07
September

Falsity of Modi's Assertions

Written By: Dr. Ahmad Rashid Malik

On Indian Independence Day on August 15, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his third consecutive Independence Day speech celebrating 70th anniversary, once again threatened Pakistan’s territorial integration. Speaking at the Red Fort in New Delhi, he declared that Pakistan glorifies terrorists and the people of Balochistan, Azad Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan have thanked him [for his help].


The question arises that why the people of Balochistan, Azad Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan thanked Modi? Secondly, what kind of assistance is he providing to them? Could he name any notable personalities or popular political parties who have approached? It was simply Modi’s propaganda against Pakistan. For Pakistanis, there was nothing new; the threat was as usual. It was an old mantra in new bottle, only the timing was different. Pakistani people can well identify hate-speech of Indian leaders since the time of their independence. It was Modi’s declaration of war against Pakistan for which he was preparing himself since taking oath in May 2014.


Modi’s mantra negates the Two-Nation Theory. He targeted Balochistan, Azad Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan, which are almost half of Pakistan’s territory. Azad Kashmir has an area of 13,297 sq km or just one-third of the total area of Jammu and Kashmir. The rest is illegally occupied by India by fake accession and force. That is why protests keep on erupting in the Indian-occupied area. Hundreds of thousands of Kashmiris have lost their lives for seeking freedom. Over 68 people have been killed and many injured in the past couple of months.


Kashmir has reached boiling point in the past couple of months. Indian brutalities in the Indian Occupied Kashmir each day expose its hatred towards innocent Kashmiris.
Kashmir is a disputed territory. It is not an “integral part” of India, and therefore the people of Jammu and Kashmir have the right to ascertain their future. India is oppressing people of Kashmir and not allowing them to exercise their right of self determination to choose their future.


The United Nations Security Council not only passed the resolution (38) on January 17, 1948 to allow the people of Kashmir to decide their future, it passed 16 other resolutions until 1965 to ascertain the wishes of the people of Kashmir. However, the Indian Governments never respect the UN mandate on Kashmir. It is a mockery and shame that how Indian Governments have never implemented their international obligations for building peace in South Asia. They have shown that they are not interested in building peace and would continue with their non-compliance propaganda and brutalizing Kashmir.
Pakistan never annexed Azad Kashmir into its territory, but granted it greater autonomy keeping in view the people's aspirations and its own Constitution, President, Prime Minister, Cabinet, and an elected legislative assembly. The freedom of the people of Azad Kashmir speaks of Pakistan’s policy toward them since 1947.


Gilgit-Baltistan has an area of 72,971 sq km. The people of this area joined Pakistan by choice. Pakistan never fought a war in that area for its occupation. Northern Areas became a separate administrative territory in 1970 comprising Gilgit Agency, Baltistan, Hunza, and Nagar. Self-Governance was granted to Gilgit-Baltistan when it was renamed in 2009 to empower the people. Pakistan has also not amalgamated Gilgit-Baltistan on the ground that it would jeopardize the cause of Jammu and Kashmir, which needs to be resolved according to UN resolutions.


Frustrated by this move and what was already going on in Indian-Held Kashmir, Modi made a counter attack on Balochistan. Balochistan joined Pakistan in 1947. It is around 347,190 sq km in area that makes 44 percent of Pakistan’s total land area. Baloch separatists have been covertly assisted by India. Infact India created these separatists, and Modi has just made it clear that India is behind Baloch insurgency.


Indian spy agency RAW’s agent Kulbushan Yadav (alias Hussein Mubarak Patel) is among just many of those agents India has covertly sent to Balochistan to create uncertainty, to break the province from rest of the country, and bury the concept of Gwadar Port and CPEC. India often flaps sectarianism in Balochistan. The hidden agenda was exposed in March this year. In May an incident in Karachi also targeted a Chinese engineer engaged in a CPEC project and exposed RAW’s links with the so-called Sindudesh Liberation Army.


Modi is entangled in troubles for his anti-CPEC policy. He utterly misread CPEC, which has been moving fast and likely to complete a number of connectivity projects linking Kashgar with a number of destinations inside Pakistan soon. Modi could not hide his feelings and on the Day of Independence vociferously expressed his anti-Pakistan sentiments in public.


Pakistan has not been “dropping bombs in Balochistan”. It is conducting a targeted operation in that province which is entirely against terrorists taking refuge from FATA. Modi’s announcements are tantamount to India’s support for Baloch militants, that have been effectively controlled by Pakistan’s security forces. Pakistani military actions have upset their nefarious designs in these areas to create instability and break Pakistan. For them, it is a setback but for Pakistan, it means success as they are nearing the completions of operations.


Modi’s language was hostile, aggressive, provocative, irresponsible, and breached all political and diplomatic norms and damaging Pakistan’s vital interests. The statement seems to be well calculated as Modi is not interested in talks with Pakistan over a number of issues. He wants CPEC to be derailed and frozen. It looks like Modi’s statement was written by RAW and his security team. He has been obfuscating and de-tracking from the real issues and the dispute over Kashmir between the two countries. To strengthen his rule, he is trying to live on anti-Pakistan propaganda. There are indications that he might cancel his Islamabad visit where he is likely to attend SAARC Summit to be held in November this year.


India incites the policy of “State-Sponsored Terrorism”. For example, on every Indian Independence Day, Kashmiri people celebrate “Black Day”. What message does it give to the world? Is Indian leadership not aware of that? India is running the affairs of its occupied part through the deployment of over 700,000 troops, imposing long curfews for decades in a bid to control the State, brutalizing protest movements, killings innocent people, and bringing forth the draconian laws. On this Indian Independence Day, Indian security forces killed at least eight Kashmiris protesting against its rule. They are using pellet guns to blind the people in the Occupied Valley. Modi’s frustration shows that India is running out of options in Occupied Kashmir. Modi is ill-advised by his aides. He is playing the wrong game in a pointless way. He con not put Kashmir in the back-burner. His remarks have rather strengthened Pakistan’s case in Balochistan, the cause of Kashmir liberation, and CPEC.


