Geopolitically Important Pakistan Brings China, Russia, US Together For 45-Nation Exercises Hosted by Pak Navy

Pakistan is hosting navies from 45 nations, including the United States, China and Russia, for a joint military exercise named "AMAN 2021" in the North Arabian Sea later this month. This is the first time in a decade that Russian naval ships will attend drills with multiple NATO members. 

The news prompted Indian defense analyst Pravin Sawhney to tweet: "Pakistan Navy Aman 21 exercise brings US, China & Russian navies together - what more needs to be said of Pak’s geopolitical importance in times of change!"

Tweet by Indian Defense Analyst Pravin Sawhney


United Kingdom, Turkey, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia and several countries from the African Union are also among participants of "AMAN 2021" The last time the Russian navy conducted joint military drills with NATO members was in the "Bold Monarch" exercise in 2011, which took place off the coast of Spain, according to Voice of America

US-China Compete For Influence in Pakistan

There was a lot of speculation in the western media about the objectives of Pakistan policies being pursued by China and the United States, the two great powers in Asia region, and their impact on the US-China competition for world dominance. Such speculations was centered on the debt related to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the US leverage in IMF bailout of Pakistan that was approved in 2019.

American business publication Wall Street Journal has produced a short video explaining how its staff sees what it describes as "US-China conflict brewing in Pakistan". What is at stake in the battle between China and the United States in Pakistan is the prize of global superpower status. Here are the key points it made back in 2019:

1. The US-China conflict brewing in Pakistan is about global dominance sought by the two great powers.

2. If China succeeds, it could become the new center of global trade. If the US wins, it could frustrate China's push to become a global power. The impact of it will be felt around the world for decades.

3. China has already surpassed the United States as the world's biggest exporter of goods and services.

4. The biggest project in China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in which China is investing heavily and providing massive loans.

5. China could use the infrastructure built in Pakistan under CPEC to gain access to the Indian Ocean and supplant the United States in Pakistan.

6. CPEC-related spending is sinking Pakistan deeper in debt to China. It could force Pakistan to seek $8 billion to $12 billion bailout by IMF where US is the biggest shareholder with veto power.

7. US does not want the IMF bailout money to be used to repay Chinese debt. Not bailing out Pakistan is not an option because it could cost US an important ally in the region.

8. US could, however, use IMF bailout to limit what Pakistan can borrow from China. Such a condition will achieve the US objective of significantly slowing down CPEC and BRI.

9. Pakistan's dilemma is that it needs both the infrastructure improvements financed by China and the IMF bailout to ease pressure on its dwindling foreign exchange reserves.

10. Whoever wins in Pakistan will become the number one global superpower.


Can US "Spend Them (Chinese) Into Oblivion"?

Here's the Wall Street Journal video:

https://youtu.be/wvw-85CC1t4


http://www.youtube.com/embed/wvw-85CC1t4"; width="560"></iframe>" height="315" src="https://img1.blogblog.com/img/video_object.png" width="560" style="cursor: move; background-color: #b2b2b2;" />

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Views: 565

Comment by Akhtar Hussain on February 9, 2021 at 10:54am

Riaz Sb,

Thank you for writing this article.  It is amazing how things are shaping up between

Pakistan and the rest of the world.  From being labelled a failed state to the most

important geopolitical location, Pakistani people and PMIK has very cleverly changed an

image that Pakistan was stuck with for ages.  Pakistan has exposed the sources responsible

for so much negative press.  If the Afghans start to cooperate and peace prevails, the whole region

can prosper immensely.  I mean sky is the limit.  Thanks !

Comment by Riaz Haq on February 9, 2021 at 4:55pm

Akhtar:

Alhamdulillah! Pakistan is in a much better position now that it was just a few years. This is happening in spite of the best efforts of Pakistan's enemies. 

Riaz 

Comment by Akhtar Hussain on February 9, 2021 at 8:04pm

I believe PM Imran Khan should offer more incentives to overseas Pakistanis, to send money home to Pakistan.  Perhaps banks can offer high interest accounts, like money market accounts that are guaranteed by the government.  I should be able to open a bank account online and have access to it from anywhere in the world.  I should be able to make online transfers to my Pakistani bank accounts without having to think about it.  Now that the fear of dirty money is eliminated, we should have this flexibility.  I mean all London does is, it attracts money from all over the world because it is easy and safe to do it using the British banks.  Karachi should be the next London. Pakistanis need to learn the concept of saving and watching the pot grow. This will make banks hold more cash. 

