Finally, the talks have started about the Russia Pakistan Economic Corridor (RPEC) together with Saudi Pakistan Economic Corridor (SPEC). Perhaps the centuries old Russian dream of reaching warm waters will be finally fulfilled, unfortunately, a lot of blood has been spilt for its fulfillment. In December 1979 when the Soviet Forces landed in Afghanistan, USSR was a super power of the world. In 1989 they had to retreat, badly bruised and defeated. The ‘Mujahideen’ as they were called then supported by Pakistan and America were able to achieve a great military victory but at a very heavy cost for us. Since then the mighty United Socialist Soviet Republic has been dismembered, Afghanistan continues to bleed while Pakistan is finally on road to recovery after over 50,000 civilian deaths and over $ 200 billion in collateral damages. All this for the Russian dream of warm waters. About the Russian Navy it is said that, ‘More rust than ready’ as most ports are closed for over six months in a year. For a well rounded economy like the Chinese and Americans the Russian require all year around sea routes. After CPEC both RPEC and SPEC are becoming a reality. It is perhaps a civilized approach to sharing of resources. During one of his last speeches in the parliament, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (ZAB) the then Prime Minister (PM) and Foreign Minister (FM) mentioned two major foreign policy initiatives; porous borders to resolve the Kashmir dispute and an Economic Corridor through Balochistan for landlocked Afghanistan. Friendship with China was also his initiative. Diplomacy and foreign policy formulation requires long term vision that has been missing for a long time. Vested self interests have dominated the land of the pure which have been ruled by the impure. Pakistan needs purity of mind followed by selfless action. Empires are short lived and eventually collapse. Personal fiefdoms of the likes of Sharif’s and Zardari’s are under attack these days. There are lessons to be learnt. At the end of the day it is service to the people that counts War should always be the last option. In the words of Winston Churchill, “War is too serious a business to be left to the Generals”. Instead of border conflicts, Europe has decided to form a Union but after two world wars and several revolutions. Chairman Mao Tse Tung who led an armed struggle to liberate China said, “Revolution comes through the barrel of the gun’. After dismantling status-quo and building a People’s Republic the approach has been economic emancipation not armed conflict. Hong Kong was acquired peacefully, Taiwan is now investing in Mainland China. The Chinese transformation from gun to growth has been phenomenal. Focus has been on the well being of the common man. Where democracies of the world has failed the Communist party of China (CPC) has been able to deliver. The limitations of a military solution have to be fully understood, as it can only remove barricades, thereby enabling the civilian administration to play its role. After the break-up of the mighty Socialist Soviet Empire that remained a super power for 77 years of the 20th century has finally decided to pursue capitalist economy. But some lessons have been learnt by them. After coming out of the IMF laid debt trap of $22 billion they have now built surpluses. Recently they have decided on a dollar dump. Out of their reserves, $100 billions have been moved into alternate currencies like the Yuan, Yen and Euro. It seems they have started to use their brain instead of the Soviet braun that caused its collapse. Afghanistan has long porous borders both with Iran and Pakistan. Warm waters were there in both cases. Iran was under revolutionary leadership. The policemen of the Middle East was not at the helm. By contrast Pakistan was under on unpopular despotic regime ready to do any ones directly work for dollars. A leadership that does not work in its own national interests has no right to remain in power. Unfortunately, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan has been ruled by individuals who neither understand Islam nor the requirements of a Republic. Vested self interests have dominated the land of the pure which have been ruled by the impure. Pakistan needs purity of mind followed by selfless action. Empires are short lived and eventually collapse. Personal fiefdoms of the likes of Sharif’s and Zardari’s are under attack these days. There are lessons to be learnt. At the end of the day it is service to the people that counts. The Belt and Road initiative (BRI) of China is an excellent programme. Basic idea was conceived by their Think Tanks’ which was then forwarded to the Party Politburo from where it went to the cabinet for approval. For effective implementation the Communist party of China (CPC) members were then introduced to this concept. It is a fool proof framework for Chinese products that come on the belt after fabrication to reach the market place all over the world. While we in the Islamic Republic are still thinking of farm to market roads the Chinese products are travelling on the international highways. It is perhaps the fastest route from production to consumption leading all the way to monetization. Perhaps quickest return on investment. This indeed will be a Chinese century as they have prepared well for it. Pakistan can certainly market its location and then spend the revenue generated from this initiative on the uplift of the masses. CPEC, RPEC, SPEC and APEC (America Pakistan Economic Corridor) are all viable approaches. In the recently concluded ‘Think Fest’ (January 12, 13, 2019) it was deliberated that 60% of the budget is consumed in debt servicing and security. The question is out of the remaining 40% how much is spent on Human Resource Development (HRD)? As most of it is consumed by the gluttonous state apparatus which is a major reason that the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is rotting in the dark pits while the People’s Republic of China continues to shine. In the seventies RPEC could have saved us from the agony that we face today, but it is still better than never. Thank God some lessons have been learnt in 38 years (1979 to 2017). Zia’s dark ages (1977 to 2017) which took us into the war against the Soviet Union are finally coming to an end after the elections in 2018. Ameen. Naya Pakistan is finally in the making. The writer is an Ex-Chairman Pakistan Science Foundation Published in Daily Times, January 25th 2019.