07
August

The Crisis in the Gulf

Written By: Najam-ud-din Shaikh

As I write this article on the 20th July, it initially appeared that despite Secretary Tillerson’s best efforts the impasse between the grouping of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain on the one hand and the state of Qatar was continuing. Tillerson’s aide, commenting on the efforts Tillerson made over a four day period shuttling between capitals and even concluding a U.S.-Qatar agreement to eliminate financing of terror, acknowledged that no solution had been arrived at and that the Americans expected no near term resolution.1 According to this briefing the Secretary had left “behind proposals with the “Saudi bloc” and with Qatar including a common set of principles that all countries can agree to so that we start from... a common place.”2


More recently however it seems that a via media has been found. Without withdrawing their 13 demands the combination of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt announced that at their meeting in Cairo on July 5, it had been decided that 6 principles should be proposed to Qatar. These principles, according to a briefing for UN correspondents by Saudi Arabia's U.N. Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, included commitments to combat extremism and terrorism, prevent financing and safe havens for such groups, and suspend all acts of provocation and speeches inciting hatred or violence.3 Another conciliatory note was struck by the Ambassador when he said that “while stopping incitement to violence is essential, but closing Al-Jazeera might not be necessary.”4 In effect the 13 demands initially framed can be deemed to have been dropped.


So there is a good chance that Qatar will accept these principles as a basis for discussion and negotiation and the rift in the ranks of the GCC will be repaired at least temporarily.


What has been the effect of the stand-off and the cutting of ties between Qatar on the one hand and the Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt combined? It has pushed Qatar to rely on Iran and Turkey for food supplies and for the use of Iranian air space to keep its Airline operational. It had to cope with the return of Qatari nationals ordinarily resident in these countries to Qatar creating a major humanitarian problem. These will not be easily forgotten even when Qatar returns to the fold.


Who should one hold responsible? What impact does this have on the so-called alliance of Muslim countries with the USA that was theoretically cemented during President Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia in May. In making Saudi Arabia the first country he visited Trump sought to highlight his interest in joining with Muslim countries to counter terrorism by such organisations as the ISIS and Al-Qaeda. But he also focused on labelling Iran as the source of terrorism. In his speech, President Trump said “From Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds arms and trains terrorists, militias and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region.” Mr. Trump told dozens of Muslim heads of state, “It is a government that speaks openly of mass murder, vowing the destruction of Israel, death to America, and ruin for many leaders and nations in this very room.”5 At the joint press appearance with his Saudi counterpart Tillerson said, “Iran continues its hegemonic activities in this region in Yemen, in Iraq, in Syria, and its support of Hezbollah in Lebanon. And until Iran shows its willingness to be a good neighbor, I think is the words that were used by many, that shows its willingness to cease its enablement of the kind of destabilizing activities that go on, their payment of foreign fighters, their payment of militias to go into other countries and destabilize those countries, then Iran will not have a place around this table that was set today.”6


Clearly Saudi Arabia had achieved from the Trump visit what it had desired – a labelling of Iran as the villain of the peace and an American alliance with the Muslim countries that Saudi Arabia had brought together. It should be noted that what Trump claimed to have achieved in addition – Saudi agreement to buy $110 billion worth of U.S. arms and $400 billion in investments in the USA and Saudi Arabia turned out to be no more than agreements on paper. Bruce Riedel says, “There is no $110 billion deal. Instead, there are a bunch of letters of interest or intent, but not contracts… What the Saudis and the administration did is put together a notional package of the Saudi wish list of possible deals and portray that as a deal. Even then the numbers don’t add up. It’s fake news".7


It does not require much research to come to the conclusion that while waging an expensive war in Yemen and pursuing the vision for 2030 the Saudis are not going to have the funds available to make investments of $400 billion in the foreseeable future.


Why did it go further and choose to use the opportunity to settle old scores with Qatar. The answer to my mind lay in the encouragement they received from President Trump – an encouragement that ignored the close ties Qatar had assiduously built with the USA and which included hosting the airbase at which more than 10,000 American personnel were based and which was critical for the American air operations in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Afghanistan.


It has now become clear that the current row began when the Qatar’s official account was hacked and aggressive statements were attributed to Qatari Amir. Ostensibly this prompted the June 5 severing of links by the Saudi-led group. A careful perusal of the reports published in the American media show that the hacking of the site was allegedly orchestrated from Washington by UAE Ambassador to the U.S. Yousef al-Otaiba.8 While he has denied this categorically,9 it has been confirmed by other reports that quoting American intelligence sources have made the same assertion.


Ambassador al-Otaiba has been over time perceived as one of the most well connected Ambassadors in Washington. His contacts with Jared Kushner, the President’s son-in-law and the man to whom Trump has entrusted the Middle East diplomacy are well recognised as are the contacts he appears to have developed with such Trump advisers as Steve Bannon. It would be reasonable to assume that he used these contacts to prompt the Trump tweets branding Qatar a terrorist state.


It is also clear that Tillerson and Mattis both have been strongly opposed to allowing these elements to determine policy and it seems that his tweets notwithstanding Trump has decided to give Tillerson the authority to determine policy on this issue. It is true however that Trump still cannot resist making statements that are out of line. In a recent interview to Christian Broadcasting Network, he underplayed the importance of the base in Qatar claiming that “If we ever had to leave, we would have 10 countries willing to build us another one, believe me, and they will pay for it.”10


He also suggested that he had differences with Tillerson but maintained that “Rex is doing a terrific job but he and I had a little bit of a difference only in terms of tone.”11


It is this mixed messaging that has created problems and will continue to do so.
In the meanwhile, we also have to look at the situation within Saudi Arabia. It does seem that there was a certain amount of discomfort at the removal of Mohammad bin Nayef from the line of succession. The royal family did get the approval of the appropriate bodies and as has been the practice in the past the family will stick together to ensure the stability they all need but it will bear watching as the new Crown Prince marches ahead with both the Vision 2030 and the war in Yemen.