India has been suppressing the independence movements in northeast of India such as in the States of Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, Assam, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed but the separatist movements have not been wiped out. These ethno-religious political separatist movements are a flashpoint in Indian security. Communal strife in northeast demands the creation of more independent states. A number of insurgencies are active in this region. Modi should tackle these internal issues headache rather than interfering in Pakistan’s internal territorial affairs.

 

The writer is Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Strategic Studies (ISS), Islamabad.

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08
September

Balochistan,Kalat State & Baseless Indian Propaganda

Written By: Dr. Yaqoob Khan Bangash

On August 15, 2016 Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the usual Independence Day speech under the shadows of the imposing Red Fort, constructed by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Speaking from the ramparts of fort from where a vast empire was controlled in the seventeenth century, Modi sounded almost like the Mughal Emperor himself – almost like, but not quite the same. However, like Shah Jahan, Modi wanted to speak about Balochistan – the land where the Baloch, Brahui and Pashtun reside. Like Shah Jahan he wanted to lay a claim to it, but like Shah Jahan, who lost the territory irrevocably to the Safavids in 1638, Modi could not make a strong enough case.


Ever since Modi’s speech there has been a flurry of discussion on Indian media about the ‘accession’ of Kalat State and inclusion of Balochistan into Pakistan. Their logic is that since Pakistan disputes that the State of Jammu and Kashmir legally acceded to India, they could find an equivalence in Balochistan, which largely comprises the erstwhile state of Kalat – as that would give them a counterpoise to Pakistan and that can also be used to dampen Pakistan’s attempts to highlight human rights abuses in Indian-Occupied Kashmir. But they are sadly mistaken for various reasons. Balochistan is integral part of Pakistan following all historical and legal basis representing the will of people.

 

balochkalat.jpgFirst, Kalat State was a princely state of India, just like all the other princely states and did not differ in status from others of similar rank. It is true that the last Khan of Kalat, Mir Ahmad Yar Khan disputed this appellation. He claimed that Kalat was a non-Indian state and so should be treated as such. His argument was based on two premises. One premise was that the treaty of 1876 with Kalat of the British Government of India promised to respect the ‘independence’ of Kalat. This, he argued, meant that Kalat was a different state. However, in doing so he conveniently forgot that similar provisions were made in treaties with other Indian states too where it was never disputed that they were an Indian state. Several treaties with the Marhatta states and Hyderabad, for example, refer to their ‘independence.’ Furthermore, the British Government of India clarified this in a note in 1941 stating: “Article 3 of the treaty of 1876, however, expressly saves the provisions of Article 3 of the Treaty of 1854, by which the Khan of Kalat bound himself, his heirs and successors, in all cases to act in subordinate cooperation with the British Government. Thus, the engagement of the British Government to respect the independence of Kalat must be read subject to Khan’s undertaking to act in subordinate cooperation with them, and the position thus arrived at does not differ materially from that reached in the treaties with various other Indian states…” Hence, this argument does not hold correct upon scrutiny.


The second argument put forth by the Khan for a different status was the fact that at the 1877 Durbar (assembly) the Khan of Kalat was treated as a non-Indian prince. This much is true. However, the full story of the 1877 Durbar reveals a rather significant development, which is always missed by Baloch nationalists and others. Lord Lytton, the Viceroy, reported to the Queen-Empress Victoria on Kalat that: “the Khan asked to have a banner given to him. It was explained to His Highness that banners were only given to Your Majesty’s feudatories, and that he, being an independent prince, could not receive one without compromising his independence”. He replied, “But I am a feudatory quite as loyal and obedient as any other. I don’t want to be an independent prince and I do want to have my banner like all the rest. Pray let me have it.” From this it is sufficiently clear that from henceforth the Khanate of Kalat was treated in the same way as the other Indian states, quite simply because the Khan begged the Viceroy for the same. Thus in 1877 the Khan of Kalat accepted paramountcy of the British Crown and became an Indian state. That is why in all the subsequent Durbars, 1903 and 1911, the Khan was treated exactly like an Indian prince without any protestation.


Secondly, Indian media has done mud-slinging on the fact that Pakistan recognized Kalat’s non-Indian status on August 11, 1947. This part is again true that the future Pakistan government did issue a communiqué on August 11, 1947 stating that: “The Government of Pakistan recognizes Kalat as an independent sovereign state in treaty relations with the British Government; with a status different from that of Indian states.” However, what these predjudiced critics do not realize is the legal implication of such a declaration. Succinctly, the British Government of India had leased certain territories – Quetta, Nasirabad, and Nushki, from the Kalat government at various times. With the lapse of paramountcy and the termination of treaties with all princely states, these areas would have automatically returned to Kalat State. However, since the government had spent millions of rupees on their development and as they were strategically very important, both the Pakistan and the British government did not want these areas to revert to Kalat. Now since the Khan had been arguing, without any success, about the different status of Kalat, the Government of Pakistan readily agreed to his definition since if Kalat were a non-Indian state then Pakistan would inherit the leases and they would not terminate. The Pakistan government agreed to this ‘since on August 15, 1947 all princely states would become independent states and so there would be no difference between say Kalat and Hyderabad or Junagarh from then onwards.’ Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy, understood this and noted to the Secretary of State for India: ‘it looks as though if the Khan of Kalat insists on his independent status it will cost him the leased territories including Quetta – a high price to pay for vanity.’ Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary, Ikramullah, also noted that the difference of status was only material before August 15, 1947 and said: ‘During his last visit the Khan was told quite clearly that the fact of independence was immaterial because according to our interpretation all states became independent and sovereign on the lapse of Paramountcy. Therefore, even if there was a difference in the position of Kalat in the pre-partition days... after the partition the position changed completely.’ One must note here that the Indians might be confused by this explanation as the Indian National Congress never accepted that the princely states would become completely independent on August 15, 1947, which these legally did, but the Muslim League always accepted this legal reality. Hence, mention of Kalat’s ‘different status’ after that date is immaterial.
Thirdly, the accession of Kalat to Pakistan is entirely legal. While it is true that the Khan of Kalat did not initially want to accede to Pakistan and wanted to continue with a separate existence, in the end he did sign the Instrument of Accession in favour of Pakistan on March 27, 1948. In fact, he was prompted into action not by any move of the Government of Pakistan but by a news report from All India Radio Delhi on the same day which alleged that Kalat had applied for accession to India. As a result, the Khan immediately signed the Instrument of Accession. The Khan explained himself: “My first reaction after hearing the news was that no time be lost to put an end to the false propaganda and to avoid and forestall the possibility of friction between the Moslem brethren in Kalat and Pakistan... It is therefore declared that from 9 p.m. on March 27 – the time when I heard the false news over the air, I forewith decided to accede to Pakistan and that whatever differences now exist between Kalat and Pakistan be placed in writing before Mr. Jinnah ... whose decision I shall accept.” Hence, the Khan’s immediate reason for accession was ironically India!


