Russia and Pakistan are the victim of West
In international relations, there are no permanent friends or foes, it is the interests which decides the relations among nations. In history, during World War I and World War II, we have witnessed the changing alliances among the nations. Recent changes in geopolitics are even more obvious, as Poland was a host of the Warsaw Pact nations and then later joined NATO. Eastern Europe, close to Russia joined NATO and the EU. India, for four decades, was beneficiary of USSR’s assistance in defense and economic growth, but after the collapse of former USSR, India tilted its affiliations toward the US. Turkey a NATO member is getting closer to Russia. Pakistan, a front row ally of the US has major differences with the US now.
The US has achieved a lone superpower status after years of competition and global manipulation, it is not ready to give up this superpower power status so easily. It cannot digest the rise of China-Russia duo and feels threatened by the two. China made tremendous development during the last four decades and emerged as the second largest economy and a geopolitical power. After the collapse of former USSR, Russia started from zero and within only 3 decades, got recognition in the world politics as a global player. The US cannot ignore China or Russia before making any strategical move.
US policy in South Asia is changing rapidly, Pakistan was a close ally with the US for 7 decades, but now the US has changed its friends. The US signed “Major Defense Partner” (MDP) agreement with India and the US policy in Afghanistan is not in favor of Pakistan. This has led Pakistan to seek re-alignment.
Convergence of interests between Pakistan and Russia makes a natural phenomenon for cooperation. In fact, the two nations can cooperate with each other in many areas and support each other. Russia is an energy-rich country, while Pakistan is Energy deficient nation. Russia has advanced Technology, while Pakistan needs modern technologies for its Industrialization. Pakistan is rich in agriculture and can guarantee Russian Food Security. Pakistan’s minerals are in abundance and it wants to exploit its mining sector, where Russia can play an important role, at the same time, Pakistan can feed the Russian Industry with cheaper raw materials. Pakistan had developed its infrastructure under CPEC and can provide easy access to Russia and all central Asian states to the Arabian Sea. Gwadar Port will be the largest deep sea-port in this part of the world, with a capacity to handle the cargo upto 500 million tons. Gwadar will be the future hub of commercial activities.
Pakistan is a victim of terrorism and extremism, while Russia and Central Asia have good experience to overcome such issues. Pakistan is also a success story at eliminating Terrorism, which can be helpful to other nations too. Pakistan has a nascent but growing defense industry and Russia can tap into the defense industry of Pakistan. It can export Pakistan latest weaponry and also help the local defense industry to grow through collaboration and competition. Pakistan is facing severe economic challenges, while the Russian economy is more stable in recent years. Both countries can cooperate to ensure stability and security of this region. Both countries are on the same page on establishing peace in Afghanistan. Political instability has become the major hurdle in the development of this region. There are so many commonalities in the interests of the two countries. We have converging interests and common issues. I am sure there exists a huge potential for cooperation between Russia and Pakistan. It will not only benefit Pakistan and Russia but will help the whole region.
There is a dire need to promote more interactions at all levels, media, culture, education, S&T, Agriculture, Energy, Defense etc. Russian Universities may open to Pakistani students, who can play a role of a bridge in the days to come to strengthen understanding between two nations. Scholars, Intellectuals and Think-Tanks of both countries need to promote more interaction at all levels. The two governments can upgrade political and diplomatic ties. People-to-people interactions need to improve, as public diplomacy is the best tool to understand each other. It is well said notion “Relations based on mutual understandings are more reliable and strong”.We are the victim of West and faced similar problems, and now we have same goals: Peace, Harmony and Prosperity, which makes us natural allies and partners in achieving our common goals. BRI and SCO are best platform for us to strengthen our cooperation more strongly and more fruitful for win-win situation for all. Pakistan’s geo-political location makes it to play a pivotal role and Pakistan is ready to contribute in this direction.
Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomate), Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan.
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