Pakistan’s Relations with Central Asian Republics (CARs) and the Impact of United States’ (US) Policies in Shaping Regional Dynamics
Roy Sultan Khan Bhatty*
Four factors determine the foreign policy of Pakistan. 1. ideological obligation 2. historical legacy 3. economic compulsions 4. geographical imperatives. Historically as well as ideologically people of Pakistan have a very close sentimental affiliation with the Muslim states. Though economic compulsions have always forced Pakistan to develop close ties with United States (US) and the West for economic assistance but geographical and strategic position bound it to play an active role in regional politics to escape form any encirclement and isolation. Pakistan has a long border of 2252 Km with Afghanistan whereas Pak-India border has a length of 1610 Km. These long borders have affected Pakistan in shaping its foreign policy towards the region. Close relation with the Muslim world has been a main pillar in Pakistan’s foreign policy to counterbalance the Indian threat right from the beginning.
Pakistan since its independence has tried to achieve its foreign policy objectives through alignment, bilateralism and non-alignment but has not been able
* Roy Sultan Khan Bhatty is an M.Phil/Ph.D candidate at Area Study Centre for Europe, University of Karachi, Karachi, Pakistan. His topic of dissertation is Russian and American Interests in Central Asia Since 1991: Problems and Prospects for Pakistan. He is currently working as Election Officer Lahore under Election Commission of Pakistan.
to achieve its foreign policy goals1 like the solution of Kashmir through these endeavors. South East Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) and Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) could not help Pakistan in 1965 Pak-India war. In 1971 Pakistan remained unable to secure strong US’ support to deter India’s military action in east Pakistan.
Emergence of Central Asian Republics (CARs) made India the close allay of Russia geographically away from Russia and provided Pakistan an opportunity to develop close relations with CARs. CARs independence was warmly welcomed by Pakistan. Pakistani people traced their historical and cultural links with CARs and considered Central Asia as an Islamic heartland. It was the time when pressure on Pakistan increased by US on nuclear issue and Pakistan was being portrayed as a terrorist state by US government due to alleged support for freedom movement in Indian controlled Kashmir and running a nuclear programme. In October 1990 US President George W. Bush Sr. endorsed Prssler amendment and stopped $564 million economic and military aid package to Pakistan approved by Congress for 1991. Delivery of F-16s fighter air crafts was also blocked. US accused China of providing Pakistan with medium range M11 missile launchers, imposed sanctions on Pakistan and China. Pakistan’s nuclear programme also became a flash point between Pakistan and India. Pakistan needed strategic maneuvering. In that perspective on 24 January 1991 Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Mirza Aslam Beg
1 G M Solangi, Pakistan’s Ties with Central Asia, Masters thesis, (Islamabad: Department of International Relations, Qauid-i-Azam University, 1994), p.21.
called for a strategic consensus with newly independent CARs to counterbalance Indian threat and US unilateralism. Before his retirement on 17 August 1991 General Beg established a cell to watch closely the developments in Central Asia. In addition to Gen Beg views on Central Asia, there were also other different opinions in the media visioning Pakistan’s relations with Central Asia. Writers gave the idea of commonwealth consisting of CARs, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. They also presented the concept of United Sates of Hilal comprising Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan and the CARs.2
During cold war as Pakistan was a member of pro-Western block in most of the time, it could not develop close contacts with CARs. The Mayor of Tashkent visited Pakistan in 1960s but he never returned till 1989. A few Pakistani students did go to Central Asia for study but Pakistan could not offer Central Asian students the same facility. From 1979 to 1989 during Afghan-Soviet war foreign ministry of Pakistan devoted all its energies to push Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) back from Afghanistan and could not pay attention to the internal dynamics of Central Asia and Russia. Within Pakistan’s foreign ministry there were hardly a few diplomats who knew the Russian language or had in-depth knowledge on ex-Soviet republics. From 1989 to 1991, three crucial years of USSR demise, professional diplomats working in Pakistan’s foreign ministry could be at jeopardy if they