For the time being at least it would seem that the plans for the Islamic army have either been abandoned or will be in cold storage.

 

The writer is a former Foreign Secretary and Ambassador to the USA and Iran is now the Head of the Global and Regional Studies Centre in the Institute of Business Management, a Karachi based University.

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

1 UAE orchestrated hacking of Qatari government sites, sparking regional upheaval, according to U.S. intelligence officials, The Washington Post, July 18, 2017.
2 Ibid.
3 Arabs Urge Qatar to Accept 6 Principles to Combat Extremism, Dawn, July 19, 2017.
4 Ibid.
5 In Saudi Arabia, Trump Reaches Out to Sunni Nations, at Iran’s Expense, The New York Times, May 21, 2017.
6 Tillerson press appearance with Saudi FM, May 21, 2017.
7 The $110 billion arms deal to Saudi Arabia is fake news, Bruce Riedel, Brookings, June 5, 2017.
8 UAE orchestrated hacking of Qatari government sites, sparking regional upheaval, according to U.S. intelligence officials, The Washington Post, July 16, 2017.
9 Ibid.
10 Trump says US has alternatives to Qatar’s Al Udeid airbase, The National Dubai, July 14, 2017.
11 Ibid.

 
09
August

مشرقِ وسطیٰ، تاریخ اور برپا تبدیلیاں

Published in Hilal Urdu August 2017

تحریر: فرخ سہیل گوئندی

بحیرۂ روم سے بحیرۂ عرب تک پھیلا جس طرح مشرقِ وسطیٰ آج عالمی سیاست کا محور ہے، اگر ہم تاریخ میں جھانک کر دیکھیں تو یہی خطۂ ارض پچھلے تین ہزار برسوں سے زائد عرصے سے ایشیا، افریقہ اور یورپ کی تہذیب و تمدن اور سیاست کا مرکزومحور رہا ہے۔ دنیا کی قدیم ترین تہذیبوں نے یہیں سے جنم لیا۔ سمیری اور مصری تہذیب، یونانی تہذیب جسے آرکیالوجسٹ، یوریِشین تہذیب کہتے ہیں، انہی خطوں کے قریب پلی بڑھیں۔ دنیا کے تین بڑے اور اہم مذاہب، یہودیت، مسیحیت اور اسلام نے یہیں جنم لیا۔ انسانی تاریخ کی دو بڑی تہذیبیں جو آج بھی اپنی قدیم شکل میں موجود ہیں، مشرق وسطیٰ ہی سے تعلق رکھتی ہیں، یعنی عربی اور فارسی تہذیبیں۔ مشرقِ وسطیٰ تاریخ وسیاحت کا دلچسپ ترین موضوع ہے۔ رومن ایمپائر کا مشرقی خطہ درحقیقت مشرق وسطیٰ ہی تھا۔ یورپی تہذیب میں رومن ایمپائر دنیا کی بڑی طاقت کہلاتی ہے۔ مشرقی رومن ایمپائر کا دارالحکومت استنبول اس کا دل تھا، جو یورپ اور مشرقِ وسطیٰ کا ایک قدیم شہر ہے۔ ظہورِ اسلام کے بعد، فارس اور رومن بازنطینی تہذیب کی جگہ عربوں نے مسلمان ہوکرمشرق میں تہذیبی ترقی میں اپنی بالادستی قائم کرلی۔ عرب وعجم تصادم مشرقِ وسطیٰ کا ہزاروں سال پرانا تصادم ہے، جو اسلام کے ظہورسے پہلے، بعد از اسلام اور آج بھی اپنی نئی شکل میں موجود ہے۔ مشرقِ وسطیٰ پر عرب تہذیب کی چھاپ اسلام کے ظہور کے بعد گہری ہوگئی، یعنی
Arabnization
۔ عرب تہذیب اور زبان وثقافت نے مشرقِ وسطیٰ کو مکمل طور پر عرب کردیا۔ اس کے اثرات عرب صحارا اور جبل طارق کو عبور کرکے یورپ تک جا پہنچے۔ سپین میں مسلم تہذیب اِسی عرب تہذیب کا ایک اور اضافہ تھا۔ مسلم سپین نے دنیا کی تاریخ وتہذیب پر انمٹ اثرات چھوڑے۔ وقت آنے پر سپین سے مسلمانوں کا دَور ختم ہوگیا لیکن مسلم سپین انسانی تاریخ پر انمٹ اثرات چھوڑ گیا۔ مسلم سپین پر عربوں کے اسلامی دَور نے جو اثرات مرتب کئے، آج کا سارا مغرب اسی کا مرہون منت ہے۔ مسلم سپین نے تمام مدفون یونانی علوم کے ساتھ دنیا بھر کے علوم کو ترجمہ کرکے زندہ کردیا۔ مسلم سپین کا زوال تو ہوگیا لیکن یہ تاریخِ انسانی میں ایک شان دار اضافہ کرگیا۔

 

mashrikwusta.jpg یورپ ومغرب کی ترقی کا دروازہ ہی مسلم سپین ہے جس نے یونانی، ہندی اور عالمی علوم کو تراجم کے ذریعے زندہ کردیا۔ اور اپنے ہاں لوگوں کو فکر وخیال کی آزادی دی۔ یہودی تاریخ میں یہودی مسلم سپین کو اپنے لئے

