US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton stated in November 2011, “As the war in Iraq winds down and America begins to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan, the United States stands at a pivot point. In the next 10 years, we need to be smart and systematic about where we invest time and energy, so that we put ourselves in the best position to sustain our leadership, secure our interests, and advance our values. One of the most important tasks of American statecraft over the next decade will therefore be to substantially increase investment, diplomatic, economic, strategic, and otherwise in the Asia-Pacific region”.

This US shifting of attention from Iraq and Afghanistan towards China, and to containing China’s growing assertiveness in Asia Pacific is getting serious attention from all the analysts around the world. It is clear, that US’s presence in Afghanistan is to keep an eye on China and to disturb China’s western trade and energy routes. Now US is preparing to buildup military presence in the East and South of China. India and Japan, the old rivals and enemies of China, can play a great role. America has already established seven well known military bases to pressurize China, like South Korea, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Guam and now Australia. In order to assert more pressure on China, US is strengthening China’s neighbors, Obama had an important meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at ASIAN in Indonesia, and Hillary Clinton made an unexpected tour of Myanmar. Considering the fact, Myanmar shares a very long border with China.

US is also enhancing its relations with India to pursue her policy to restrict China. After last year’s visit of US Secretary of State to Pakistan, some great efforts to normalize relationship between India and Pakistan have been noticed. Government of Pakistan suddenly gave India a status of MFN (Most Favorite Nation) which was India’s demand for quite few years. This was an astonishing step in the context that Pakistan had accused India of insurgency in Fata and in Balochistan.

Unfortunately Pakistan uses these accusations to convince her armed forces to launch a bloody war in Fata, which disturbed million of Muslims and killed thousands of innocent people. In pursuance of giving India MFN status Pakistan has also put aside a long felt demand of every Pakistani, Kashmir. It was also another old standing demand of India to put Kashmir issue aside. Arranging some sports events are also a part of this grand US plan. These are the tactics to normalize relation between the two old rivals.

Here the question arises! How Indo-Pak relation can serve American interest in Asia pacific. In Eurasia India is the only rival to China, America wants India to become an economic and military power in the region to counter China, the presence of a powerful rival at the western border, Pakistan always upsets India. Bypassing the Kashmir issue US wants India and Pakistan to become friends.

Alongside these steps, the US is also strengthening India both economically and militarily, transfer of civil nuclear technology, opening American markets to India products is an example. Furthermore US is pushing India to emerge as a regional power from Afghanistan to Central Asia, that’s why America has granted permission to open multiple Indian Embassies in Afghanistan alongside Pak-Afghan border. On the other hand Pakistan is getting the boot; no economic or military assistance is forthcoming.

Unfortunately, the current leadership is unable to see the country’s strategic strength and thinks that Pakistan is so weak that we cannot even defend ourselves. And the leadership also claims it doesn’t have any other choice but to obey the American leadership. Only a sincere Islamic state can use our strategic strength to optimum effect and make China a strategic alley to counter US and India’s combined distress.

SYED HASSAM AHMED,

Karachi, November 29.