09
January

Reigniting the Water Wars

Written By: Dr. Huma Baqai

In the event of a war, states are entitled to suspend treaties, including diplomatic relations by invoking Article 62 of the Vienna Convention. If India or Pakistan consider revoking the treaty, it is itself signaling an act of war. This will equip both the countries with the right under international law to take up any other coercive or non-coercive measure as an act of reprisal. This is not a pretty picture. Perhaps India should also be mindful of the fact that China is an upper-riparian country in Indus and Brahmaputra basins.

What’s ticking between Pakistan and India is not the nuclear bomb, but the water bomb. For years international relations strategists have warned that wars in the future would be over resources. Post-recent tensions in South Asia, Prime Minister Narendera Modi suspended meetings of the committee that oversees water sharing between India and Pakistan, using water as a diplomatic weapon. International experts are of the view that Delhi is using the water issue to put pressure on Pakistan in the dispute over Kashmir. The Indian strategy is to build huge storage facilities and canals over and around the rivers that flow through Indian administered Kashmir but most of the water is allotted to Pakistan under the Indus Water Treaty. The 56 year old treaty is under strain, and Modi’s stance and strategy is not conducive to its continuity. Like it is said, sharing the waters of the Cauvery has been an issue for decades but it is particularly contentious now. The latest development is that Pakistan has yet again approached the World Bank to address the violation of the Treaty by India. India has successfully stalled the appointment of the chairman of the Arbitration Court of Justice, which Pakistan had requested, by immediately moving in with a request for a neutral expert.


This new twist to the treaty has come at a time when Modi government has chosen to publicly threaten Pakistan with the abrogation of the treaty. India is threatening to cut Pakistan’s water access. The 56 year-old water sharing agreement has run into trouble as tensions have escalated between the rivals, post-Uri attack. Statements by Prime Minister Modi calling for a review of the Treaty where he said that blood and water cannot flow together, and then hinting at revoking the treaty were seen as confirmation of these apprehension.


However, this is not new. India has been following a policy of ‘dewatering Pakistan’ since long. India already has 20 hydro projects on the three western rivers allocated to Pakistan. It is now building another 10 and more are being planned.


In the past also, Islamabad has complained to the international court that the dam in the Gurez Valley, one of dozens planned by India, will affect Pakistan’s river flow and is illegal. The court had halted any permanent work on the river for the moment but India got the permission to continue tunneling and building other associated projects. In 1987, upon Pakistan’s objection, Delhi had to suspend the Tulbul Navigation Project on the Jhelum River. As per a BBC report, sources within Indian Water Resources Ministry have hinted that the project could now be revived. As part of Modi’s aggressive water policy, this will directly have an impact on Pakistan’s agriculture.


The former chairman of Indus River System Authority, Engineer Fateh Ullah Khan Gandapur said on record that India is using water as a ‘weapon of mass destruction’ to convert Pakistan into a desert and is diverting the entire flow into the Indian territory of Rajasthan. Salman Bashir, former foreign secretary of Pakistan, categorically said that diversion of Indus water by India will lead to war. Prime Minister Modi in one of his pre-election speeches in Batinda said that water that belongs to India should remain in India. Diverting the waters of Indus is not realistically possible, and cannot be done without triggering a war between the two countries.


Pakistan, India and Afghanistan Water Triangle
India has also tried to use its influence to start interfering with the flow of water from Afghanistan to Pakistan. Islamabad has shown its concern over New Delhi’s increased help to Kabul for development of a number of storages on the Kabul River without addressing Pakistan’s concerns. The Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in his visit to Afghanistan back in 2011 had pledged $1.5bn in development assistance, with special interest in dam-building on the Kabul River. This commitment, apart from other heads, is meant for building 14 small and medium dams with total water storage capacity of 7.4MAF. International financial institutions including the World Bank have agreed to provide $7.079bn for these projects. In 2016, Indian experts completed the feasibility and detailed engineering of 12 projects to be built on River Kabul. If these 12 projects are completed, they will store 4.7 million acre feet of water, squeezing river flows to Pakistan. Moreover, in the absence of major dams in Pakistan, Pakistan will eventually end up buying electricity from Afghanistan, which may be the underlying purpose of this extensive 12 dam plan of the Afghan government with Indian collaboration. India and Afghanistan are actively exploring Chenab like run of the river projects on Afghanistan eastern rivers as a strategic offensive against Pakistan. Pakistan does not have any water treaty with Afghanistan. The rules governing flow of Afghanistan’s eastern rivers, mainly Kabul, Kunar and Chitral into Pakistan are just some internationally accepted principles. Pakistan in retaliation had hinted at diverting Chitral River before its entry into Afghanistan in the event of attempts made to deprive it of its due share. The strained relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan and the constant Indian manipulation of the conflict also has Pakistan’s water security at stake. A latest policy brief by Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD) Pakistan titled “Hydro-diplomacy between Pakistan and Afghanistan” says “planned water projects on Kabul River by upper-riparian Afghanistan will adversely affect lower-riparian Pakistan. It is critically important to arrive at a consensus by understanding issues, maintaining historical rights and arriving at benefit sharing options for both countries through the use of Kabul River waters.”

 

We need to showcase our water vision for the future which includes not only raising objections to what India is doing but having a water conservation plan and a strategy to respond to climate change. Pakistan’s water security is intrinsically linked to its food security. In Pakistan little or no dams are being constructed and to add insult to injury the two largest dams are silting.

India has never underestimated the significance of river waters to strengthen its geostrategic interests in the region. It is now working on a double-squeeze water policy against Pakistan by constantly building on the western rivers in occupied Kashmir and facilitating projects on the Kabul River. The establishment in Delhi has a very aggressive water mindset towards Pakistan. It has under successive governments, talked about reviewing the Treaty “to teach Pakistan a lesson”. Modi is just more vocal about it.


The statement by P.M. Modi was not taken lightly by Pakistan, and it immediately approached the World Bank to appoint a chairman for the Court of Arbitration because Pakistan claims that the design of the 330 MW Kishanganga Project violated the treaty. India followed with the demand for the appointment of a neutral expert. The World Bank’s take on the situation is that both processes initiated by the respective countries were advancing at the same time, creating a risk of contradictory outcomes that potentially endanger the Treaty. Thus, the pause is to address this impasse. Arbitration has been halted over two Indian hydro-electric projects on the Chenab River; 850 MW Ratle and 330 MW Kishanganga. The World Bank has counseled bilateral negotiations between India and Pakistan. It has urged both the countries to sort out differences and problems by January 2017. The bank had initially agreed to initiate both the processes simultaneously, but decided to pause them post Indian objection.


