forget the basic raw material for Taliban, Afgan or Pakistan are Pashtuns.

Tribal loyalties demand badal for every member of the tribe killed. Can Pakistan really separate or divide the two Taliban overt time and achieve its objects of a puppet Taliban in Afghanistan and completely decimated Pakistani Taliban ie TTP?

Only time will tell.