Another alarming comment has most recently come from ex-President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai who has revealed that ISIS (Daesh) is in Afghanistan and it receives weapons from US. This is like pouring fuel upon fire as President of the greatest super power during its election campaign had already spoken against Muslims and especially castigated Iran as a terrorist sponsor. The reason is obvious because not only Hizbullah supported by Iran is the only force which had been victorious against Israel but also Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Javad Zarif, succeeded in documenting an agreement about nuclear use for peaceful purposes with the US which President Trump does not seem in mood to carry through. There were times when Muslim states of Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and Turkey were treated as highly reliable friends. Now the scenario has changed. India has replaced Muslim states and is designated as US a strategic partner. It has been given a specific role in the strategy. India has accepted this role as it provides an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone; China and Pakistan. If the US has forgotten sacrifices of 70,000 Pakistanis, then Pakistan is certainly in a precarious situation.

Much encouraged by this role given to India, it has started not only to isolate but to further cut Pakistan into pieces as referred above. This situation demands deep thinking because if China as hegemon is a threat for India, then India as hegemon is a threat for the countries in its periphery. Indian terrorist activities against Pakistan have therefore ulterior motive. Modi’s and James Mattis’ new rhetoric that CPEC goes through a disputed area of Baltistan reflects not only their hatred towards Pakistan but rivalry against China also.

The third concern for Pakistan is India’s relations with Far-East. Rajiv Gandhi’s focus on higher technology in 1986 and Indian objective of joining ‘Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN)’ in 1992 was to develop trade. It was in fact to achieve balance of power with China. But the policy developed into two-edged weapon when it joined hands with US policy. On one hand, the objective was to campaign against Pakistan and nullify the feelings about the Indian part in the intrigue about East Pakistan acknowledged by PM Narendra Modi referred above. In the Far-East, Indonesia and Malaysia are two friends and supporters of Pakistan. It must watch strictly that Modi does not disturb Pakistan relations with them as the mischief monger interfered in Pakistan’s friendship with China recently at BRICS meeting.

On the other hand, the purpose is to contain China, with which Indian rivalry has been going on since 1962 Indo-China war. By now, China has built islands from reefs at Senkaku islands, Diaoyudao Islands, Diaoyutai Islands which Japan regards as disputed areas, Spratly islands and Woody islands. The US along with Indian Navy wanted to arrange exercises in the Yellow sea near China but they had to stop when China threatened action against such exercise.

The last point of concern is Indian PM’s shenanigans towards Pakistan’s relations with the Middle Eastern Muslim states. With Iran, India’s business touches the figure of $100 billion dollars while Pakistan’s is only one billion dollars although road and train links are easily available. Dubai is a favourite haunt of Indians. It is a place where Indians’ utmost desire is to replace Pakistani employees even if they have to accept jobs on much lower salaries. On his journey way back from Washington on April 2, 2016, the Indian PM Narendra Modi arrived in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on two days visit to talk with King Salman about the sensitive issue of terrorism and radicalisation, Indians working in Saudi Arabia, oil and possibility of business prospects.

The purpose of giving miniature picture of international political panorama is to point out that Pakistan seems to be caught up in a quagmire, internally as well as externally, and heading towards chaos. What to talk of war, Pakistan cannot face sanctions as its economic position at this point in time is in precarious condition. Political polarisation at this level has never existed before. Leadership gap is extreme. Perhaps Pakistan in particular and Muslims in general have not yet been able to understand regional and international one item agenda with lots of sub-items. To handle the problems carefully and sensibly, firstly, the internal tug of turf war must immediately be stopped. All of Pakistani institutions should come at once on one page and accept the Pakistan constitution as the guide when it comes to description of powers. Problems are solved on the negotiating tables carrying along the good will of people. The two famous sayings which everyone knows are: (1) Union is strength (2) God helps those who help themselves.

Secondly, Prime Minister Abbasi must constitute a team taken from relevant institutions, whose members negotiate, thrash, and debate the problems so as to talk directly with the relevant US authorities based on facts and solid arguments and not as hearsay. Well prepared team knows what to talk and what not to talk. It can answer the critical questions and arguments by the US in a realistic, rational, logical and cordial manner with extensive proof and evidence. Best of the best, and none of the schrulle, must be in the team such as genuine scholars, politicians both from the opposition and government, retired civil and military bureaucrats. To name a few to show the calibre, status and competence; Sartaj Aziz, Khushid Mahmud Kasuri, Mushahid Hussain, Maleha Lodhi, Shah Mehmud Qureshi and retired generals with a good head on their shoulders.

Remember, negotiation table is war arena and it is a matter of high national security. Their services can be borrowed from the opposition parties and institutions as President Nixon borrowed Henry Kissinger’s services form Democrat Party of US.

The writer is a senior analyst and an educationist based in Lahore.

The purpose of giving miniature picture of international political panorama is to point out that Pakistan seems to be caught up in a quagmire, internally as well as externally, and heading towards chaos.