Pakistan’s Role in the Region
Talk at FSA, 26 February 2019
World is changing rapidly:
- Post WWII order is crumbling: Transition from uni to multi polar.
- Change is ubiquitous: Trade, Immigration, Nationalism.
- Major power competition intensifying. Trump’s America First and Strategies.
South Asia too is impacted by the global trends:
- US tilt towards
India, a destabilizing factor for South Asia.
- China Pakistan alignment.
- Afghanistan. A change in US approach has kindled ray of hope.
- Broader ME. US approach fueling Iran Saudi rivalry.
Role that Pakistan can play in the region:
- CT achievements, Afghanistan peace (US withdrawal, talks with Taliban) Spoilers: NUG, regional players.
- Dealing with Modi’s India: Pulwama of 14 Feb, kinetic vs non kinetic options. Persecution of Kashmiris and Muslims. Water, FATF, Jhadev.
- Balancing relations between US and China: Competition, Indo Pacific strategy, Gwadar.
- Delicate balancing act in the ME. KSA vs Iran. MBS visit to Pk 17 Feb. Sistan incident of 13 Feb.
- Internal challenges: Economic pressures shrink foreign policy choices, Need aid, IMF. Political stability, Extremism, Youth, Image.
- Quaid guidance:
Peace within and without. No aggressive designs.
- US-China: Not a zero sum for us.
- India: Dialogue, but no compromise on K.
- Iran-KSA: Keep the balance.
Afghanistan: Hope kindled. Facilitate US Taliban talks. Intra afghan talks. Help build regional consensus.