China to keep Pakistan Embrace at Arm’s Length [1 of 2]

Compared to what China was in the last 2-3 decades of the last millennium, it now has a huge resource base and is almost a super power in itself. The psyche of a super power turns different from the one it might have had as an isolated, developing economy [which in the sixties it indeed was], struggling for its people to have a role in the geopolitical arena of the world. Hence for us to expect from China the same blessing, the same patronization that it demonstrated then as a developing country when it was almost isolated from all sides, is like living in a fool’s paradise.




by Nayyar Hashmey


On a report, sent by Reuters news agency [the report follows this note] , Peter Chamberlin writes in his on line newspaper and I quote: 

[This may burst Pakistan’s bubble and convince them that there is no escape route for them–China cannot be considered “strategic depth” as is Afghanistan.  It is time for Pakistan to join the civilized Nations and put an end to the roving bands of terrorists and terrorist supporters who have made some form of the terror war absolutely necessary.  “Islamist terrorism” is a very real phenomenon and it plagues much of the world, mostly the Muslim world. 

Americans once faced a similar situation in this country, when bands of hooded killers haunted our nights and terrorized our days.  The Ku Klux Klan was, at one time, the third largest political party in the United States, and they thrived on fear, driving this country towards a second civil war.  Making them a criminal organization, saved us from the fate we were being forced into.  Pakistan must turn its own tide and outlaw all forms of “Islamist terror.”  Neither America, nor China can turn that tide for it.]


And  now my own response to Peter’s observations:-

Very well said, Peter, but there is an old story going on in our part of the world and it goes like this.

A man was going on his way along the river when he sighted something grayish black in the river water. The body was moving along  waves. He tried to identify the object and came to conclude that it was a wool blanket. Having been tempted to get hold of a fine warm blanket, he jumped into the river and tried to grab the ‘thing’. But when he got hold of it, it just dawned on him that the ‘thing’ was no blanket but a real living animal, a wild bear. All of a sudden one of his friends appeared on the scene and called him to leave the blanket and come out of water as the water was rising very fast. The man replied. “Oh, I do want to come out of water and leave this blanket but what should I do, this damned blanket doesn’t leave me now.”

So we in Pakistan have a similar sort of situation. Successive US administrations for us have become a bear in blanket. You can’t leave, and you can’t live with them. This is dilemma that we have here in Pakistan now. To that comes the extra ordinary greed our politicians [both in the civil as well as in khaki have for the money and for which they sacrifice our interests on the altar of their lust and the result what we have now in Pakistan].

I do agree. Nobody will clean up this terror shit we have created ourselves by fighting America’s wars and giving it a pretext that these were our wars including the current one.

It s above all for our leaders to clear this shit. And if they don’t, public pressure need to be mounted on them to go for a thorough overhaul of our administrative and social make up so that some sanity at least comes to prevail in the overall sociopolitical environment of Pakistan.

As far our reliance on China, the report quite realistically puts the situation in its truest perspective. China is a big country. It has a huge resource base now and is almost a super power in itself. The psyche of a super power turns different from the one it might have had as an isolated, developing economy [which in the sixties it indeed was], struggling for its people to have a role in the geopolitical arena of the world. Hence to expect from China the same blessing, the same patronization that it demonstrated then as a developing country when it was almost isolated from all sides, is like living in a fool’s paradise.

Unfortunately our leaders have never come out of this age old syndrome. So they even today think that it’s the China still of the sixties, when they badly needed our political and moral support in international affairs. Contrary to China’s great leap forward, we in Pakistan are still a developing economy but with not only serious political but also colossal economic problems. Include in this the ever rising tide of terrorism both homegrown and foreign inspired and the picture gets quite grim.

Even other wise if we glance at the history of nations, we see so many examples of allies, friends and strategic partners leaving their friends in the times of distress. For this  is a bitter but true fact of life that no body fights another person’s, community or country’s war  until and unless it is a matter of survival or a matter of politico strategic, and financial benefits. This rules applies to individuals as well as to communities, countries and states. During world war II, we have seen this happening in Czechoslovakia, Poland etc. Both had defense treaties with Great Britain and France. The treaties clearly manifested that in case of attack on either of the two, Britain and France will take this as an attack on their own countries. But when Hitler attacked Czechoslovakia, both super powers remained mum and Hitler occupied the Czechoslovak countries without any obstruction. Same happened in case of Poland. The world war II erupted only when it was clear that after expanding into France, Hitler’s next turn will be Great Britain. The stark reality that ultimately made Winston Churchill to mobilize his people against Hitler for an all out war.

Now in Pakistan’s context, our rulers from the day one have been committing the same mistake i.e. of considering United States as a friend of Pakistan. And when we find some indifference from the Americans, we jump into China’s lap. While doing this, we get oblivious of the very fact hat in international relations there is nothing like friendship, it’s the cold business interest that determines the friendship or non friendship between nations.

We deluded ourselves in 1971 when we thought that if India attacked upon us, China will come to our rescue. But sarcastically though China did a lot of paraphrasing condemning India, yet practically they never did interfere in the Indo-Pak war or to help us in any manner. Same was the case with the United States. We were told that the 6th fleet was moving to enter the war theatre and situation will turn in Pakistan’s favour. Nothing happened and ultimately we lost East Pakistan which became then an independent state called Bangladesh.

In our foreign affairswe have made this as a cornerstone of our policy that India is our only enemy. Ever since independence, we are having a policy that has 100 percent been India-centric. We never had a 100 percent Pakistan-centric policy. Whatever we decided, it was based on what India did or what India will do. If India signs the NPT, we too will sign. If India doesn’t, we too will not. This sort of stupid policy has brought us to a state when we don’t have much friends now.

The present shock that we have from the Americans and the latest jolt now from the Chinese should be an eye opener for us. Let’s face the reality point blank and chalk out a 100% Pakistan based policy, and this policy can be framed only when we have a sound economic base.

When to fill the gaps in our budgetary policy, we have to have money borrowed either from the US supported financial institutions or international money lending agencies, we cannot expect the world will give due weight to us especially when we start begging from door to door and still claim that we are an independent, sovereign and respectable nation of the world. Sooner do we realize this, better it is for us and for our coming generations.


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  1. […] Page  1  2 Previous […]

  2. […] bases in Pakistan! 6. 6. China to keep Pakistan Embrace at Arm’s Length [2 of 2] 7. China to keep Pakistan Embrace at Arm’s Length [1 of 2] 8. Between Hope and Fear [1 of 2].. 9. Between Hope and Fear [2 of 2] 10. U.S.-Pak […]

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