Imdad Hussain |
The memoirs of decisive end to cold war are not over yet. Soviet Unions’ ultimate demise and ascendance of United States to world super power status is merely three decades old story. But the world is already slipping towards another contest for the same purpose.
However, this time despite enjoying military superiority, US is facing economically much stronger contender as compared to her former competitor. China is on a mission to expand her global outreach using soft power instead of relying on traditional military techniques.
The coincidence of this whole cycle once again happens to be Pakistan. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan made Pakistan a deciding factor to turn the tide in favor of US and allies. History seems to be repeating itself once again.
Read more: Afghan great game moves centre stage
The country is on a center stage in rapidly shaping up power struggle between Washington and Beijing.
The Wall Street Journal few days back acknowledged this tug of war in exclusive video clip depicting the importance of CPEC. An offshoot of Chinese belt and road initiative passing through Pakistani territory heading towards Gwadar seaport as a new route for Beijing’s access to middle east and wider world.
US in the past has repeatedly denied her opposition against CPEC. Yet suspicions did not diffuse.
Probably, the first ever kind of its acknowledgement by western media outlet; Wall street journal has laid curtains off US intentions. Pakistan is already feeling the heat. A trump administration is rapidly ramping up its program of action against its once erstwhile ally.
Trade of barbs and accusations are being replaced with economic measures to hurt Islamabad. Foreign secretary Mike Pompeo’s’ assertion that US will not allow IMF loans to be redirected by Islamabad for payment of Chinese debts reflects Americas frustration.
On the contrary, China has continued to preserve her lasting partnership with Pakistan and has supported country to deal with economic woes.
However, with Imran khan assuming power in Pakistan, rumors have begun to circulate that the country was considering to roll back some projects under the umbrella of CPEC.
Though Chinese foreign ministers trip to Islamabad and rebuttal by Pakistani authorities of any such move put cold water on these claims. But propaganda machine is in no mood to show restraint.
New government has decided to put some projects under scanner but it has never bogged down from the project entirely. Instead, it is pursuing other parties to join the initiative.
In this whole scenario, Pakistani administration has to tread path cautiously.
It cannot afford to complete salvage her partnership with Washington but it has to maintain a balance where it does not simply have to succumb to her pressure. It also needs to work with Chinese counterparts to ensure maximum transparency implementation of the projects so that there food left for propaganda machine. Gwadar can be a new spot to reshape global order once more.
Imdad Hussain is a political analyst. TIC does not necessarily agree with the views of the author.