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Significance of Marine Safety Control in Gwadar Port and China’s Marine Silk Road

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Marine safety is an expression that explains the problems associated with the aquatic life, national safety, sea territory, economy, financial growth of a nation and its safety. Gwadar port can become a doorway for business, commerce, collaboration, coordination and development for our country.Pakistan’s position in the marine region has become significant nowadays due to this recent development.Both China and Pakistan have friendly  relations with each other for decades. It is therefore logical that any Chinese interest in the region would give centre-stage to its Friend. Any economic progress would bring stability and prosperity throughout the South-Asian region and beyond.

It automatically raises a need to reinforce marine safety control in Gwadar port and China’s Marine Silk Road. Both nations understand why marine growth and marine safety in Pakistan are of utmost necessity. Pakistan and China can achieve the geo-political aims and their desired strategy by working extremely closely together.

According to Mahan’s  Sea Power theory, the prosperity of a nation depends on its sea power.A nation can have dominant influence on the international community if marine protection and marine control is implemented. One of the important factors he mentioned was  the geographical area of the country or the nation. He has also carefully raised the importance of the number of streams, creeks,seashore anchorage and reservoirs that are linked with the sea route. According to Mahan, the location of shore-line is also of vital importance. Another important factor is the mindset of people residing in that country or nation with context to their beliefs, ideology and opinions. The  number of people residing in the country has an importance of its own. Their perspectives regarding business and commercial activities has a lot of bearing according to him. Are they business-minded and do they believe in economic prosperity due to trade and commercial activities on the sea shore? Does the administration and authority believe in their interests or do they want the prosperity of the nation? If political leaders want monopolization of power then the country will not prosper.The decisions made by the people residing  in the country will not be able to bear economic and financial progression in that case.Mahan emphasized that marine forces were important in making a nation world-wide powerful and strong because of its military decisions and financial superiority. Military and naval might has been used as an extension of diplomacy for ages.

Marine safety plays a fundamental role in a state’s security. Naval security is dependent on government’s decision regarding political, economic affairs as well as the relations with other states. It is necessary for  the development of a nation or a region to resolve the disputes with their neighbour. Throughout history, international disputes have created immense problems for countries and their economic progression.Different countries can coexist with friendly neighbour resulting in greater benefit for its people. For the prosperity of nations, peace is an essential element. To avoid war and hostility an element of understanding and mutual survival will be formed between the states. Hence states will learn to co-exist peacefully. Peaceful relationships between both the states are important for economic growth and prosperity.    Marine safety and Marine Safety Control requires all nations to stop naval violence, stealing ships, stopping the use of illegal drugs, and putting an end to the illegal buying and selling of  humans, drugs and weapons. Naval safety involves the safety of ships and the marine environment. Pakistan’s prosperity is dependent on reinforcing marine safety control. If Pakistan does not strengthen its naval safety, it will bear grave economic losses. It would create an  image of an unstable sea-power  globally. Besides this, it will not be able to protect the smuggling of ships and the illegal use and transportation of drugs. Sea route is of vital importance as it is linked to the Indian Ocean, South East Asia, Arabian Sea and Africa. Unfortunately, Arabian Sea faces the issues of marine security control. Smuggling of drugs and weapons is widely observed in the Arabian Sea. However, unauthorized and illegal use of drugs and weapons in the Indian ocean has been reduced owing to regular patrolling.Oil is carried through the Indian Ocean for the purpose of trade which is important for the prosperity of South Asian region and other countries as well. Naval safety is an important issue and it must be addressed adequately. Sea laws should be implemented and followed to eliminate illegal transfer of drugs,human-trafficking and weapons. It would automatically help to reduce sea crimes.

Pakistan is politically unstable so it is difficult for Pakistan to maintain China’s trust. China believes thatmodern infrastructure and technology use by Pakistan can help eliminate poverty.It will contribute to economic prosperity of the Pakistani nation. The vision behind the Economic Corridor is to improve the lives of the Pakistani and Chinese people by building economic cooperation, logistics and regional connections. In addition to local challenges, the implementation of the Pakistan Economic Corridor project faces a number of international reservations.

