اردو(Urdu) English(English) عربي(Arabic) پښتو(Pashto) سنڌي(Sindhi) বাংলা(Bengali) Türkçe(Turkish) Русский(Russian) हिन्दी(Hindi) 中国人(Chinese) Deutsch(German)
Sunday, July 21, 2024 20:38
Question of Palestine Eternal Wisdom: Iqbal Building Futures: Empowering Pakistan's Youth for Tomorrow Tourism: An Essential Element for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth Connecting Youth to Global Opportunities Algorithms: The Silent Architects of Warfare Pakistani Youth: The Driving Force for National Progress Investing in Future Generations: Pakistan Army Lost Voices: The Systematic Marginalization of Indian Muslims Parallel Struggles: Examining the Palestinian and Kashmiri Quests for Self-determination Emergence of BJP as a Hindutva Force The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Transforming Pakistan Building Sustainable Cities: Urban Search and Rescue Preparedness Simulation Exercise In the Pursuit of Happiness: Understanding Hedonia, Eudemonia, and Naikan COAS’ U.S. Visit: Strengthening Ties and Fostering Collaboration A Biological Marvel of Human Heart Educational Empowerment: FC Balochistan (North) Initiates Literacy Program for Soldiers Digital Pakistan Journey: Pioneering Towards a Connected Future Driving Digital Transformation: Pakistan CJCSC Calls on His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussain During His Visit to Jordan COAS' Peshawar Visit Highlights Security, Socioeconomic Development and National Unity Unity in Diversity: COAS Joins Christmas Celebrations with Christian Community in Rawalpindi Chief of the Naval Staff Attends Indian Ocean Naval Symposium in Bangkok Strengthening Bonds and Elevating Collaboration: Combat Commander Turkish Air Force Calls on Chief of the Air Staff Closing Ceremony of Multinational Special Forces Exercise Fajar Al Sharq-V Strengthens Counterterrorism Collaboration Off the Beaten Track: Exploring Jiwani's Coastal Marvels and Heritage Special Investment Facilitation Council: A Game Changer for the Economy of Pakistan Rising Stars: Pakistan’s Youth Shines Bright in 2023 Indian Supreme Court’s Decision and the International Law Challenges to Justice: The Indian Supreme Court’s Fallacy in IIOJK Belt and Road Initiative: Strengthening Global Ties with Unhindered Trade and Connectivity The Media Matrix: Unraveling How Technology Shapes Our Perception Decoding Human Interaction: The Comprehensive Guide to Reading Body Language The Magic of Moscow On the Same Wavelength: Suno FM's Impact on Community Empowerment, Diversity, and Social Progress in Pakistan The Journey of SAIL: A Beacon of Hope for Autism in Gilgit-Baltistan Pakistan National Youth Convention 2024: COAS Stresses Youth's Vital Role, Urges Unity, and National Strength Vice Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China Calls on COAS COAS Attends Inauguration Ceremony of the Second Chapter of NASTP Silicon PAF's Induction and Operationalization Ceremony Showcases Technological Advancements and Operational Excellence COAS Witnesses Firing of Different Air Defense Weapon Systems During Exercise Al-Bayza-III, 2024 COAS Visits POF Wah, Highlights Importance of Indigenous Defense Industry Exercise Sea Guard-24: Strengthening Maritime Security Al-Noor Special Children School and College Celebrates International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2023 in Multan Garrison Exercise BARRACUDA-XII: Strengthening Global Cooperation for Maritime Safety and Environmental Protection Pakistan-Qatar Joint Aerial Exercise "Zilzal-II" Held in Qatar March 23, 1940: Charting the Course for Pakistan's Future Peshawar’s Namak Mandi: A Gemstone Heaven Genocide in Palestine Rising Cities, Shrinking Spaces: Tackling Overpopulation and Urbanization in Pakistan Impact of Pakistan Resolution Day on National Identity Building Leaders: Jinnah and Iqbal's Timeless Wisdom for Today's Youth National Parks–Natural Assets India's New Playbook for Extraterritorial Assassination of Opponents The Legacy of Khan Brothers in Pakistan Armed Forces (Part II) Beyond the Battlefield: AIMH’s Quest for Military History Preservation The Siege of 634 A.D. (Part II) SIFC, From Vision to Reality (Part II) A New Dawn in Pakistan's Agriculture The Crowdsourcing Practices