Glorious Period
قرار دیتے ہیں کہ مسلم سپین نے یہودیوں کو علمی، فکری اور تحقیقی حوالے سے پھلنے پھولنے کے مواقع دئیے۔ مسلم سپین نے سماجی علوم میں گراں قدر کردار ادا کیا۔ یورپ میں کلیسا کی سیاست سے علیحدگی مسلم سپین کے دانشوروں کی مرہون منت ہے جس نے یورپ اور مغرب کی کایا پلٹ دی، یعنی مسیحیت کی سیاست سے علیحدگی۔ یہ فکری تحریک سپین سے اٹلی میں داخل ہوئی۔ کلیسا اور پادری کو سیاست سے علیحدہ کردیاگیا۔ پھر یہ تحریک پھیلتی چلی گئی۔ فرانس کا انقلاب اور بعد میں یورپ میں سائنس کی ترقی اور صنعتی انقلاب اسی سماجی وفکری تحریک کے مرہون منت ہیں۔ یورپ سے جڑا مشرقِ وسطیٰ ہزاروں سالوں سے اس پر نظر اور نہ نظر آنے والے اثرات تسلسل سے چھوڑ رہا ہے۔
تہذیبوں کے عروج وزوال کی تاریخ پڑھیں تو انسان حیران رہ جاتا ہے کہ اگر ایک خطے سے تہذیب ختم ہوتی ہے تو اس کی جگہ کوئی نئی تہذیب لے لیتی ہے۔ یورپ کے بطن سے جنم لینے والی تہذیب وطاقت بازنطینی سلطنت، جس کا دل قسطنطنیہ (استنبول) تھا، جب ختم ہوئی تو اناطولیہ میں پھیلے سلجوقی ترکوں سے جنم لینے والی ترک قوم نے اس کی جگہ لے۔ یہ سلجوقی ترک، وسطی ایشیا سے خانہ بدوشوں اور گڈریوں کی حیثیت سے مشرقِ وسطیٰ آئے۔ پہلے عربوں کے سپاہی بنے، پھر ترک ولائتیں قائم کیں اور پھر دنیا کی عظیم ترین سلطنت قائم کرنے میں کامیاب ہوگئے۔ تین براعظموں ،ایشیا، افریقہ اور یورپ تک سلطنتِ عثمانیہ پھیل گئی اور بازنطینی سلطنت کی جگہ لے لی اور دلچسپ بات یہ ہے کہ مشرقِ وسطیٰ، جو صدیوں سے عرب وفارس میں تقسیم تھا، کے اندر ترک تہذیب نے صرف جنم ہی نہیں لیا، بلکہ دنیا کی عظیم الشان سلطنت قائم کرلی۔ تقریباً چار صدیوں تک سلطنت عثمانیہ نے جو ترکوں کی تہذیب تھی، عرب، افریقی، ایشیائی اور کچھ یورپی خطوں پر اپنا اقتدار قائم کئے رکھا۔ البتہ ایرانی یا فارسی خطوں پر اقتدار قائم کرنے میں کامیاب نہ ہوسکی۔


یورپ میں سائنسی اور صنعتی دَور نے مغربی تہذیب کو نئے مرحلے میں داخل کیا۔ کولونیئل ازم کے ذریعے یورپی طاقتیں دنیا بھر میں اپنا تسلط قائم کرنے میں کامیاب ہوگئیں۔ ایشیا، افریقہ، امریکہ، آسٹریلیا اور لاطینی امریکہ
Colonized
ہوگیا اور اسی کے ساتھ مغربی تہذیب نے سائنس اور ٹیکنالوجی سے دنیا پر بالادستی کا آغاز کردیا۔ آج کی دنیا اس مغرب کے زیر اثر ہے جس کے پاس ٹیکنالوجی ہے۔ ٹیکنالوجی کی طاقت نے اُن کو معاشی، اقتصادی اور عسکری بالادستی کے مواقع فراہم کردئیے۔ امریکہ، لاطینی امریکہ اور آسٹریلیا یورپی تہذیب کے سیٹلائٹس ہیں۔ آج کی دنیا مغرب کی دنیا ہے۔ اس مغربی دنیا نے سرمایہ داری کو جنم دیا جس نے کولونیئل ازم اور بعد میں عالمی سرمایہ داری اور پھر سپرپاور کو جنم دیا۔ مغربی تہذیب جو سرمایہ داری اور عالمی بالادستی پر گامزن تھی، اس کو اس وقت بڑا جھٹکا لگا جب 1917ء میں ایشیا اور یورپ کی ملی جلی تہذیب روس نے لینن کی قیادت میں بالشویک انقلاب برپا کرکے مغرب کی سرمایہ داری اور سپر پاور کے تصور کو چیلنج کردیا۔ عالمی سرمایہ داری کے سرخیلوں کے لئے یہ خطرے کی گھنٹی تھی۔ محنت کشوں کی حکومت قائم ہوئی۔ یورپ اور مغرب کی سرمایہ داری چیلنج ہوئی۔ روس جس کے صدیوں سے یورپ کے ساتھ سیاسی وعسکری تصادم تھے، ایک اشتراکی اور نئے فلسفۂ معیشت و حکمرانی سے ابھرا۔ کمیونسٹ روس، اشتراکی روس نے جہاں عالمی سرمایہ داری اور سرمایہ دارانہ تہذیب وحکمرانی کو چیلنج کیا، وہیں یورپی تہذیب و طاقت کے سرخیل امریکہ کی عالمی بالادستی کو چیلنج کردیا۔ سرمایہ داری کے بطن سے جنم لینے والی عالمی طاقت کا مقابلہ کرتے ہوئے محنت کشوں کے فلسفے پر بننے والی ریاست
USSR
نے عالمی سامراج کی عالمی بالادستی کو مشکلات میں ڈال دیا۔ بعد میں اسی فلسفے کے تحت چین میں ماؤزے تنگ اور چو این لائی کی قیادت میں کمیونسٹ چین کا ظہور ہوا اور یوں دنیا دو حصوں میں بٹ گئی۔ عالمی سرمایہ دار دنیا ، اس کے اتحادی اور مرہون منت خطے وحکمران اور سوشلسٹ دنیا۔ یہیں سے سرد جنگ کا آغاز ہوا۔ سرد جنگ نے دنیا میں عالمی سرمایہ داری اور عالمی سامراج کے عالمی حکمرانی ایجنڈے کو ناکوں چنے چبوا دئیے، جس کی قیادت سابق سوویت یونین اور عوامی جمہوریہ چین کررہے تھے۔