India has welcomed the decision and is ready to talk to Pakistan bilaterally to resolve the issue. This sudden desire to talk to Pakistan over water has arised because it suits India for several reasons to achieve its end objectives. One; India has initiated this new twist in the Treaty by continuous violation and hurling threats at Pakistan. Two; India has been stonewalling all initiative for dialogue except on the Treaty, this happened only after the issue was taken to the World Bank. More interestingly, India has habitually sidelined the permanent Indus Commission, established under Article VIII of the Indus Water Treaty (IWT), the primary channel of communication between the two countries. Now the question arises why this sudden desire to resolve the water issue through dialogue? It is also important to note here that India, which is ready for bilateral negotiation with Pakistan after Pakistan approached the World Bank, had even suspended routine bi-annual talks between the Indus Commissions of the two countries, and had taken a principle decision to restart work on the Tulbul Navigation Project on the Jhelum.


The last time bilateral dialogue on the Treaty brought some success was in 1978. The situation between India and Pakistan is different today and we are in state of dispute paralysis. The trust deficit between the two countries is at its highest level. The LoC keeps blowing hot and cold. The theatre of conflict now also includes Afghanistan. Indian opposition to CPEC is an open secret. The atmospherics for dialogue to resolve a contentious issue, like water seem unlikely.


The Indian strategy of continuous building of projects and at the same time, threatening Pakistan with revoking of the Treaty and resorting to dialogue only are a time-gaining strategy because of international pressure to achieve its nefarious designs, does not induce any confidence. Pakistan has made it clear that it will not accept any modification or changes in the IWT. Pakistan’s reaction to the World Bank brokered pause is not positive. Since it is seen as an Indian strategy of gaining time to continue building, till it becomes fate accomplished. A review of the Treaty is also not acceptable to Pakistan. The review, as already stated by Indian experts, is aimed at more rights over the western rivers, which is Pakistan’s agriculture’s lifeline.


Legal status of the Treaty
Ahmer Bilal Soofi, an eminent Pakistani lawyer’s take on the Treaty is that “The Treaty has no provision for unilateral “suspension”. It is of an indefinite duration and was never intended to be time-specific, event-specific or regime-specific — but rather state-specific. It will not expire with regime change. It is binding on both the states equally and offers no exit provision. The Treaty survived the two wars as well as other Pakistan-India conflicts because none of them was termed a war under international law.


In the event of a war, states are entitled to suspend treaties, including diplomatic relations by invoking Article 62 of the Vienna Convention. If India or Pakistan consider revoking the Treaty, it is itself signaling an act of war. This will equip both the countries with the right under international law to take up any other coercive or non-coercive measure as an act of reprisal”. This is not a pretty picture. Perhaps India should also be mindful of the fact that China is an upper-riparian country in Indus and Brahmaputra basins.


India is playing with fire using water as a tool of aggressive diplomacy to mount pressure on Pakistan. Using a mutually used resource to gain geo-strategic advantage is a recipe for trouble. On the other hand Pakistan should not take this lightly. India has time and again successfully manipulated the World Bank brokerage to its advantage because of Pakistan’s delayed response and weak water diplomacy. Pakistan needs to put its act together now, both internally and externally. Giving foreign policy statements, largely just for the consumption of the internal audience without any real plan on the ground, will not work. We need to showcase our water vision for the future which includes not only raising objections to what India is doing but having a water conservation plan and a strategy to respond to climate change. Pakistan’s water security is intrinsically linked to its food security. In Pakistan little or no dams are being constructed and to add insult to injury the two largest dams are silting. Pakistani authorities have so far done nothing to develop water uses on River Kabul. There is also no progress on the Munda dam. It paints a very grim picture of our water resources, like it is said, wars in today’s world are not fought on the conventional front but on the diplomatic, intellectual and economic front.

 

The writer is an eminent analyst and anchor person. She is currently an Associate Professor at Department of Social Sciences and Liberal Arts at IBA, Karachi.

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10
January

باہمی تعاون مگر پاکستان کی قیمت پر نہیں

تحریر: ڈاکٹر ماریہ سلطان

نیوکلیئر سپلائیرز گروپ اگرچہ ایک غیر روایتی نظام ہے تاہم ٹیکنالوجی کو کنٹرول میں رکھنے کا ایک اہم ذریعہ ہے۔روایتی طور پر اس سے نہ صرف حساس ٹیکنالوجی کی تجارت کو منضبط کیا جاتا رہا ہے بلکہ اسی نظام کے ذریعے تمام ہائی ٹیک مواد کی بین الاقوامی تجارت بھی ضابطہ کار میں لائی جاتی رہی ہے۔ دو الگ الگ فہرستوں میں تقسیم اس نظام کا ایک حصہ نیوکلیائی ٹیکنالوجی اور نیوکلیائی ہتھیاروں کے عدم پھیلاؤ کی صراحت کرتا ہے جب کہ دوسرے حصے میں بنیادی خام مال اور اہم مادوں ،جیسے بسمتھ، ایلومینیم وغیرہ، کی تجارت کا کنٹرول شامل ہے۔ مذکورہ دھاتیں اور دیگر نیوکلیائی مواد اور ٹیکنالوجی کسی بھی ملک کی ہائی ٹیک صنعت کی بقا کے لئے انتہائی اہمیت کی حامل ہیں۔ اس لئے نیوکلیئر سپلائیرز گروپ کی اہمیت اور اندیشے ان دونوں درجوں میں آزادانہ تجارت سے جڑے ہوئے ہیں۔


تاہم گزشتہ چند سالوں سے اس ادارے کی غیر جانب داری اور موثر رہنے کے بارے میں شکوک و شبہات جنم لے رہے ہیں۔ ان شکوک کی بنیادی وجہ ہندوستان کو اس گروپ کا ممبر بنانے کے لئے کی جانے والی امریکہ کی جانب سے کوششوں کا بہت عمل دخل ہے۔ گزشتہ چند سالوں میں امریکہ نے انتہائی جانبداری اور لاپروائی کا مظاہرہ کرتے ہوئے انڈیا کے ساتھ نہ صرف نیوکلیئر کے میدان میں باہمی تعاون کے معاہدے کئے اور اس کو نیوکلیئرسپلائیر گروپ کی ممبر شب دلانے کے لئے پہلے سے طے شدہ قوانین کو بائی پاس کرنے کی کوشش کی بلکہ اس باہمی تعاون کے منفی اثرات پاکستان کے نیوکلیئر پروگرام پر بھی پڑنے شروع ہو گئے۔اب نہ صرف پاکستان کو نیوکلیئرسپلائیر گروپ کا ممبر بنانے کی، میڈیا بشمول سوشل میڈیا کے ایک مذموم مہم شروع کر دی گئی ہے بلکہ پاکستان کے نیوکلیئر پروگرام، جس کی سکیورٹی ایک مسلمہ امر ہے، اس پر بھی حملے کئے جا رہے ہیں۔


