Though minor in strength and economy, Pakistan is among very important Muslim nations and hence enemies of Islam have destabilized it. Having maintained good relations with Saudi Arabia and Iran, Pakistan has played important roles in Islamic world but, unfortunately, also has been aiding the anti-Islamic nations as well. That is source s and cause of tragedy of Pakistan.
Pakistan played mediatory role between USA and China and brought them together in many ways and today, while USA has destabilized Pakistan, Beijing is seen subsidizing the American economy and capitalism, thereby boosting the imperialist tentacles of all anti-Islamic nations, globally.
Islamabad has not been able to identify or choose its allies. By helping USA and NATO in invading, terrorizing and destabilizing Afghanistan, Pakistan has committed a big sin, willingly or otherwise.
It indeed unfortunate that right from its inception as a new soverign nation in Asia to look after the legitimate concerns of Muslims who hitherto had suffered heavily as a minority in united India under British rule, Pakistan has suffered mainly due to Indian ill-focus seeking make it a weak and destabilized nation. New Delhi has used all techniques to achieve its objective in Pakistan which now stands destabilized and economically weak.
Today Pakistan is being contained not just by India but by both USA and its new strategic partner India which has made efforts to shift its allegiance from Moscow to Washington to retain Jammu Kashmir’s occupational status. Pakistan while the sport Islamabad receives from china is unable to force the Indo-US duo moving about with Asia pivot to stay away from destabilizing Pakistan any further.
It appears, India also achieved to split US-Pakistan relations to some extent. A weak and destabilized Pakistan is the target of US led capitalist-imperialist nations which it has served so long for obtaining mere service charges. With US kicking its major non-NATO ally Pakistan in order to make India happy, Pakistan finds itself increasingly isolated.
Pakistan finds itself in isolation. Possibly Islamabad had never expected its NATO boss insult and abandon Pakistan once its objective of destabilization of Islamic Afghanistan.
Pakistan has never been a strong nation in any respect: in economy, politics technology, territory – not even promotion of Islamic faith as a Muslim nation in South Asia. As for sports and technology Pakistan is a failed state, unable to secure a firm policy for sports and technology except missiles and nukes, thanks to China. Today, Pakistan is big zero in intentional sports arena even in a fake sport called cricket which the Pakistani government promoted as the only “useful” sport for its 100s and 50s making Pakistani batboys the “proud sportsmen”.
In fact, in order to make Pakistan look a big zero even in false sport Cricket, jointly schemed against Pakistani bowlers and got them out of international cricket and Pakistan has to suffer because its American masters ask them to do more on genocides of Muslims in Pakistan and Afghanistan and earn the ”needy” service charges from USA and EU. Pakistan should also know part of money it receives from USA belongs to India which regularly pays huge sums for the continued support its Kashmir claim and for containing Pakistan.
Pathetically, Pakistan is not at all bothered about its weaknesses in every field as it makes its plans only to suit Indian strategic cases. This method caused Pakistan heavily for when India is moving fast in economy and technology, Pakistan is stand still, hoping the USA or China to help and do the thinking as well as for Islamabad. This has been the outcome of a dependent policy Pakistan has pursued so long and deliberate attempt to block non-rich and non-aristocratic families from ruling Pakistan.
Interestingly, all efforts by Pakistan to forge ties with Russia could not take off as both India and USA applied pressure on Moscow not to promote and help stabilize Islamic Pakistan. Russian President Putin was supposed to visit Pakistan on an official agreement but he abruptly cancelled the trip without even specifying the reasons for his harsh action. Obviously, Putin’s behavior belittling Islamabad made New Delhi happy and contented. China put India, seeking big status as being a strategic partner in its place by refusing to let it enter the NSG.
USA is well versed in all tricks of bullying Pakistan to coerce it do exactly what CIA wants. Recently, a former top American diplomat has said the USA should adopt a policy of “total isolation” against Pakistan to send a signal that it faces the prospect of becoming a “second North Korea” if it continues destabilising Afghanistan by supporting the Taliban and Haqqani network.
