An emerging alliance in S Asia

GLOBAL Politics are shaping into new dimensions in the ever changing environment and states are forming new alliances to pursue their strategic and economic benefits. In this regard, many states have signed various defence and economic agreements to show their alliance solidarities. Furthermore, these accords are not limited to any regional dimension rather the phenomenon of alliance formation is occurring around the globe. In addition, the dominant states makes alliance with the weaker one to use them as proxies and to pursue their goals while the weaker states form the alliances with the stronger ones to get protection by the external threats and to gain economic benefits. The policy of each state in this regard remains to pursue their national interest and maximise their power ability.
The formation of alliances in the contemporary strategic environment is not an optional choice, rather it has become necessary for the states. In this regard, intellectuals and scholars have noted an alliance formation in South Asian region. It is widely believed that United States has lost its interest to create a stable Afghanistan for its own strategic interests which has led to a situation where Pakistan and Russia along with China are creating an axis to stabilise regional contention. Though Pakistan has admirable economic and military relations with China since its inception, but the formation of alliance with Russia remains questionable. Additionally, both the countries share diversity of national interest in the past and competed each other to pursue these interest.
Scholars are of the view that there are various motives and factors behind the formation of the alliance. One of the dominant factor has been Afghanistan’s dissipated political and economic condition which has spill-over effects in the regional politics. Furthermore, Pakistan has been effected by the terrorism which exported from Afghanistan mainly after the 9/11 event. The regional instability has also caused economic loss to China and Russia. Moreover, the rise of terrorist organization Islamic State of Iraq ISIS or Daesh in Afghanistan created a situation for these states to join hands together. In addition, United States has also lost its interest in Afghanistan pursuing its own strategic interest. The turn in the US policy towards Afghanistan is another factor that initiated the alliance formation.
However in my opinion, there is one main factor which has not been highlighted by the scholars which is the involvement of United States in the region and its military alliance with India which challenges the hierarchical order of the region. Since Donald Trump got elected as United States President, their foreign policy has shifted in favour of India, forgetting Pakistan as its former ally. The change in policy is to create bigger force against the resurgent Russia and emerging economic power China and also to counter Pakistan through American-Indian coalition nexus. Thus, an alliance between China, Pakistan and Russia is formed to stabilise the regional politics and to rebalance the South Asian regional and military dynamics. In this regard, they have signed few defence pacts for further strengthening their strategic relationship.
United States aims to remain hegemony over the globe by making alliances with states in every region however, US somewhat lost its hegemonic grip since Russia remerges and China emerges as a new economic power. The foreseeable threats by the United States administration led them to form a coalition with India in the South Asian region to counter these emerging states. Russia and China in this regard created counter alliance along with Pakistan to balance the power politics. Furthermore, I strongly believe it was a need of hour for Pakistan to create an alliance that can deter Indian aggression, with an American Alliance notion added into it. In addition, Pakistan must also focus to stabilise the regional balance with such alliance as it can be helpful in eradicating terrorism generally from South Asia and Specifically from Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Article originally published in Pakistan Observer on November 06, 2017.

Disclaimer: Views expressed are of the writer and are not necessarily reflective of IPRI policy.

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