From the above, it is sufficiently clear that equating Kashmir and Kalat is simply wishful and posinous thinking. It is also clear that unless we understand the historical reality of Kalat – and by extension Balochistan, we cannot comprehend the situation. Kalat/Balochistan after its accession is an internal matter of Pakistan while Kashmir is an international dispute as its accession is contested. The Indian media’s attempts to muddy the waters by beating the dead horse of Kalat’s different status – which even the British Government of India categorically denied – shows sheer desperation to find a ‘Kashmir’ in Pakistan. They better look elsewhere.

 

The writer teaches at IT University Lahore and is the author of ‘A Princely Affair: The Accession and Integration of the Princely States of Pakistan, 1947-55.’

He tweets at @BangashYK.

Ever since Modi’s speech there has been a flurry of discussion on Indian media about the ‘accession’ of Kalat State and inclusion of Balochistan into Pakistan. Their logic is that since Pakistan disputes that the State of Jammu and Kashmir legally acceded to India, they could find an equivalence in Balochistan, which largely comprises the erstwhile state of Kalat – as that would give them a counterpoise to Pakistan and that can also be used to dampen Pakistan’s attempts to highlight human rights abuses in Indian-Occupied Kashmir. But they are sadly mistaken for various reasons. Balochistan is integral part of Pakistan following all historical and legal basis representing the will of people.

*****

 
13
October

چین اور علاقائی سلامتی

تحریر: ڈاکٹر رشید احمد خان

رواں سال اگست کے مہینے میں چین کے صوبہ سنکیانگ کے دارالحکومت اُورومچی میں پاکستان، چین، افغانستان اور تاجکستان کے اعلیٰ فوجی رہنماؤں کا ایک اہم اجلاس ہوا۔ اس اجلاس میں پاک فوج کے سربراہ چیف آف آرمی سٹاف جنرل راحیل شریف، چین کے سنٹرل ملٹری کمیشن کے رکن جنرل فینگ فنگ ہوئی افغان فوج کے سربراہ جنرل قدم شاہ شاہیم اور تاجکستان کے چیف آف سٹاف جنرل
E.A.Cobidrzoda
نے شرکت کی۔ یہ اہم اجلاس جنرل فینگ کی دعوت پر بلایا گیا تھا اور جیسا کہ اس میں شریک ممالک سے ظاہر ہوتا ہے کہ اس کا مقصد چین کی سربراہی میں وسطی اور جنوبی ایشیا کے درمیان وسیع تر بنیادوں پر سکیورٹی کے شعبے میں تعاون کو فروغ دینا ہے تاکہ ان دونوں خطوں میں دہشت گردی، انتہاپسندی اور علیٰحدگی پسندی کے خطرات کا سدباب کیا جا سکے۔ چاروں ممالک نے ان پر اتفاق کیا کہ ان دونوں خطوں کی سلامتی ، امن اور ترقی کے لئے دہشت گردی اور انتہا پسندی پر قابو پانا اشد ضروری ہے۔ اسی مقصد کے لئے اجلاس میں چاروں ممالک پر مشتمل ایک فورم کے قیام کا فیصلہ کیا گیا۔ جس کے ذریعہ رکن ممالک کے درمیان نہ صرف خفیہ معلومات کا تبادلہ کیا جائے بلکہ رکن ممالک کی سکیورٹی فورسز کی تربیت کا بھی اہتمام کیا جائے گا۔