2 See: N Iqbal, “Welcome Home Central Asia”, Globe, Vol. 4, Number 10, (October 1991), p.17.
found of having any soft corner for USSR.3
The first major official step to develop close relations with CARs was Pakistan’s Minister of State for Economic Affairs Sardar Asif Ahmed Ali’s visit to Central Asia in December 1991. In his visit he offered CARs long-term credit of between $10 million and $30 million each. Pakistani businessmen impressed CARs’ leaders with their active participation in economic development of CARs. On 9 December 1991 Kazakh Prime Minister Sergia Terseshchenko asked visiting Pakistani businessmen to raise $200 million on the international money market to avoid any risk of bankruptcy. Pakistani businessmen arranged $100 million within three days.4 In 1992 the first any foreign bank which was opened in Uzbekistan was National Bank of Pakistan. Agreements were also signed with Uzbekistan to construct high ways in Uzbekistan, establishment of a satellite communication link and to produce telecommunication equipments. In parallel with the official steps Pakistan’s most organized religious-cum-political party Jamat-e-Islalmi was also making inroads in civil war torn Tajikistan in 1992. Qazi Hussain Ahmed, the Jamat-e-Islami Chief urged Pakistani government to provide CARs Islamic guidance rather than
3 See: H Malik, “New Relationship between Central and Southwest Asia and Pakistan’s Regional Politics”, in H Malik, ed., Central Asia: its Strategic Importance and Future Prospects, (London: MacMillan Press, 1994), p.249-250.
4 ibid., p.272.
economic aid. He emphasized to confront US imperialism making an alliance with newly independent CARs. That kind of statements were very provocative and developed fear in CARs’ leadership.5
When Benazir Bhutto became Pakistan’s Prime Minister in 1993, Pakistan was going through a sensitive period and was the centre of three civil wars which were being fought in Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Kashmir. Any development in Pakistan can be felt across Central Asia, Russia China and India. Benazir Bhutto strived to make strong control over security policy in respect of Afghanistan. Through her government Interior Minister Maj. Gen (rtd.) Naseerullah Baber, Benazir Bhutto tried to form policy under her direct control. Aggressive policy was adopted vis-à-vis Afghanistan. Pakistan sought to develop links with CARs via Afghanistan but due to instability in Afghanistan coupled with Iran and India’s influence in Afghanistan, could not materialize its plan to develop a trade link with CARs.
In 1994 US had also started to take interest in Afghan and CARs’ affairs especially in their energy for strategic reasons. In the end of October 1995
an agreement was signed between Turkmenistan and Saudi-US oil consortium to consider a construction of gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan via Afghanistan that is called Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan (TAP) gas pipeline. But unstable security environment in Afghanistan badly hampered that plan.
5 A Rashid, The Resurgence of Central Asia: Islam or Nationalism?, (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 1994), p. 215.
In fact in addition to instability in Afghanistan, Turkmen government has not taken keen interests in initiating that project. Due to non availability of a formal certification of Daultabad gas field reserves which are the source of TAP gas pipeline, that project has also been in pending. It was February 2006 when Turkmen Oil and Gas Minister Gurbanmurtat Atayev stated that an audit by US firm GeGolyer and McNaughton had verified that Daultabad field holds 4.5 trillion cubic meters of gas which was enough for supply to TAP pipeline.6
CARs’ especially Turkmenistan’s gas export agreements with Russia has and will also affect Turkmenistan’s possible energy supply to Pakistan and then other Asian markets in future. Turkmenistan as energy exporter will have a bargaining chip in shape of Russia, will demand high energy price from Pakistan. In 2005 during negotiations between Russia and Turkmenistan on energy export Turkmen President Sapramurat Niyazov suggested that he would hold off energy export agreement with Ukraine and would sign an export agreement only when Russia gave its consent to pump the gas through its pipelines. This shows how much Russia has strong influence on CARs’ energy resources.
Turkmenistan has also time to time disputed with Russia for high energy prices and recently has been able to receive reasonable energy price. In March 2008 Russian energy giant Gazprom (which deals 20 % of world gas) on demand of Turkmenistan announced that it would increase prices of Turkmen gas exported to
6 “Turkmenistan Gas Reserves Sufficient: Officials”, Dawn, 15 February 2006, p.16.
Russia for European customers in 2009. Presently Russia is offering Turkmenistan $130/1000 cubic meters of gas. It is expected that Turkmenistan may get $210/1000 cubic meters for its gas from Gazprom in future. It was the impact of relatively high energy prices received from Russia that in December 2007 Turkmenistan stopped delivery of gas to northern Iran due to ‘technical fault’. Iranian media reported that Turkmenistan was seeking an almost 100% increase in gas price to $140/1000 cubic meters. Iran imports about 23 million cubic meters gas/day at the rate of $75/1000 cubic meters from Turkmenistan.7 In future Turkmenistan may also hold off export agreement or gas supply to Pakistan on demand of high energy price if TAP pipeline project materializes.