We can build our way out of the recession the world is facing. Clean energy and clean water are key to the success of our nation, going forward.  There has to be more done to harness the Solar energy in the deserts of Pakistan.

I had plans 2 years ago to move to Pakistan and start some of these projects, unfortunately, COVID-19 has slowed down my ambition for one more year.  

Allah is great and the opportunity will present itself soon Inshallah. 

~Akhtar.

Comment by Riaz Haq on February 10, 2021 at 7:26am

#Turkey-#Pakistan joint #military exercise begins in Tarbela with both nations' #SpecialOps participating. It includes counter-terrorism, close quarter combat, cordon & search, rappelling, fire and move techniques, helicopter rappelling, hostage rescue. http://v.aa.com.tr/2138335

A three-week-long joint military exercise involving Turkish and Pakistani special forces began in northwestern Pakistan on Tuesday.

The opening ceremony of the exercise ATATURK-XI 2021 was held at the Pakistani military's Special Service headquarters in Tarbela, located in Khyber Pakhtunkwa province that borders neighboring Afghanistan, said a statement from the Pakistan Army.

Turkish Special Forces and troops of Pakistani military's elite Special Services Group are participating in the exercise.

The exercise includes, counter-terrorism, close quarter battle, cordon and search, rappelling, fire and move techniques, helicopter rappelling, compound clearance, hostage and rescue and free fall operations.

"The joint military exercise will further strengthen the bond of two brotherly nations and will help in adapting the emerging trends in military modernization and cooperation," the statement said.

Ankara and Islamabad have increased defense and military cooperation in recent years.

In July 2018, Pakistan Navy signed a contract for the acquisition of four Turkish-built MILGEM corvettes with Turkish state-owned defense contractor ASFAT. According to the plan, two corvettes will be built in Turkey and the next two will be built in Pakistan which also involves technology transfer.

In October 2019, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan along with then Pakistan Navy Chief Adm. Zafar Mahmood Abbasi had cut the first metal plate of the first MILGEM Ada class corvette during a ceremony in Istanbul.

Turkey is one of the 10 countries in the world which can build, design, and maintain warships using its national capabilities.

Comment by Riaz Haq on February 10, 2021 at 12:06pm

For the first time in over two decades, Pakistan is not a foreign-policy priority for a new US administration.

https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/biden-needs-a...

The United States cannot match China’s economic investment in Pakistan or in the region for that matter, but it can influence the direction Pakistan takes. That possibility is greater now than at any time in recent memory as there are significant changes to fundamentals that have long defined Pakistan’s strategic calculus.

First, the United States is no longer fixated on terrorism, which means it is no longer paying attention to Pakistan in the ways it did after the 9/11 attacks. Pakistan is keen to find new ways to engage the United States. These sentiments, exhibited at the highest levels of military and civilian leadership in Pakistan, are motivated by the pragmatic realization that the country can no longer take US interest for granted as the United States shrinks its presence in Afghanistan.

Pakistan has offered a new approach based on economic security that seeks collaboration with the United States on climate change, technology, and a host of other non-security issues. Translating this new approach into a reality is going to take a lot of work, as Pakistan falls short in keeping its own economic house in order.

This is related to the second fundamental change: the economy. Dwindling foreign aid, dips in labor remittances owing to the collapse of Gulf Cooperation Council economies, and decreases in Pakistan’s textile and manufacturing exports have put the country in dire straits. Pakistan has long borrowed to finance existing debt. That is no longer possible, and payments on its short- to medium-term debts are converging. Pakistan needs international assistance, preferably via loans and economic aid, and it must grow its exports to boost its economy. The United States should take note that under these circumstances Pakistan will be more open to policy compromises that could provide relief on these fronts.

Third, Saudi Arabia no longer serves as Pakistan’s strategic depth. After nearly five decades of close ties, Saudi Arabia is decisively distancing itself from Pakistan. Last year it canceled a three-billion-dollar loan after Islamabad complained about lack of Saudi support for Pakistan over Indian suppression in Kashmir.