اگرچہ چین اور ان تین ممالک کے درمیان دہشت گردی، انتہاپسندی اور علیحدگی پسندی کے خلاف تعاون کے لئے دو طرفہ بنیادو ں پر پہلے ہی کئی معاہدات موجود ہیں اور ان کے تحت عملی تعاون بھی جاری ہے۔ لیکن چار ملکوں کی اعلیٰ ترین فوجی قیادت کا یہ اجلاس نہ صرف خطے میں سلامتی کے لئے بڑھتے ہوئے خدشات کو ظاہر کرتا ہے بلکہ اس سے یہ بھی اشارے ملتے ہیں کہ تجارت اور اقتصادی تعاون کے شعبوں کو فروغ دینے کے لئے کوششوں کے ساتھ ساتھ سکیورٹی شعبوں میں بھی خطے کے ممالک ایک پلیٹ فارم پر جمع ہو رہے ہیں۔ جہاں تک دو طرفہ بنیادوں پر سکیورٹی کے شعبے میں تعاون کا تعلق ہے تو اس کی سب سے نمایاں مثال دہشت گردی کے خلاف پاکستان اور چین کے درمیان جاری تعاون ہے۔ دونوں ممالک اس خطرے کا مقابلہ کرنے کے لئے نہ صرف ایک دوسرے سے خفیہ معلومات کا تبادلہ کرتے ہیں بلکہ دہشت گردوں کے حملوں کی روک تھام کے لئے پاکستان اور چین کی فوجوں کے درمیان تعاون کا سلسلہ بھی جاری ہے۔ اس جنگ کو زیادہ موثرطریقے سے لڑنے کے لئے دونوں ملکوں کے درمیان متعدد مرتبہ بری، بحری اور فضائی فوجی مشقیں بھی ہو چکی ہیں۔ مئی 2013 میں چین کے موجودہ وزیراعظم لی چی کوانگ نے پاکستان کا دورہ کیا تھا۔ عہدہ سنبھالنے کے بعد یہ ان کا پہلا بیرونی دورہ تھا جس کے لئے انہوں نے جنوبی ایشیا کو منتخب کیا تھا۔ پاکستان میں پارلیمانی انتخابات کے نتائج کا اعلان ہو چکا تھا تاہم کامیاب ہونے والی پارٹی یعنی پاکستان مسلم لیگ نون کے سربراہ میاں محمد نواز شریف نے ابھی وزارت عظمیٰ کا عہدہ نہیں سنبھالا تھا اس کے باوجود چینی وزیراعظم کی پاکستان آمد اور نومنتخب سیاسی قیادت کے ساتھ اُن کی بات چیت اس حقیقت کا ثبوت ہے کہ پاک چین دوستی اور تعلقات پر پاکستان کے اندرونی حالات اثر انداز نہیں ہوتے۔ اپنے پاکستان کے دورے کے دوران ہی چینی وزیراعظم نے جہاں دونوں ممالک کے درمیان تجارت اور اقتصادی تعاون کو فروغ دینے پر زور دیا وہاں انہوں نے پاکستان اور چین کے درمیان اکنامک کا ریڈور کی بھی تجویز پیش کی۔ اس کے علاوہ اُن کے اسی دورے کے دوران پاکستان اور چین نے سکیورٹی کے شعبے، خاص طور پر گلگت اور بلتستان میں مشترکہ سرحد پر چیکنگ اور کنٹرول کے لئے بعض اقدامات پر اتفاق کیا۔ ان اقدامات میں سرحد کے دونوں جانب سے آنے والے افراد کی چیکنگ، ویزہ کنٹرول اور غیرقانونی نقل و حرکت پر نظر رکھنے کے لئے سرحدی چوکیوں کے قیام کا فیصلہ بھی شامل تھا۔ گزشتہ تین برس میں پاکستان اور چین نے بارڈرمینجمنٹ اور کنٹرول کے شعبے میں تعاون کو کافی مضبوط کر لیا ہے۔ اب دونوں ملکوں کی سکیورٹی افواج سرحد پر مشترکہ گشت کرتی ہیں تاکہ دہشت گرد اس سرحد کو استعمال نہ کر سکیں۔


اسی طرح چین اور افغانستان کے درمیان بھی سکیورٹی کے شعبے میں تعاون میں اضافہ ہو رہا ہے۔ 2001 کے بعد سے چین نے اگرچہ افغانستان کے ساتھ دو طرفہ بنیادوں پر تجارتی اور اقتصادی تعلقات قائم کر رکھے ہیں لیکن افغانستان میں جاری جنگ اور امن و مصالحت کے قیام کے ضمن میں چین نے ہمیشہ غیرجانبدارانہ موقف اختیار کر رکھا تھا۔ تاہم افغانستان اور پاکستان دونوں کی خواہش ہے کہ چین افغانستان میں امن کے قیام میں زیادہ سرگرمی کا مظاہرہ کرے۔ یہی وجہ ہے کہ افغانستان کے موجودہ صدر اشرف غنی نے 2014 میں منتخب ہو کر جن ممالک کا سب سے پہلے دورہ کیا تھا اُن میں چین شامل تھا۔ چینی حکام اور خصوصاً صدر ژی جن پنگ کے ساتھ ملاقات کے دوران افغان صدر نے افغانستان میں چین کے فعال کردا ر کی درخواست کی تھی اور اس کے بدلے سنکیانگ میں علیحدگی پسندوں کے خلاف مدد کی پیش کش کی تھی۔ بعض اطلاعات کے مطابق چین میں افغان صدر کی آمد سے چند روز قبل افغان حکام نے ایک درجن کے قریب علیحدگی پسندوں کو جو افغان حکام کے دعوے کے مطابق پاکستان سے سرحد عبور کر کے افغانستان میں داخل ہوئے تھے، کو چینی حکام کے حوالے کیا تھا۔ سنکیانگ میں علیحدگی پسندی کی تحریک چین کے لئے ایک اہم مسئلہ ہے۔ اس تحریک کی پشت پناہی کرنے والے چند افراد امریکہ میں بھی مقیم ہیں اور چونکہ پاکستان اور افغانستان دونوں کی سرحدیں سنکیانگ سے ملتی ہیں اس لئے اسلام آباد اور کابل کی طرف سے علیحدگی پسندوں کے خلاف تعاون چین کے لئے خصوصی اہمیت کا حامل ہے۔ اس کی اہمیت کو تسلیم کرتے ہوئے چین نے نہ صرف پاکستان کے ساتھ انسداد دہشت گردی کے مقصد کے لئے تعاون میں اضافہ کر دیا ہے بلکہ افغانستان کے ساتھ بھی سکیورٹی کے شعبے میں تعاون کو بڑھا دیا ہے۔ یہ تعاون چین کی طرف سے افغانستان کو مالی امداد کے علاوہ ملک میں مزید سرمایہ کاری اور افغان پولیس کی تربیت اور غیر حربی سامان کی فراہمی پر مبنی ہے۔ لیکن چین ابھی تک افغانستان میں جاری خانہ جنگی میں غیرجانبداری کی پالیسی پر سختی سے کاربند ہے۔ جہاں ایک طرف چین نے افغانستان کی موجودہ حکومت کو تسلیم کر رکھا ہے اور اس کے ساتھ تجارتی اور اقتصادی تعلقات استوار کرنے کے علاوہ افغانستان کے معدنی ذخائر میں اربوں ڈالر کی سرمایہ کاری بھی کر رکھی ہے، وہاں چین نے افغانستان کی موجودہ حکومت سے برسرپیکار افغان طالبان کے ساتھ بھی رابطہ قائم کر رکھا ہے۔