ایک طرف تو بھارت کو نیوکلیئر سیفٹی کے ضمن میں بدترین ریکارڈ اور جوہری عدمِ پھیلاؤ کے عالمی معاہدے پر دستخط نہ کرنے کے باوجود نیوکلیئرسپلائیر گروپ کی رکنیت دی جارہی ہے جب کہ دوسری طرف پاکستان کے صنعتی اداروں کو غیرروایتی ذرائع استعمال کرتے ہوئے اپاہج کرنے کی منصوبہ بندی کی جارہی ہے۔ سوشل میڈیا اور غیر روایتی پروپیگنڈے کا مذموم مقاصد کے لئے استعمال نہ صرف شرمناک بلکہ معتبر عالمی اداروں کی ساکھ پر سوالیہ نشان کا باعث بھی بنے گا۔ پاکستان کے لئے یہ قطعی طور پر ناقابلِ قبول اور غیر منصفانہ طرزِ عمل ہے۔ اس سے جہاں ہماری مختصر اور طویل مدتی صنعتی ضروریات اور توانائی کے حصول کی کوششوں کو زِک پہنچے گی اس کے ساتھ ساتھ پاکستان کے دفاع کے لئے انتہائی اہم نیوکلیئر صلاحیت کو مذموم پروپیگنڈے کے ذریعے داغ دار کرنے کی کوشش اور نیوکلیئر سپلائیرز گروپ کی اتفاقِ رائے کی روایت ، اس کی دوہری ٹیکنالوجی کی تجارت کو متاثر کرنے کی اہلیت اور بھارت امریکہ کا گٹھ جوڑ، پاکستان کی ترقی کی کوششوں پر بری طرح اثر انداز ہو سکتا ہے۔دونوں ملکوں کی جانب سے نیوکلیئرسپلائیرز گروپ کے پلیٹ فارم کو استعمال کرنے کے یہ خدشات نہ صرف ترقی کے لئے ہمارے مشرق کے ساتھ اشتراک کو متاثر کریں گے بلکہ ہمارے ملک کی مستقبل میں تجارت نیز پاکستان اور امریکہ کے باہمی تعلقات پر بھی بُرے اثرات ڈالیں گے۔


جنیوا میں این ایس جی کے حوالے سے گفت و شنید اور بھارتی وزیرِاعظم کی این ایس جی میں شمولیت کی شاطرانہ کوششوں کو اس وقت شدید دھچکا لگا جب یہ انکشاف ہوا کہ نو بھارتی ادارے نیوکلیئرٹیکنالوجی کے حوالے سے خلاف ورزیوں کی وجہ سے حالیہ عرصے میں امریکہ کی درآمدی کنٹرول کی فہرست کا حصہ تھے۔ اس تمام کے باوجود موجودہ اوبامہ انتظامیہ اپنے آخری ایام میں بھارت کی نیوکلیئرسپلائیرز گروپ کی رکنیت کے حصول میں مدد کر رہی ہے۔ ساتھ ہی پاکستان کے نیوکلیئرپروگرام کے خلاف کسی معتبر شہادت کے بغیر ہی سوشل میڈیا اور انٹیلی جنس رپورٹوں کی بنیاد پرپاکستان کی جانب سے اٹھائے گئے اہم اقدامات کے بارے میں شکوک و شبہات پیدا کرنے کی کوششیں کی جارہی ہیں۔


نیوکلیئرسپلائیر گروپ میں شمولیت ہو یا دیگر نیوکلیئر سے متعلق معاملات پاکستانی قوم کے خدشات بے بنیاد نہیں بلکہ اس کی ایک تازہ مثال اوبامہ انتظامیہ کی جانب سے سات پاکستانی گروپس اور اداروں پر پابندی کا اعلان ہے۔ یو ایس ڈیپارٹمنٹ آف کامرس نے ان سات
Entities
کو ایک نوٹیفکیشن کے تحت
Export Administration Regulations (EAR)
کی فہرست میں شامل کیا ہے۔ تاہم یہ امر باعث تشویش اورمجرمانہ تعصب کی نشاندہی کرتا ہے کہ اس پابندی کا باعث بننے والی کسی بھی وجوہ کا ذکر نہیں کیا گیا ہے۔ موجودہ امریکی انتظامیہ کی جانب سے اپنے آخری مہینوں میں برتے گئے اس تعصب سے مستقبل میں دونوں ملکوں کے تعلقات شدید متاثر ہونے کا خدشہ ہے۔ اس لئے پاکستانی اداروں کی فہرست میں شمولیت کا ازسرِ نو جائزہ لینے کی اشد ضرورت ہے۔


غیرمصدقہ اور مشکوک ذرائع جیسا کہ سوشل میڈیا، تجارتی ویب سائٹوں، انٹیلی جنس رپورٹوں اور وکی لیکس کی بنیاد پر تیار کردہ الفا پروجیکٹ پر شکوک کے بادل چھائے ہوئے ہیں۔ اس مشکوک رپورٹ کی بنیاد پاکستان کے پروگرام کے بارے میں شکوک و شبہات اور خدشات پیدا کئے جار ہے ہیں۔ ایسی رپورٹوں سے نہ صرف پاکستان کی نیوکلیئرسپلائر گروپ میں شمولیت کا کیس پیچیدہ ہوجائے گابلکہ نئی امریکی انتظامیہ کے ساتھ باہمی تعاون کی کوششوں کو بھی نقصان پہنچے گا۔ ایسے ذرائع پر بھروسہ کرکے تشکیل دی گئی رپورٹ میں کالعدم اداروں کی فہرست میں شمولیت یا پاکستان کے نیوکلیئرپروگرام کے بارے میں تشویش پیدا کرنے کا جواز نہیں بنایا جانا چاہئے۔ پاکستانی کمپنیوں کی امریکہ کے کالعدم اداروں کی فہرست میں شمولیت ، جیسا کہ الفا رپورٹ میں تذکرہ کیا گیا، پاکستان کی دفاعی ، نیوکلیائی اور عمومی صنعتوں کو بری طرح متاثر کرے گی۔


مذکورہ پروجیکٹ کا بظاہر مذموم مقصد مخصوص عناصر کے ایما پر پروپیگنڈا کو بنیاد بنا کر پاکستانی معیشت کے لئے ریڑھ کی ہڈی کی حیثیت رکھنے والی صنعتوں کو نشانہ بنانا ہے۔ مزید برآں یہ رپورٹ موجودہ امریکی انتظامیہ کی جانب سے مستقبل کی امریکی انتظامیہ کے ساتھ پاکستان کے تعلقات پیچیدہ تر بنانے کی کوشش بھی ہے۔
پاکستان امریکہ کے ساتھ باہمی تعاون پر مبنی تعلقات قائم کرنے کا خواہش مند ہے اور پاکستان نیوکلیئرسپلائیرز گروپ کے معیارِ اہلیت پر پورا اترتا ہے۔ بے بنیاد،کمزور اور مشکوک معلومات کو بنیاد بنا کر امریکہ کی جانب سے پابندیوں کے شکار اداروں کی فہرست میں توسیع پاکستان کی تجارت اور ترقی پر منفی اثرات ڈالے گی۔ اس طریقے سے بغیر کسی اصول اور معیار کے بین الاقوامی برآمدی کنٹرولز کو سیاسی مقاصد کے حصول کے لئے استعمال کرنا باعثِ تشویش ہے۔ اسی طرح اگر بھارت کو ایٹمی ہتھیاروں کا پھیلاؤ روکنے کا قانوناً پابند نہیں کیا جاتا تو اس سے سب سے زیادہ نقصان نان این پی ٹی ممالک کو ہی ہو گا۔


