It has been on record that every strong state instinctively tends to influence weak states, especially those situated at its adjoining frontier. Almost in every hemisphere of the world, one can tangibly notice that no state leaves the fate of its adjoining weak state to other states to avoid controversy particularly under the rise and rife of globalization. Its primary preference is to establish strong political and economic ties before peeking around for others. After all, stability of a state is determined by the security of its adjacent state. In this way, neighboring country or countries play a pivotal role in strengthening or enervating the economy of a state.
There are several examples of strong states influencing their neighbours to beef up their sovereignty. For example, Iran backs the governments of Iraq and Syria, China and Russia covertly support North Korea, Russia influences Ukraine, Turkey intervenes in Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia retains a stranglehold in Yemen and so on. This has paved the way for uninterrupted socio-economic growth in these countries. However, in case of strong neighbours, a balanced relationship is attained by advocating the notion of mutual growth and cooperation; a state can never progress by keeping powerful foes at its disposal.
In the light of this fact, Pakistan is the only country in the world with strong and weak economic states surrounding it. India, being at the eastern red front, has been an archrival indulging in skirmishes with Pakistan. While, Afghanistan and Iran are situated at the western blue front, and are not on good terms with Pakistan despite sharing common history, religion, culture and customs. China, being the emerging economic power in the world, is situated at the northern green front, and has been the only all-weather friend to Pakistan. Similarly, Pakistan wants to maintain its strong influence in Afghanistan willy-nilly with a view to ensuring peace at least at the western blue frontier, since it is better for economic enrichment by all means.
However, due to the prevailing influence of United States in Afghanistan, Pakistan is beset with a host of problems. In the contemporary scenario, the Indo-US relationship touches the heights of maternal love. This is watering the seeds of an amicable relationship between Pakistan and Russia in the aftermath. In fact, the US has lost the purpose of staying in Afghanistan for more years because of the fact that its 16 long years of ‘war on terror’ has ended up in abject failure.
Keeping in view the US made inroads for India into Afghanistan to keep its influence intact over Pakistan, especially after narrowing down the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) gradually. Since the US is convinced that if India ever resorts to illegitimacy with the collaboration of the Afghan client regime against Pakistan, Pakistan would have one only way left, requesting it for India’s constraint. And for this, the US remains successful hitherto.
Recently, president of United States Donald Trump took a U-turn from his foretold policy of Afghanistan after he announced that more military reinforcement would be made to expand US military intervention in Afghanistan.
"My original instinct was to pull out, and historically I like following my instincts, but all of my life I heard that decision are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office," Trump said.
He further added, "A hasty withdrawal would create a vacuum that terrorists – including ISIS and Al-Qaeda- would instantly fill, just as happened before September 11." Further, he claimed that he would rather take a tougher line on Pakistan than Obama’s administration did, accusing Pakistan of harbouring terrorist groups in the country.
"We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban, and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond," Trump asserted.
For this, 3,900 extra soldiers are going to be sent to Afghanistan to bolster the existing 8,400 soldiers stationed to weaken the writ of Afghan troops.
In retaliation, the Taliban have warned the US of turning Afghanistan into a sheer graveyard of American soldiers. "Previous experiences have shown that sending more troops to Afghanistan will not result in anything other than further destruction of American military and economical might," the Taliban lettered.
This amply shows that the US has to deal with the threats of Afghan Taliban in Asia and North Korea, at the Pacific via military reinforcement in the respective region. Not only this, IS is also a gigantic threat to the US. Under this marsh, the revisionist power has got a breathing space to emerge as behemoth on the global sphere challenging the unipolarity.
Furthermore, the American mantra to Pakistan of ‘do more’, is likely going to end under such a situation of shrinking the CSF and burgeoning armed troops in Afghanistan. It seems as if America has to do ‘more and more’ on its own. Hence, Afghanistan would likely witness more military operation and eventually more losses of innocent people in the time to come. The ‘war on terror’ may likely take more years to complete its 20 years of the 9/11, out of which 16 years have passed and 4 remain behind.
Even though the client regime of Afghanistan is itself bewildered after the upheaval of American policy for Afghanistan. The top Afghan brass is undoubtedly convinced that the change of America’s Afghan policy is due to protraction of its miserable defeat for more years. However, despite having one-half territorial influence over in Afghanistan they simply intend to enjoy playing with power. It is no wonder that they are not accountable for the Afghan people belong to their soil whatsoever, since they are able to manage quantum of votes in their favor to establish a long regime of corrupt people.
On the other hand, the construction of Indian Chahbahar Port program is heavily dependent upon ensuring the restoration of Afghanistan’s writ by the feeble regime, which is close to impossible under overwhelming influence of the Taliban and other groups covering the other half-domain of the country. Therefore, China is restive to operationalize Gawadar Port timely to emulate the completion of Chahbahar Port and its projects.
What seems to be startling is that Pakistan’s foreign policy is in this shambolic state. It does not fulfill national interests to the core. Pakistan has not yet worked out a solution for the threat of US and Indian influence in Afghanistan to bolster its western border. China, on the other side, is weighing American-Afghan policy very closely. In order to avert any uncertainty beforehand, it applies pressure on the Pakistan’s political leaders to ensure timely completion of CPEC project.
Unless Pakistan-China cooperation is making mutual policy unanimously on the contemporary situation of American policy for Afghanistan, Pakistan would seemingly bear more loss, which China at least can no longer afford. The present political fracas in Pakistan is not better for the future Asian Tiger. Tiger has its own age limit, as time matters. It can also grow older or even purposeless if India or other countries take the rope of South Asia in their hands.
It is high time for Pakistan’s government to strengthen institutions and stand up wide-awake. With the surge of institutional decay, the rumor of East Indian Company in the face of China could become a real dream.