By Ali Ashraf Khan
The year 2014 and the withdrawal of US and NATO troops from Afghanistan is approaching and it is increasingly becoming clear that 2014 will not be the end of US presence in the region. For all who wanted to know it was quite clear that neither is 9/11 the reason for the so-called war on terror nor do the US or West care for any democracy in the tribal country Afghanistan, the drama of 9 /11 was a planned Jewish conspiracy to colonize resources for US advantage and daisy cutters coupled with carpet bombing was let lose in Afghanistan and Iraq killing thousands of people on daily basis, result of which is now coming in the shape of unseen calamities and disturbance in world ecology and economy in which dollar regime and American people will be worst sufferers.
US from the very beginning or even before the beginning was aiming at establishing its power base in the region but U2 espionage not only enraged Soviet Union but President Ayub Khan cancelled Badbair base, since this region is the access gate to an energy-rich Central Asian countries for the US, a close listening and watch point over Iran and China and a base close to the doors of Russia and Russian influenced territory. The withdrawal in 2014 was dictated by the dismal economic and financial situation of the US and the forthcoming presidential elections.
While the Obama government has to explain to its citizens why there are no jobs for them and why they have to live in the streets with their houses owned by the banks the US military establishment and military-industrial complex have never really agreed to a withdrawal which would amount to agree to give up their global hegemonic designs to achieve millinniuem agenda. That is why we are hearing these days US military admitting that even tens of thousands of combat troops and special force will remain in Afghanistan until 2024 and actually as long as there is a challenge to US hegemony in the region. India is playing a central role with tacit support of Israel in the US power game, while Pakistan has taken all the brunt of this adventure that has led to ruining its economic and financial base to the extent of endangering its solidarity.
But while the ruling elite of Pakistan has so far most of the time looked towards the US for money and political assistance that landed the country into unprecedented corruption and misiries, India has managed to develop and maintain a maximum independent foreign policy. Even during the cold war while in strong military attachment with the Soviet Union they have never been Russian yes-men. After the cold war and the demise of the Soviet Union they have re-arranged their foreign alliances but never given up their independence in decision making.
While Afghanistan has emerged as a place of competition for economic, political and military influence between Pakistan and India this competition has partly to do with the old strategic thinking of 'strategic depth' of Pakistan and of the strategy of encircling and a two-frontier war for Pakistan by Indian strategists. India has invested millions in Afghanistan and has used its political and economic influence to support anti-Pakistani feelings in Afghanistan. The spread of terrorism in Pakistan even beyond Kashmir and the tribal areas which India alleges to have promoted attacks on Indian soil, while the fact is with the fall of Taliban government in Afghanistan, Indians had traded to take custody of hundreds of Pakistani Jahadis arrested by Northern Alliance leaders for using them in their nefarious design against Pakistan, which has ultimately led to have halted the reproachment between the two neighbours and the US has been taking full advantage of this, take for example Kargil episode and American tilt towards India; a delay in Indo-Pak negotiations always gives leverage to US influence in the region.
Pro-American forces in India are delighted to see common interests between the two powers and the US nuclear deal with India made her feel finally admitted into the club of global players headed by the US. In the hope to use India in their efforts to get a hold in the region the US military has offered India representation in their Pacific and Central commands - an offer, so they think, India can not refuse. But there is another, quite different view also with regard to the US-Indian relations and the emerging new power balance in Asia. While the US through their foreign and military policies is trying to secure and control the world energy resources, the upcoming Asian powers China and India are also energy-starved and ready to do everything to solve their energy problems. India especially has acted very carefully in a situation where new power balances are emerging and one has to stand on the right, the winning side by expediting Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline project which is delayed because of Pakistan's lukewarm attitude inspite of its very usefulness for our economic survival.
Now according to Indian as much as international analysts the new energy- centered Shanghai Cooperation Organization initiated by China and Russia, including the central Asian republics with the Pakistan, India and Afghanistan as observers awaiting full member status soon can revive a new power bloc to maintain the equilibrium. That is why Americans want to give India an important visible role in Afghanistan by assuming responsibility to give Afghan security personals training in their academies and participate in developing Afghan economy to turn US dream into reality, above and beyond their economic engagement and the offer to join the US Pacific and central command has so far been met with silence.
On the contrary, India has resisted American pressure to join the oil boycott against Iran and the US had to accept that. India is upholding her traditionally good relationship with Russia and is working independently on her improvement of relations with China. Negotiations with Pakistan are slowly gaining space after the break-up in 2008 and Russian readiness to finance Iran-Pakistan and Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipelines is a sign for closer cooperation between the neighbouring states in Asia.
If one wants to see historic opportunities in the current situation for India regarding the power balance in Asia, Kashmir dispute which is hanging in balance for last six decades need a respectable settlement for both India and Pakistan, any further denial of the birth right of plebiscite promised through UN resolutions passed at the request of Indian founding father Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru needs to be transformed into reality, which will open an era of economic prosperity and political stability, which might not suit the US plans, any headway in this direction is rather the point that Asia's problems have to be solved by the countries of the region than to look for an alien power with no legitimate interests in the region to assume the role of a proverbial monkey like the US. GOD Bless Pakistan.
Ali Ashraf Khan
The Bulgarian authorities made a stupid and absurd decision when they did not let a government flight with official representative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova on board fly to North Macedonia