پروجیکٹ الفا کے ذریعے یہ کوشش کی جا رہی ہے کہ پاکستان کو این ایس جی کی ممبرشپ نہ دی جائے اور یہ بے بنیاد تاثر دیا جارہا ہے کہ پاکستان خفیہ طور پر ایٹمی اور میزائل ٹیکنالوجی کے حصول کے لئے کوشاں ہے۔ پروجیکٹ الفا نہ صرف ٹھوس مواد سے محروم ہے بلکہ اس میں توازن کا خیال بھی نہیں رکھا گیا اور بظاہر اس پروجیکٹ کے ذریعے امریکہ۔ بھارت دفاعی صنعتوں کے مابین تعاون میں اضافے کے لئے راہ ہموار کرنا اور بھارت کو نیوکلیئرسپلائیرز گروپ کی رکنیت دینے کی کوشش ہے۔غیر روایتی نیٹ ورکس اور میڈیا میں چلائی جار ہی اس مسلسل مہم کا مقصد پاکستان کے دفاع،نیوکلیئر اور ہائی ٹیک صنعت کے خلاف پروپیگنڈا کرنا ہے جو کہ اصل حقائق سے قطعی مختلف ہے۔


بدقسمتی سے بھارت اور امریکہ کا باہمی تعاون بھارت کے لئے این ایس جی کی رکنیت کی درخواست تک محدود نہیں ہے بلکہ اس کاپس پردہ محرک دونوں ملکوں کے مابین دفاعی تجارت اور ٹیکنالوجی میں تعاون بھی ہے۔ اس تعاون کی چار جہتیں ہیں یعنی یو اے ویز
(Unmanned Aerial Vehicles)
کی بھارت میں پیداوار،بحرِ ہند میں بھارتی بالادستی کے لئے اقدامات،ایف سولہ کی فراہمی کا دفاعی معاہدہ اور جیٹ پروپلژن سسٹم جس سے بھارت اور امریکہ کے درمیان ہمیشہ کے لئے دفاعی معاہدہ تشکیل پا جائے گا۔


اسی طرح بھارت اور اسرائیل کا بری ،فضائی اور بحری فوجی تعاون بشمول انٹیلی جنس کا تبادلہ بھی جاری ہے۔ موساد اور را کے مابین تعاون صرف انٹیلی جنس کے تبادلے تک محدود نہیں بلکہ اسرائیل بھارتی فوجیوں کو سرجیکل سٹرائیکس کا اہل بنانے کے لئے تربیت بھی دے رہا ہے۔ دونوں ملکوں کے دفاعی اور سکیورٹی مفادات مشترکہ ہوتے جارہے ہیں جس کے نتیجے میں دونوں ملک وسیع پیمانے پر تعاون کررہے ہیں۔ جن میں بھارتی فضائیہ کے لئے جدید لڑاکا سسٹمز کی فراہمی،طویل فاصلے تک نشاندہی کرنے والے ٹریکنگ راڈار، زمین سے فضا میں طویل فاصلے تک مار کرنے والے میزائل،بحریہ کو جدید جنگی کشتیوں کی فراہمی اور بہتری میں تعاون، اینٹی سب میرین ہیلی کاپٹروں کے لئے تعاون،جاسوس سٹیلائٹ اور اینٹی بالسٹک میزائل ٹیکنالوجی میں تعاون شامل ہے۔ بھارت اور اسرائیل کے درمیان دفاعی اور ہائی ٹیک صنعتوں میں تعاون تقریباً نو ارب ڈالر تک پہنچ چکا ہے۔ دونوں ملک کشمیر میں مشترکہ طور پرپُر امن جدوجہدِ آزادی کو دبانے کے لئے کوشاں ہیں۔ سوشل میڈیا کے ذریعے پاکستان کو نیوکلیئر دھمکیاں انتہائی غیر ذمہ دارانہ طرزِ عمل ہے۔ اپنے مقاصد کے حصول کے لئے پروپیگنڈا مہم اور سوشل میڈیا کواستعمال کرنے میں ماہر اسرائیل کی وزارتِ دفاع کو چاہئے تھا کہ اسلام آباد کی طرف سے ردِ عمل آنے سے قبل ہی پاکستان کو دی جانے والی دھمکیوں سے لاتعلقی کا اعلان کردیتی۔ تاہم جس
Website
نے اسرائیلی دھمکی والی خبر دی تھی اس کی تردید کرنے میں اسرائیل نے 96گھنٹے کی تاخیر کی۔ یہ تاخیر معاملے کی حساسیت کو دیکھتے ہوئے بلاوجہ نہیں تھی بلکہ حالیہ دھمکی سوشل میڈیا کو بطورِ ذریعہ استعمال کرنے اور اسے علمی مباحثے کا حصہ بنا کر حقیقی صورتِ حال کا تاثر دینے کی بہترین مثال ہے۔


پاکستان کے دفاع، ہائی ٹیک صنعتوں اور نیوکلیئرپروگرام کے خلاف ایسے غیرمحفوظ ذرائع سے قائم کیا گیا تاثر قطعی ناقابلِ قبول ہے۔ سیاسی بنیادوں پر پابندیوں کو وسعت دینا اور بھارت امریکہ اور بھارت اسرائیل دفاعی تعاون پاکستان کے لئے مزید پیچیدگیاں پیدا کر رہا ہے۔ بھارت اور امریکہ کا یہ تعاون اپنے مقاصد کو عملی جامہ پہنانے کے لئے کسی بھی ملک کو دہشت گردی کے نام پر نشانہ بنانے کے لئے بھی استعمال ہو سکتا ہے۔ مزید برآں امریکہ کی جانب سے بھارت کو ہائی ٹیک تجارت اور حساس ٹیکنالوجی کے میدان میں تعاون فراہم کیا جارہا ہے اور دوسری طرف پاکستان کو نان ٹیرف اور ٹیرف رکاوٹوں کے ذریعے ننانوے اعشاریہ آٹھ فیصد رسائی سے محروم کیا جا رہاہے۔