Forefront external challenge to this corridor is India’s labile approach to the corridor. India’s serious demand is that Gilgit-Baltistan is a disputed territory. The trail route through this area is illegal. Another concern in India is that they see Gwadar as a Chinese “String of Pearls” encircling it in the deep sea, stretching from the East-coast to the Pacific Ocean. China is also building ports in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh which poses a potential military challenge to India. India expects that in the future, China will block Indian sea routes by stealing such ports. As a result, India is dissatisfied with the progress made by the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and is sabotaging the corridor by playing its cards in Balochistan. The recent arrest of Indian agent Kulbhushan Jadhav generally confirms Indian intervention in Balochistan and Pakistan. In order to sabotage the success of this corridor the Indo-Afghan nexus remains active. Continued internal instability in Afghanistan is purported to be linked to Pakistan. All acts of terrorism in Afghanistan are claimed to have their roots in our country. Additionally, India is building military bases in Afghanistan where terrorist activities are taking place. Sabotage of the economic corridor through Afghanistan continues unabated. Pakistan-Afghan relations falter over an insecure Durand Line repeatedly.

Another challenge in implementing the Corridor is Chabahar Port. Iran is developing the Chabahar port in cooperation with India. India is investing billions of dollars in the project to disrupt the Gwadar Port. It repeatedly resorts to negative propaganda regarding capacity and the depth of waterways. It has claimed that Gwadar is about to expire. However, President Rouhani said: “Chabahar will not compete with Gwadar, but the two will complement each other.”

Another important obstacle is the involvement of the major powers. The two main powers, the United States and Japan, are eyeing a multi-billion dollar project. China has adopted various policies to control the United States. The United States feels it as  threatening to its global power with and thus placing obstacles in the way of port of Gwadar. In addition, the United States understands that Gwadar Port might be used for military purposes in the future. As part of its safeguard policy, the United States signed a “strategic and economic partnership” with India. US assistance to NSG India is also part of this partnership. Their cooperation poses a challenge not only to China but also to Pakistan. On the other hand, Japan is under pressure because the use of the Economic Corridor will reduce the distance between China and its trading countries to 9,000 km, which will have a profound impact on Japan’s exports. Moreover, it includes an integrated transportation and information technology system, communication channels, agricultural development, and poverty relief. Moreover, it includes tourism, financial cooperation and human resource development. Gwadar port is very important for China and for international trade between nations. This route links the South Asian region with South China Sea and new infrastructure is being built. Marine pathways, railways, roads and power structures are being built. This route would open new avenues of trade and commercial activities thus creating new sources of income. Absence of ensuring naval security will significantly affect Pakistan and China. Additionally, it will bode economic and financial loss for oceans and the linked territories with this sea route which will also be adversely affected. India and United States want hegemony over the region however China doesn’t appreciate this decision. China has helped Pakistan in reinforcing its naval capabilities through management, coordination, engineering and ship transportation. The infrastructure is built by Chinese workers and the investment is done by Chinese nation. Moreover, Pakistan has been blessed with a very important strategic location. This remains a plus point for a country deferred under the burdens of basic-needs fulfillment till today. Usually such projects are considered as nothing but riot-starters but this project has become a reason for which many are willing to let go of their past relations.This has kick-started a competition amongst the regional players as they are gradually realising the potential  upside. For many in the region this has become a chance to achieve economic and social reconciliation in their neighbourhood. In the current scenario an opportunity like this presenting itself is not less then a miracle perhaps. This reason should suffice as enough evidence to handle the case with sanity. Messing up this opportunity means moving back the entire block by 50 years to be precise. The rationalization of decision-making regarding the project should be the prime concern of the authorities.They should make the rules which are not bypassed and  implement the requisite policies  effectively. For prime purposes another thing to be kept in mind by the country concerned that even at the time of the East India Company trade was the opening part. Soon the white man eventually built a castle and introduced the strongest monopoly that have been discovered till now.This project promotes worldwide collaboration,  cooperation and requires global control. Naval forces of China and Pakistan are working day and night for this project to be successful. Furthermore the Middle-Eastern proverb “Fashion moves around the sea” is another justification and reasoning as to why the sea port will be a game-changing part for the country. Asian slowly growing dominance is augmented with the country’s trade routes as a major contribution.The investor country can also fulfill and solve it’s old issues  between the neighbour as the time proceeds. This will eventually give Pakistan a moment of relief from the external pressures in order to straighten up its image of falling justice and institutional system.