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Fifth, the paradigm for India-Pakistan relations is changing. With Saudi Arabia, China, and the United States de-linking conflict between India and Pakistan from their respective relationships with those countries, Pakistan is being forced to reevaluate how it engages its traditional partners on the defining feature of its foreign relations with many countries: competition with India.

The cumulative effect of these five developments has been to unmoor Pakistan’s strategic calculus, leaving the country somewhat adrift and unsure of its standing and future direction. The changes introduce serious questions for policymakers. For example, what will the end of an Islamic foreign-policy paradigm mean for Pakistan-based militancy, which has long enjoyed the patronage of financiers based in Persian Gulf states? What will the distancing of China and Saudi Arabia from India-Pakistan tensions mean when the two neighbors come to the brink of nuclear war?

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Pakistan’s trade agreement with China, for example, makes it an ideal re-exporting hub. US companies can build manufacturing facilities in Pakistan and add value to American goods there, enabling those goods to access the Chinese market as Pakistani exports. There is also room for the United States to engage Pakistan’s private sector in Afghanistan. Already Pakistani construction and consumer-goods companies are looking to take advantage of a peace dividend in Afghanistan. Islamabad is also hoping to export food and agricultural goods across the border. Investment and trade can anchor relations between the United States and Pakistan in economics.

Comment by Riaz Haq on February 11, 2021 at 10:37am

#Pakistan successfully test fires #BaburIA surface-to-surface #CruiseMissile from a multi-tube launcher. Train-hugging, radar-evading, low-flying Babur 1A is capable of hitting land & sea targets with “high precision” up to 490 km (about 280 miles) away. https://www.khon2.com/international/pakistan-successfully-test-fire...

Pakistan’s military on Thursday successfully test-fired a short range surface-to-surface ballistic missile capable of hitting land and sea targets with “high precision” up to 490 kilometers (about 280 miles) away, the military said.

In a statement, it said the Babur cruise missile was “launched from a state-of-the-art Multi Tube Missile Launch Vehicle.”

According to the statement, Pakistan’s President Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan and the country’s military leadership congratulated scientists and engineers over successful launch of the missile.

Pakistan’s nuclear and missile program is primarily aimed at countering threats from neighboring India, which also routinely conducts missile tests.

Both nations have nuclear arms and have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir since gaining independence from Britain in 1947. The disputed Himalayan region is split between them and claimed by both.

Comment by Riaz Haq on February 12, 2021 at 7:06pm
India, US: Drifting apart? #US readout of #Biden-#Modi call refers to “working together… through the Quad,” #Indian readout makes no mention of Quad, suggesting that #NewDelhi's reluctance to joining hands with Washington to take on #China.
 
Statements issued by India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the White House on the recent conversation between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden provide an early warning of issues that could become irritants, or worse, in the bilateral relationship in the coming months. Both statements highlighted convergence on a rule-based global order, a free and open Indo-Pacific and shared commitment to democratic values. Convergence on these issues suggests that there is ampl
 
The White House statement highlights Biden’s “desire to defend democratic institutions and norms around the world.” In the past, India may have echoed this desire or brushed it aside as mere lofty rhetoric that is often expressed in summit statements...That it finds no mention in the MEA statement is telling. Read alongside recent US reactions to developments in India, Biden’s interest in defending democratic norms abroad is not something that pleases the Modi government, given the perception among...
Comment by Riaz Haq on February 12, 2021 at 7:09pm

The #Farmersprotests Are a Turning Point for #India’s #democracy but #US sees India as an important counterweight to #China . | Time

https://time.com/5938041/india-farmer-protests-democracy/

For decades, the world has turned a blind eye to India’s abysmal human rights record. This approach draws from a broad perception of India as a strategic ally.

For one, the United States, like much of the global community, sees India as an important counterweight to China. They are the two most populous nations and the fastest growing trillion-dollar economies in the world. Global powers tend to prefer India because of its standing as the world’s largest democracy. At the same time, India’s adversarial relationship with neighboring Pakistan, as well as its increasingly anti-Muslim policies, position it as a bulwark against “Islamic terrorism.”

These two bogeymen—Chinese imperialism and Islamic terrorism—are the specters that have given India a free pass.