دلچسپ امر یہ ہے کہ امریکہ نے بھارت کے اصرار پر ان نو بھارتی اداروں کو پابندی کے شکار اداروں کی فہرست سے نکال دیا ہے جونیوکلیئر ٹیکنالوجی کے حوالے سے غیر قانونی سرگرمیوں میں ملوث رہے ہیں۔ جس سے بھارت پر عائد تجارتی پابندیاں ہٹا لی گئی ہیں۔ یہ تمام ادارے بھارت کے میزائل اور خلائی پروگرام پر دن رات عمل پیرا ہیں۔
بھارت کی این ایس جی میں شمولیت کے لئے امریکہ اس لئے بھی بھرپور کوششیں کر رہا ہے کہ بھارت اور امریکہ کی صنعت مشترک ہوگی جس سے بھارت کے بغیر ایس سی او ممالک کے مابین دفاعی تعاون کم موثر ہوجائے گا۔لگتا یہی ہے کہ ایشیاکی سطح پر بھارت کے ساتھ امریکہ اور دیگر چائنا مخالف ممالک کا ایک علاقائی بلاک بننے جا رہاہے۔ موجودہ امریکہ انتظامیہ کا بھارت کی طرف بے پناہ جھکاؤ امریکہ کے اپنے مفادات کو بھی ساؤتھ ایشیا میں زک پہنچائے گا کیونکہ اس خطے میں امریکہ تیزی سے صرف ایک ملک کے ساتھ تعاون کی جانب بڑھ رہا ہے۔


ماضی میں بھارت کو این ایس جی میں دی گئی رعایت عدم پھیلاؤ کے مقاصد کے لئے اچھی ثابت ہوئی، نہ ہی اس سے جنوبی ایشیا میں استحکام آسکا۔ ایٹمی و کیمیائی ہتھیاروں کے عدم پھیلاؤکو یقینی بنانے کے لئے علاقائی استحکام اہم ترین عنصر ہے۔ نان این پی ٹی ممالک کو رکنیت دینے کے حوالے سے اس کلب کے تمام (اڑتالیس) ممالک کو غیر امتیازی طریقہ کار اپنانا چاہئے۔ نہ کہ صرف ایک ملک کو استثنا دینے کی کوشش۔ پاکستان دیگر نان این پی ٹی ممالک کے ساتھ بیک وقت این ایس جی میں شمولیت کا خواہش مند ہے۔ جس کے لئے ضروری ہے کہ رکنیت کے لئے نان این پی ٹی ممالک کی جانب سے دی گئی دونوں درخواستوں کا منصفانہ اور بیک وقت جائزہ لیا جائے۔ ایسا منصفانہ اور بے تعصبانہ طریقہ اختیار کرنے سے نیوکلیائی پھیلاؤ کو روکنے میں بہت زیادہ مدد ملے گی۔ پاکستان تقریباً ایک عشرے سے این ایس جی کے ساتھ کام کر رہاہے اور اب باقاعدہ طور پر گروپ میں شمولیت کے لئے تیار ہے۔


اس تمام صورت حال میں جس کو نیوکلیئر سکیورٹی اور تجارت کے نام پر پاکستان کے خلاف استعمال کیا جا رہا ہے ایک اور پہلو کو بھی نظرانداز نہیں کرنا چاہئے۔ وہ پہلو پاکستان کی صنعتی ترقی کے لئے ٹیکنالوجی کا استعمال ہے۔ پاکستان اور چین سی پیک منصوبے کو صرف تجارتی راہداری کے معنوں میں نہیں لیا جانا چاہئے بلکہ پاکستان، آنے والی دہائیوں میں، اس کو ایک مکمل معاشی و صنعتی منصوبہ کے طور پر دیکھتا ہے۔ پاکستان میں صنعتی ترقی کے لئے ٹیکنالوجی کا حصول بہت اہم ہو گا اور کسی طرح کی قدغن ہمارے بہتر مستقبل میں ایک رکاوٹ تصور کی جائے گی۔

مضمون نگار ساؤتھ ایشین سٹریٹجک سٹیبلٹی انسٹی ٹیوٹ اور

SASSI

یونیورسٹی کی ڈائریکٹر جنرل اور چیئرپرسن ہیں۔ مصنفہ جنوبی ایشیا کے نیو کلیئر آرمز کنٹرول اور ڈس آرمامنٹ معاملات اور دفاع کی ماہر تجزیہ نگارہیں۔ ان کے تحقیقی مضامین مختلف جرنلز‘ اخبارات اور کتابوں میں شائع ہوتے ہیں۔

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وجیکٹ الفا کے ذریعے یہ کوشش کی جا رہی ہے کہ پاکستان کو این ایس جی کی ممبرشپ نہ دی جائے اور یہ بے بنیاد تاثر دیا جارہا ہے کہ پاکستان خفیہ طور پر ایٹمی اور میزائل ٹیکنالوجی کے حصول کے لئے کوشاں ہے۔ پروجیکٹ الفا نہ صرف ٹھوس مواد سے محروم ہے بلکہ اس میں توازن کا خیال بھی نہیں رکھا گیا اور بظاہر اس پروجیکٹ کے ذریعے امریکہ ۔بھارت دفاعی صنعتوں کے مابین تعاون میں اضافے کے لئے راہ ہموار کرنا اور بھارت کو نیوکلیئرسپلائیرز گروپ کی رکنیت دینے کی کوشش ہے۔غیر روایتی نیٹ ورکس اور میڈیا میں چلائی جار ہی اس مسلسل مہم کا مقصد پاکستان کے دفاع،نیوکلیئر اور ہائی ٹیک صنعت کے خلاف پروپیگنڈا کرنا ہے جو کہ اصل حقائق سے قطعی مختلف ہے۔

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06
April

India's Defence Spendings...

Published in Hilal English

Written By: Brian Cloughly

In May 2016, India’s Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar, established a committee with the remit to “Recommend Measures to Enhance Combat Capability and Re-balance Defence Expenditure of the Armed Forces”. Its Chairman, Lt Gen (Retd) D.B. Shekatkar, presented his report last December and although there has been no public notification of its full content, it is apparent that the committee proposed some measures that if adopted would save money and improve the combat capabilities.


One major recommendation that is unlikely to be adopted, however, is to increase the defence budget to at least 2.5 percent of GDP. It is doubtful that any government in Delhi would be prepared to implement such a significant rise unless the country was actually at war or about to be so committed. As has been evident from societal reaction in some NATO countries to President Trump’s insistence that they increase their defence budgets to two percent of GDP, any diversion of scarce funds from such spheres as education and health can be not only economically sensitive but politically unpopular and socially divisive.

 

indiadefspending.jpgIn its February 2017 national budget the Indian government notified core defence expenditure of INR 2.74 trillion (USD 40.6 billion) for FY 2017/18, which is an increase of 5.6% over the revised budget for 2016/17. While the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute places India sixth highest of international military spenders (Pakistan being 28th) and its armed forces are the world’s third largest, at 1.3 million as against China’s 2.3 and the United States’ 1.4, there are major deficiencies in India’s defence preparedness and capabilities.