حالیہ برسوں میں چین نے بھی افغان طالبان کے ساتھ روابط میں اضافہ کر دیا ہے گزشتہ جولائی میں قطر میں مقیم افغان طالبان کے ایک وفد نے چین کا جو دورہ کیا تھا وہ ان ہی روابط کا ایک حصہ ہے اور ان کا مقصد افغانستان میں بین الاقوامی برادری، پاکستان اور افغان حکومت کے اشتراک سے امن او رمفاہمت کے لئے راہ ہموار کرنا ہے۔ افغانستان میں قیام امن اور استحکام کو فروغ دینے میں چین کی بڑھتی ہوئی دلچسپی کا اندازہ اس امر سے لگایا جا سکتا ہے کہ چارملکوں (چین، امریکہ، پاکستان اور افغانستان) پر مشتمل گروپ، جسے کوآڈری لیٹرل کوآرڈینیشن گروپ کا نام دیا گیا ہے، چین کی کوششوں سے ہی معرض وجود میں آیا تھا۔ اس گروپ کے زیراہتمام جولائی 2015 میں مری میں طالبان اور افغان حکومت کے نمائندوں کے درمیان مذاکرات کا پہلا دور ہوا تھا۔ اگرچہ مذاکرات کے پہلے دور کے بعد دوسرا دور منعقد نہ ہو سکا لیکن گروپ ابھی قائم ہے اور اس میں شامل ممالک باہمی مشاورت کے لئے ملتے رہتے ہیں۔ گزشتہ فروری میں گروپ کا چوتھا اجلاس کابل میں ہوا تھا جس میں افغان مسئلے سے متعلقہ تمام فریقین سے بات چیت کے ذریعے حل تلاش کرنے کی اپیل کی گئی تھی۔ یہ گروپ اور اس کا کردار بھی علاقائی سلامتی کو فروغ دینے کی کوششوں کی ایک کڑی ہے۔ افغانستان میں قیام امن کی کوششوں میں موثر طورپر حصہ لینے کے لئے چین نے ایک اور اہم قدم اٹھایا ہے اور وہ ہے یانگ ژی چی کی بطور خصوصی نمائندہ اس خطے کے لئے تقرری۔ پاکستان پر مشتمل خطے میں امن اور سلامتی سے متعلقہ جو بھی مذاکرات کیو۔ سی ۔ جی یا کسی اور فورم کے تحت ہوتے ہیں مسٹر یانگ اُن میں چین کے نمائندے کی حیثیت سے شرکت کرتے ہیں۔


پاکستان اور افغانستان کے علاوہ چین نے وسطی ایشیا کے ممالک کے ساتھ بھی دو طرفہ اور کثیرالجہتی بنیادوں پر وسیع اور مستحکم تجارتی اور اقتصادی تعلقات قائم کر رکھے ہیں۔ ان میں ایک فورم شنگھائی تعاون کی تنظیم ایس سی او بھی شامل ہے۔ شنگھائی تعاون کی تنظیم چین روس اور وسطی ایشیائی ممالک کے علاوہ پاکستان اور بھارت میں بھی بطور مستقل رکن شامل ہے۔ مستقل اراکین کے علاوہ مبصر ممالک کی بھی ایک بڑی تعداد شنگھائی تعاون تنظیم کے عمل کا ایک اہم حصہ ہے۔ ان میں جنوبی ایشیا سے تعلق رکھنے والے مزید دو اور ممالک یعنی افغانستان اور نیپال بھی شامل ہیں۔ اس طرح ایشیا کے ان دو بڑے خطوں یعنی جنوبی ایشیا اور وسطی ایشیا کے درمیان مختلف شعبوں مثلا ٹرانسپورٹ، توانائی، تجارت، مواصلات اور عوامی رابطوں کو فروغ دینے کے عمل کو فروغ دینے میں شنگھائی تعاون کی تنظیم ایک کلیدی کردار ادا کر نے کی پوزیشن میں آ چکی ہے اور پاکستان کے نکتہ نظر سے یہ کردار اس لئے خصوصی طور پر خوش آئند ہے کہ اس میں چین بھرپور دلچسپی لے رہا ہے۔


وسطی ایشیائی ریاستیں سابقہ سوویت یونین کا شیرازہ بکھرنے سے پہلے روس کا حصہ تھیں اب بھی ان ریاستوں کے نہ صرف سڑک ریلوے اور ہوائی سروس کے ذریعے روس کے ساتھ رابطے ہیں بلکہ معاشی اور سکیورٹی شعبوں میں بھی ریاستیں بہت حد تک روس پر انحصار کرتی ہیں۔ مثلا تاجکستان جو وسائل کے لحاظ سے وسطی ایشیا میں غریب ترین ملک سمجھا جاتا ہے کی آمدنی کا بیشتر حصہ روس میں کام کرنے والے تاجک باشندوں کی طرف سے بھیجی ہوئی رقوم پر مشتمل ہے لیکن روس کی معیشت کو درپیش مسائل کی وجہ سے اس آمدنی میں کمی آ رہی ہے اور تاجکستان کی معیشت اس سے متاثر ہو رہی ہے۔ اس صورت حال میں تاجکستان کی مدد کے لئے چین نے ملک میں سرمایہ کاری کی پیش کش کی ہے اور اس سلسلے میں ابتدائی طور پر 6بلین ڈالر سرمایہ کاری کے معاہدے پر تاجکستان کی حکومت کے ساتھ معاہدے پر دستخط کئے ہیں۔ نہ صرف رقبے بلکہ قدرتی اور معدنی وسائل کے لحاظ سے قازقستان کو پورے خطے کی معیشت اور علاقائی تعاون کے منصوبوں میں ایک نمایاں مقام حاصل ہے۔ جس طرح وزیراعظم لی نے دسمبر 2012 میں اپنے عہدے کا حلف اٹھا کر سب سے پہلے جنوبی ایشیا (پاکستان اور بھارت) کا دورہ کر کے اس خطے کی چین کے لئے اہمیت کو واضح کیاتھا اسی طرح صدرژی نے بھی ستمبر 2013 میں قازقستان اور وسطی ایشیا کی دیگر ریاستوں کا دورہ کر کے اس خطے کی چین کے لئے بڑھتی ہوئی اہمیت کو نمایاں کیا تھا۔ قازقستان کے دورے کے دوران چینی صدر نے قازقستان کی حکومت کے ساتھ 5بلین ڈالر تیل فروخت کے معاہدے پر بھی دستخط کئے تھے۔ یہ تیل ایک طویل پائپ لائن جس کی تعمیر مکمل ہو چکی ہے کے ذریعے چین کے مغربی علاقوں میں پہنچا جائے گا۔ اس کے علاوہ قدیم شاہراہ ریشم بحال کرنے کے منصوبے وَن بلٹ ون روڈ کے تحت چین پورے وسطی ایشیا میں سڑکوں، ریلویز اور پائپ لائنوں کا ایک جال بچھانے کے لئے 16.3 بلین ڈالر کی امداد فراہم کر رہا ہے۔