Such a policy would send a signal to Pakistan that it faces the prospect of becoming a “second North Korea” unless it changes its course on Afghanistan. Khalilzad was the highest ranking Muslim American in the history of the United States. He was the US Ambassador to the United Nations under President George W Bush. He also served as the US ambassador to Afghanistan and headed the country s diplomatic mission in Iraq. “If Pakistan truly changes course, then the US should be willing to be supportive in a significant way. But we have to substantially escalate the cost of Pakistan’s hostile policy in Afghanistan,” he said.
Obviously, USA exploited vulnerable Pakistan for its domestic and foreign needs as its alliance added credence to US lies. Following the Sept-11hoax, Washington easily bullied Islamabad to support the US cause by letting NTO use Pakistani territories for its anti-Islamic terror operations first targeting Islamizing Afghanistan and gradually killing Pakistanis themselves and its military personnel. Pakistan willingly supported all nefarious operations because of India factor.
Over decades of joint operations by USA-Israel on the one hand and USA-Pakistan-Turkey on the other made Pakistan a weak nation depending on foreign aid to sustain its military spending to catch up with fast rising Indian military. Not just a weak nation, but Pakistan is also rendered a slave nation now, unable to decide its requirements as USA refuses aid to Islamabad.
Had Pakistan not joined Indian agenda for invading Jammu Kashmir by annexing parts of Kashmir, perhaps, Pakistan as newly born soverign nation would have freely devised its plans and programs for the better designing of a strong Islamic state!
USA did not let Pakistan to become a strong Islamic nation to advance the Islamic curse along with other Muslim nations, especially Arab nations and Iran and Turkey, for instance. Later, USA made Pakistan a Muslim nation supporting led terror operation as Islam.
Today, Pakistan is a major pauper puppet regime of USA seeking for a comity of puppet nations in Islamic world.
Earlier, as Pakistan was all out supporting the NATO terror operations in Afghanistan, Washington had given Islamabad to understand that whenever, if at all, NATO leaves Afghanistan the USA would make Pakistan the controlling nation of Afghanistan plus all terror goods left behind in Afghanistan after the “war” would belling to Pakistani military. It was just a hard mischief played out on Pakistan to encourage the regime to actively participate in the genocides of Afghans which Pakistani military did in perfection. . .
In order to make things easy, USA has used India to upset Pakistan’s plan for future Afghanistan. “In the aftermath of the US drone attack killing Taliban leader Mullah Mansour, increase the pressure by suspending all assistance to Pakistan — military and civilian — and move towards isolating Pakistan internationally, including not supporting IMF renewal of financial support,” Zalmay Khalilzad, a former top American diplomat in the Bush Administration, said. Khalilzad, who played a key role America’s policy towards Afghanistan and Pakistan and Iraq after 9/11 terror attack, said the US should adopt a policy of “total isolation” against Pakistan.
India fails Pakistan
Right from the day one as a soverign nation Pakistan always has to be on the heels preparing for dealing with any deadly eventuality with India. Then onwards, Islamabad spent all its resources and entire attention on making WMD to take the nuclear challenge from New Delhi very seriously. And Pakistan also became a nuclear power. Like India, Pakistan also refused to sign the NPT after getting nukes arsenals.
Constantly ill-focused by its Hindu neighbor India from which it ceded to form a soverign nation meant for protection of Muslims and promotion of their genuine interests, Pakistan sought to protect its interests by aiding a capitalist-imperialist USA. USA also brought anti-Islamic Israel to be friends with Islamic Pakistan while Israel began selling terror goods to Hindutva India.
And, how far Pakistani military is strong or modern enough to face the new threats from all sources around is not clear as yet. Pakistani regime failed to protect its citizens, protect the interests of Islam because it (Musharraf) attacked the mosques, killing the Imams in order to protect the interests of foreign nations that are deadly anti-Islamic. Pakistan began thinking in US mode and refused to protect the Islamic faith and Muslim interests.
When India, with help from Soviet Russia, blasted it first bomb against all nuclear regulations of UN and IAEA, Pakistan became too scary and worried about its exultance as a weak nation vulnerable to Indian provocations.
The point is Pakistan’s energies were wasted on dealing with challenges of Hindu India as both share parts of neighboring Jammu Kashmir. In order to retain the parts of Jammu Kashmir they occupy in their own ways, both India and Pakistan used the nukes as deterrence.
