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China – Pakistan – Russia troika stands on goodwill

By Mian Saifur Rehman

In the midst of ongoing anti-Pakistan ‘psy war’ by New Delhi’s agencies and lobbyists, a media piece has been recently published in Eurasia Review that shows how much concern is being expressed not only about CPEC but also about China-Pakistan-Russia Troika. Seemingly, the term Troika has been coined with the idea that the timing is now ripe for building up such terminology and giving it a specific meaning in the desired ‘psy war’ perspective.

And if this media piece is not a completely managed write-up, it still gives the impression as if it were written under certain ‘guidelines and inspiration’. The article in view is titled “Afghanistan cannot be abandoned to China-Pakistan-Russia Troika in 2017”. It has been written by Dr. Subhash Kapila.  The central theme of this ‘psy war’ is building up a scenario that neither exists on ground nor seems to be in the making. It also appears to take advantage of Trump’s so-called ‘iconoclastic ways’ and give suggestive options to Washington vis-à-vis the so-called rising clout of Pakistan in active collaboration with old ally China and the new ally, Russia.

The article says, “Afghanistan seemed to have disappeared from the United States’ radar in the months to the run-up to US Presidential elections resulting in a void which the China-Pakistan-Russia Troika has exploited to US disadvantage”. The article continues: “Strategically, the United States invested heavily in Afghanistan in terms of billions of dollars and, besides that, it lost thousands of its soldiers courtesy the “double-dealing” (sic) of its ally which is usually described as a long-standing, trusted ally.

In 2017, however, the United States would be well-advised not to let the China-Pakistan-Russia Troika muscle in on what rightly deserves to be called the United States’ strategic turf. As such, Trump Administration’s highest priority should be not to abandon Afghanistan .On the contrary the United States should ensure that the “machinations” of the China-Pakistan-Russia Troika by what initially appears only as a ‘pious’ political intervention, are not allowed to morph into an eventual some sort of quasi-military Troika intervention”.

“Abandoning Afghanistan to the Troika would not amount not only to United States exit from Afghanistan but also selling away on a platter United States vital strategic interest and influence in Greater South West Asia and Central Asia. Combining China’s strategy to prompt United States exit from the Western Pacific and China’s new attempt to prompt the United States to abandon Afghanistan, both added together, would result in an inexorable strategic diminution of the United States status as the global Superpower.

“In the recent past, the United States co-opted in its efforts, along with China, to restore stability in Afghanistan oblivious to the fact that China, all along, has been securing Pakistan’s security stakes in Afghanistan through its links with the Taliban. The article in question is based on a number of disparate and unrealistic premises some of which have been analyzed in these lines.

It also shows the confused and nervous state of mind of the lobby behind this odd Troika theme that has neither taken into account the changed realities nor the immense diplomatic goodwill enjoyed by Pakistan of today. The fact is that Pakistan stands connected with the countries of the world especially of the region on a ‘quid pro quo’ basis, despite so many challenges. The article also overlooks new alignments on the regional and global canvas whose axis is peaceful co-existence and mutual reciprocity and Pakistan is moving on this mutual goodwill track with a pragmatic approach having no colonial or quasi-colonial designs in Afghanistan or elsewhere.

Pakistan also doesn’t believe in playing proxy wars including proxy psy wars. In this manner, there is not the slightest likelihood of Pakistan pushing other global powers of the region to play against the interest of any country in general and the United States in particular. Nor is an iota of evidence available to suggest that Russia and China have hegemonic, military designs against Afghanistan as has been alleged in the article that says: “China, in the garb of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the China-Pakistan Axis, is bent on overturning the geopolitical stability of the region.

So now, Afghanistan is the US President Trump’s most pressing call. The United States does not need an Indian strategic analyst to highlight how vital Afghanistan is for United States’ national security interests”. The article also reflects the present mindset of Indians who are recognizing the fact that there is a strong and growing relationship between the Chinese, Russians and the Pakistanis. But, contrary to the Indians’ apprehensions, these relations will definitely bring positive changes in the region in the direction of stability And if India seriously wants to see a peaceful, stable Afghanistan as per its claims, it will have to recognize the role and importance of Pakistan. Now take another example in consideration that about India’s and Iran’s interest in developing Chahbahar Port. The fact is that this project cannot be successful unless there is peace in southern Afghanistan. Inviting attention of the new US government, by portraying false negative side of the picture, will not bring peace in the region especially South Asia.

It must also be borne in mind that Afghanistan continues to be a country in which Pakistan has a stake, primarily because of being a direct neighbour and because of the shared ethnicity between KP and the majority of Afghans. There is rather the need for emphasizing the benefits of trade and commerce that Pakistan can offer to Afghanistan due to CPEC And even United States can benefit to the tune of billions of dollars by becoming a partner in CPEC which is a comprehensive package covering a wide range of economic and productive activity including energy generation and industrialization through economic zones. Pakistan has been repeatedly adjudged as a good investment destination by world rating organizations on the basis of its economic turnaround despite difficulties. The United States can invest in CPEC projects, particularly in the energy sector that offers good prospects.



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