A significant factor militating against clarity in defence outlay is that the authorized expenditure of Rs. 2.74 trillion quoted by the finance minister is at variance with the Ministry of Defence figure of Rs. 2.62 trillion because the MoD considers the approximately 12 billion difference to be part of the Civil Estimates, as is the substantial Rs. 85 billion (USD 1.3 bn) defence pensions bill. The confusion is compounded by the fact that the ongoing annual underspend of money allocated for capital expenditure involves forfeit of unspent funds. The amount surrendered in FY 2016-2017 was a massive Rs. 6.9 billion, representing about 8 percent of the allocation.


As noted by the Indian parliament’s Standing Committee on Defence in April 2015, “Such underspending leads to a situation where the preparation of Defence Forces [is] nowhere near the target,” and although the committee advocated a system of non-lapsable funding, no action was taken, largely due to obstruction on the part of the ministries of defence and finance.

 

The report also noted that “India was the largest importer of major arms in 2012-16, accounting for 13 percent of the global total,” while noting that from the period 2007-2011 to 2012-2016 India’s imports increased by 43 percent and were far greater than those of China and Pakistan. Of increasing significance is the growth in supply of advanced military material to India by the U.S., which has included C-130 Hercules, Globemaster strategic transports and P-8 Maritime Surveillance aircraft.

Bureaucracy is crippling India’s defence planning, and it is apparent that the procurement system is being adversely affected by a combination of lack of funding, reluctance on the part of politicians and bureaucrats to accept strategy-based assessments of long-term requirements in force structure and equipment, and public complacency concerning national invincibility.


In one example of inconsistent defence planning, in 2015 India’s negotiations with France for purchase of 126 Rafale aircraft were abandoned and a decision was made to reduce the number to 36 in an entirely separate arrangement. This was not the result of a revised assessment of what the Indian Air Force (IAF) would require in the light of a perceived threat; rather it was a political choice that was forced upon the IAF without taking into account any strategic considerations. The history of India’s Rafale acquisition programme highlights some of the difficulties faced by defence planners.


In 2007, India published a request for proposal for 126 Medium Multirole Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) for which the original contenders were Boeing’s F/A-18, Dassault Aviation’s Rafale, the Eurofighter Typhoon, Lockheed Martin’s F-16, UAC’s MiG-35, and Saab’s Gripen. In 2011, it was announced that the Typhoon and the Rafale had been shortlisted, and following further evaluation the Rafale was selected in 2012.


Negotiations began, and contract finalization was expected in 2013, but the target was missed in a period in which there was considerable inflation and a substantial fall in the value of the rupee. This led to an increase in the overall cost. After the 2014 elections the newly-appointed Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar, and his visiting French counterpart agreed to speed up the negotiation process, but in January 2015 Parrikar said there had been ‘complications’ that he would attempt to resolve during a forthcoming visit to France. He also stated, somewhat ominously for Dassault, that upgrading the IAF’s Sukhoi Su-30MKI aircraft would make them a viable alternative to the Rafale. It is not known if the IAF provided any basis for his announcement.


During a visit to France in April 2015 by Prime Minister Modi, he and French President Hollande announced that India would acquire 36 Rafales directly from France. The 126 aircraft deal was dropped, apparently without reference to the Chief of Air Staff whose reaction was not known when Parrikar stated that “by buying 36 Rafales instead of 126, I have saved the cost of 90 Rafales. . . We will use this money to buy Tejas LCA.”


However, for the IAF, the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft project has been unsuccessful. Development began in 1983 and although there has been much positive publicity about the project, India’s Comptroller and Auditor General has been most critical of the programme. In 2015 he noted that because of delays the IAF had been required to take many temporary measures including upgrading existing aircraft rather than retiring them and stated that “LCA Mark-I, which achieved Initial Operational Clearance [in December 2013] has significant shortfalls (53 permanent waivers/concessions) in meeting Air Staff Requirements (ASR) as a result of which it will have reduced operational capabilities and reduced survivability, thereby limiting its operational employability when inducted into IAF squadrons. . . LCA Mark-I does not meet the ASR. The deficiencies are now expected to be met in LCA Mark-II by December 2018”.


There are other examples of unsatisfactory defence procurement, notably in artillery, and Indian Defence News noted in February 2017 that, “Even though the army in 1999 initiated a USD 8 billion Artillery Modernization Programme or Field Artillery Rationalization Plan (FARP) aimed at acquiring between 2700-3600 guns over the next 15 to 20 years (2020-25), things have virtually remained stalled with there being no new inductions”.


Given the comparative budget allocation to defence and the parlous state of so many major procurement programmes, it is not surprising that the BJP government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi attempts to deflect attention from what appears to be ineffective direction of the nation’s defence planning by concentrating on increasing tension with Pakistan.


When Mr. Modi stopped briefly in Pakistan en route from Kabul to Delhi in December 2014, his action was greeted with much approval internationally. His cordial meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was hailed as a major step forward in contributing to regional stability and the statement that “it was agreed to continue and enhance bilateral contacts and work together to establish good neighbourly relations” met with international praise. It seemed, even to many cynical observers of sub-continent affairs, that an era of trust might begin; but alas we were wrong.

 

Given the comparative budget allocation to defence and the parlous state of so many major procurement programmes, it is not surprising that the BJP government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi attempts to deflect attention from what appears to be ineffective direction of the nation’s defence planning by concentrating on increasing tension with Pakistan.

Modi tweeted that he “spent a warm evening with Sharif family at their family home” and was “personally touched” by the fact that Nawaz Sharif met him at the airport. This was especially notable because of Modi’s ultra-nationalistic approach to policy, both domestic and foreign, but the sweetness did not last, and Modi reverted to his former attitude of distrust and aggression. He justified this by accusing Pakistan of committing terrorist acts in India, and refuses to acknowledge that Pakistan has suffered more from the atrocities of extremist fanatics than has India.


India-Pakistan relations were complicated by the attitude of the last U.S. President, Barack Obama, who met with Mr. Modi seven times and was guest of honour on Republic Day 2015.


In 2008 Mr. Obama had a comparatively open mind about the Sub-continent and was made aware of the Kashmir dispute about which he said that the U.S. “should probably try to facilitate a better understanding between Pakistan and India and try to resolve the Kashmir crisis”. That positive approach disappeared very rapidly after India reacted negatively, and during his entire eight years in power Obama did not lift a finger or say a word to help resolve what remains an internationally-recognized territorial dispute.


