Two and a half thousand years ago, the great philosopher of ancient Taxila belonging to present-day Pakistan, Kautilya Chanakya had stated that the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
It seems that this ancient proverb, full of wisdom, is still applicable in today’s modern world for devising foreign policy by various global players. Looking at the current international situation, on the one hand, Middle Eastern Arab countries are coming closer with Israel to counter the Iran factor jointly, and on the other hand, China and Iran, with entirely different ideological identities, are joining hands with each other due to American pressure.
Reportedly, India is being asked by the Gulf countries to adopt the route of Pakistan, instead of Iran, for access to the Middle East. Similarly, the newly elected US President Joe Biden, while following the foreign policies of the previous regime, is apparently in favor of increasing pressure on China. In this regard, the US has recently formed a quadrilateral security alliance, consisting of Japan, Australia and India, to address common concerns related to China.
Pakistan has been a key strategic ally of the United States since day one. One of the main reasons for the cordial diplomatic relations between Pakistan and the US was protection from the Soviet Union. Today, Pakistan and China enjoy remarkably enduring bilateral relations. Historically, the military confrontation of China with India in 1962, followed by the Indo-Pak War in 1965, had resulted in strengthening bilateral ties and opening new doors of cooperation between Pakistan and China.
The focus of Pakistan’s foreign policy is the promotion of cordial relations with the international community, but it is a matter of grave concern that our two neighbors, China and Iran, have been under US pressure for a long time. Both countries are also facing many hurdles in order to carry on international trade and foreign business activities.
In this regard, I have expressed my concerns in various forums that the internal situation in the Middle East is getting complicated day by day. The US, being the only superpower, is supposed to ensure world peace and stability throughout the globe. Unfortunately, unnecessary involvement is creating a mess for the entire region.
It was a matter of satisfaction for peace activists that the Iranian leadership, in response to the target killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani last year in a drone attack by the US, had demonstrated patience, endurance and wisdom. However, there are still chances that the tussle on the diplomatic front could transform into full-fledged military confrontation.
Similarly, Trump had also adopted the policy of isolating China on each front. Interestingly, a common threat factor from the US has resulted in bringing Iran and China closer. Both countries are subject to US sanctions and have recently signed a historical deal of bilateral cooperation. Under the agreement, China has agreed to invest heavily, worth 400 million dollars, in Iran over 25 years in exchange for getting crude oil at a cheaper price. On the occasion, the two sides also agreed to cooperate in the fields of security and defence to tackle common threats.
The recent bilateral agreement is being hailed as a major step towards regional stability and maintaining the balance of power in the region. The role of Pakistan due to its geo-strategic position is very essential in connecting China and Iran. In my view, the Biden Administration neglecting Pakistan, one of the top ten climate affected countries in the world, in the Climate Change Summit is a warning sign at the diplomatic level.
However, I am quite confident that the recent peace developments with India on the eastern border, followed by a cooperation deal among our two other neighbors China and Iran, will have a positive impact on the development and prosperity of our beloved country.