Over the past few years, however, the rise of right-wing authoritarianism has brought India’s democratic standing into question. India has plummeted in democracy metrics across the board, including the Press Freedom Index, where it now ranks 142 of 180 countries, four spots behind South Sudan and three behind Myanmar. The Human Freedom Index ranks India at 111 of 162 countries, just four ahead of Russia. This past September human rights group Amnesty International ceased operations in India following sustained assaults from the Indian government.

The full force and authoritarian tactics of the Indian government have been showcased as they respond to the largest protest in their history. Since September, tens of thousands of Indian have gathered in New Delhi to protest three new agricultural laws that aim to deregulate India’s agricultural industry and open it up to free-market forces. While the need for reforms is urgent, farmers are concerned that the new legislation privileges corporations and harms the everyday farmer. Finally, on Feb. 2, after months of protests, the world’s eyes started to focus on the Indian government’s undemocratic measures, including press censorship, journalist detention, internet shutdowns, and violent crackdowns against the non-violent protestors.

Hindu nationalists have used the occasion to call for genocidal violence against protestors. Twitter removed a tweet from Indian actress Kangana Ranaut that advocated ethnic cleansing of the protestors. Twitter also suspended 500 accounts that called for a repeat of the 1984 pogroms, a dark moment in India’s history.

These calls refer to a period of Indian history reminiscent of what’s happening today. In the 1970s and 1980s, Punjabi Sikhs led similar agitations that called for better government support of agriculture. Their sustained protests along with a self-determination movement drew the ire of the Indian government, which painted the efforts as anti-national. Following a disinformation campaign, the government launched a series of attacks that resulted in mass atrocities and egregious human rights abuses: the military assault on Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple) of Amritsar in June of 1984, the state-sponsored pogroms in November of 1984 following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by two of her Sikh bodyguards, and, in the decade that followed, a campaign of extra-judicial killings that resulted in tens of thousands of civilian deaths. The government of India has never acknowledged or apologized for this spree of violence, and it remains a visceral memory for many Indians, especially Punjabi Sikhs today.

Understanding the state violence in Punjab during the 1980s helps us see the grievances that Punjabi farmers have with the central government. It also shows how the Indian state deploys and enacts violence against its own citizens, and, perhaps most crucially, anticipates what might happen in India today if the Indian government is not held accountable for its current undemocratic actions.

Comment by Riaz Haq on February 13, 2021 at 8:23am

#China’s PLA destroyer flotilla joins 45-nation #navy drills in #Pakistan with #US, #Russian navies. #Aman21 #military exercises will be in 2 phases: Harbor phase and Sea phase - Global Times

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202102/1215559.shtml

A Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy flotilla led by a Type 052D destroyer on Thursday started participating in a multinational exercise in Pakistan, a unique platform experts said that provides opportunities for Chinese and Russian navies to come together with their counterparts from the US and other Western countries.

Invited by the Pakistan Navy, the PLA Navy 119 Flotilla arrived in waters close to Karachi, Pakistan on Thursday to participate in the multinational exercise AMAN-21, after the flotilla wrapped up its escort mission in the Gulf of Aden, the PLA Daily reported on Friday.

The 119 Flotilla, led by the Type 052D guided missile destroyer Guiyang and consisted of also the Type 054A guided missile frigate Zaozhuang and the Type 903A comprehensive supplement ship Dongpinghu, was the 36th escort task force to the Gulf of Aden setting out from Qingdao, East China's Shandong Province on September 3, 2020, and completed a handover ceremony to the 37th escort task force on January 31 in the Gulf of Aden after completing 38 escort missions on 52 ships around the region, the PLA Navy announced in a statement released on February 1.

The Global Times learned from the Pakistan Navy on Friday that the AMAN-21 exercise is scheduled in two phases: the harbor phase and the sea phase. The harbor phase will comprise of the International Maritime Conference, seminars, table talks, cross ships visits, calls on and the International Band Display and Maritime Counter Terrorism Demonstration, while the sea phase includes practical execution of operational plans and activities finalized during the harbor phase.

The exercise has been planned with focused objectives, which include enhancing interoperability with regional and extra-regional navies thereby acting as a bridge between the regions, and the display of united resolve against terrorism and crimes in the maritime domain, according to the Pakistan Navy.

Naval forces from more than 40 countries, including those from Russia, and the US as well as some other NATO countries will also participate in the exercise, foreign media reported.