وسطی ایشیا اور جنوبی ایشیا کے ابھرتے ہوئے جیوپولیٹیکل نقشے کی روشنی میں ان خطوں کے ممالک کے لئے امن‘ داخلی استحکام کا قیام اور اس کے لئے دہشت گردی انتہا پسندی اور علیحدگی پسندی کے خلاف جنگ کی ضرورت کو شدت سے محسوس کیا جا رہا ہے۔ اس مقصد کے لئے دونوں خطوں کے ممالک نہ صرف تجارت اور اقتصادی شعبوں میں تعاون کو فروغ دے رہے ہیں بلکہ علاقائی سلامتی کے لئے بھی باہمی صلاح مشورے جاری ہیں۔ تاکہ دہشت گردی، انتہا پسندی اور علیحدگی پسندی جیسے خطرات کا مشترکہ طور پر مقابلہ کیا جا سکے۔ عوامی جمہوریہ چین ان کوششوں میں نمایاں کردار ادا کر رہا ہے۔ پاکستان اور افغانستان کی طرح خطے کے دیگر ممالک نے بھی چین کے اس نمایاں کردار کو سراہا ہے۔ کیونکہ دیگر بڑی طاقتوں کے برعکس چین کی علاقائی پالیسی‘ مساوی سلوک‘ باہمی احترام‘ باہمی مفاد اور ایک دوسرے کے معاملات میں مداخلت سے احتراز پر مبنی ہے۔ سنکیانگ کے دارالحکومت اورومچی میں چین، پاکستان ، افغانستان اور تاجکستان پر مشتمل کاؤنٹرٹیررازم اتحاد کی ان کوششوں کی ابتدائی شکل ہے۔ امید ہے کہ ان کوششوں کے نتیجے میں دونوں خطوں کے ممالک پر مشتمل اس نوعیت کا ایک وسیع تر اتحاد معرض وجود میں آ جائے گا۔

پروفیسر ڈاکٹر رشید احمد خان معروف ماہر تعلیم اور کالم نویس ہیں۔

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جہاں تک دو طرفہ بنیادوں پر سکیورٹی کے شعبے میں تعاون کا تعلق ہے تو اس کی سب سے نمایاں مثال دہشت گردی کے خلاف پاکستان اور چین کے درمیان جاری تعاون ہے۔ دونوں ممالک اس خطرے کا مقابلہ کرنے کے لئے نہ صرف ایک دوسرے سے خفیہ معلومات کا تبادلہ کرتے ہیں بلکہ دہشت گردوں کے حملوں کی روک تھام کے لئے پاکستان اور چین کی فوجوں کے درمیان تعاون کا سلسلہ بھی جاری ہے۔

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چار ملکوں کی اعلیٰ ترین فوجی قیادت کا یہ اجلاس نہ صرف خطے میں سلامتی کے لئے بڑھتے ہوئے خدشات کو ظاہر کرتا ہے بلکہ اس سے یہ بھی اشارے ملتے ہیں کہ تجارت اور اقتصادی تعاون کے شعبوں کو فروغ دینے کے لئے کوششوں کے ساتھ ساتھ سکیورٹی شعبوں میں بھی خطے کے ممالک ایک پلیٹ فارم پر جمع ہو رہے ہیں۔

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افغانستان میں قیام امن کی کوششوں میں موثر طورپر حصہ لینے کے لئے چین نے ایک اور اہم قدم اٹھایا ہے اور وہ ہے یانگ ژی چی کی بطور خصوصی نمائندہ اس خطے کے لئے تقرری۔ پاکستان پر مشتمل خطے میں امن اور سلامتی سے متعلقہ جو بھی مذاکرات کیو۔ سی ۔ جی یا کسی اور فورم کے تحت ہوتے ہیں مسٹر یانگ اُن میں چین کے نمائندے کی حیثیت سے شرکت کرتے ہیں۔

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وسطی ایشیا اور جنوبی ایشیا کے ابھرتے ہوئے جیوپولیٹیکل نقشے کی روشنی میں ان خطوں کے ممالک کے لئے امن‘ داخلی استحکام کا قیام اور اس کے لئے دہشت گردی انتہا پسندی اور علیحدگی پسندی کے خلاف جنگ کی ضرورت کو شدت سے محسوس کیا جا رہا ہے۔ اس مقصد کے لئے دونوں خطوں کے ممالک نہ صرف تجارت اور اقتصادی شعبوں میں تعاون کو فروغ دے رہے ہیں بلکہ علاقائی سلامتی کے لئے بھی باہمی صلاح مشورے جاری ہیں۔ تاکہ دہشت گردی، انتہا پسندی اور علیحدگی پسندی جیسے خطرات کا مشترکہ طور پر مقابلہ کیا جا سکے۔

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08
September

Iran-Pakistan: An Optimistic Analysis

Written By: Didier Chaudet

Regardless of how the diplomatic links may evolve over time, Iran and Pakistan have many reasons to be friendly towards one another. And the reasons for that are so much connected to each nation’s interests that it should help overcome any problem between the two countries.


