China piv­otal to Pak for­eign pol­icy

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIALS & COMMENT -

DUR­ING a talk at Har­vard Univer­sity, Pak­istan’s per­ma­nent rep­re­sen tative to United Na­tions Maleeha Lodhi ex­pounded on the depth and vi­tal­ity of China-Pak strate­gic and historic re­la­tions adding friend­ship with Beijing is cor­ner­stone of Pak­istan’s for­eign pol­icy.

The state­ment em­phat­i­cally de­scribes the sig­nif­i­cance Pak­istan at­taches to its mul­ti­fac­eted re­la­tions with China - the only coun­try in the re­gion with which Pak­istan en­joys trou­ble free re­la­tions and which has al­ways stood by Pak­istan in va­garies of time and sup­ported it at important world fo­rums in­clud­ing the United Na­tions much to the an­noy­ance of those who har­bour an­tiPak­istan agenda. In re­cent times, bi­lat­eral ties have ex­panded and di­ver­si­fied from the con­ven­tional fo­cus on de­fence and mil­i­tary co­op­er­a­tion to­wards a greater eco­nomic and in­vest­ment ori­en­ta­tion. Land­mark CPEC has fur­ther ce­mented the al­ready strong bonds and made them nat­u­ral al­lies. Beijing’s lib­eral in­vest­ment worth Rs 46 bil­lion dol­lars un­der the cor­ri­dor project ac­tu­ally sur­passes all for­eign in­vest­ments made by it in Pak­istan in the past, which also demon­strates that both the ‘Iron Broth­ers’ share the com­mon vi­sion of peace and progress in the re­gion. In fact, the CPEC has strate­gic con­no­ta­tions and when im­ple­mented will pro­vide a huge boost in trans­form­ing Pak­istan’s eco­nomic land­scape by link­ing south, cen­tral and west­ern Asia. It will also pro­vide China ac­cess to the Straits of Hor­muz, the Per­sian Gulf, the Ara­bian Sea and the In­dian Ocean. Thus, this multi bil­lion dol­lars project is go­ing to fur­ther en­hance in­tra-re­gional in­de­pen­dence and bring the two coun­tries fur­ther closer. Ground break­ing of Havelian-Thakot mo­tor­way per­formed by the Prime Min­is­ter in Mansehra on Thurs­day is yet an­other man­i­fes­ta­tion of the im­por­tance that China ac­cords to devel­op­ment of Pak­istan as ninety per­cent of the fund­ing for the project will be pro­vided by Exim Bank of China. We are con­fi­dent that th­ese multi di­men­sional re­la­tions will con­tinue to grow as there is will­ing­ness on both sides to take th­ese re­la­tions to new heights. Th­ese historic re­la­tions, how­ever, also itch in the eyes of our en­e­mies and both the coun­tries need to be wary and ready to foil their de­signs by fur­ther pro­mot­ing their con­tacts and col­lab­o­ra­tion in dif­fer­ent fields. Our po­lit­i­cal par­ties es­pe­cially those sit­ting on op­po­si­tion benches should also demon­strate sagac­ity and re­ject any pro­pa­ganda cam­paign against any mega project launched in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Beijing.

THE so-called Is­lamic State (ISIS or Daish) pose a clear and present dan­ger to the world. Many coun­tries and or­ga­ni­za­tions are en­gaged in research stud­ies to un­earth the weapons sup­ply chain and plug the gap to check the grow­ing men­ace. Re­cently a Euro­pean Union based, research in­sti­tu­tion named Con­flict Ar­ma­ment Research (CAR), un­der­took a 20month ex­haus­tive study on ISIS weapon sup­ply chain and re­leased its study re­port.

CAR has re­vealed that more than 50 com­pa­nies from 20 dif­fer­ent coun­tries are legally sup­ply­ing ISIS with bomb-mak­ing ma­te­rial, which sug­gests that coun­tries are fail­ing to mon­i­tor what they are sell­ing. The shock­ing as­pect is that the study re­vealed that seven In­dian com­pa­nies are in­volved in pro­vi­sion of over 700 com­po­nents used in man­u­fac­tur­ing of lEDs by ISIS. In­dia is the sec­ond largest sup­plier of lethal ma­te­rial needed for fab­ri­ca­tion of deadly IEDs for the mur­der­ing ma­raud­ers who have cre­ated chaos and may­hem.

Ac­cord­ing to the study, seven In­dian com­pa­nies man­u­fac­tured most of the det­o­na­tors, det­o­nat­ing cord and safety fuses. Th­ese com­po­nents are cru­cial to man­u­fac­tur­ing of IEDs and are be­ing legally ex­ported un­der gov­ern­men­tis­sued li­censes from In­dia to en­ti­ties in Le­banon and Turkey. The re­port said that CAR gained ac­cess to the com­po­nents through part­ners in­clud­ing the US-backed Kur­dish YPG in Syria, the Iraqi Fed­eral

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