As India got all sorts of help from Moscow, Pakistan leaned towards the USA for help, but the US help does not come free. As Pakistan moved to get aid cum military assistance from Washington as return favors for helping the anti-Islam8c forces in killing Muslims, Pakistani planning has fallen apart.
Pakistan has taken US help for granted and needs to understand the complexity of post Cold War and relations with Pakistan’s two neighboring states. Pakistan has absolutely failed to maintain robust relations with its all neighbors. Over years of over dependence on US money and terror goods for its existence has brought Pakistan to become a destabilized and confused state.
Surveying all its immediately neighboring countries except China, Pakistan has maintained ties with Nepal and Sri Lanka but failed to sustain good relations with Afghanistan, China, India and Iran. This indicates a failure of Pakistani foreign policy in a region that gave rise to its isolation, which will have serious existential repercussions in the long run.
Pakistan’s obsession with India has strained its western border, affecting its own Pashtun population on its side of the Durand Line, mainly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA. Movement across the Afghan-Pakistani border generates revenue for both Afghanistan and Pakistan. The two countries exchange goods and services worth some 2.7 billion Euros ($3 billion) annually across the Durand Line. Despite the illegal trade and smuggling, both countries benefit a great deal from cross-border movement.
Even though a wrong notion was spread in the media about USA supporting and helping Pakistan, the fact is that it is China that has been helping Pakistan even with nuclear development. Both are not one of the fastest relationships developing in the world.
The idea of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor might work for its eastern border but not for its western border with Afghanistan, whose own dynamics must be recognized. The Durand Line as a border is much less relevant to ordinary citizens than to the state. Poverty, poor infrastructure, healthcare and other important state functions tend to be precarious on both sides, and the weak presence of the state has left locals on both sides to provide for their own needs. Pakistan needs to realize that hostile relations with Afghanistan are unsustainable in the light of its growing regional isolation.
Logic fails while Indian economy is steadily rising; Pakistan is getting weakened day by day. As India’s power in Afghanistan expands, especially its soft power, Pakistan is losing its position of economic and strategic privilege. Since India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power, he has paid two visits to Afghanistan. On his first visit, he inaugurated the new Afghan parliament building that was built with the support of Indian government, while on his second visit on June 4, to the heart of Asia, he inaugurated the $290 million Indian-funded Salma Dam, one of the country’s biggest hydroelectric projects. Pakistan, on the other hand, has been dealing with the awkwardness of either stating its reputation or support for the Haqqani group or the Taliban insurgent leader Mullah Mansour, killed in a drone attack on its soil.
In fact, America’s Asia pivot targeting Russia and China has brought China still closer to Pakistan as India crawls faster toward USA and Israel- the nations that hate Islam and promote fascism and imperialism.
Weak Islamic faith and crisis
In fact, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia gave credence to American claims of Islamic terrorism and USA used both to propagate anti-Islamic themes, including Islamophobia. But o when it achieved the goal of killing millions of Muslims in what looks like a permanent war on Islam and making Islam look like terror religion, USA dropped Pakistan and adopted India as a strategic partner.
Pakistan has absolutely failed to maintain robust relations with its all neighbors. Surveying all its immediately neighboring countries except China, Pakistan has failed to sustain good relations with Afghanistan, China, India and Iran. This indicates a failure of Pakistani foreign policy in a region that gave rise to its isolation, which will have serious existential repercussions in the long run.
USA and its western allies have isolated Pakistan and Pakistani puppet regime is at fault for its facing isolation now. Pakistan is Islamic only in name sake and the fervor it had when the Islamic nation came into being in 1947 is no more in the vogue. US led war on terror or Islam has made Pakistan look like an anti-Islamic nation, helping all anti-Islamic nations on payment basis. Pakistan does not openly help India because of the Kashmir issue.
The post-9/11 involvement of the international community in Afghanistan and its commitment to quelling the Taliban-led insurgency have, however, left Pakistan regionally and internationally isolated, despite its involvement as a key ally in the War on Terror.
Pakistan readily agreed to US demand for Pakistani lands for the NATO troops to pass through to attack Afghanistan. Possibly Pakistan regime thought if it did not agree that would give opportunity to India on a platter and USA and India would jointly attack Pakistan on the lie that Osama has sneaked into Pakistani tribal areas.
Any way USA did attack Pakistan as well after the fall of Afghanistan even while Pakistan was helping the NATO, killing many civilians and military personnel.