For China it will open more opportunities as the trade of oil will be possible from a short route. In addition this arrangement will also enable China to observe Indian marine operations.

  • What problems will China and Pakistan face nationwide?
  • What will be the marine security concerns and how will they affect the economic prosperity of both Pakistan and China?
  • How can Pakistan and China achieve the geo-political aims and what is the desired strategy to achieve them ?
  • What are the future implications of Gwadar Port worldwide?

Gwadar port has worldwide implications, whether related to economy, trade or commercial activities. It does not only affect China and Pakistan’s economic prosperity but the prosperity of South Asia and beyond. Pakistan and China’s naval and marine forces are working day and night for the development of Gwadar Port. However,India and United States want to have dominance over the South Asian region. They are only concerned about their self-interests. Through the Indian Ocean almost half of the trade is carried out. If this combined project of Pakistan and China  becomes unsuccessful it will have global and worldwide implications. It will destroy multiple naval forces and many nations will face economic and financial loss. However,if marine safety control is ensured, this initiative will be successful and economic prosperity will be observed in the future. It may not be wrong to say that in the realist paradigm usually what we see is the self interest to every extent. Hence it is a thoughtful thing to take necessary steps in time to settle down your affairs domestically and nationally. Which is Pakistan have to be extra careful Mahaan’s Sea Power Theory: Significance of Marine Safety Control in Gwadar Port in dealings with the giants of economy.

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The New World Order: The conspiracy theory and the power of the Internet

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“The Illuminati, a mysterious international organisation made up of the world’s top political and social elites, controls the workings of the entire world behind the scenes”. This is the world’s most famous conspiracy theory about the New World Order.

For hundreds of years, legends about the Illuminati have been spread and many people currently believe that the Illuminati still exist. It is believed that the Illuminati operate in various fields such as global politics, military affairs, finance and mass media and control the historical process of the entire world.

The ultimate goal is to establish a New World Order. Nobody can prove it, but many people believe it. This is the greatest paradox about conspiracy theories.

In the 2009 film, Angels and Demons – based on Dan Brown’s best seller of the same name about Professor Langdon, played by Tom Hanks – the story of the Illuminati, who supposedly originated in Europe during the Age of Enlightenment, was recalled. There were physicists, mathematicians and astronomers who questioned the “erroneous teachings” of the authority of the Holy See and dedicated themselves to the scientific field of the search for truth.

Eventually, the Illuminati were forced to become a clandestine organisation and have continued to recruit members for hundreds of years to this day. In Angels and Demons, the historical facts are clearly questionable, and the movie appeared after the great economic crisis of 2007-2008.

The New World Order conspiracy theory has been circulating for a long time and is full of mysterious theories that, however, convince many people who are powerless and dissatisfied with the current state of the world.

The Illuminati, who advocate the establishment of a New World Order through the planning of a series of political and financial events (the financial tsunami of 2007-2008 is said to have been planned by the Illuminati), attempt to influence the course of world history, and ultimately establish an authoritarian world government.

Supporters of the New World Order theory believe that even the powerful US government is now just a puppet government. While another “shadow government” made up of a few people makes decisions that will change the fate of the planet.

You might think that all of the above is just crackpot theories. Many people, however, believe this is true. According to a 2013 poll conducted by the Public Policy Polling Foundation, 28% of US voters believe that the New World Order is actually taking hold.

Brian L. Keeley, a professor of philosophy at Pitts College who devotes himself to the study of modern conspiracy theories, believes that an important feature of conspiracy theorists is that they cite some trivial and overlooked incidents and then propose a perfect explanation compared to an embarrassed official response. The reason why the conspiracy theory explanation can be widely disseminated is that it has no argumentation process to deny. It is just a judgement that jumps directly from hypothesis to conclusion. In the argumentation process, it is only a subjective interpretation of the event.

Nevertheless, for the public that does not fully understand the incident, the conspiracy theory provides an “explanation” for the unknown part of the said incident, and this “explanation” cannot be denied (because its very existence is not corroborated by real arguments and facts). It is therefore recognised as a valid argument by many people.

For example, no one has substantial evidence to prove that the Illuminati actually exist, but no one can prove that the Illuminati are purely fictitious. Therefore, you cannot deny their existence because their existence is “perfection without evidence”.

Columnist Martha Gill wrote in The Guardian on the subject, describing the Illuminati as the most enduring conspiracy theory organisation in world history.