The Last Post: Eulogy of a Hero Securing Tomorrow’s Food: Sustainable Agriculture and Aquaculture in Pakistan The Saindak Copper-Gold Project: A Beacon of Pak-China Friendship and Prosperity Prime Minister of Pakistan, Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and COAS Visit Muzaffarabad CJCSC Calls on Minister of Defense, KSA 7th International PATS Exercise-2024 Held at NCTC, Pabbi CNS Visits Coastal Belt of Sindh and Coastal Areas of Balochistan to Oversee the Conduct of Exercise Seaspark-2024 Keel Laying Ceremony of the Second HANGOR Class Submarine Held at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works Chinese Ambassador Calls on Chief of the Air Staff Pakistan Navy Demonstrates Combat Readiness with Live Missile Firing Exercise in the North Arabian Sea PAF's Jf-17 Thunder Block-III Fighter Jet Participates in World Defense Air Show-2024 A Day of Celebration and Global Solidarity: Pakistan Day Parade 2024 Gaza: A Tragedy Beyond Words Better Late than Never... Escalating Tensions: India's Violations of the Indus Waters Treaty Preserving Pakistan Pakistan Day Parade-2024: A Celebration of National Unity and Strength Demolition of Muslim Properties in India: A Weapon of Choice and State Policy Sustainable Energy Transition: Strategies for Pakistan’s Shift towards Renewable Resources and Energy Efficiency The Impact of Climate Change on Global Health: Building Resilient Health Systems SIFC, From Vision to Reality (Part III) Emerging from the Depths: The Pakistan Army Dedicated to Promoting Tolerance and Diversity: Pakistan Army, in Collaboration with the University of Peshawar, Hosts a Successful Grand Peace Fair Pak-Saudi On Job Training 2024 CJCSC Addresses SCO Military Medical Seminar 2024 on Challenges in Military Medicines Loyalty, Honor, Duty: The Pivotal Role of Pakistan Armed Forces in Upholding Peace and Security From Darkness to Light–One Year On: Contemplating May 9, 2023 to May 9, 2024 Beyond the Smoke and Mirrors Global Perspectives on Content Regulation: Examining Network Enforcement Act and Disinformation Laws The Issue of Palestine: A Historical, Religious, and Humanitarian Perspective Modi’s Guarantee and Hindutva Incorporated Divide and Conquer: The Dangerous Surge of Anti-Muslim Rhetoric in Indian Politics India's Hybrid Warfare in Kashmir India: Where the Price of Protest is Death! Pakistani Peacekeepers and the International Peacekeeping Day Empowering Pakistan: Navigating the Path to Sustainable Energy Autarky Overpopulation: Navigating Challenges and Charting Solutions for Pakistan Pakistan and Saudi Arabia Friendship: Dawn of a New Era SIFC, From Vision to Reality (Part IV) A Tale of Two Sultans: Brigadier Sultan Ahmed, SJ & Bar (Part II) In the Footsteps of Valor: A Journey through Peshawar Garrison Pakistan Military Academy Passing Out Parade-2024 CGS Turkish Armed Forces Calls on COAS Green Pakistan Initiative Conference Highlights National Commitment to Agricultural Innovation and Economic Growth Commander Turkish Land Forces Calls on COAS Minister of Foreign Affairs, KSA, Calls on COAS Assistant Minister of Defense, KSA, Calls on COAS PAF Academy Asghar Khan Hosts Prestigious Graduation Ceremony for Aviation Cadets Faculty and Students from Muzaffargarh Government Post Graduate College Visit Multan Garrison SIFC's First Year: Transforming Pakistan's Investment Landscape SIFC’s First Birthday SIFC Building an Investor SIFC, From Vision to Reality (Part V) : Driving Growth in Industry, Tourism, and Privatization SIFC and Pakistan’s Economic Landscape: A Year in Review Chinas Transition from Industry 3.0 to 4.0 Social Media in Pakistan: Balancing Risks and Governance for National Security Indian Ambitious “Make in India” Approach for Defense Production: An Appraisal India s Bold Shift: Extraterritorial Killings and Regional Instability as the New Normal Charting a Path Towards Water Sustainability: Pakistan Comparative Analysis of IQ, EQ, SQ and AQ Harboring Opportunities: The Socioeconomic Benefits of Gwadar Port Development for Pakistan and the Region From Gridlock to Green Lanes: OLMRTS Drive Progress Evolution of Multan: A Journey Through the Past, Present, and Future Empowering Tomorrow Embracing Tradition: Welcoming the 17th Entry