Regionally, the leaders of Iran, India and Afghanistan have signed a historic deal to develop the strategic port of Chabahar in Iran, and agreed on a three-nation pact to build a transport-and-trade corridor through Afghanistan, which could not only help strengthen regional connectivity by boosting economic growth in the region, but by the same token reduce the time and cost of doing business with both Central Asia and Europe. Pakistan’s suspicion of India threatens to entrench relations of conflict and competition at the expense of cooperation and stability with all its neighbors. The knee-jerk reaction of Pakistan’s foreign policy to the Chabahar port was to close down the Torkham border crossing with Afghanistan and enforce visa restrictions for both sides of the Durand Line, leaving those on both sides in the lurch.
Many speculate that the tightening security at the Torkham border is a political move rather than a curb on militant activities
Sure of getting the left over arms of NATO forces in Afghanistan as well as the nation of Afghans for control after the NATO leaves it, Pakistan has failed to utilize the shared cultural, linguistic, economic and ethnic realities of its western borders, while India has moved in to execute huge economic development, both real and symbolic, of the Afghan state. Despite having a Pashtun president in power in Afghanistan, and the Pakistani establishment’s claim of having forged closer ties with Afghanistan’s Pashtun population, ties could not move beyond the historic burden of Pakistan’s deep involvement in Afghanistan.
India’s containment mechanism
The post-9/11 involvement of the international community in Afghanistan and its commitment to quelling the Taliban-led insurgency have, however, left Pakistan regionally and internationally isolated, despite its involvement as a key ally in the War on Terror.
Following the Kargil War in 1999 with India, Pakistan faced international isolation, and national anxieties shifted to its western border, in order to stave off the very real risk of nuclear escalation with India and continue with its proxy war in Afghanistan. Pakistani foreign-policy makers and mostly military elites thought that acquiring the upper hand in Afghanistan and containing the warring tribesmen next door would be a much easier task.
India has been exploiting the isolationist and weakened position of Pakistan to its own advantage.
Regionally, the leaders of Iran, India and Afghanistan have signed a historic deal to develop the strategic port of Chabahar in Iran, and agreed on a three-nation pact to build a transport-and-trade corridor through Afghanistan, which could not only help strengthen regional connectivity by boosting economic growth in the region, but by the same token reduce the time and cost of doing business with both Central Asia and Europe.
Pakistan’s suspicion of India threatens to entrench relations of conflict and competition at the expense of cooperation and stability with all its neighbors. The knee-jerk reaction of Pakistan’s foreign policy to the Chabahar port was to close down the Torkham border crossing with Afghanistan and enforce visa restrictions for both sides of the Durand Line, leaving those on both sides in the lurch.
The anti-Islamic and anti-Pakistan spirit that Indians and their teams display in tournaments is missing among Pakistani team and players. One gets the impression they don’t want India is defeated and they have to help India save its bi brotherly prestige as the deadly faces of a defeated Indian team would be horrible to watch. Or, maybe Pakistanis are really weak. Not very sure
International relations are governed by two basic facts, rather plain truths: there is no free lunch and there are no permanent enemies and friendships in international politics. USA helped Pakistan for its own causes in South Asia and Mideast
Depending too much first on USA and now on China for their economic assistance and defending itself from possible Indian maneuvering and attacks, Pakistan does not seem to have any clear cut polices of their own but only follows what the USA and Saudi dictates, supported USA on its own to keep India out of US reach, but the US ally Saudi role in pressuring Islamabad to make Pakistan a safe place for the NATO terror gangs with its target on Islam and Muslims, their resources.
Pakistani policymakers regard the instability of the western border and its Pashtun population’s sacrifices rendered easier to deal with and placate than any disturbance on its eastern border of Punjab, in the context of Pakistan-India relations and engagement with Afghanistan.
Foreign-policy makers interpret the shift in border hostilities from east to west as being in the broader national interest of Pakistan, and they consider tragedies like the Peshawar Army Public School attack, where 140 children were mercilessly killed, or the young lives lost at Bacha Khan University, as collateral damage in the pursuit of Pakistan’s core national interests and territory, particularly Punjab.