Tehran and Islamabad have fierce competitors/enemies in their respective regional environments. For Iran it is very clear that Saudi Arabia is now a fierce competitor: Riyadh is concerned over Iran’s possibility to rise to the point of becoming the main regional power in the Middle East, or at least a force able to counter any policy deemed negative from an Iranian point of view. On important issues like the Syrian war, stability in Iraq, civil war in Yemen, the nuclear question in Iran, even on an economic front related to oil prices, Saudis and Iranians strongly oppose one another. The only country in the region as afraid as Saudi Arabia by Iranian ambitions is Israel. Israelis and Saudis will continue to oppose Iranians in the years to come, as long as Iran is an independent nation eager to be a true regional power, influential in the Middle East. Moreover, Turkey and some Arab nations linked to Saudi Arabia do not see Iran as a possible partner. It means that on its Western flank, the Persian nation cannot count on friendly relationships to secure its borders. Its only true friends, Iraq and Syria, are very weak states with problems of their own. In such a situation, it is very important for Tehran to secure its other borders. A good relationship with Pakistan is key to secure its Eastern flank.

 

iranpak.jpgAs for Pakistan, it has only two real threats for its national security: India and Afghanistan. From India the direct threat is a classic one, coming from an unfriendly state. Afghanistan is a more complex issue; even if some Afghan official structures can be used for anti-Pakistan activities, the main problem coming from the north is the fact that Afghanistan is a very weak state. Hence anti-Pakistan terrorist groups like TTP can find in Afghanistan a safe haven, and radical elements, as well as criminal groups, can use the Afghan chaos to their advantage (most importantly by financing themselves, thanks to drug trafficking). The borders with India and Afghanistan are problematic, to say the least: Kabul refuses to recognize the “Durand Line”, whichever regime is in charge (the Taliban included); and as long as there is no real compromise on Kashmir, Pakistan’s “Alsace-Lorraine”, tensions in India-Pakistan will remain high.


In comparison, there is no such level of tension between Islamabad and Tehran. Of course, there are some issues regarding Baloch separatists/terrorists. But in fact, Pakistan and Iran need to help each other to make sure their Baloch territories are secure, and to oppose sectarian tensions in both countries. The Iranian Baloch separatist and terrorist group, Jundallah, which was very active against Iran security forces in Sistan-Baluchestan during the second half of the decade 2000 has been decapitated. There are some tensions between Pakistanis and Iranians at the border, sometimes. Both sides cannot hermetically close a 900-km border, hence terrorists do between Iran and Pakistan what they do between Afghanistan and Pakistan: switching from one country to the other in order to strike and avoid capture. Peace in the Baloch areas in Pakistan and Iran will continue to need a solid counter-terrorism cooperation between the two countries.


Peace in Afghanistan can only be possible if Iran and Pakistan work together. The U.S. has been unable to win the peace in this country even after 14 years of presence. It is linked, in no small part, to the fact that it refused to accept this country’s geography. Afghanistan is not an island, what happens there is strongly linked to its regional environment. In particular Pakistan and Iran are the two countries that have the strongest historical, cultural, economic and human links with Kabul. But for ideological reasons the W. Bush administration refused to cooperate with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Despite this, American security services were able to build a link with the Northern Alliance. After the disastrous speech about “Axis of Evil” (2002), pinpointing Iran as an enemy, the only logical move for the U.S. should have been to treat Pakistan as the very important ally it was, in order to best deal with the Afghan issue. Indeed, if Iran has strong influence in few parts of Afghanistan, Pakistan has had strong links with the Pashtun-dominated areas. But it seems that power-brokers in D.C. thought that after 9/11, Pakistan would forget its own particular security concerns and geopolitical interests in the name of the American “War on Terror”. It explains in a nutshell why has there been friction between Americans and Pakistanis since 2002. And now, because of the nature of U.S. ideological approach to the Afghan conflict, the Afghan regional environment is still in danger of a spillover of the Afghan problems. Iran and Pakistan have both been working hard to make sure their reach in Afghanistan goes beyond their usual areas of influence. They both accepted the fact that peace will be possible only by negotiation and compromise with the Taliban. They both need more stability in Afghanistan in order to make sure the Chinese economic projects towards its west become reality, as it will mean trade opportunities for the whole region. Hence, in the coming years, if Tehran and Islamabad focus on their own self-interest, they will have a growing relationship, partly based on common interests in Afghanistan, knowing only they together can bring peace to this difficult neighbour.


Could Particular Obstacles Hurt the Iran-Pakistan Relationship?
Hence from what one can see, Iran and Pakistan could easily have a good relationship, in the name of their respective self-interests. Does it mean that friendship will always dominate the bilateral relationship or that said relationship will necessarily be easy to manage? Of course not:


• The relationship between Iran and India, or between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia or the U.S., could have a negative impact on the links between Iran and Pakistan.
• There is a risk that terrorists, or some external actors, might try to push the two countries to oppose each other.
• There are, broadly speaking, possibilities of misunderstandings that could bring tensions. It is not uncommon in a regional environment where security-related and geopolitical tensions are so numerous.
Problems related to misunderstandings are real. In the two countries, some policy-makers and analysts might have more prejudices than knowledge about their nation’s neighbour. It is actually striking to see that same journalists and academics in the two countries have been influenced by the American approach towards their countries. Hence some Iranian experts might copy their American colleagues on the Afghan issue, and some Pakistani academics might see the Iranian regime as “irrational”, an approach that comes straight from some influential American think tanks and media. Besides, some local sectarian actors might want to use those prejudices to push the two countries to oppose each other. Such risks will have to be taken into account without being exaggerated. It is common to hear a rather positive analysis about Iran from experts in Pakistan. And there is a general understanding in Iran that to picture Islamabad as an enemy would not only be wrong but it would be counterproductive for Iran’s national interests.