Development of Key Project in the Region and China and US Interests
As blood veins work in the body, road and rail links work in a state’s economy. Developing country like Pakistan which has rich mineral resources in its Baluchistan province and in its neighborhood, development of inter-state and intra-state road and rail links have a great significance. Pakistan has started to build a road from Torkham (Pakistan) to Jalalabad (Afghanistan) with a cost of Rs. 2.4 billion which will provide access to the CARs through Afghanistan. Pakistan is planning to construct a new road from Parachinar (another city of Pakistan’s tribal area at Pak-Afghan border) to Kabul which will reduce the traveling time
7 “Turkmenistan: Iran Admits Defeat in Gas Prices Dispute”, Eurasianet, 22 April 2008, <http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/insight/articles/%20eavo422.shtml>.
from five hours to less than two hours. Moreover Pakistan also wants to build railways track from Chaman, Pakistan to Spin Boldak in Afghanitan.8 Pakistan and Iran are planning to establish rail ink from Gwadar (an emerging Pakistanis port at Arabian Sea) to Taftan in Iran via Saindak resource rich region of Pakistan’s Baluchistan province. Iran is also further establishing its road links with CARs. Saindak and Taftan have been linked with 33 Km rail link.9 Saindak project was abandoned since 1995 and was revived with Chinese financial assistance of $30 million for copper and gold production. Rehabilitation of railway link from Quetta ( provincial capital of Baluchistan) to Taftan is also important for trade development. A road from Gwadar to Saindak running parallel to Iran-Pakistan border will make it the shortest route to reach Central Asia from the Arabian sea. Another 515 Km highway from Gwadar to Panjgur, Kharan and Chagi (Baluchistan, Pakistan) to Herat in western Afghanistan was planned. At 9th Summit of Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) held in Baku on 5 May 2006 Prime Minister of Pakistan Shaukat Aziz called for free trade zone with inter-regional oil and gas pipelines.
There are plans under consideration for linking Peshawar capital of Northwestern Province of Pakistan (NWFP) with Termez10 in Uzbekistan and
8 “US asks Pakistan to Expand Trade with Afghanistan”, Daily Times, 9 September 2005, p.A11.
9 K Omer, “Gwadar: an emerging gateway to Central Asia”, The News, 22 April 2007, p.III
10 Termez is the city where a small German contingent is deployed at air base and is under consideration between Uzbekistan and US along with Nato for converting it a base for Nato forces to facilitate their operations in Afghanistan.
Chaman with Kushka in Turkmenistan. ECO’s trans-Asia Middle East-Europe railway project which connects Almatay in Kazakhstan to Istanbul in Turkey is to be linked with China in the east and Europe in the west. On his visit to China in April 2008, Pakistani President Pervaiz Musharaf, discussed with Chinese President Hun Jin Tao the possibility to construct railway track and gas pipeline in parallel with Karakarum high way which links Pakistan with China.
Chinese factor is also playing a very significant role in regional dynamics. There are different motives which force China to play a strong role in helping Pakistan, CARs and Afghanistan11 in their key projects of strategic nature. China’s Xinjiang province where China in 2007 announced to invest $500 billion in next five years, is one of the most backward region of the country. It is 4500 km away from the eastern coast of China. Pakistan’s Gwadar port where China is investing is at the distance of 2500 km from Xinjiang. If goods are exported to western China via Gwadar port through Karakarum highway land rout, will have a huge price advantage in terms of reduced transportation costs. Goods sent by sea have to travel more than 10,000 miles to reach Chinese port on the country’s eastern coast and
11 China has recently won a $3.5 billion contract to develop Afghanistan’s Avnak copper field in Logar province. It is the largest foreign direct investment in Afghanistan’s history. See: Ron Synovitz, “China: Afghan Investment Reveals larger Strategy”, Eurasianet 3 June 2008, <www.eurasianet.org.departments/insight/articles/pp060308f.shtml>
then have to be transported 3,000 miles overland across China to reach markets in Western China.12 Through Gwadar port Persian oil may also be shipped for further supply to China. Pakistan hopes it will make $60 billion in transit fee in 20 years. Gwadar will provide an easy access for China’s import and export and will develop strategic interdependence between China and Pakistan and the whole region. Opening of Gwadar port in March 2007 with the financial help of China is a sign of US-China competition in Pakistan and the entire region. Pakistan could become a victim of scramble between great giants13 and needs to maintain a balance in its relations with great powers.
Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) Gas Pipeline Project and the US
Corresponding with China’s involvement in different key projects in Pakistan, India is also involved in development of infrastructure in Iran an Afghanistan and taking interests in regional gas pipeline projects which can integrate the regional states. India’s participation in Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project will have great significance for regional security and will develop interdependence among Iran, Pakistan and India. In terms of real politik Iran’s inclusion in such projects and the integration of entire region is not apt to US interests.
12 Omer, p.III. To study further the competitive advantages of Gwadar port see: S M Shah, “The Great Game Goes on”, Dawn, 20 August 2007, p.7.
13 K Hasan, “Road to China’s Future Runs through Pakistan”, Daily Times, 14 April 2007, p.A8. .
Roman aristocrat Decimus Laberius (105 BC-43 BC) once asserted that:
“treat your friend as if he will one day be your enemy and
your enemy as if he will one day be your friend”.
Working on that strategy to check the implementation of IPI gas pipeline project and gas supply from Central Asia to Iran, US may attack Iran and can change anti-US government in Iran with pro-US government. In terms of commercial benefits Iran’s route is quite suitable for US oil and gas companies. For Turkmenistan and southern Uzbekistan, the shortest route to the sea lies through Iran. Since a long time US oil and gas companies have been lobbying US administration to give them permission to invest in the energy sector of Iran. There seems a resemblance between British-Iran confrontation from 1951-1953 on nationalization of British controlled oil and gas sector of Iran and present US-Iran row. Now to tackle Iran, US has made inroads in Azer, Kurd and Baluch areas of Iran.
In Pakistan’s Baluchistan province which bordered with Iran and Afghanistan, militants are targeting oil and gas pipelines which signifies that some forces want to impair Pakistan’s internal oil and gas pipelines system. Baluch militants have also targeted Chinese engineers who are playing an important role in Baluchistan’s development and have no direct concern with Baluch nationalist struggle.14 As China is investing in Gwadar port project, killing of Chinese engineers may be an
14 See: N Saithi “Baluch Masla General Pervaiz kay Zairay Intizam Pakistan ka Masla hai”, (Baluch Problem is
the Problem of General Pervaiz Administered Pakistan) Daily Express, 22 April 2006, p.12.
effort to develop a rift in close Pak-China relations and to sabotage Gwadar port project.
If Pakistan is unable to protect its internal oil and gas pipeline system it will give a message to the world that Pakistan which is not capable to protect its internal oil and gas pipelines’ network, can’t provide guarantees for the security of oil and gas pipelines laid from Iran to India and to other countries. Importers would not like to take risk in investing money in laying a gas pipeline from Iran via unstable Baluchistan. India may abandon this project in such circumstances. That will suit US strategic interests in the region. That is why US has also offered India to share nuclear technology to accomplish its energy requirements and as an incentive for not joining IPI pipeline.
To fulfill Pakistan’s energy needs US has supported Pakistan for import of 4000MW of electricity from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan via Kabul route. $500-$800 million will be invested on this transmission line. In 2006 it was reported that US state department had allocated funds to aid electricity import project from Central Asia.15 Transmission line from Central Asia to Pakistan will be 765 Km long. World Bank (WB), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Islamic Development Bank (IDB) have also pledged to finance this project.
Developments of Road, Rail Links in Afghanistan and its Impacts on Pakistan
Pakistani government has also made plan to work on a sub-regional connectivity and trade facilitation project costing Rs. 27.34 billion to expand
15 K Kiani, “US Backs Power Import from Central Asia”, Dawn, 10 May 2006, p.1.
trade relations with Afghanistan and CARs. ADB will contribute Rs. 18.45 billion or 67.66 % in Rs. 27.34 billion. Under this project key national highways that were part of the sub-regional corridor will be rehabilitated and cross border infrastructure
in Afghanistan will be developed.16 US is also spending million of dollars in developing road links in Afghanistan especially with Pak-Afghan border.