Because of USA, Pakistan has failed to utilize the shared cultural, linguistic, economic and ethnic realities of its western borders, while India has moved in to execute huge economic development, both real and symbolic, of the Afghan state. Despite having a Pashtun president in power in Afghanistan, and the Pakistani establishment’s claim of having forged closer ties with Afghanistan’s Pashtun population, ties could not move beyond the historic burden of Pakistan’s deep involvement in Afghanistan.
USA knows too well that there are potential risks in isolating Pakistan, with continuing the current course in Afghanistan and Pakistan and therefore has called for having a contingency plan to deal with the nuclear scenario risks.
Indians say the role that Pakistan has played is that of a double game. It has signaled that it wants to be helpful to the USA in fighting terrorism and stabilizing Afghanistan. But in reality, it has been energetically supporting the Taliban and the Haqqani network to achieve the very opposite. “That has been the essence of the Pakistan policy on Afghanistan,” they said.
A sovereign state’s foreign policy changes with the times, and according to its domestic needs and external changes in global politics. Nations have national interests, and there are no permanent enemies and friendships in international politics. Neighboring states can be a boon or a bane, depending on the ability to recognize one’s long-term interests of sustainable peace on its borders.
Pakistan currently has strained and difficult relations with all its neighbors except China which is helping with military and technological briefs.
While India has moved beyond the Cold war mindset, seeking profitable links with various countries of the ideological divide, Pakistan has been unable to define its foreign policy and national interests beyond a Cold War paradigm. An India-centric foreign policy, focusing on Kashmir as being a part of the country, has stalled Pakistan’s natural foreign-policy evolution and tainted its worldview of international politics. However, even though Pakistan is eager to make fronds with Russia, USA and India do not let Moscow pursue it sown foreign policy.
Even while Pakistan would try to formulate its foreign policy at macro and micro levels, it would still expect change of mind in Washington for easy money. That is the problem which Islamabad must confront and over come.
Time is overdue for Pakistani government to search for alternatives in politics, economics, foreign policy and international relations. It is quite likely Pakistan incapable of changes, and so it may not change at all. But for other Muslim countries seeking “ties” with enemies of Islam like USA, Israel and India have a fundamental lesson to learn from Pakistan’s bitter experience. .
Rohingya repatriation between Myanmar-Bangladesh
Refugees find themselves in a situation of limbo because of the prolonged refugee scenario. They are neither eligible for repatriation nor do they qualify as citizens of the host nation or a third country. However, they must deal with the harsh reality of the nature of vicious politics because of the complexity of state systems and the institutional weaknesses of international institutions.
Prolonged refugees, according to UNHCR (2004), are trapped in an impenetrable and protracted condition of limbo. Despite not being in danger or facing threats, they significantly lack access to basic rights, financial aid, and support for their psychological and social needs. As they are pushed toward outside help, they feel unable to escape the core of forced dependence.
Are Rohingya refugees in some way contributing to an ongoing, serious refugee crisis? In relation to the Rohingya crisis, statistics from UNHCR shows that more than 0.7 million Rohingya fled to Bangladesh in 2017. There are 1.1 million Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, the prime minister of Bangladesh stated in 2018 during the 73rd United Nations General Assembly.
For this South Asian emerging nation in 2017, the flow of this deluge was nothing new. These migrants have been entering Bangladesh since the 1970s after being forcibly uprooted by the military dictatorship.
According to a survey, there were around 0.25 million refugees in Bangladesh throughout the 1990s. Nearly 0.02 million people were returned after the 2000s, but the SPDC (State Peace and Development Council) and the Bangladeshi government’s inability to settle their differences has made this process difficult to complete.
The world’s most persecuted minority, who is clearly stateless and has strong proof of persecution and genocide on account of race, ethnicity, and religion, is currently being cared for by Bangladesh. The responses of international organizations like the UN and its branches like the ICJ and IOM are not positive enough for Bangladesh in this regard to produce a permanent solution.
West African nation Gambia filed a 35-page application with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in November 2019 against Myanmar. The ICJ’s extraordinary victory in the Gambia v. Myanmar case regarding the ethnic cleansing and genocide of Rohingya people is the first of its kind. This was founded on an “erga omnes” premise, which periodically reports on the situation of the Rohingya.
However, Bangladesh continues to push for international organizations to take humanitarian action through the UN. Though this worry might attract their attention and drive them to consider ensuring human rights for these forcibly displaced persons, it has instead placed a heavy load on Bangladesh.