to Military College Sui Balochistan Champions of the Desert: Balochistan Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Girls Cadet College Turbat Hosts First Passing-out Parade Secretary General of Defense and National Armaments, Italy, Calls on CJCSC U.S. CENTCOM Commander Calls on COAS Chief of Defense Forces Australia Calls on COAS Turkish Foreign Minister Visits COAS COAS and CGS UK Army’s Address at 6th Pakistan-UK Regional Stabilization Conference GHQ Investiture Ceremony Held at General Headquarters COAS Extends Condolence to Iran Following Helicopter Crash That Claimed Top Officials CNS visits PLA (Navy) Headquarters China CNS Attends 19th Western Pacific Naval Symposium CNS Attends the Launching Ceremony of 1st HANGOR Class Submarine CAS Calls on General Secretary of MOD and Commander of Iraqi Air Force Commander Southern Command and 2 Corps Visits Khairpur Tamewali Pakistan-U.S. Navy Bilateral Exercise Inspired Union 2024 Pakistan Navy's Humanitarian Mission in Balochistan's Flood-ravaged Villages The Heat is On: How Pakistan is Battling the Dire Consequences of Climate Change Solid Waste Management in Pakistan: Promotion of Sustainable Circular Economy Revolutionizing Flood Risk Management in Pakistan: Harnessing the Power of River Indus Assumptions Vs. Realities: Demystifying Pakistan‘s Defense Budget Unresolved Turmoil, The Gaza Conflict and Israel‘s Strategic Quagmire Post Shangri-La Dialogue: Prospects for Regional Security and Stability Optimizing the Benefits of CPEC 2.0 Sagadat Nurmagambetov: An Example of Persistence, Courage, and Selfless Devotion to the Motherland From Digital Resistance to Pro-Palestinian Encampment SIFC: Catalyst for Foreign Investment Driving Pakistan‘s Economic Transformation Charting a Green Future: How SIFC is Leading Pakistan‘s Green Revolution Digital Terrorism: Implications for Pakistan‘s National Security and Policy Tich‘ Cowan – The Fighting Admiral Leepa Valley: Where Nature Meets Patriotism RUMANZA: Transforming Pakistan‘s Golfing Landscape with World-Class Excellence Inside Okara Garrison: Students Witness Pakistan Army‘s Training and Tradition Prime Minister Pays Tribute at Sepoy Haroon William‘s Funeral Service CJCSC Visits Turkiye Chief of Defense Forces Australia Calls on CJCSC COAS Visits the LOC in the Haji Pir Sector Chief of Royal Malaysian Navy Calls on CNS Royal Saudi Naval Forces Delegation Visits Pakistan CAS Visits Command and Staff College Quetta Commander Multan Corps Reviews Troops’ Watermanship Training in Okara Rescue at Sea: Pakistan Navy Saves 8 Iranian Fishermen Amid Vessel Fire

Hilal English

The Varying Regional Penchants

September 2023

The ceasefire in Yemen, the Saudi-Iran rapprochement, the resumption of ties by the Arab countries with Syria, and growing Chinese and Russian influence in the region are significant changing trends after decades of Cold War. These are expected to bring further political fluxes which may resonate beyond the regional sphere of activities.

In the first half of 2023, some interesting developments in Pakistan's western neighborhood again brought the world's attention to this region. The ceasefire in Yemen, the Saudi-Iran rapprochement, the resumption of ties by the Arab countries with Syria, and growing Chinese and Russian influence in the region are significant changing trends after decades of Cold War. These are expected to bring further political fluxes which may resonate beyond the regional sphere of activities.
The world is once again at the cusp of big powers tussle as China has become a potential contender to the USA due to its economic rise at an unexpected pace. The world witnesses a tussle between the incumbent and rising powers to take on the front seat. In its bid, the USA devised the Indo-Pacific strategy; the main concept behind this strategic framework is to form small groups of like-minded nations and put up resistance to China’s advance. China responded to this strategy with its concept of collective security through Global Security Initiative (GSI). To equate China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the USA offered Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF). It has essentially been a game of quid pro quo between the two. 