The greatest prime minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, told the Indian Parliament on February 12, 1951 that concerning Kashmir, “We have taken the issue to the United Nations and given our word of honour for a peaceful solution. As a great nation, we cannot go back on it. We have left the question for final solution to the people of Kashmir and we are determined to abide by their decision”. As the BBC put it concisely: “When Lord Mountbatten, India’s first Governor-General, accepted Kashmir’s accession, he said it should eventually be settled by a reference to the people. India’s Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, also pledged a plebiscite or referendum for Kashmir under international auspices. This was later enshrined in UN Security Council resolutions”.


UNSC resolutions are as resolutely ignored by Delhi as are the aspirations of the Kashmiri people. Few things are uncontestably predictable in this world, but it is obvious to all but the most ingenuous optimists that India will never allow a plebiscite and will be supported by the United States in its stance. Although it is unlikely that President Trump knows anything about Kashmir, there is little doubt that he will follow the example of his predecessor in declining to assist in defusing tension between India and Pakistan.


In spite of the fact that President Trump had a cordial exchange with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in January 2017, calling him “a great guy” and referring to Pakistan as a “fantastic country” it is unlikely that U.S. support for India, politically and economically, will be sacrificed in the interests of India-Pakistan rapprochement. Trump’s conversation with Mr. Modi signalled bilateral intention to forge closer ties, and the February 2017 visit to India by two U.S. delegations totalling 27 Senators and Congressmen indicated that commercial considerations are uppermost in American policy, not least in the military sales sector.


In its report of February 21, 2017 the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute recorded that “[arms manufacturing] companies based in the United States continue to dominate the top 100 with total arms sales amounting to $209.7 billion for 2015”.


The report also noted that “India was the largest importer of major arms in 2012-16, accounting for 13 percent of the global total,” while noting that from the period 2007-2011 and 2012-2016 India’s imports increased by 43 percent and were far greater than those of China and Pakistan. Of increasing significance is the growth in supply of advanced military material to India by the U.S., which has included C-130 Hercules, Globemaster strategic transports and P-8 Maritime Surveillance aircraft. Also, as noted by The Diplomat, the countries have “signed contracts for procurement of 22 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters and 15 CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopters. India will, in all likelihood, equip its new AH-64E fleet with the Stinger missile. In addition to the Stingers, India has also placed an order for 812 AGM-114L-3 Hellfire Longbow missiles, and 542 AGM-114R-3 Hellfire-II missiles as part of the overall $3.1 billion India-U.S. defence deal”. There is a great deal of money to be made by providing weapons to India, and no U.S. President will countenance policies that might affect the arms trade. As India’s Army Chief, General Bipin Rawat stated in January 2017, “The [US-India] economic partnership will grow stronger and everything else will fall into place”.


While the Indian armed forces continue to be disadvantaged by an erratic and unsatisfactory procurement process that is inexorably affected by parochial political considerations, the flow of weapons from overseas and the level of confrontation with Pakistan will continue to grow.

***

It remains to be seen what Lieutenant General D.B. Shekatkar’s detailed recommendations might be, but it is not surprising that he encapsulates his approach to regional defence matters with the observation that “Pakistan has adopted Jihadi philosophy of war. China is combining philosophy of people's war with conventional war. Therefore, India needs to change its outlook towards war”. India’s defence budget may have any amount of increase, and it is not yet known what any change in outlook could produce in terms of doctrine or strategy, but given the attitude of the Indian government there is little reason to be optimistic that tensions will ease and that there will be moves to rapprochement.

 

The writer is a France based retired officer of Australian Army and is an expert on South Asian affairs. He is also author of various books, and contributes extensively in international media.

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07
April

Pak-Afghan Relations: Mistrust and Blame Game

Published in Hilal English

Written By: Dr. Minhas Majeed Khan

Pakistan-Afghanistan relations have always seen ups and downs due to various reasons. Although, there have remained several expressions of friendly relations from the leadership of both the countries from time to time, the mistrust and blame game towards each other could never help bring the two countries on the same page with regard to various challenges that the two countries are faced with. As the two are important regional countries, there exist socio-economic and political opportunities, however, both countries have remained suspicious of each other. Both continue to remain at cross-purposes, which will further harm their long-term security and economic interests. Scholars suggest that relations between both the states are an account of mistrust and a display of 'Prisoner’s Dilemma'.

 

pakafghanrelforces.jpgThe Prisoner's Dilemma is a typical model of a game examined in game theory that illustrates as to why the two individuals, though rational, might not cooperate, even if it appears that it is in their best interest to do so. In other words, it is frequently used to indicate the decision of two interacting actors/players under certain conditions. That is to say that in Prisoner's Dilemma the actors have to make a choice between colluding or betraying. According to Robert V. Dodge (2012): Prisoner’s Dilemma is a game theory and a model with wide ranging applications. It is a competition between individual self-interest and group motivation, but the game represents a direct challenge to basic assumption of classical market economies. In Prisoner’s Dilemma the players have two choices: to cooperate or not. Cooperating involves trust, which makes the game complex. Schelling's (2012) idea, on the other hand, to halt the defections was to find common grounds in his “if and only if” approach.1


Similarly, Usman and Khan (2017) argue that Prisoner’s Dilemma revolves around the pay-offs, which grows out of making different decisions. Individual policy makers, their thoughts structure the inclinations towards each other. It is further suggested that in case of Pakistan and Afghanistan, if they want to attain cooperation both need to alter the pay-offs in such a way that cooperation becomes a first choice and collective rationality prevails. The iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma, which is the repeated play of Prisoner’s Dilemma, studies the long-term decision-making where the actors have a shared future and interaction. This phenomenon can best be seen in Pak-Afghan relations.2


Not dwelling on the initial unpleasant relationship of the two countries when Pakistan became independent as a sovereign state, the relation between the two, after Taliban, is an unfolding era of mistrust when both the countries are swapping accusations against each other, which has put the relations in reverse gear. The major obstacle in the way of cordial Pak-Afghan relations is continuing cross-border terrorism. Each suspects the other of covertly supporting the Afghan Taliban and the fugitive leaders of the hibernating Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), respectively. Afghanistan continues to blame Pakistan of harbouring Afghan Taliban, particularly the Haqqani group. They also accuse Pakistan of arming and funding Taliban fighters who conduct terrorist activities in Afghanistan from Pakistani soil. Per contra, Pakistan is also suspicious of Afghanistan’s India-centric policies, which result in insurgency and unrest in FATA, Balochistan, Karachi and different parts of the country. Unfortunately, both countries, despite having several commonalities and being allies in the War on Terror, could not bridge trust gap bilaterally. Consequently, the violence in both the countries has permitted regional powers to interfere in their affairs and manipulate the situation for their own interest.


When Hamid Karzai took over, he was more inclined towards India and wanted more role for the latter in Afghanistan due to which he often criticized Pakistan for destabilization in the country. After Karzai, Pakistan and Afghanistan relations saw a qualitative change with improved bilateral relations. President Ashraf Ghani showed his willingness through his actions to work closely with Pakistan to eliminate terrorism. It was a major change in Afghan foreign policy, which upset Northern Alliance and alarmed India.


