Resurgent Pak worries former Corps Commander

Wasim Khalid

Srinagar: Former Corps Commander of Kashmir, Lieutenant General, Ata Hasnain has said that nobody is likely to “seriously look at India’s allegations” of Pakistan  involvement in Jammu and Kashmir due to its resurgent foreign policy and future economic prosperity owing to billion of dollar investments from foreign countries.
“In the last few weeks the world has put on a different set of glasses. With a Mi-35 helicopter deal with Russia, a one bn (billion) USD assistance from the US and a 46 bn (billion) USD deal on infrastructure for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC); plus its ability to withstand the Saudi and UAE criticism of its neutrality in the Yemen crisis, Pakistan has reasons to feel more than happy. Its foreign policy seems to be going well,” wrote Hasnain on his Facebook post.
“No one is likely to seriously look at our allegations of its involvement in J&K,” he added.
It has been a consistent stand of India that Pakistan is funding and abetting anti-India activities in Kashmir.
Hasnain, whose last assignment in service was as the Military Secretary of the Indian Army, stated: “I can distinctly see and visualize a swagger in Pakistan’s body language, a glint in its eye and cockiness in its attitude. It has enough reason to be thrilled to bits,” he stated.
The former corps commander stated that till recently everyone was saying that Pakistan was imploding, it was the world’s worst problem child, a rogue state nurturing jihadis and unwilling to do much about it.
“Its implosion would have disastrous effects on the region with India feeling the brunt of the overflow of refugees,” he stated.
Referring to the war in Afghanistan, former military commander, a prolific columnist, wrote that Pakistan’s importance in ensuring the closure of the Af-Pak (Afghanistan-Pakistan) chapter is real.
“To cap it all, the icing is the manner in which Ashraf Ghani has turned to it and is treating it as the core agency to ensure peace in Afghanistan,” he wrote.
“With the above scenario, have we lost strategic space or is it a positive for us too. A confident and stable Pakistan..  is it good for us or not so good,” he stated.
Hasnain opined that there was a reason to believe fact that India was being excluded from major economic engagements in Central Asian and South Asian region.
“Maritime Silk Route obliquely looks “at our exclusion in the IOR (International Offshore Rules) and the CPEC (China-Pakistan-Economic-Corridor) bypasses South Asia towards the Middle East, are we coming in for an era of exclusion from major economic arrangements”.
Recently, China signed agreements worth $46 billion to build infrastructure and energy projects to create land and sea ties with Pakistan to gain economic access to Europe, Middle East and Africa.
“Is it time to seriously pursue Chah Bahar to access the CARs (Central Asian Reigion) and Western Afghanistan; possibly also link up with the New Silk Route and derive its benefits from that direction,” Hasnain questioned.
To counter China, India is aiming to develop and operate Chabahar port in Iran, to gain access to Afghanistan and Central Asian regions for economic reasons.
“These are some of the major challenges for our strategic community and this summer is going to be occupied doing just that even as the summer unfolds in J&K and the traditional security issues come to the fore there,” he concluded.
Responding to the Face book note of Hasnain, Brg (Brigadier) Pradeep Sharma said each country has to make a choice keeping its own interest in mind.
“India has never been able to identify her interest and floundered all over! No clarity has left us in a quandary, knee jerk reactions to changing situation,” he wrote.
He stated that Pakistan is strategically more relevant and sells itself accordingly.
“We sometimes look USSR way at others we wish we were on the US band wagon.
Yet to realise our own potential and self reliance, we look at other countries to tell us what to do, not only that, also one step further …how to do it too…little realising that we enjoy a different environment,” he said.
“Our pseudo strategists and think tanks also borrow ideas which mostly are not even looked at by Governments! The story of India, no more to say on this forum,” he added.
Sharma said those who have visited Pakistan have much to say about their cities and infrastructure too.
“A British Officer I met was embarrassed at telling me that he felt Pak had better layout of roads and cites than us!” he added.
Reacting to Hasnain’s assertions, another Face book user Praveen Sangwan wrote that people who have read Pakistan will vouch for the strategic brilliance of their leaders.
“They have outsmarted everyone at every stage especially in times of critical choices that they had to make. We can keep claiming what we want but the fact is that they in their own right have actually won the proxy war if have go by the ‘Islamic Concept of Warfare,” Sangwan wrote.
“Their ability to withstand Saudi pressure and draw the fine ball is outstanding. Let’s us accept their diplomacy and strategic outlook combined with an ability to decide fast and act is worth emulating. Not an intrigue really. We can do much better. You only need the right people for the vision and political will with no fear of the unknown”.