Development of road links in Afghanistan near Pakistan’s border with the financial support of US will be helpful in surveillance of Pak-Afghan border areas and will put more pressure on Pakistan. North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) has presented a plan to Russia and CARs for the establishment of inter-continental rail link from Afghanistan to Europ17 via Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. If Nato’s plan to develop an intercontinental rail link from Afghanistan to Europe (though in near future its chances has diminished after Georgia-Russia confrontation in August 2008 and Nato criticism on Russia) materializes then it would have both economic and security implications for Pakistan and for the entire region. In the short term rail link will minimize US dependence on Pakistan for food supply and for other logistic purposes. Consequently US
16 K Mustafa, “Govt Planning Project for Better Trade with Afghanistan, CARs”, Daily Times, Lahore, 14 September 2005, p.A12.
17 See for details: R Synovitz, “Afghanistan: Key Road towards Pakistan to Improve Trade Security”, Eurasianet, 3 May 2008, <www.eurasianet.org.departments/insight/articles/eav050308.shtml> and “Nato making progress on Afghanistan rail Route”, Eurasianet, 5 May 2008,<www.eurasianet.org.department/insight/articles/eav050508.shtml>
will be in more strong position to pressurize Pakistan on security matters. US will have more understanding with CARs and Russia on Afghan affairs rather than Pakistan. But in the long run highways links within Afghanistan and intercontinental rail links from Afghanistan to CARs and then Europe will also help Pakistan to integrate its road links and railway network with Central Asia and then with Europe. In Indian-subcontinent these were the British who developed rail links and postal service with secret services under their retention to consolidate their occupation. US’ plans to develop Afghanistan’s infrastructure may be helpful in that way but it may also integrate the region and increase growth in trade.
US Presence in the Region and Scope for Pakistan
Since 2001 change of Taliban government and US presence in Afghanistan, Pak-Afghan trade is on the rise. US has encouraged Pak-Afghan trade and Pakistan has been compensated financially in that way. The exports from Pakistan to Afghanistan for the fiscal year 2004-05 were $1.166 billion against the exports of $616.66 million in the fiscal year 2003-04 whereas export stood at $30 million
during the Taliban regime.18 More than 50,000 Pakistanis are working in Afghanistan mostly in construction industry projects. US has also pressurized Pakistan to give Afghanistan relaxation in trade. On US demands Pakistan removed three items19
18 S Chaudhry, “3 More Customs Stations to Facilitate Bilateral Trade with Iran, Afghanistan”, Daily Times, 19 August 2005, p.B4. Also see: Q Akhlaque, “Positive trend in Pakistan-Afghanistan Ties”, Dawn, 14 February 2006, p.4.
19 Three items include tyres and tubes, TV and telephone sets. Remaining three items include cigarettes, cooking oil and auto parts.
from the negative list of six items under Afghan Transit Trade Agreement (ATTA). The original negatives items list includes 24 items. US has rushed Pakistan to finish the entire list.20 In 2005 General Karl Eikenberry commanding officer of US forces in Afghanistan proposed in his meeting with Dr. Salman Shah that Pakistan may import iron ore from Afghanistan which is used in steel industry. He shared US plan of developing Shabargan gas field in Afghanistan to fulfill the need of local energy requirements.21 US support for better trade ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan will also be helpful in developing trade links with CARs.
Pak-Afghan trade is also facing impediment due to strict security on Pak-Afghan border. Afghan traders are diverting their trade contracts from Pakistan to Iran and India due to harsh security measures taken by the security officials from the both sides. Since the start of US’ war on terrorism Pakistan and Iran’s links with CARs have been underscored.22 Russia and Turkey have availed this opportunity and signed agreements with CARs for energy import. If peace is maintained and hurdles on the name of security are removed then Pak-CARs trade may also see a boom. Present conditions are not encouraging for growth in trade as Afghanistan and Pakistan both are indulged in security affairs rather than developing trade links with CARs.
20 “Pakistan Ratifies Removal of 3 Items from Negative List”, Daily Times, 23 August 2005, p.A12.
21 “US Asks Pakistan to Expand Trade with Afghanistan”, Daily Times, 9 September 2005, p. A11.
