HomeOpEdReSetting South Asian Regional Politico- Economic Button

ReSetting South Asian Regional Politico- Economic Button

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Engr. Mansoor Malik

When President Obama and his erstwhile Foreign Secretary Hilary Clinton took over from the Neo-cons White House, they coined this word of “Resetting Button” with the Russian leadership way back in 2008/2009. It is another matter that Mr. Putin turned out to be too smart for them and started his own “Software Button” for political maneuvering deep inside the American Electorate which turned the tables on them through getting his choice of electing a new President of the USA instead of the suave, well prepared and most popular Ms. Hilary Clinton.

South Asian Population of almost half a billion people towards the end of the 19th Century have been crying for “Resetting” its own Politico-Economic Button ever since the East India Company stealthily landed its ships on our Eastern shores. The 1857 War of Independence came and went and so did the 1947 Political Division of Hindustan and Pakistan. Our Regional Masters changed hands from the British to American with the left-leaning Hindustan government initially experimenting with Moscow/Peking in the early 1950s while we were infatuated with the Western World led by the so-called Free World Champion, USA. The British Empire had overextended its influence to Kabul and beyond during the Russian Czars while creating Buffer Zone in Afghanistan which later on gave Americans a big leverage into South/ South-West/ Central Asian underbelly checkmating the Soviet Influence in our region.

The present “Post Afghanistan American withdrawal” has given fresh impetus for the Regional States for pressing the Re-set Button to achieve “Peace and Stability” in our midst.  The ORBAT (Order of Battle) which is now emerging is creating a wedge between the Eastern Flank of the Persian Gulf Littoral States and its Western Flank. With Israel extending its reach now to the GCC countries fully backed by America further challenging the influence of Iran and Pakistan in the Strait of Hormuz/Gwadar and beyond. Greater Israel has always been the American Dream in the heart of the Middle East. The strategists in Moscow and Beijing long ago realized this continuously evolving situation along the shores of the Persian Gulf extending into its hardcore Central Asian Countries. The timely creation of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) almost twenty years back speaks volumes of the foresight and hindsight of both the Chinese and Russian Leadership. At present SCO consists of  all the ECO (Economic Cooperation Organization) Countries and a few important SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries in its fold with more than half of the World Population living in these rich Minerals Region.

The so-called Dick Cheney/Rumsfeld   envisaged American century vision spelled out at the New Millennium lies now buried in the mountains of Afghanistan and the sand dunes of Iraq. The “New Rome” of Washington which emerged after the Second World War finds itself in ruins. After almost Seventy-Five Years of un-blemished Power, America finds itself dangerously divided within which could, God Forbid, lead to a Civil War. The New Seat of the “Roman Empire “appears to be now shifting to Shanghai with its tentacles spread deep into SCO.

Within twenty-five years of the American Century coined term for the 21st Century by an American Think Tank of Neo-Cons, now find their Century slipping right under their feet away towards the Chinese. Pakistan appears to be in a vantage position due to CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor) initiative which is in a maturing state. The success of this Politico-Economic Corridor would depend upon its adoption by half of the Global Population living in our region. A lot of Re-set Buttons must, therefore, be pressed now to include most if not all of the SCO countries to jump into this Band Wagon to shift the Global Economic Balance to our Region. This is an Economic Century and Regional Economies can either Cooperate or Compete. The heavy weight SCO Common Market would be in good stead to Cooperate/Compete with the European Union. With America going down in their un-ending internal squabbles, the two main Economic Blocks of SCO and EU would be in a good position to collaborate as the Expanded CPEC (SCO countries) have large deposits of oil and gas along with other natural resources badly needed by EU countries along with a  cost-effective large manufacturing infrastructure of China and future technologies of Russia.

Our region has long been at the forefront of the Cold War with generations of young people laying down their lives in proxy wars of distant powers instead of improving their living standards and helping their elders come out of Abject Poverty. Young  Millennials are fully geared up for an economic revolution while Washington looks inward to find their bearing in this completely changed regional scenario. All our Reset fingers should now, therefore, be on the economic button so let us press it hard enough for it to last this whole century for the good of our coming generations.

The writer is Founding DG NUST Islamabad, Chairman Kamyab Pakistan, Co-Founder Pakistan Aerospace Council and President GIS Plus Total Solutions Put. Ltd. 

 

** The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the position of the magazine. 

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