“Conspiracy theories relating to the 1969 moon landing mission, the Kennedy assassination, the 9/11 attacks, etc., are all limited to a specific time and place. But conspiracy theories supporting the existence of the Illuminati can connect them. Anything about these connections, however, is difficult to prove”. In other words, the supporters of conspiracy theories may have common imagination and attribute everything to this organisation, so that every irrational phenomenon in the world can be explained.

Although no one can prove the real existence of the Illuminati, there is actually an alleged “global shadow government” in the world whose name is the Bilderberg Group. The Bilderberg Group holds an annual world-class private meeting and participants include elites from all walks of society such as government, business, media, science and technology.

Known as the “World’s Most Mysterious Conference”, the Bilderberg Group invites various famous political and economic figures to participate in its meetings every year.

Prince Bernhard van Lippe-Biesterfeld (1911-2004) held the first meeting in 1954. As the venue for the meeting was the Bilderberg Hotel in Oosterbeek, that name was used as the name of the group.

The existence of the Bilderberg Group is not a secret, but the content of the topics discussed at the Conferences is absolutely confidential and mainstream media cannot report on the content of the meetings.

The Bilderberg Group issues a press release every year to introduce the Conference participants and the outline of the topics discussed. Over the years, participants have come from many places, including Prince Philip of Edinburgh (1921-2021) of the British Royal Family, Crown Prince Charles, former British Prime Ministers, French President Macron, German Chancellor Merkel, former US Presidents Bush and Clinton, and even Bill Gates and other Internet giants. There were also Italians, as reported years ago in a newspaper of our country.

The 2018 Conference was held in Turin, Italy, in June. According to the description on the Bilderberg Group’s official website, the main topics included European populism, the development of artificial intelligence, quantum computer technology and the “post-truth” era. Obviously the actual content and results of the meeting’s discussion have never been reported.

Therefore, the Bilderberg Group has naturally become a locus where conspiracy theorists want to draw material. They describe the Bilderberg Group as true evidence of the theory that a very small number of elites controls the world, and the participants are planning a New World Order.

On the subject of strange things, let us give some examples. In June 2018, the British Royal Family was also caught up in conspiracy theories. When Prince Harry and his wife Meghan attended a show, they were caught on camera motionless, like two stiff and dull robots. Later related clips went viral on the Internet and netizens were in an uproar: many people believed that the distinguished members of the Royal Family were actually robots developed by high technology.

However, the management of the London museum, Madame Tussauds, later explained the mystery by stating that Harry and Meghan were only played by two actors who wore extremely high-realism wax masks on their faces – all to promote an exhibition of wax statues – and inadvertently caused an uproar.

In that short video, Harry and Meghan did not change their facial appearance and their expressions were stiff just like robots. Consequently, conspiracy theorists used this as evidence that they were robots secretly built by the British Royal Family.

This argument is an extension of the ‘trivial evidence’ mentioned above. The argument proponents ignore any argumentation process and directly draw the final conclusion through the above stated “trivial evidence”. This conclusion is highly topical and quite appealing. With the fast spread of the Internet, the “quick truth” will naturally be recognised and sought after by many people.

I think many people still remember the “Mandela effect” that spread wildly across the Internet in the early years as a false memory. The name “Mandela effect” is believed to have come from Fiona Broome, a self-described “paranormal consultant”, who created a website called the “Mandela effect”. Supporters of the ‘Mandela effect’ claim to “remember” that former South African President Mandela died in prison in the 1980s. But in reality, after being released from prison, Mandela served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 and died in December 2013.

So why should anyone believe this seemingly absurd statement? The Internet has become a support platform for a lot of false content, fake news, as well as unreasonableness and lack of justification. When someone shared that ‘false memory’ with others on the Internet, many people believed it to be true, and even suddenly recalled having that memory: “Mandela died in prison that year”.

As a result, lies inconsistent with facts continue to spread. The lie is repeated thousands of times and many people consider it to be the truth: this learning phase is the first misleading rule on the Internet.

In the Internet era, multidimensional and multiplatform features have generated a number of online “malignancies” of conspiracy theories. Moreover, their dissemination ability is not limited to “believers” only. Since online social media provide a widespread and wide dissemination platform, one passes it onto ten people, ten spread it to a hundred, a hundred to a thousand, and so it goes on in geometric fashion, thus turning a ‘hot’ topic on the Internet into an absolute truth. Those who want to believe are naturally prepared and willing to do so. Moreover, these false opinions on the Internet may even have an impact on the real world.