Above notwithstanding, China surprised the world with its diplomatic maneuver when it succeeded in the Saudi-Iran rapprochement, a stroke that China played successfully and quite discreetly. The severed relations between the two countries since the year 2016 have now been repaired with the resumption of diplomatic ties. This rapprochement has opened a new vista for the regional countries to address inter-state political issues via mediation by China. It has added to China’s credibility as a dependable political actor. As expected, this move has been downplayed by China’s adversaries as a temporary reunion.
Interestingly, when President Biden attended the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) in 2022, he was vociferous about not walking away and leaving a vacuum to be filled by China, Russia, or Iran. However, it is a fact that during the last few months, the KSA has improved its relations with China, Russia, and Iran. Soon after this rapprochement, the U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken visited KSA in June 2023 to discuss matters of mutual interest, which could be easily discerned as it was Blinken who had earlier remarked that China had the intent and capability to challenge free, open, secure and prosperous international order. 
China’s political ingress into the region is noteworthy. Last year, the KSA hosted Chinese President Xi for bilateral talks and China-GCC and China-Arab summits. It worked more penetratingly than expected. China amazed the world when the long-time rivals, the KSA and Iran shook hands. It was significant also because, at the same time, the U.S. was tightening the noose around Iran on renewing the nuclear deal. 
The UAE, another important regional country, also maintained good ties with China and improved relations with France, which is also upset with the U.S. on a nuclear submarine deal with Australia under the ambit of AUKUS. It also engaged Iran, Russia, and India. China's outreach to the region continues as it hosted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Beijing in June 2023, where President Xi offered his services for peace talks between Palestine and Israel. He supported the creation of an independent Palestinian state based on the year 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. Given the Chinese diplomatic skills proven in the KSA-Iran case, the world can hope for the settlement of an age-old issue in the Middle East. 
When the Russia-Ukraine war commenced, the KSA and other regional countries continued their good relations with Russia. The trade between China and the Middle East between 2000-2021 grew from USD 15.3bn to USD 284.3bn, while with the USA, it saw a modest increase from USD 63.4bn to USD 98.4bn. The power of economics has thus emboldened the traditional allies of the USA to reach out to the rising giant of the East. 
In an interesting development, on June 3, 2023, Iran announced a proposal for a regional maritime alliance that included Iran, the KSA, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Iraq, Pakistan, and India. The purpose of the alliance is to ensure regional security. Iran has always been averse to any foreign presence in regional waters in the name of security. Post-1979 Revolution in Iran, the U.S. formed a Quick Reaction Force to patrol the Persian Gulf, which ultimately acted against Iraqi forces in the 90s decade. Iran has always objected to such presence. Now that its relations with the regional countries are becoming normal and there are signs that the region is flouting the U.S. impediments, Iran considers it the right time to manifest its intention. During his visit to Iran on June 17, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan endorsed the idea by highlighting the importance of cooperation between the two countries, especially maritime security. The fate of such an alliance is still unclear, yet the regional states have coined the idea, which can be worked upon. Earlier, Mr. Alireza Enayati, the newly appointed Iranian envoy to KSA, projected regional stability based on cooperation and development rather than militarization.
The U.S. articulated an Indo-Pacific strategy two years ago and formed new regional alliances. The Indo-Pacific region has more than 65 percent of the GDP, while half of the global trade passes through this area. Considering its strategic importance in economy and politics, it was conceived that the democracies in the region had shared economic and political stakes. Hence the Indian and Pacific Oceans should be treated as one large domain, and freedom of navigation at sea should be secured by all. It's a veiled hint toward declaring China as a common adversary. Alliances such as QUAD, AUKUS, and I2U2 came into being due to this philosophy. Not much headway could be achieved via this path of military confrontation with China, yet another alliance of four countries, including the USA, Japan, Australia, and the Philippines, was formed in June 2023. Just to stir more credibility to the Indo-Pacific philosophy, an economic prong with the name of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) was launched in the year 2022 by the USA. The countries included in this arrangement were Australia, Brunei, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Through an adroit economic strategy, China is forging ahead and creating space for its acceptability and reliability in different regions of the world. 

The writer is a freelance columnist and currently working at the Institute of Regional Studies.
E-mail: [email protected]