Tom Andrews, the UN special rapporteur on Myanmar, issued a warning to the international bodies regarding the Rohingya crisis just a few days ago during his visit to Bangladesh in December 2021. Bangladesh “cannot and should not bear this duty alone,” he said, urging foreign groups to express grave concern. He went on to say that Myanmar, not Bangladesh, was the origin of the conflict and where it will ultimately be resolved.
Bangladesh, a developing nation with a population of 160 million, is being horribly impacted by the Rohingya people in terms of social, economic, and political spheres. Rohingyas have been in a condition of limbo since at least 2017, which is now more than five years ago.
They have been relocated, assisted, and given security by Bangladesh and several international organizations, but they still yearn for a long-lasting solution.
Bangladesh has been taking every action imaginable to bring the Rohingya refugees’ home. Since the 2017 refugee inflow, the Bangladeshi government has worked with various international groups to promote peaceful voluntary repatriation; however, the Myanmar military junta has consistently resisted these efforts. Refugees from the Rohingya minority are currently suffering greatly as a result of the political unrest in Myanmar.
As Cox’s Bazar’s refugee camps are already overflowing with 1.1 million Rohingya refugees, the Bangladesh is moving them to Bhasan Char in order to provide for them improved living conditions.
International organizations had doubts regarding the safety and security of the Island; however, Bangladesh eventually persuaded them to cooperate. Bangladesh was left with no choice but to relocate some Rohingya refugees to Bhasan Char. Bangladesh now faces a security danger from overcrowded camps. The Rohingya camps in Bangladesh are home to numerous terrorist and armed rebel organizations. One of them is the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA). Despite the issues, Bangladesh has continued to push for bilateral discussions while also applying international pressure to the junta.
Myanmar, on the other hand, is a lawless state that disobeys international law and order. The arrangements established for the peaceful return of Rohingya refugees were broken.
In Myanmar, the regime has been increasingly hostile since the military takeover. Myanmar is utterly unwilling to help the Rohingya refugees develop a strong sense of desire for return. There is no “supranational” authority in anarchy, which is advantageous for Myanmar. It is now time for the international community to recognize that the Rohingya refugee crisis has grown into a regional security issue.
Myanmar-related news indicates a new genocide. the country’s rebel and protest groups are being repressed by the military junta with violence.
The Myanmar military is still buying new weapons from China and Russia, including the SU-30SME multi-role heavy fighter, the YAK-130 light attack advanced jet trainer, the K-8W advanced trainer, and Ming class attack submarine, among others, despite an arms embargo. The world community is concerned that these weapons could accidentally attack defenseless populations. A peaceful voluntary return will face further obstacles as a result of internal unrest in Myanmar.
The Rohingya catastrophe, which forced 1.1 million individuals to leave their country of birth due to state-sponsored persecution, was of a size that is easy to comprehend. When the state commits the crime, the environment becomes more hostile. The main duty of the state is to uphold the rights and interests of its citizens.
Refugees are currently skeptical of the military junta in Myanmar. They have a long and painful history of persecuting people. Therefore, persuading the refugees to return home voluntarily won’t be simple. Myanmar must extend their hands in mutually beneficial ways. More discussions between international parties, including the Rohingya, will build confidence and facilitate a peaceful voluntary return of the Rohingya refugees. Humanity and peace should ultimately triumph over all other factors.
Why the implementation of the CHT peace agreement is still elusive?
When the “Top boxer” of Bangladesh, for the past eight years, Sura Krishna Chakma raised the national flag of Bangladesh in the first-ever professional boxing tournament held in last month, it reminds the contribution of the UK Ching Marma and other minority people who fought valiantly in the Liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971.
Bangladesh began its independence journey with a population that is ethnically homogeneous, with less than 1% of the population being ethnically diverse. However, Bangladesh had struggled to deal with Chittagong Hill Tracts’ (CHT) tribal people as they have been waging an insurgency movement for autonomy. Later, Peace Accord was signed aiming to end the conflict in 1997. But, after 25 years of its signature, the treaty is still failing to instil trust among national political parties and factional groups. Currently, the situation in the CHT area is a complex mix of conflicts and negotiations. The area is also beset by ethnic tensions between indigenous communities and groups, interferences from neighbouring states, widespread poverty, resource scarcity, and low literacy rates.
