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Geopolitical importance of Pakistan

For decades Pakistanis have been hearing about the geopolitical importance of their country. However, the country continues to suffer from paltry per capita income, millions of people living below the poverty line and above all the country’s domestic and foreign debt touched unsustainable level. While peeing through the distant as well as recent history shows that from the British Raj to the current global and regional superpowers wish to keep Pakistan subservient to their global agenda, directly or indirectly.

In the simplest words Pakistan is rich in agriculture, minerals and even energy products. It is located on the centuries old trade corridor and it is the gateway to energy rich central Asian countries. It also has more than 1,250 kilometers long coastline and the largest man-made irrigation system. Above all the country has a population inching close to 220 million that not only offer a huge market but also hardworking manpower. Therefore, be it an aspiring regional power or an established superpower, the first attempt is to keep Pakistan subservient to their foreign policy and exploit the country’s hidden treasures. It is often said that the British Raj invested a lot in areas which now comprise of Pakistan, which is true as the Raj had a selfish motive. It took away cotton, wheat and spices from subcontinent and sold its finished products in the counties which are Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.

Though, the much talked about colonialism is said to be over, it exists in its worst form. Previously East India Company exploited the area and now there are Fortune-500 companies ripping off the people around the word and Pakistan is not an exception. If USSR had attacked Afghanistan to get access to the warm waters, the other super powers are making in road from the coastline and trying to reach landlocked energy rich countries. India, under the patronage of the US is busy in building Chabahar port in Iran and also constructing road and rail links up to the Central Asian countries via Afghanistan. This is aimed at undermining the importance of Pakistan that offers the shortest and cost efficient route to Central Asia via Afghanistan.

The only regret is that while other countries try to frustrate the desires of external forces, in Pakistan there are groups which encourage or even invite external powers to make their dreams come true. Let one point be very clear that Bengalis were not the traitors. They took active part in freeing the area from the British Raj, but some of the ruthless rulers pushed them to the wall. A similar condition, though of a lesser magnitude exists in Baluchistan. The rebel groups are being fully supported by the intelligence agencies of some of the countries. First of all, the nation has to identify embedded enemies who are trying to fragment Pakistan. These external forces are using centuries old strategy of ‘divide and rule’ and all of us are falling in this trap. These external powers are not friends of Pakistan, but adamant at fragmenting the country to achieve their ulterior motives.

Since independence Pakistan has remained the focus of global and regional powers. There is a perception that regimes are often installed and toppled in Pakistan by the superpowers to achieve their vested interest. This is evident from the cold war era to occupation of Afghanistan and from love and hate relationship with India to the creation of Taliban (phantom now having many offspring). At present Pakistan faces an extremely volatile situation, which has become a threat for its existence. Fighting a proxy war for the US in Afghanistan for decades has completely destroyed the economic and social fabric of Pakistan. The country suffers from the influx of foreign militant groups getting funds and arms from different global operators.

Analysts say that since independence Pakistan has been towing the foreign and military policy of the US, which has often offended USSR (formerly Russia), China, India and Iran. Therefore, one needs to analyze Pakistan’s relationship with Afghanistan, India and Iran, the three countries enjoying common borders with the country. It may not be wrong to say that at present Pakistan doesn’t enjoy cordial relation with any of its immediate neighbors. Pakistan helped Afghans in averting USSR attack. However, after the pullout of USSR forces Afghanistan plunged into civil war. It is often alleged that Pushtoons were supported by Pakistan that has highly annoyed Northern Alliance. After 9/11 Pakistan was made to fight Taliban under the dictate of the US, which was supposed to pull out its troops from Afghanistan by 2014. On the contrary, the number of NATO forces in Afghanistan is on the rise.

When British Raj left the subcontinent in 1947 it left a thorn, called Kashmir. Since independence India and Pakistan have been living in a constant state of war and spending billions of dollars annually on the purchase of conventional as well as non-conventional arms. They have also attained the status of atomic powers. However, both the countries suffer from extreme poverty. There seems no probability of reconciliation between the two countries because of the presence of hawks on both the sides of the border. Even the trade relations could not be normalized due to Kashmir dispute. Hindus are not ready for another division of Hindustan on the basis of religion.

Gwadar deep seaport has been constructed in Balochistan province with the financial and technical assistance of China. India often raises its concerns on the Chinese presence along Pakistan’s coastal belt. However, India is not only constructing Chabahar port in Iran, but also road and rail links up to Central Asia via Afghanistan. It is also on record that Chinese experts working on Gwadar and Thar coal projects in Pakistan have often come under attack to make them leave Pakistan. At one stage it was feared that the Chinese will completely withdraw their support for Thar coal mining and power plant.

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