1917ء میں روس میں انقلاب برپا ہوا۔اسی دوران جنگ عظیم اوّل نے دنیا بھر میں تبدیلیوں میں بنیادی کردار ادا کیا۔ تقریباً چار صدیوں سے قائم عثمانی سلطنت اس جنگ عظیم اوّل میں بکھر گئی۔ عالمی سرمایہ دار سرخیل اب دنیا کی انرجی پر قابض ہونے کی منصوبہ بندی کے لئے سرگرم ہوئے اور انہوں نے برطانیہ، فرانس اور دیگر مغربی طاقتوں کے تعاون سے
New Middle East
کے منصوبے پر عمل درآمد شروع کردیا۔ جنگ عظیم اوّل نے مغربی سرمایہ دار اور سامراجی طاقتوں کو مشرقِ وسطیٰ میں در آنے کے شان دار مواقع فراہم کردئیے اور مشرقِ وسطیٰ کی تقسیم اور نئی ریاستوں کی تخلیق کا آغاز ہوا۔ دلچسپ بات یہ ہے کہ مشرقِ وسطیٰ میں متعدد مصنوعی ریاستیں قائم کی گئیں، جن پربعد میں باقاعدہ منصوبہ بندی کے تحت جابر حکمران بٹھا دئیے گئے اور اسی کے ساتھ خطے میں ایک مذہبی ریاست کے قیام کے منصوبے پر عمل شروع کردیا گیا۔ دنیا بھر میں پھیلے صدیوں سے بکھرے یہودی جو مختلف تہذیبوں کا حصہ بن چکے تھے، یوکرائن، پولینڈ، روس، یورپ اور جگہ جگہ سے ان یہودیوں کو اکٹھا کرکے ایک یہودی مذہبی ریاست اسرائیل قائم کر دی گئی۔ سیکولر مغرب کا تضاد دیکھیں کہ اپنے ہاں غیرمذہبی ریاست وسیاست کا پرچار کرنے والوں نے مذہب کے نام پر ایک مصنوعی ریاست کا ظہور اپنے زورِ بازو سے قائم کردیا۔ ایک امریکی صدر نے اسرائیل کو مشرقِ وسطیٰ میں مغربی تہذیب کا دروازہ قرار دیا۔ دوسری جنگ عظیم کے بعد اس منصوبہ بندی کی تکمیل ہوئی جو مشرقِ وسطیٰ کی تقسیم کی بنیاد پر کی گئی۔ مغرب اور عالمی سرمایہ داری کے مشرقِ وسطیٰ میں منصوبوں کے لئے سب سے بڑا چیلنج وہ تحریکیں تھیں جو سوئل ازم اور نیشنل ازم کی بنیاد پر مشرقِ وسطیٰ میں ابھر رہی تھیں۔ دنیا میں دو طاقتوں متحدہ ریاست ہائے امریکہ اور
USSR
(سابق سوویت یونین) کے مابین تصادم نے ان تحریکوں کو جِلا بخشی۔ مصر میں جمال عبد الناصر اس تحریک کے لیڈر بن کر ابھرے اور یوں انہوں نے مشرقِ وسطیٰ میں عالمی سرمایہ داری، سامراجی اور اسرائیلی حکمت عملیوں کو چیلنج کردیا۔ اس سوشلسٹ اور نیشنلسٹ تحریک نے ایک وقت میں لبنان، مصر، شام، عراق سے الجزائر تک کواپنی لپیٹ میں لے لیا اور ان خطوں میں اس فلسفے پر یقین رکھنے والوں نے انقلاب برپا کردئیے، یہ لوگ امریکہ، یورپ اور سامراج کے ساتھ ساتھ اسرائیل جیسی مصنوعی ریاست کی بالادستی کے خلاف تھے۔ اس تحریک میں جمال عبدالناصر کے علاوہ بن بیلا، معمر قذافی، یاسر عرفات، حافظ الاسد نمایاں تھے۔

 

ہمیں ایک بات یاد رکھنی چاہیے۔تبدیلی ہمیشہ کسی سماج، تہذیب اور قوم میں اپنے اندر سے آتی ہے۔جنگ و جدل ،مذہبی دہشت گردی میں گھرے مشرقِ وسطیٰ کے اندر مذہبی سیاست اور تنگ نظر قوم پرستی کے خلاف ہم نئی ترقی پسند عوامی تحریکوں کو مسترد نہیں کر سکتے جو عرب خطوں اور سارے مشرقِ وسطیٰ کو سامراجی ایجنڈے کے خلاف بیدار کرسکتی ہیں