Why peace in the CHT is still elusive?
In recent years, remote areas of CHT have become more prone to violence due to the involvement of various active groups in the area. The four ethnic political groups – PCJSS, Jana Samhati Samiti (Reformist-MN Larma), United People’s Democratic Front (UPDF) and UPDF (Ganatantrik) – in the region appear to be at odds with one another. They have no ideological disagreements but are involved in inter-conflict for narrow self-interest rather than protecting the minority rights. All factions have specific armed wings with advanced weapons such as rocket launchers, automatic sniper rifles, and heavy machine guns, according to law enforcement. They extort wood trade, cooking markets, livestock markets, transportation, and a variety of other services, each on their own turf. Ransom for the abduction of ethnic groups and Bangalis are also a major source of income. Contractors also have to pay at the rate of 10 percent of the original budget. To stay safe, locals were forced to maintain good relationships with all parties. They are compelled to pay monthly tributes to remain in their homes. There are even reports of indigenous women being abducted and raped by rival groups. They are so vulnerable and frightened that they do not even move after the sunset. The inter-group conflicts have claimed more than 1100 lives since the signing of the peace accord. Although according to the terms of the accord, the guerrillas were to surrender and surrender their weapons but many haven’t surrendered arms yet.
What’s to blame for the present unrest?
The agreement’s lethargic implementation has reignited separatist tendencies among the Paharis. Recently, the Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF), an insurgent organization of small ethnic group, demanded a separate state in CHT with full autonomy and threatened strict armed movement. Prior to this, The UPDF, a breakaway group, continues to oppose the treaty and seeks full regional autonomy.
The most pressing concern in CHT, however, is extensive Christianization among the tribal population. ‘Evangelization’ is generally carried out by the missionaries through a number of NGOs operating under the umbrella of “development partner.” Christian missionaries use money and other worldly trappings to entice poor tribal people to become Christians. So far, 4344 families in CHT became Christian in the last two decades and the number of churches increased dramatically from 274 in 1998 to 644 in 2022. It’s worth noting that more than a third of the Bandarban district’s tribal population is now Christian.
Impact of the Peace Accord on the Situation of ethnic People
Certainly, the Peace Accord made room and rendered opportunities for the CHT’s development. In these 25 years, comprehensive and systematic development efforts have contributed to the socio-economic development of the Pahari people, which immensely contributed in reducing the gap between the Pahari and Bengalis. Many tribes are well-integrated into mainstream middle-class Bangladeshi society, with officers and ambassadors serving in Bangladesh’s military and diplomatic corps.
With its contrasting topography of hilly terrains, immense lakes, wide-open spaces, as well as rich ethnic and cultural diversity, tourism industry flourished in the CHT. Tourism boosted due to the infrastructural projects connecting the remote and mystic parts with the main areas of the country and security ensured by the law enforcement agencies from the precarious hilly terrain to the remote bordering area. The treaty also integrated the CHT people into the mainstream economy, while permitting them to retain their specific ethnic and cultural identities.
The ‘Small Ethnic Groups Cultural Organisation Act 2010’ was passed in order to safeguard and foster the cultural expressions of Bangladesh’s small ethnic groups. Small ethnic groups’ rights are now more recognized by the government in Bangladesh than before. The development allocation per capita in the CHT districts is significantly higher than in the rest other districts. The government has amended some laws to allow for the implementation of the peace accord mainly the formation of the ‘CHT Regional Council’ and the ‘Ministry of CHT Affairs’, establishing the ‘Land commission’ to deal with conflicts over land and natural resource rights. The government is also gradually reducing military camps. The number decreased from 546 to 206. Another feature of post-agreement development in the hills has been the influx of development partners and the extension of NGOs and INGOs in the CHT area.
The first and foremost, the Bangladesh Government must take into cognizance the factors behind the failure of establishing peace in CHT areas to ensure peace in the hilly region. Secondly, the implementation of the remaining articles should also need to be prioritized. So far, out of 78 provisions, 48 provisions of the Accord have been implemented. Hill people strongly believe that the implementation of the Accord is the key to solving problems in the CHT. Thirdly, it is crucial to control the armed factions to evict violence and restore peace to CHT on an urgent basis. Fourthly, both the Hill and the Bengali people emphasize that land disputes need to be resolved immediately. And finally, there is a need for consolidating the progress achieved so far.