But what about Pakistan’s relationship with Saudi Arabia, Iran’s arch competitor in the Middle East? Or Iran’s friendship with India, the main security problem for Pakistan? Here a careful analysis can help us not to fall into a Manichean vision of international relations.


Indeed, Pakistan and Saudia have a strong historical relationship. Riyadh has opposed the secession of East Pakistan becoming Bangladesh in 1971 and it was an important ally against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980. It has been financially generous more than once, and Pakistan Army has been a protective force for the Kingdom at least since 1982, when a military protocol was signed between the two countries. A former Pakistani Ambassador to the Kingdom, Naeem Khan, once famously said that for the Pakistani leadership, such strong links make Saudi security a personal matter for his country. But it does not mean that Saudi Arabia controls the Pakistani military or civilian elite. A clear proof of that was when Pakistan refused to be part of the Saudi war on Yemen.


Hence, it would be a caricature to imagine a Riyadh-Islamabad “axis” against Iran. And it would be equally wrong to imagine a New Delhi-Tehran alliance against Pakistan. India and Iran have a rather friendly relationship, but it is a pragmatic one: the Indians are interested in Iran’s oil and gas, the Iranians are interested in India as a market. But none of them want an alliance. Indeed, for India, one of the most important countries in the Middle East is, in fact, Saudi Arabia. Like Pakistan, it wants to find a diplomatic equilibrium between the two Middle Eastern countries. And it is common sense for the Indians to think this way: Saudi Arabia alone is one-fifth of this country’s oil imports, it is its major supplier in crude oil. In the name of realpolitik, besides Saudi Arabia, the other important partner for the Indians in the Middle East is Israel, Iran’s arch enemy. Last, but not least, India did not hesitate to push aside its traditional “friendship” with Iran when it was pressured by the U.S. to do so, under the W. Bush administration in particular. Even under Obama, the Indians made clear which friendship they valued the most: it explains why they abandoned the idea to be linked to Iran’s gas, thanks to a “Peace Pipeline” between Iran, Pakistan and India, in 2009. The American-Indian bilateral relationship is much more important to New Delhi than any supposed friendship with the Islamic Republic of Iran. But the latter also showed that it would not sacrifice its relationship with Pakistan or with China in the name of an alliance that actually does not exist.


Actually the only real obstacle for a positive analysis is the use by a third actor, at the border between Iran and Pakistan, of tensions that might arise. From what one can say reading open sources, it appears that the terrorist/separatists from Sistan-Baluchestan have been no more than a few hundreds. And thanks to Pakistan’s help to track down their leadership, they have lost the unity they got for a while being under the group called Jundallah. Hence they do know that they cannot break Tehran’s control on Iranian Baluch lands by guerilla tactics or terrorism. But if they can make the Iranian military at the border tense enough by attacking them and then retreating inside Pakistani territory, they would get a chance to push the two countries to oppose each other, may be violently. And indeed, there has been some clashes at the Iran-Pakistan borders, and Pakistani Baloch citizens complained of Iranian bombing and intrusion. The same way Iran regularly asks Pakistan for more action at the border to stop terrorists to hide in Pakistan after striking in Sistan-Baluchestan. But one can only notice that even during strong tensions, the two countries have been able to stay rational and avoid a spiral of violence. Security-related cooperation at the border seems to have grown strongly over the last two years, despite one-off issues. And actually very recently, the fear of the threat caused by Daesh has pushed the two countries to strengthen their relationship.


Of course, Iran and Pakistan need to be careful of the fact that it is not only the non-state actors who can try to create problems at their common border. There have been rumors coming from Iran, that the USA helped Jundallah in the past. There is no proof of this, and even if it was during the W. Bush administration, such a support would have been a short-sighted move as the so called jihadist group was weak and strongly connected to criminal elements running the regional drug smuggling. But it appears that there are such rumors for a reason: as explained in the very serious Foreign Policy journal, in the article “False Flag” (January 13, 2012), the “CIA agents” who tried to recruit the Jundullah to support destabilization inside Iran were in fact Mossad agents. Israel and Iran are strongly opposed to each other, so the analysis and the information given in this important article were not totally news. But it confirmed the fear that a third state would not hesitate to use destructive forces at Iran-Pakistan border for information or geopolitical gain. Even if little information emerged on Iran’s recent answer about RAW’s activity in Chabahar, also in Sistan-Baluchestan, the very fact that there was an answer to Islamabad by Tehran, gives at least the impression that the Iranians and the Pakistanis see eye-to-eye on this subject. If the Iranians had not believed the Pakistani point of view on the Indian services in Sistan-Baluchestan, it would have been easy to leak such information to the local or international media. It is a testimony of Iran-Pakistan strong relationship that despite what is known by Iran and Pakistan of RAW’s and Mossad’s activities, the two countries have chosen dialogue and cooperation rather than trading accusations. It is a symbol of diplomatic maturity that augurs well for the future.


Hence it appears that naturally, Iran and Pakistan could have a good, friendly relationship. But it is said that it takes two to tango. It means that nothing can happen without the will of the two entities make it work. The Pak-Iran relationship is no exception. It is in their own interest, actually, to build stronger links, may be to the point of a strategic relationship. But the fact that there is much to gain for those two neighbours to be friendly with each other does not mean there is no need for any particular effort. Here the said effort would be, in fact, particularly simple: there is a need of political will from the leaderships of the two countries. The idea of political will includes being strong enough to avoid the lobbying of a third party who would benefit from tensions between Iran and Pakistan. If the leaderships in Islamabad and Tehran are able to achieve to build at least a relationship based on limited trust and efficient cooperation, it would mean economic and security-related gains of great importance for those two important nations. And a better defence of national interests.

 

The writer is Editing Director of CAPE (Center for the Analysis of Foreign Policy). He is also a non-resident Scholar for IPRI (Islamabad Policy Research Institute). He is a specialist on geopolitical/security-related issues in Central Asia and South-West Asia (Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan).

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