دیوارِ برلن کے گرنے، مشرقی یورپ میں سوشلسٹ نظام کے منہدم ہونے اور سوویت یونین کے تحلیل ہونے نے یقیناًدنیا بھر کو متاثر کیا۔ دنیا یونی پولر ورلڈ میں بدل گئی۔ امریکہ، دنیا کی واحد سپر پاور اور مغرب کے سارے ملک اس کے اتحادی بن گئے۔ اس نے جہاں عالمی معیشت کو اپنے شکنجوں میں لینا شروع کردیا، وہیں عالمی عسکری بالادستی کا آغاز بھی کردیا۔ اس تبدیلی کے سب سے زیادہ اور براہِ راست اثرات مشرقِ وسطیٰ پر پڑے۔عراق کے خلاف پہلی خلیجی جنگ، افغانستان پر امریکہ اور اس کے اتحادیوں کی یلغار اور پھر عراق پر دوسری جنگ مسلط کی گئی۔ سرد جنگ کے خاتمے کے ساتھ مشرقِ وسطیٰ حیران کن حالات سے دوچار ہوا۔ ذرا غور کریں، عراق، شام اور لیبیا جیسی ریاستوں کو کھوکھلا کردیا گیا اور سارے خطے میں مذہبی دہشت گردی کے بیج بو دئیے گئے۔ مذہبی دہشت گردی کو امریکی پالیسی سازوں نے ہتھیار کے طور پر استعمال کیا اور اب یہ دہشت گردی یمن تک اور سعودی عرب کی سرحدوں تک پھیلا دی گئی ہے، اور اس کے ساتھ ترکی کی سرحدوں کے اندر اور ساتھ ساتھ بھی۔


مشرقِ وسطیٰ تین بڑی زبانوں ،عربی، فارسی اور ترک زبان بولنے والے سترہ ممالک پر مشتمل ہے۔عربوں کے علاوہ ایران اور ترکی مشرقِ وسطیٰ کے اہم ممالک میں شمار ہوتے ہیں ۔2006ء میں اسرائیل نے لبنان پر حملہ کر کے کوشش کی کہ لبنانی ریاست کی چولیں ہلا دی جائیں ۔لیکن اسرائیل کو ایک طرح کی فوجی شکست ہوئی جس کا اعتراف اسرائیل کی وزارتِ دفاع نے کیا۔2006ء کی اسرائیلی شکست کے بعد سابق امریکی وزیر خارجہ کونڈالیزا رائس نے پہلی مرتبہ ایک اصطلاح استعمال کی،
"New Middle East"
۔ذرا 1990ء کے بعد سے مشرقِ وسطیٰ کے منظر نامے پر غور کریں تو ایک نیا مشرقِ وسطیٰ ہمارے سامنے ہے جو مستقبل کی جھلک ہے۔کھوکھلا، بکھرا، فرقوں میں بٹا عراق،لیبیا،شام اور خطے بھر میں پھیلے پُراسرار مذہبی دہشت گرد۔راقم کی تحقیق کے مطابق، امریکی منصوبہ بندی کے تحت مشرقِ وسطیٰ کو دوبنیادوں پر تقسیم کئے جانے کا کھیل جاری ہے۔ریاستوں اور قوموں کو فرقوں میں تقسیم کیا جائے اور دہشت گردی کو مشرقِ وسطیٰ میں ایک مستقل ہتھیار کے طور پر پنپنے کے مواقع فراہم کئے جائیں،جو مشرقِ وسطیٰ کو مسلسل
Destabilize
رکھے۔خانہ جنگیوں کے جواز اور مواقع جاری رکھے جائیں۔ شام ،عراق اور لیبیا اس مشرقِ وسطیٰ کی ایک جھلک ہیں۔اور اب مشرقِ وسطیٰ کے ممالک کو باہمی تصادم میں جھونکنا ایک بڑی حکمت عملی ہے، یعنی عرب ریاستوں کے مابین بڑے تصادم کے امکانات پیدا کرنا۔ اس میں مشرقِ وسطیٰ کی دو غیر عرب طاقتوں، ایران اور ترکی کو بھی جھونکنا اسی حکمت عملی کا حصہ ہے۔ مشرقِ وسطیٰ آج جس قدر کمزور ہے، شاید ہی پچھلی صدی میں اس قدر کمزور رہا ہو۔ بکھرا، تقسیم شدہ مشرقِ وسطیٰ، جنگ وجدل کا میدان، فساد و جنگوں کا مرکز اور اس میں نسلی ولسانی آمیزش بھی کی جائے گی، کُردوں کے حقوق کے نام پر، کہ ایسے مشرقِ وسطیٰ کا منصوبہ حتمی کامیابی حاصل کرسکتا ہے اور ترک ریاست کی بیخ کنی کی جا سکتی ہے۔ لیکن اس منظر نامے میں روس اور چین کا سامراج مخالف کردار نہایت اہم ہے۔ کیونکہ امریکہ کے سامراجی ایجنڈے کے نشانہ چین اور روس ہیں اور دونوں اس کے خلاف متحد ہیں۔ خصوصاً روسی فیڈریشن کا کردار۔ اس لئے اگر توڑ پھوڑ، خانہ جنگی اور مذہبی دہشت گردی پھیلتی ہے تو اس کا اگلا نشانہ یورپ نہیں روس اور اس کی اتحادی کاکیشیائی اور وسطی ایشیائی ریاستیں ہیں۔ روسی صدر ولا دی میرپیوٹن بار بار کہتے ہیں کہ خطے میں پھیلتی دہشت گردی کا نشانہ روس ہے۔ اس لئے ہم دیکھ رہے ہیں کہ شام کے تنازعے اور خانہ جنگی میں روس نے جہاں سلامتی کونسل میں بار بار ویٹو کیا، وہیں وہ باقاعدہ طور پر دمشق میں قائم بشارالاسد کا اتحادی اور شام میں امریکہ اور اس کے اتحادیوں کے پیدا کردہ دہشت گردوں کا مخالف اور ان کے خلاف جنگ میں شامل بھی ہے۔سلامتی کونسل میں ویٹو سے لے کر تنازعے کے حل تک، عوامی جمہوریہ چین، روس کی مشرقِ وسطیٰ کی پالیسی پر اس کا اتحادی ہے۔ مشرقِ وسطیٰ تین ہزار سال سے مختلف ادوار اور تہذیبوں میں اسی طرح محور رہا ہے جس طرح آج کی عالمی سیاست میں۔ موجودہ تقسیم ہوئے مشرقِ وسطیٰ میں سرد جنگ کے بعد روس نے پہلی مرتبہ امریکی پالیسیوں کو براہِ راست رَد کیا جس نے مغربی دنیا کے مشرقِ وسطیٰ کے پلان کو ڈسٹرب کیاہے۔لیکن ہمیں ایک بات یاد رکھنی چاہیے۔تبدیلی ہمیشہ کسی سماج، تہذیب اور قوم میں اپنے اندر سے آتی ہے۔جنگ و جدل ،مذہبی دہشت گردی میں گھرے مشرقِ وسطیٰ کے اندر مذہبی سیاست اور تنگ نظر قوم پرستی کے خلاف ہم نئی ترقی پسند عوامی تحریکوں کو مسترد نہیں کر سکتے جو عرب خطوں اور سارے مشرقِ وسطیٰ کو سامراجی ایجنڈے کے خلاف بیدار کرسکتی ہیں۔