The recent waves of violence in Afghanistan and Pakistan have further fanned the blame game. On January 10, 2017, twin suicide blasts near the Afghan parliament killed and wounded dozens of people. Two other attacks elsewhere in the country killed 12 people and wounded several more, including the United Arab Emirates' Ambassador to Afghanistan. Pakistan was once again blamed for the attack on an American University which claimed 16 lives. Many analysts argue that it was a security lapse on the part of Afghan security agencies, since attacks carried out in Kabul, Helmand and Kandahar were all in security zones.

 

When Hamid Karzai took over, he was more inclined towards India and wanted more role for the latter in Afghanistan due to which he often criticized Pakistan for destabilization in the country. After Karzai, Pakistan and Afghanistan relations saw a qualitative change with improved bilateral relations. President Ashraf Ghani showed his willingness through his actions to work closely with Pakistan to eliminate terrorism. It was a major change in Afghan foreign policy, which upset Northern Alliance and alarmed India.

Similarly, Pakistan saw a rise in terrorist attacks in 2017. On January 21, around 21 people were killed and more than 90 were injured in a bomb explosion in Parachinar, Kurram Agency. On February 13, a suicide attack outside the Punjab Assembly in Lahore during a protest killed 14 persons including 6 policemen and injured more than 85 people. Another deadly suicide attack was carried out on the Sufi shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan Sharif, Jamshoro in Sindh, which killed more than 88 people and injured 343 other. Many other cities were hit by a wave of terrorism killing and injuring tens of people. Pakistan did not blame Afghanistan directly but stated that acts of terrorism were being carried out from hostile powers and from sanctuaries in Afghanistan to foment violence in Pakistan. Moreover, a list of 76 suspected terrorists was handed over to Afghan Embassy, demanding immediate action by Afghan government and their extradition to Pakistan.


Despite the fact that ISIS has claimed responsibility for various attacks, Afghanistan's government has persistently blamed Pakistan for the disorder, insurgency, sponsoring terrorism, etc., in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s repeated assurance that cooperation in regional security issues is in the common interest of both and that they should work together to address the challenges, unfortunately, could not change Afghanistan’s stance. It is also important to note that both the TTP and the Afghan Taliban share same ideological narratives and support each other when in hot waters. As a result, the Afghan Taliban and the TTP have continued to take full advantage of such increasing mistrust between Pakistan and Afghanistan by organizing deadly terrorist attacks on both sides of the porous border.


In his address at the 6th annual conference of Heart of Asia in December 2016, President Ghani, while blaming Pakistan, declined Pakistan’s pledges of $500 million for Afghanistan's reconstruction and stated that Pakistan should use this fund to contain extremists because without peace, any amount of assistance will not meet the needs of his people. On the other hand he praised Indian role in Afghanistan’s reconstruction. It is imperative to mention that Afghanistan has lately rectified an impractical geostrategic and geo-economic policy supported by Indian economic and strategic thinkers.
On another occasion President Ghani threatened to block Pakistan’s trade access to the Central Asian Republics (CARs) if Pakistan did not officially permit Afghanistan to import Indian goods through the Wagah border. The reality, however, is that Afghan government is obviously mistaken about totally blocking Pakistan’s trade access to Central Asia through Wakhan Corridor; revoking its abiding transit agreement with Pakistan and subsequently accessing India through the Chabahar Port.

 

Despite the fact that ISIS has claimed responsibility for various attacks, Afghanistan's government has persistently blamed Pakistan for the disorder, insurgency, sponsoring terrorism, etc., in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s repeated assurance that cooperation in regional security issues is in the common interest of both and that they should work together to address the challenges, unfortunately, could not change Afghanistan’s stance.

It is important to mention here that Afghanistan's decision will only harm Afghan regional economic interest because Pakistan has an alternative option, that is, after completion of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Pakistan will be able to use other routes to export and import goods and energy resources from the region. Nonetheless, the non-cooperative conduct signals mistrust, blame games and the mud slinging that will certainly harm the mutual socio-economic and security interests of both, for example, obstructions and logjams for the TAPI gas pipeline which will help meet the energy requirement of both the countries. Operation Zarb-e-Azb has successfully dismantled the organizational structures of the TTP and its splinter groups; yet some Afghan terrorist groups still find centres of activities in north-western Balochistan and FATA from where they are believed to be planning attacks in Afghanistan. Therefore, after any terrorist attack in Afghanistan, Kabul blames Islamabad.


In the Prisoner’s Dilemma, where the two actors are interacting, the initial lesson drawn can be disappointing. It shows a zero-sum situation where one actor must lose in order for the other to win. To avoid losing, each actor is driven to practice a winning strategy, however, the collective result is unproductive, at best; and destructive, at worst. Therefore, it is absolutely clear that the aggressive and obstructive geo-economic policies of Afghanistan towards Pakistan will hurt both the countries as both are faced with challenges like poverty, unemployment, terrorism and militancy. Therefore, It is in the interest of both to cooperate rather than pursuing antagonist policies. Both, Pakistan and Afghanistan, cannot afford mistrust and hostility in their relations, which, as discussed, has adverse effects on their relations. Moreover, both need to adopt mutual cooperative strategies to break Prisoner’s Dilemma, maintain mutual trust by transforming limited cooperation into full cooperation.


Pakistan and Afghanistan need to come out of the Prisoner’s Dilemma as their future and fate is linked. An unstable Afghanistan has a direct impact on stability in Pakistan. It is important to mention the development of their trust that can best be achieved through frequent interaction is vital for regional peace and security. Both have to realize that to achieve their objectives they have to compromise and cooperate on various issues. It is a fact that cooperation has better pay-offs. In order to come out of this dilemma, transparent and consistent policies need to be adopted. Pakistan realizes that in order to secure its western border and to secure trade routes to CARs for the pursuit for oil and gas, it needs to work closely with Afghanistan; whereas Afghanistan being land-locked will benefit from constant and sincere interaction with Pakistan free from Indian influence. In this regard, major powers like the United States, China and Russia can play an important role to break up the Prisoner's Dilemma between the two and facilitate and encourage them to cooperate and work together for their socio-economic, political and regional stability.

 

The writer is an Assistant Professor at the Department of International Relations at University of Peshawar, Pakistan.

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1. Robert V. Dodge, Schellings Game Theory: How to make Decisions, Oxford Scholarship Online, 2012.
2. T. Usman and Minhas M. Khan, Pak-Afghan Relations (2001-2017): A Prisoners’ Dilemma Analysis, 2017.
3. Smith, M. Shane, (August 2003), "Game Theory." Beyond Intractability. Eds. Guy Burgess and Heidi Burgess, Conflict Information Consortium, University of Colorado: Boulder.

 

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