Pak–Russia Relations

Times change and change demands a re look on country’s long term foreign policy objectives. Apart from all what is on board out of mutually beneficial relations between Russian Federation and Pakistan in different sectors, a fact is that  Russia is our neighboring country.
And with large segments of Muslims living in different regions of Russia, and the newly independent energy rich Central Asian states, the problem of religious and narco terrorism, the vast potential that Pakistan offers to its giant neighbours including India needs to be exploited.
Pakistan offers the most pivotal trade route, opening a new chapter in Pak Russia relations will be the most appropriate and opportune approach, a bold step in the right direction.
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A RE LOOK ON PAKISTAN’S FOREIGN POLICY

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by Nayyar Hashmey

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Historically Russia Pakistan relations have seen many ups and downs, though these have mostly been on the downward side than otherwise. Reason for these falls was primarily the Russian tilt towards India – at the expense of Pakistan.

Though in terms of realpolitik what the successive Pakistani administrations adopted as India-centric policy might have been the correct approach yet seen from pure Pakistan-centric angle, it was never a true patriotic Pakistani approach.

The basic flaw in this policy was to put all our eggs in one basket. So, we thought, by vesting all our interests with the United States, not only shall we assuage our security, but also would make great economic strides, as vis-à-vis the Soviets, Americans were in far more better position to come up to such Pakistani expectations.

While doing so, however, we totally forgot the hard damn fact of life that in intentional relations its pure business that dictates and defines the contours of the foreign policy of a nation.

Whereas we did get some benefit out of this relationship, yet we handed all our interests over to the Americans, thinking Yankis were our true friends, [or at least we were made to believe so], and this slogan was in particular, hyped up by Americans. We naively thought Americans were indeed our friends. However, mere thought about friendship between states has no weight. As said, in international dealings, no matter how much you sweeten you real objectives through acts and tacts of diplomacy, its sheer business that forms the core of countries’ foreign relations.

In our relations with the United States, every time they needed us, such hefty slogans were raised again and again on the value of Pakistan’s friendship. However, once the need was done, American disposed off Pakistan as if it was not a state but a spent tissue.

This happened in the cold war, this happened also in the Indo-Pak wars of 1965 and 1971 [despite the folly of these wars which were fought without any proper calculation on our part]. When we had trouble continuing the war to its natural conclusion we accepted ceasefires which till today are simmering posing continuous threats to peace in the region. And from these wars neither did we get Kashmir nor we adopted policies which could help us come out of the terribly negative impacts of these wars and to that we also created such Mujahideen right within our ranks, who when they were no more able to continue their zealous fights in Afghanistan and Kashmir, turned against us, targetted our people, our institutions and last but not least our valiant armed forces.

In the sixties, our leaders used to eulogise the US leaders as modern Messiahs in international politics. Likewise did the US leaders use high sounding words to declare Pakistan as a bulwark against Soviet expansionism. But the balloon of such hollow friendship between a super power and her most allied ally busted when in the 1965 war US stopped supply of spares for badly needed hardware to our forces. Net result of this embargo on a friend by a friend virtually turned our weapons into total ‘non-operables’.

Contrary to our friend’s stance that these weapons were provided for defence against communism and not against India, the Soviets did not impose any such restriction on use of Russian weapons by India. This state of affairs provided required edge to India vis-à-vis Pakistan, as Pakistan was wholly, solely dependent upon US weapons. India on the other hand had armaments mainly from Soviet Russia and therefore could fight against Pakistan without any interruption whatsoever.

The same thing happened in 1971. Whereas India had her supplies from the Soviet Commonwealth  it additionally entered into an agreement on mutual defence with the USSR, a country which in those days was the only one with well matched military clout against the enormous fire power of the United States.

In our recent history too we see that after 9/11 US needed the logistic and intelligence support from Pakistan and again lofty slogans were as usual raised on the permanency of Pakistan US relations.

I recall in those days I happened to watch a programme on Fox News. The anchor if am not wrong, was Bill O’Reilly who had invited some leading American political analysts on the O’Reilly Factor.

Almost all the commentators were speaking with a loud voice appreciating Pakistan’s stand allying herself with the United States against the Taliban of Afghanistan. To this Nayyar Zaidi, a Pakistani journalist who was also invited to the show, had made a very pertinent remark. So said he, “This has happened many times in the past that US leaders when they needed Pakistan said that henceforth they would never leave Pakistan alone. But when America had got fulfilled its need, all such loud voices of America being Pakistan’s permanent friend went into dust within no time. It happened always in the past and it will happen this time as well.

In his discourse Zaidi repeated more than once that America this time too shall leave Pakistan high and dry. And dear readers this is what actually happened. Its in this context that I’m uploading now a series of articles from different authors.

[Prime mover though for this initiative has been Andre Fomin of the online Journal, “Oriental Review“, a much coveted magazine on geopolitics and other issues of topical interest. The journal offers a collage of articles that are insightful, analytical and proactive in many respects. Andre sent me an article from Review and I’m going to post this right after this letter. In addition there are some more on the subject. All of these throw good light on the prospects of Russia-Pak relations].

Coming back to the subject once again:

Its high time that Pakistani leaders have a retroactive look on Pakistan’s current policy.

Times change and change demands a re-look on country’s long term foreign policy objectives. Apart from all what is on board out of mutually beneficial relations between Russian Federation and Pakistan in different sectors, the fact that Russia is our neighboring country and with large segments of Muslims living in different regions of Russia, and the newly independent energy rich Central Asian states, the problem of religious and narco terrorism, the vast potential that Pakistan offers to its giant neighbours including India needs to be exploited as the most pivotal trade route, opening new chapter in Pak Russia relations will be the most appropriate and opportune approach, a bold step in the right direction.

And finally now something about India..

India is a big country no doubt. No power can simply ignore India, neither should we. Heitherto we framed our policies with India as the most focussed point. But let now Pakistan be the most focussed of our policy and this demands peace and friendship in the region India including.

Differences we do have with India but such differences we have been having with Afghanistan, Russia and sometimes with Iran as well. Yet in spite of these differences our relations with these countries have never seen a breakdown. Let this be the case now for our relations with India as well.

Next:: Russia – Pakistan: the Way is Open for New Projects

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