Nevertheless, an established misconception is prevailing among the hilly people that their voices are not heard and they are treated differently from the rest of the Bengalis. To eradicate this misconception and build trust and harmony, more initiatives should be undertaken by the government.
How the USA’s Bid to Pitch India as a counterweight to China is destabilizing South Asia?
South Asia indubitably presents the most precarious case for strategic stability. Two contiguous and bitterly hostile nuclear-weapon states; a festering conflict in Kashmir acting as a permanent source of tensions; the absence of a robust and comprehensive mechanism to manage nuclear risks; occasional crises that push the two nuclear-armed states on the brink of catastrophic exchanges; India’s hegemonic regional and status-oriented global designs; India’s long obsession with military buildup; and whatnot.
Of the aforementioned, India’s interminable military buildup, which is attempted to be rationalized by citing various security threats, has been the primary factor responsible for disturbing the strategic balance in South Asia — compelling India’s regional rival Pakistan to take remedial measures to restore the strategic balance. Nevertheless, provided India’s interminable and unquenchable acquisitiveness for arms, the strategic balance in South Asia continuously remains susceptible to the unsteadiness, essentially giving rise to a vicious cycle of India’s destabilizing actions being followed by Pakistan taking counteractive measures aimed at stabilizing the equation.
As if India’s regional hegemonic instincts and linked military acquisitions were not enough, the USA is now aiming to pitch India as a counterweight to China — whose concomitant is India’s attempted elevation as a hegemon in South Asia. In pursuance of the objective, the USA is bolstering India’s military capabilities besides extending unequivocal diplomatic support to New Delhi on a host of issues with far-reaching consequences for South Asian regional stability.
On the military side, the USA is supplying India with cutting-edge weapon systems besides the signing of landmark four foundational agreements that enable the Indian military to access real-time and precise information about its adversaries’ military activities through state-of-the-art American intelligence-gathering platforms. Furthermore, relevant services from the militaries of the two countries are regularly carrying out joint exercises primarily aimed at increasing interoperability. The increased military cooperation between the USA and India has essentially entangled the two countries in a de facto military alliance.
The most immediate and direct result of the USA-India burgeoning military ties is the disturbed strategic balance in South Asia – which Pakistan has been endeavoring so hard to maintain, despite serious budgetary constraints and without resorting to a parity-driven arms race. With the USA also contributing to the expansion of India’s military capabilities, the power asymmetry in South Asia continues to increase, which can incentivize the Modi regime to pursue their strategy of fighting a limited war under the nuclear overhang driven by the delusional belief that escalation control can be achieved. Leaving out yet another lucky break like in the 2019 Pulwama Crisis and the 2022 ‘accidental’ launch of BrahMos launch in Pakistan, the most probable result of such a venture by planners in New Delhi would dangerously increase the risk of inadvertent escalation between the two countries, possibly culminating into a nuclear exchange amidst the ‘fog’ of circumstances.
On the diplomatic side, the USA is now India’s foremost backer on various international forums steadily moving to incorporate the Cold War partner of the former Soviet Union in various multilateral regimes and institutions. Resultantly, not only India’s global influence is increasing but the absence of fear of any international reprimand for its shenanigans at home and in the region has made Modi-led India adopt a more aggressive posture towards Pakistan — which supplemented by the Modi regime’s proven penchant for resorting to nuclear brinkmanship to score domestic gains has added a dangerous new dimension to South Asia’s strategic calculus fraught with the cataclysmic endangerments.
India has a decades-long desire to strong-arm Pakistan into submission but initially the attempted external balancing followed by the introduction of a nuclear equalizer offset India’s obvious military advantage vis-à-vis its smaller neighbor. The already unfolded and imminent bolstering of India’s military capabilities further enhances the asymmetry in comparative military capabilities between the two countries besides amplifying ‘India’s counterforce temptations’ — which are a congenital recipe for disaster. These factors in tandem with India’s increasingly aggressive regional posturing — also enabled by the USA — are unprecedentedly adding to the instability in South Asia with the risk of grave escalation more credible and higher than ever.
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