Why Are The Latest Developments In Pakistan Of Global Importance?
The success of the US’ regime change campaign in Pakistan could turn that country from the “Zipper of Eurasia” into the “Faultline of Eurasia” by tearing apart the same game-changing multipolar processes that it’s participating in.
Pakistani democracy was narrowly saved on Sunday following the Deputy Speaker’s decision to dismiss the opposition’s no-confidence motion that was pushed on behalf of the US as punishment against Prime Minister Imran Khan for his independent foreign policy. These developments – the US’ failed regime change operation, the last-second saving of Pakistani democracy, and the next 90 days leading up to snap elections – are of global importance, but few across the world have yet to realize this.
The following analysis links to 10 background pieces about the country’s geostrategic significance:
The next one links to 30 that touch upon the game-changing consequences of Russian-Pakistani ties:
While the final analysis below directs readers to 18 relevant others from February onward:
Most folks won’t read a fraction of those pieces but hopefully researchers will review some of them.
The present piece will summarize the insight shared within those nearly 60 analyses for the reader’s convenience. The paradigm through which everything is interpreted is the “Global Pivot State”. This frame of reference posits that Pakistan’s geostrategic location at the confluence of Central, East, South, and West Asia imbues it with the capability to serve as the “Zipper of Eurasia” for connecting the supercontinent upon the completion of relevant infrastructure projects.
Its hosting of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the flagship project of Beijing’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI), makes it the most important partner of the People’s Republic. If one acknowledges that BRI is the vehicle through which China is geo-economically revolutionizing the world in pursuit of its grand strategic goal of creating a Community of Common Destiny (CCD), then it naturally follows that CPEC – and thus Pakistan – are smack dab in the centre of the global systemic transition.
CPEC isn’t just a Chinese shortcut to the Indian Ocean, however, but provides Pakistan with enough domestic economic capabilities to build upon this megaproject and thus independently develop it in three cardinal directions. These are North towards Central Asia (N-CPEC+), West towards West Asia (W-CPEC+), and South towards Africa (S-CPEC+). The newly promulgated National Security Policy states that “Pakistan’s geo-economic pivot is focused on…Central Asia”, which makes Pakistan important to Russia.
Russian-Pakistani relations have been in the midst of a rapid rapprochement initially driven by shared security concerns stemming from Afghanistan but which has since comprehensively diversified to involve yearly joint anti-terrorist drills, overland connectivity, pipelines, and more. The second of these is embodied by February 2021’s agreement to build a Pakistan-Afghanistan-Uzbekistan (PAKAFUZ) railway, which in effect functions as N-CPEC+.
PAKAFUZ also serves Russia’s grand strategic interests with respect to its Greater Eurasian Partnership (GEP) that envisions connecting the supercontinent. South Asia is a priority focus for Moscow, especially following the US-led West’s unprecedented and preplanned response to Russia’s ongoing special military operation in Ukraine. That prompted the Eurasian Great Power to accelerate its comprehensive engagement with nearby Global South states like China, India, Iran, and Pakistan.
In this manner, just as CPEC is irreplaceable in terms of China’s CCD, so too is PAKAFUZ in terms of Russia’s GEP. Taken together, Pakistan serves as the confluence point of China’s and Russia’s grand strategies, which gives it global importance since these two function as the dual engines of the emerging Multipolar World Order. Furthermore, pending a peaceful political resolution of the Kashmir Conflict, PAKAFUZ could rechristen itself as the “Central Eurasian (or SCO) Corridor” and connect to India.
Despite Prime Minister Khan’s extremely scathing criticism of India’s stance towards that unresolved conflict and his personal attacks against his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, his country has nevertheless respected the surprise February 2021 ceasefire. Not only that, but the Pakistani leader praised India twice in just about as many weeks for its policy of principled neutrality towards Russia’s special operation, which confirms that the incumbent is pragmatic and not ideological like some claim.
That’s not to predict that he’ll oversee a peaceful political resolution of the Kashmir Conflict if he’s re-elected, but just that he’s likely to retain the existing ceasefire and thus contribute to regional stability. That stands in contrast to opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif who might allow the US to set up military bases in his country and thus potentially embolden so-called “anti-Indian hawks” in his establishment to violate that same ceasefire on behalf of his American patrons to punish India for its principled neutrality.
Pakistan’s return to American vassalhood status in the event that the US’ regime change campaign against Prime Minister Khan succeeds could therefore destabilize South Asia. The other foreign policy implications are that the puppet compradors politicize CPEC and thus complicate ties with China in parallel with possibly abandoning PAKAFUZ and the Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline (PSGP) with Russia. In other words, China’s and Russia’s grand strategies would no longer converge in Pakistan.
A less geostrategically dramatic outcome but one that would still be disadvantageous for multipolarity would be if those same US bases that the declining unipolar hegemon’s puppets might once again agree to host end up being used to bomb Afghanistan. Although its de facto Taliban leaders are still under sanctions for their connection to terrorism, they pragmatically engage with China, Russia, Pakistan, Iran, their Central Asian neighbours (though ties with Tajikistan are complicated), and even India.
The US-driven destabilization of Afghanistan from Pakistani territory in that scenario wouldn’t just likely scuttle PAKAFUZ, but would also put an end to China’s informal plans to pioneer a so-called “Persian Corridor” to its new 25-year strategic partners in Iran via that country and Tajikistan. In other words, Pakistan could be exploited by the declining unipolar hegemon to deal a heavy blow to multipolar connectivity processes in the geostrategically located Eurasian Heartland.
Observers should remember, however, that the multipolar-inspired patriotic members of Pakistan’s permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”) would likely push back against any puppet authorities’ attempts to return American bases to their country. Nevertheless, it would of course be better for no formally civilian but de facto foreign-backed leadership to ever request such or clandestinely try to invite those forces back into their country.
For all of these reasons, the American regime change campaign against Pakistan is of global importance. Its success could turn that country from the “Zipper of Eurasia” into the “Faultline of Eurasia” by tearing apart the same game-changing multipolar processes that it’s participating in. Pakistan will always remain the “Global Pivot State”, but the question is whether its pivot potential is employed for positive ends like accelerating multipolar trends or exploited by the US for negative ones to stop them in their tracks.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Voice of East.