This is the eighth time the PLA Navy has participated in the Pakistan Navy-initiated AMAN series multinational exercises, which aim at enhancing professional communication and friendly interactions with other navies, the PLA Daily said.

The drill comes after increased military tensions between China and the US in regions like the South China Sea and the Taiwan Straits since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and former US president Donald Trump's play of military cards on China, and it also marks the first known time China and the US have been in the same military exercise since US President Joe Biden assumed office in January, a Chinese military expert who asked to remain anonymous told the Global Times on Friday.

In November 2020, the Chinese and US militaries held a three-day online seminar on humanitarian assistance and disaster reduction, and this time the two militaries can get the chance to operate together, get to know each other better and build up mutual trust, when misunderstanding was on the rise over the past few months, the expert said.

It is also a rare occasion in which Russia joins an exercise together with NATO countries, analysts said.

The exercise this time is unique in a sense that it provides an opportunity to navies from China, Russia and the US and other Western navies to come under one platform, an officer from the Pakistan Navy told the Global Times on Friday on the condition of anonymity.

Comment by Riaz Haq on February 13, 2021 at 12:48pm

According to the document, China sees India’s strategic thought as having developed in multiple stages after Independence.

by Shekhar Gupta

https://theprint.in/opinion/how-does-pla-see-indias-strategic-ambit...


The Chinese paper notes that there are four inter-woven characteristics to India’s strategic thought. It says India has a strong geopolitical core since the nation believes it’s the heart of Asia, and its region of influence is South Asia. The paper also says Pakistan and China are India’s biggest obstacles in achieving its geopolitical goals.

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According to the Chinese, India laid major emphasis on building its economy rather than defence. However, since Pakistan remained a threat, there was limited offence but increased deployment on the Western front, and movement to the northern frontiers along Tibet, which, from the Chinese perspective, is south of the McMahon line.


“Essentially, what that means is that India asserted control over new regions of Arunachal Pradesh, or what the Chinese call South Tibet. But I suspect this is also an oblique reference to the fact that it was in this period that India went up to Tawang and asserted control,” said Gupta. By 1958, according to the Chinese, India gained control over all contested areas near the India-China border.

Between 1960 and 70, the paper says India’s strategy focused on expansion on two fronts, especially after the 1962 war, when the country started building its military power. In 1964, it started a defence modernisation plan with the first defence five-year-plan, pegged at Rs 5,000 crore. The paper says this led to two things — it gave India greater strength for its operations in the West, and provided in-depth defence against China.

In the next two decades, between 1970 and the late 1980s, the paper notes, India’s objective was to maintain land and control the sea. According to it, India had contained Pakistan at this point and its focus shifted towards gaining control over the sea, particularly the northern part of the Indian Ocean. India started focusing on building its Navy to gain power in South Asia.

In the 90s, the focus shifted from regional offence to regional deterrence. By this time, the paper says, the traditional view of annihilatory war had changed. So, India tried to build influence in an entire region on the back of a strategy of regional deterrence, from the Himalayas to the Indian Ocean, from Iran in the West to Myanmar in the East.

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Indo-centricism has been identified as another objective, one the Chinese think India has inherited from the British. India considers itself the heart of the continent, and regions at its peripheries, including Kashmir, Assam, Bangladesh, Sikkim and Bhutan, are its internal line of defence. The country also wants Tibet as a buffer zone with China. The paper says India relies on the Chanakyan philosophy, dealing with peripheral nations as rivals and regions that are far off as friends.

According to China, India wants to dominate South Asia and the Indian Ocean Region, and rise as a first rate world power for which a strong but limited offensive is needed. The paper also says India has been ‘nibbling’ away at Chinese territory in the meantime.

“Chinese say this ‘nibbling’ has been done rather carefully, to turn defence into offence during war time,” Gupta said.

Finally, the paper says, India’s strategic thought emphasises deterrence in all directions. This analysis breaks India’s deterrence strategy into two distinct halves — ambition for dominance and ambition for deterrence.

“India knows that its military power is limited, so for the second one, India has reached out to countries like the US and Japan, and improved its relations to get more people into the tent… you can see that the Chinese scholars had foreseen the coming up of the Quad in 2013,” Gupta said.

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