For example, at the political level, everyone can now comment and participate in the online arena. For politicians to get the right to speak and set the agenda, the key is to rely on the public’s direction on the Internet. The Internet discourse has become the dominant factor of the political storytelling, and not vice versa. The characteristics of social networks are precisely the breeding ground for conspiracy theories.

The Internet is easy to spread among the public and it is exactly the breeding ground for conspiracy theories.

Nowadays, conspiracy theories are enough to influence politics and even political developments. A specific conspiracy theory gains a number of supporters through the Internet that promotes it to become a highly debated topic among the public. Consequently, it enters the real political arena coming from the virtual community and its influence can change the direction of governmental decisions.

Looking at it from another perspective, when conspiracy theories are put on the Internet and continue to proliferate – regardless of whether the Illuminati exist or not – they are enough to establish a New World Order. The real-world public opinions, as well as the composition of opinions and the basis of social discussions are changed, and thus world’s countries, politics and rulers are affected.

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USA and Australia Worry About Cyber Attacks from China Amidst Pegasus Spyware

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Pegasus Spyware Scandal has shaken whole India and several other countries. What will be its fallout no one knows as we know only tip of iceberg. Amidst Pegasus Spyware Scandal USA and Australia both have shown serious concerns about Cyber Attacks on US and Australian interests. Both say that China is hub of malware software and both face millions of such attacks daily.

I am trying to understand why a software is needed to spy on a particular individual when all calls, messages, data, emails are easily accessible from server. In most of cases these servers are located in USA and some cases these are located in host country. In certain sensitive cases Government Agencies have their own server like Central Intelligence Agency and hundreds of other agencies and military establishment world over including India. Now point is who installs those servers.

A couple of years back I had talked to Mr Mike Molloy who is Chief Executive Officer of Orion Global Technologies previously known as Orion SAS. He had explained me how his company installs servers in host countries on request of private or gov bodies. He talks about contract and trust. That means even when a company or Gov buys a server or software for designated uses the “Secrecy” Factor remain on discretion of company which has supplied server or software.

Now  if all data, e-mail, chat, messages, calls are accessible to Gov as per law and technology (Through Server all components of Communication are accessible and thats why  me and you see start seeing call recording of a person even after many years later), I am unable to understand why a Gov will be needing a software to Spy on any one.

Now coming to where Australia and USA wants to carry the whole debate.

Australian Foreign Minister Sen Marise Payne said, “Australian Government joins international partners in expressing serious concerns about malicious cyber activities by China’s Ministry of State Security.

“In consultation with our partners, the Australian Government has determined that China’s Ministry of State Security exploited vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Exchange software to affect thousands of computers and networks worldwide, including in Australia. These actions have undermined international stability and security by opening the door to a range of other actors, including cybercriminals, who continue to exploit this vulnerability for illicit gain”, She further added.

She opined, ”The Australian Government is also seriously concerned about reports from our international partners that China’s Ministry of State Security is engaging contract hackers who have carried out cyber-enabled intellectual property theft for personal gain and to provide commercial advantage to the Chinese Government”.

She warned China by saying, “Australia calls on all countries – including China – to act responsibly in cyberspace.  China must adhere to the commitments it has made in the G20, and bilaterally, to refrain from cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property, trade secrets and confidential business information with the intent of obtaining competitive advantage”.

On other hand USA’s The National Security Agency (NSA), Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released a Cybersecurity Advisory on Chinese State-Sponsored Cyber Operations. National Security Advisor said, ”Chinese state-sponsored cyber activity poses a major threat to U.S. and allied systems. These actors aggressively target political, economic, military, educational, and critical infrastructure personnel and organizations to access valuable, sensitive data. These cyber operations support China’s long-term economic and military objectives”.

The information in this advisory builds on NSA’s previous release “Chinese State-Sponsored Actors Exploit Publicly Known Vulnerabilities.” The NSA, CISA, and FBI recommended mitigations empower our customers to reduce the risk of Chinese malicious cyber activity, and increase the defensive posture of their critical networks. 