مضمون نگار معروف صحافی ‘ کالم نگار اور متعدد کتابوں کے مصنف ہیں۔

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07
August

Dismantling the Old Global Economic Order

Written By: Shahid Javed Burki

President Donald Trump’s on-going policies towards the established global economic order go beyond the dismantling of the rule-based system of world commerce. Increased protectionism is not the only price the world will pay for the election of November 2016 as a result of which Trump took over the American presidency. In the first six months of his residence in the White House he has inflicted a number of injuries to the old system. His moves cover a number of areas – among them the role of the state, the United States’ fiscal system, and international migration.


The unexpected rise of Donald Trump to the pinnacle of political power in the United States has been explained in several different ways. The developments that caused Trump to gain the office of the United States presidency also affected other parts of the Western world. Five months before Trump was elected, voters in Britain pushed their government to leave the European Union. The British voters' decision introduced a new word in politics – Brexit – and upended the economic order that had been built over several decades. There was general agreement among scholars and policy analysts that much of the political upheaval in the Western world was caused by the unexpected consequences of globalization. This was the process that allowed the almost unconstrained flow of capital, information, goods and commodities across national borders. Sometimes it also permitted to movement of workers who would leave the economies where jobs were scarce and incomes were low to those in which opposite was the case. There was large-scale migration of people from the less developed world to those that were richer and offered opportunities that were not available at home. People from Mexico and Central America flooded into the United States. North Africa and the Middle East pushed hundreds of thousands of people into Europe.

 

dismantlingtheold.jpgNot only people could move but companies also left their homes and moved to the places where well-trained workers were relatively cheap and labor market regulations were weak and therefore, more accommodating of those who owned capital. These moves were facilitated by the information revolution. Production processes could be divided and located in places that were more friendly. Responding to these developments, Apple for instance assembled its popular items in China from the components made in a dozen countries in East Asia. The designing of the various products, of course, was undertaken in Seattle in western United States. The largest market for what the company produced was in America. Apple produced large profits which it did not keep in the United States. Hundreds of billions dollars were parked in such tax-friendly countries as Ireland.


Globalization, in other words, was a highly disruptive process. It produced winners as well as large numbers of losers. Those who lost turned to politics to express their resentment and also with the hope that they could follow the leaders who would be able to turn the clock back. The result, as already indicated, was Brexit in the United Kingdom and the rise of Donald Trump, the Republican candidate for the United States presidency. The “leavers” in Britain wished to bring back policymaking from Brussels to London. Trump gained attention by promising to make “America great again.” It also became clear that the anger that drove voters towards seeking desperate remedies for their situation will not go even when their economic conditions improved. The U.S. Census Bureau’s annual report, based on a survey of 95,000 households is the latest evidence that 2015 was a good year for the United States’ economy.


However, dry statistics don’t always produce strong political trends. The widespread anger that resulted in the election of Donald Trump did not abate and the pressure on Trump to adopt unorthodox approaches to economic management did not ease. In at least three areas, Trump adopted policies that deviated in fundamental ways from what had resulted in the creation of U.S.-dominated global economic and political order. The new administration had a different view of the role government could play in economic matters. It withdrew support from the institutions that had supported the old order. It gave up on a rule-based system of global trade. Some of what Trump promised to do – and some of what he began to follow once he was in office – was firmly embedded in the Republican Party’s economic philosophy. And it took steps to reduce, if not totally stop, the arrival of foreigners into the country.

 

As Krugman points out, international trade is governed by rules – rules America helped to put in place. Breaking the rules will lead to other countries doing the same. The result would be a trade war. And it’s foolish to imagine that America will win such a war.

In explaining what happened to the economy, the Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman argued that the Obama administration had the reverse of the traditional trickle down approach favored by the political right. There was an element of trickle-up economics in that administration’s response to the Great Recession. “Much of the stimulus involved expanding the social safety net, not just to protect the vulnerable, but to increase purchasing power and sustain demand. And in general the Obama-era policies have tried to help families directly, rather than showering benefits on the rich and hoping that the benefits trickle down.”


Trump’s policies would further aggravate the weaknesses in the United States’ economy. A weakened U.S. will not be good for the global economy. Economists such as Lawrence Summers have begun to worry that the United States' economy has entered the phase of what they term as “secular decline.” This is the consequence of a number of factors, among the aging of the population, not enough resources committed to education and training needed by an economy that was rapidly moving away from the traditional sectors, and neglect of physical infrastructure. The new administration will need to work on developing a new economic development paradigm.