22 Pak-Uzbek trade had reached around $80 million in 1998 that dropped to $8 million in 2000, $10 million in 2006.
Strategically and politically US presence with Pakistan’s border in Afghanistan has narrowed the scope of Pakistan’s strategic maneuvering and put a constant pressure on Pakistan to admit US demands. In future US may pressurize Pakistan
to give India a passage to export its goods to Afghanistan which Pakistan has denied. US in early 1950s tried to integrate Afghanistan and Pakistan to check USSR’s influence. In 1978 Shah of Iran gave generous aid to India and Pakistan to develop infrastructure. At that time pro-US Iran took keen interest in enhancing trade ties with India via Pakistan route. Gen. Zia ul Haq government in Pakistan took least interest as it thought that Iran and India would get benefits on Pakistan’s stake and Pakistan would remain empty handed.23 Now Pakistan has the same stance in respect of providing India transit facility for its exports to Afghanistan and to Central Asia.
In fact US wants to mitigate Chinese influence in the region that is why it is supporting cooperation among Pakistan, India and Afghanistan now excluding Iran. To acquire a status of great power and for smooth economic growth, India needs a peaceful environment. It is emerging as a great power in Asia which may counterbalance to China. In that perspective US since its presence in Afghanistan has pushed Pakistan and India for rehabilitation of relations. US encouraged rapprochement between Pakistan and India also because US wanted that Pakistan’s army could be deployed at its western Pak-Afghan border. Now Pakistan has
23 See: Malik, p.257-259.
deployed about 100,000 troops on its Afghan border to check Taliban movement through Pak-Afghan border.
To maintain peace in Afghanistan, Pakistan’s support will always be needed to US.24 There are different dichotomies in Pak-US relations. Despite the fact that US has time and again affirmed that Pakistan is a close US allay in war against terrorism and has been sanctioned more than $6 billion since 2001 and much more in the pipeline, has made several attacks on Pakistan’s tribal areas. On 26 June 2008 US Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ statement that a “40% rise in violence in eastern Afghanistan in the first five months of the year is a matter concern” also increased pressure on Pakistan. After that statement US army made fresh attacks on Pakistan’s tribal areas in which Pakistan army soldiers also became victims. There are voices that US want to conceal its failure in Afghanistan by putting its blame on Pakistan. In January 2007 Senator Mushaid Hussain Syed Chairman of Pakistan’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a briefing in Washington and stated that some US government policy makers were trying to use Pakistan as a scapegoat to hide their failure in Afghanistan. He referred to a statement made by
24 Though US has installed a pro-US government in Afghanistan but most of the power brokers in that government hail from former Mujahideen. In Afghan Wolesi Jirga, the lower house of Afghan parliament, 47.4% are Pushtuns, 21.3% Tajiks and Aimaq, 12% Uzbeks, 8% Hazars, six other ethnic groups cover 11%. Possibly 133 out of 249 represent the former Mujahideen. See: T A Khan, “Afghan War: the Way out”, Dawn, 27 February 2006, p.7.
the then Homeland Security Chief John Nagroponte who said Pakistan had permitted the Taliban and Al-Qaeda to organize command and control centre in
Regional complex security environment indiactes that US can directly threaten Pakistan with its military might if in future Pakistan works against US strategic interests in the region. US would not like to see the materialization of any project like IPI gas pipeline and emerging Chinese influence in Pakistan and the whole region. Iran and China’s close ties with Pakistan will help to integrate the entire region and will develop interdependence among the involving states which is against the great power policy of divide and rule. US has shown its concern over the security of Pakistan’s atomic weapons. US also wants to pay role in controlling these weapons Pakistan. While US is unable to create stability in Afghanistan and could not justify its presence there, it is searching bases in Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan for its forces.
At the moment due to instability in Afghanistan, US’ existence in Afghanistan is helpful in countering the threat of civil war eruption in Afghanistan. In addition, US can also assist Pakistan in developing close relations with CARs. But US’ presence has affected Pakistan’s national security and internal political environment especially when its relations are being developed with China on long term strategic basis. US wants to maintain stability in the region on its own terms.
25 “US Looks Pakistan to do More Against Taliban”, Dawn, 27 January 2007, p. 16.
US as a global power makes strategic policies under considering international dynamics but Pakistan as a small power has to made strategic decision according to regional dynamics and its own national interests. It is not necessary that strategies of both countries should match with each other.
Pakistan’s Relations with Central Asian Republics (CARs) and the Impact of United States’ (US) Policies in Shaping Regional Dynamics