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Afghan issue can not be understood from the simplistic lens of geopolitical blocs

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Authors: Tridivesh Singh Maini  and Varundeep Singh*

On July 14, 2021 a terror attack was carried out in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province in which a number of Chinese engineers, working on the Dasu hydropower project (a project which is part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor) were killed. The attack predictably evinced a strong response from China. The Chinese foreign minister, Wang Yi speaking before a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Foreign Minister’s meeting asked the Taliban to disassociate itself from ‘terrorist elements’ and in a meeting with Pakistan Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, asked Pakistan to bring the perpetrators to book. Earlier in April 2021, a car bomb attack took place at Serena hotel in Quetta which was hosting China’s Ambassador to Pakistan (four people were killed and twelve were injured)

Wang Yi significantly praised the Ashraf Ghani government, for its attempts towards building national unity and providing effective governance. Beijing clearly realizes that its economic investments in the country as well as big ticket infrastructural projects can not remain safe if there is no security. Afghanistan also criticized Pakistan for its role in sending 10000 Jihadis to Taliban, this is important in the context of the region’s geopolitics.

 Like all other countries, Beijing and Islamabad, would have expected uncertainty after the US withdrawal of troops but perhaps over estimated their capabilities in dealing with the turbulence which had been predicted by many.

Importance of Chinese Foreign Minister’s statements

Wang Yi’s statements are important because days earlier a Taliban spokesman, Suhail Shaheen had praised China and welcomed its role in the country’s reconstruction. He had also assured China that those involved in the insurgency in Xinjiang would not be given refuge in Afghanistan (one of China’s major concerns has been the support provided by Taliban to the East Turkmenistan movement)

While Beijing may have opened back channels with the Taliban and realized that it needs to adapt to the changing geopolitics, recent developments would have increased its skepticism vis-à-vis the Taliban. On the other hand, Russia has been more favorable towards the Taliban. Russia’s Deputy Chief of Mission in India, Roman Babushkin argued that the Taliban are a reality which needs to be accepted, and also that any military activities without a political process are insufficient.

Babushkin did make the point that for successful negotiations, Taliban needed to end violence.

‘that Taliban should deal with the problem of terrorism and other related issues in order to become legitimate, in order to [get] delisted [at the UN Security Council], in order to go ahead with the future Afghanistan and creation of the inclusive government

It would be pertinent to point out, that Zamir Kabulov, Russian President’s Afghanistan envoy went a step further and said that the Afghan government was not doing enough to make talks with Taliban a success.

China’s statements subtle warning to the Taliban, indicating its reservations, and praise of Ghani indicate a possibility of greater understanding between Washington and Beijing (even though Beijing has repeatedly attributed the current troubles in Afghanistan to Washington’s decision to withdraw troops).

Can US and China find common ground

 It remains to be seen if Biden who has exhibited dexterity on a number of complex issues reaches out to Xi Jinping to find common ground with regard to Afghanistan. Significantly, while US-Turkey relations had witnessed a downward trajectory and Biden has been critical of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s authoritarian tendencies and Human rights record, both leaders met on the sidelines of the NATO Summit in June 2021. During the meeting Turkey agreed to secure Kabul Airport. US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan while commenting on Turkey’s assurance said

‘The clear commitment from the leaders was established that Turkey would play a lead role in securing Hamid Karzai International Airport, and we are now working through how to execute to get to that,’

Taliban earlier this week warned Turkey of ‘consequences’ if the Middle Eastern nation increased its troop presence in Afghanistan.

Conclusion

Russia’s statements with regard to the Taliban indicate that it is not totally on the same page as China (its prior experience in Afghanistan has made it more cautious and circumspect), and that the Afghan issue can not be understood from the simplistic lens of geo-political blocs and traditional lenses. All major stakeholders in Afghanistan, both within the region and outside, seem to be understandably befuddled by the turn of events. It is not just the US, but even China which would be worried not just from an economic stand point but the overall security implications of the turmoil in Afghanistan. The terror attack in KPK indicates that other CPEC related projects could also face threats from militant groups. Beijing would thus need to be quick to react to the overtures from the Taliban in order to secure its economic assets and lives of Chinese workers in neighbouring Pakistan.

 It is especially important for Washington, Beijing and other important stakeholders in the region to work together for dealing with the near term turbulence as well as long term challenges Afghanistan is likely to face.

*Varundeep Singh is an Independent Policy Analyst.

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