The United States will need to develop a system of governance that caters to the basic needs for all citizens. The country has tended to give greater attention to individual action rather than the role of the state in having people provide for themselves. The enormous amount of effort devoted by the political right to do away with the system of health delivery that came to be called “Obamacare” is a good example of this belief about governance and the limited role that should be assigned to the state. The angry white men who provided the base on which Donald Trump was able to build his campaign had two contradictory demands. They wanted a limited state and yet a state that provided them income support through programs such as the Social Security system and health-care through state-subsidized Medicare program. In other words, the role Trump would like the government to play will not deliver economic goods to his political constituency. Instead, it will increase even more the share of the rich in national wealth. With this approach in place, his sojourn in the set-up may not last for very long.


International trade is the second area in which the Trump administration is bringing about immense changes. The policies being pursued are meant to bring back the jobs America had lost to the world. According to the news site Axios, Trump is “hell-bent” on imposing punitive tariffs on imports of steel and solar panels, claiming that other countries are taking advantage of America. This was the central theme of his campaign. Axios reports that the White House believes that Trump’s political base likes the idea of a trade war and “will love the fight.” But would such an approach win jobs for Trump’s supporters? Not necessarily for at least three reasons. First, a great deal of modern commerce is in intermediate goods – goods that make other goods, such as the components that go into the making of Iphones and Ipads. A tariff on steel may save steel jobs but will hurt jobs in the industries that use the product such as that manufactures of automobiles. In fact, trade and trade policy have little effect on total employment. They affect what kind of jobs are available in the economy but not much the total number. Then, as Krugman points out, international trade is governed by rules – rules America helped to put in place. Breaking the rules will lead to other countries doing the same. The result would be a trade war. “And it’s foolish to imagine that America will win such a war. For one thing we are far from being a dominant superpower in world trade – the European Union is just as big a player and capable of effective retaliation. Anyway, trade isn’t about winning and losing: it generally makes both sides of the deal richer, and a trade war usually hurts all the countries involved.”


Then there is the question of allowing foreigners to enter the country. During the campaign, Trump promised to build a wall all along the border with Mexico to keep out the Hispanic population. This was a popular move since there was widespread belief among the people who were attracted to the Trump candidacy that the migrants from Mexico and Central America had taken away the jobs the white, non-college educated population would have performed. The other migration-related promise by Trump concerned Muslims. Trump said that, if elected, he would ban the entry of all Muslims into his country. This also resonated well with one segment of the American population – people who were concerned that non-Christian migrants were hurting the old value system. Upon taking office, Trump issued an executive order that would have banned the entry of the citizens from seven Muslim majority countries in the Middle East. The order was challenged in the courts and declared to be unconstitutional. A revised version was issued but met the same fate in the lower courts. The administration appealed to the Supreme Court which upheld the order but in a restricted form.


How will history treat the Trump era? The answer will come later but the signs are clearly visible that his policies would have far reaching impact on existing international liberal political and economic order.

 

The writer is a former Caretaker Finance Minister of Pakistan. He also served as vice-president at the World Bank.

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07
August

U.S.-India Converging Alliance – No Good Omen for Regional Peace!

Written By: Mehboob Qadir

That is so unfair of the U.S. and not what friends do in our part of the civilized world. The thought that Kashmiris were a small price to pay in the bargain is sadly misleading. Meanwhile the U.S. might like to remember that Indians have thousands of years of experience in statecraft and can play one superpower against the other with perfect ease.

Over 20,000 gun pellet blinded Kashmiris, thousands of women raped as a state policy of coercion and thousands upon thousands killed in fake encounters and buried in mass graves by the Indian Security Forces in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) do not matter as they cannot generate whopping amounts of dollars for the U.S. nor create millions of jobs, as President Trump claimed after his recent KSA visit. Further, mass persecution and state genocide of Kashmiris is not such a nice subject for a pally pally talk with Modi and his Indian chums in various nooks and corners of the White House, the U.S. Congress and some insidious but paid think tanks. It requires real character and a hang-over free mind to call a spade a spade which there are few and far between among those around. Grave human rights violations in IHK can be taken care of at some other opportune time, meanwhile let UN HR Council hum and haw about it, they seem to prefer.

 

usindiaconverging.jpgThe White House had since long been infested by political practitioners who care less about human and moral issues than economic and security interests. Trouble with the U.S. leadership had been a serious absence of the historic perspective and present one beats the rest by miles in this absolutely essential quality of statesmenship. If the U.S. leadership had a reasonable grasp of even the recent world history they would never have invaded Afghanistan; they could not have overlooked Kashmir dispute at the cost of four wars between India and Pakistan and the resultant current nuclear stand-off, too. They would have realized and admitted long ago that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program seeks to specifically deter Indian aggression against itself and not for any regional hegemony or fictional Islamic supremacy. We are not the kind of hungry wolves looking for prey in others' meadows. We grow plenty not only to feed ourselves but also living on subsistence since centuries on our western borders. These simple facts should have been apparent to even a scarecrow or a tin man but the U.S. statesmen. They have repeatedly and most remarkably ignored these facts and have chosen to pickle in their self-manufactured jar of apprehensions. This behavior and policy approach has been counter-productive for regional peace and stability.

 

Historically U.S. arrogance and insincerity with allies repels her friends and it disregards sane advice to the rue and regret of its people. U.S. leaders have consistently shown a peculiar cerebral vacancy in articulating international relations, in that they have never been able to balance a superpower’s global responsibility against its instinctive aggression and search for prestige. This mismatch or rather Cyclops’ single eyed vision has created enormous miseries for the affected countries and for decades.

Kashmiris' historic but singularly peaceful struggle for self determination in the face of brutal Indian repression is extremely commendable. Those who seek to suppress and choke this rising tide of popular resistance are deceiving themselves. It is a widespread and lasting resentment against atrocious Indian occupation which has seeped into three generations of Kashmiris and has become an inseparable part of their conscious psyche. Such an irreversibly embedded but sizzling yearning cannot be eliminated by state brutality, wholesale coercion and mass decimation of people as is being done. It is a driving ideology and not a piece of real estate to be painted, demolished or rebuilt at will. India has imported kinetic materials from Israel to mow down Kashmiri activists but failed to seek wisdom why they have utterly failed to eliminate Palestinian freedom struggle? You have to see slings and brick bats wielding young but determined Kashmiri boys and girls fearlessly opposing fully armed and protected Indian Security Forces’ contingents firing their weapons straight into the protesters, in the streets of Srinagar to believe what sort of a motivation it is. This is a storm of a different sort building up which can shake the very foundations of the Indian Union. That is in nobody’s interest in the region.


Trump administration declared Hizb-ul-Mujahideen leader Syed Salahuddin as global terrorist ahead of Modi's visit to curry favor with the BJP hardliners in India. Fine, go ahead and take your friend to the precipice, but is that part of your global design? It is well known that U.S. now prefers to franchise her global aggression but staking out a subcontinent is quite preposterous. See what one of their leading geo-political strategist has to say about the U.S.: “The United States doesn’t need to win wars. It needs to simply disrupt things so the other side can’t build up sufficient strength to challenge it” (George Friedman, The Next 100 Years, P.5). And, “Psychologically the United States is a bizarre mix of overconfidence and insecurity. Interestingly this is the precise description of adolescent mind…” (P.28),.George Friedman further observed that “America like Europe in Sixteenth Century is still barbaric (a description not a moral judgment). Its culture is unformed. Its will is powerful. Its emotions drive it in different and contradictory directions” (P.30). He was describing U.S. way of thinking in 2010, which strikingly resembles the way presently being displayed.

 

As far as Afghanistan is concerned please remember road to Kabul passes through Khyber Pass and not Connaught Place New Delhi. Pakistan has the will and skill to help U.S. and Afghanistan out of their difficulty in that country, but you have to first put your cards on the table. A romantic desire to be there alone is erroneous like hammering a stake in the marsh to build a perch. Ignore Pakistan which you may but at the risk of peace that should be close to hearts of every one. Afghan Pashtuns are averse to foreign masters let alone Indians whom historically they have never considered their equals. Therefore, exercise caution in believing those who might lead you on to those illusive fairy meadows and bolt once the demons attack.

However, this time again U.S. would end up in the same manner as in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and now Syria. Historically U.S. arrogance and insincerity with allies repels her friends and it disregards sane advice to the rue and regret of its people. U.S. leaders have consistently shown a peculiar cerebral vacancy in articulating international relations, in that they have never been able to balance a superpower’s global responsibility against its instinctive aggression and search for prestige. This mismatch or rather Cyclops’ single eyed vision has created enormous miseries for the affected countries and for decades.


Vietnam has just shown signs of some recovery from devastating U.S. military intervention more than fifty years ago. Afghanistan would take generations to recover from the comprehensive socio-economic destruction inflicted by repeated U.S. invasions. U.S. ignored the sound advice not to rock that basket and are paying very dearly for the blunder of following Brzezinski, ever since. Problem with pied pipers is that they lead you into the fairy lands but forget to tell you what to do when demons attack. Brzezinski did show the path into Afghanistan to defeat the Soviet Union but forgot to chisel a strategy of disengagement. It could not be very far when people in Washington might begin to wonder again why so much loathing in Pakistan and among Kashmiris or for that matter Indian Muslims against U.S.? Then it would be too late to fix the blame on present U.S. administration for finding a just solution to this core issue of regional peace and stability.


The present U.S. administration in league with Modi's BJP has very thoughtlessly embarked upon one of its most destructive games U.S. has ever played. They are bulldozing a perfectly legitimate and political popular movement by Kashmiri people towards a stonewall. Both are busy manufacturing and forging connections to link the movement with global terrorism by picking off its leaders and painting them black as terrorists. Once done these men of great influence would be forced to resort to non-political or kinetic means. Kashmiris will naturally link up with more than twenty other separatist movements active in India, and then foreign terror organizations like Al Qaeda and ISIL, thanks to BJP’s unthinking mistreatment of Muslims in India, likely to find space for themselves in the bloody fray that will ensue and quickly spin out of control. The present administration may go ahead and do it by all means. That will be the beginning of the end of this newest favorite India. This time around U.S. would not have Pakistan as the convenient dummy to shoot at. Blame yourself and the mad urge to destabilize the entire subcontinent hoping secretly to distract China or contain her inevitable rise to the world stage by guinea pigging India. That is so unfair of the U.S. and not what friends do in our part of the civilized world. The thought that Kashmiris were a small price to pay in the bargain is sadly misleading. Meanwhile the U.S. might like to remember that Indians have thousands of years of experience in statecraft and can play one superpower against the other with perfect ease.


As far as Afghanistan is concerned please remember road to Kabul passes through Khyber Pass and not Connaught Place New Delhi. Pakistan has the will and skill to help U.S. and Afghanistan out of their difficulty in that country, but you have to first put your cards on the table. A romantic desire to be there alone is erroneous like hammering a stake in the marsh to build a perch. Ignore Pakistan which you may but at the risk of peace that should be close to hearts of every one. Afghan Pashtuns are averse to foreign masters let alone Indians whom historically they have never considered their equals. Therefore, exercise caution in believing those who might lead you on to those illusive fairy meadows and bolt once the demons attack.

 

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(The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organization.)
 

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