Friedrich Ratzel, the great German geographer, held that “great statesmen have never lacked a feeling for geography…..”
The new Pakistani government and military leadership is well aware of the fact that the attempts to install Pakistan as a formidable nation on the globe will not be fulfilled through one dimension (D) only; we need three Ds for this, i.e., Defense, Diplomacy and Development.
The 3 D concept is also known as the comprehensive approach or the whole of government approach. These terms are commonly used to describe an integrated approach towards (post)(Why is this word in brackets?) conflict states, or so-called fragile states.
But here, in the case of Pakistan, we will install these 3 Ds as a strategy to counter India.
Development refers to governmental efforts to build a strong economy and focus heavily on reconstruction. Diplomacy refers to broad spectrum engagement with other countries from the same and other regions. Defense refers to continuous focus on security apparatus and the development of arsenal and delivery systems to be deterrent to any threat, from the inside and the outside.
Pakistan’s geographic location, its Gilgit-Baltistan area, and the GwadarPort are subject areas that are widely researched by scholars around the world. Unfortunately, Pakistan till date is not a beneficiary of its strategic location. But this jinx has come to an end. And the Pakistani Government and Military have announced several huge projects, among them the Kashgar Economic Corridor is on top of the agenda. The Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called this a game-changer that will change the fate of Pakistan and the entire region.
But, with this development, some states may not be happy to see Pakistan as a transit trade hub of the entire region. The Central Asian countries, which are on the top priority for business and strategic perspectives of nations around the globe, interestingly, for the same CARs, Pakistan will be on the top priority.
William Engdahl, an award-winning geo-political analyst and strategic risk consultant, whose internationally best-selling books have been translated into thirteen foreign languages, stated in his recent articles that Pakistan is to become the new ‘major terror ground’ in just six months. Other regional players like India, and to some extent Iran, who have stakes in this area,are upset with these developments of Gwadar.
Pakistan’s call for peace and stability in the region was ignored intentionally. But now, it is Pakistan’s turn to ignore India and concentrate on its three Ds strategy. If we study Indian activities in the Central Asian states, we can clearly see that it wants to bypass Pakistan.
India has no direct land access to Central Asia. Wikipedia, however, linked India with Afghanistan. India has fought several wars with its neighbors, and has border disputes with two prominent neighbors- China and Pakistan. Indian planners know their this strategic impotency. India, despite normalizing relations with Pakistan and China, is busy in seeking alternative access routes to Central Asian states, and is on a mission not to respect Pakistan’s interests; but they will be seen active everywhere where one can find that Pakistan can get some benefit. India invested heavily in the Iranian Chabahar.The port was partially built by India in the 1990s, to provide access to Afghanistan and Central Asia, bypassing Pakistan.
They see Pakistan as a barrier in their quest to reach Central Asia. India has documented its Central Asian policy with the name ‘Connect Central Asian Policy’. After thorough study, one can find that there is no dependence on Pakistan in their stated policy. Geo-strategists and geo-politicians around the world are of the view that Pakistan and China are well aware of the Indian designs for Central Asia, and are well placed to prevent India from projecting any hard power in Central Asia.
India has several foreign policy doctrines, among which ‘Connect Central Asia’ and ‘Look East Policy’are well known.
Indian planners are well aware of the fact that they are not in a position to ignore Pakistan’s geostrategic location, and therefore, they are trying to construct the Indian version of the Silk Road.
Any offer from Pakistan to include India and to facilitate it to be benefited from Pakistan’s location is seen in India as unacceptable. The transit trade facility Pakistan can offer is seen in India as a trap, and the money paid for transit trade by India is seen as financial reparations. Indian planners are good at formulating foreign policy doctrines, with an ambition to match and win from China at the regional level.
After the dawn of the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization), the possible entry of Pakistan in the SCO as a member state will further strengthen Pakistan’s position in the Central Asian region. The recent announcement by the Chinese president in this regard has caught global attention.
President Xi Jinping proposed that China and the Central Asian countries build an “economic belt along the Silk Road”, a trans-Eurasian project spanning from the Pacific Ocean to the Baltic Sea.
Xi made the official suggestion for the first time during a speech on China’s Central Asia strategy at Nazarbayev University in Astana, Kazakhstan.Xi’s announcement is of paramount importance for Pakistan, and in the case of its implementation, Pakistan’s position in the region will get fortified.
Indian planners are alert and are observing the changes, and as discussed above, India has specialized foreign policy doctrines for every region. And whenever they find a chance, they work exclusively for the isolation of Pakistan. To counter this Indian desire to isolate Pakistan at the regional or the international level, Pakistan should pursue this weapon of diplomacy, and reach to regions and countries with which Pakistan has no or less diplomatic relations. The regional chessboard is in the favour of Pakistan; we just need an intelligent diplomacy to counter the Indian diplomatic offensive. Pakistan is going to be the jugular of any rising superpower, so Pakistan’s diplomacy should not be surrounded by confusion. The Indians may have specialized doctrines, and a special relations with the US, but the internal politics shaping up in India is not in the favourof its being a policeman of the USA in the region; some Indian politicians and planners see this Indian posture as a threat rather than a way to compete with China. The Pakistani government should look carefully into these foreign policy doctrines of India, and should learn how it can state its priorities. Pakistani diplomats and officials should be given tasks in various regions, and should formulate specialized doctrines for the specific regions and countries. Recently, Pakistan-Russia strategic dialogue was a milestone. Pakistan should vigorously pursue a diplomatic strategy throughout Asia. Pakistan must install this D – Diplomacy – in its strategy to project and lift Pakistan not only as a regional power, but also a hub that can play its role on the world stage.
As time passed, the nature of war changed. Today, a country with a strong economy and infrastructure can play a bigger role, and can threaten its adversary by gaining economic boom. Pakistan, as a natural transit trade hub, can get the status of an economic powerhouse if the recent projects of Kashgar economic corridor, Gwadar Port and IP pipeline completed in time. Pakistan’s economy can be shaped in a very short time, we just need to install the D – Development – in our strategy. The economy of Pakistan is the 27th largest in the world in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP), and 44th largest in terms of nominal GDP. A focus on Pakistan’s transit trade capability can list Pakistan in the top 10 of the world. The Indian economic boom is sometimes projected as the world’s greatest, while the growth process currently underway in India is inherently biased against the poor, the marginalized and the underprivileged. Two comparison groups provide a powerful and disturbing insight into India’s growth process. First, there are many countries which have grown at rates very similar to India’s, but which have managed to register marked declines in socio-economic inequalities. In stark contrast to this, India has witnessed an increase in socio-economic inequality since 1990. Second, in comparison to its close neighbors, with whom India has many geographical, climactic, cultural and social commonalities, India emerges as the worst performer among the South Asian countries. Ona per-capita-income basis, India ranked 141st by nominal GDP and 130th by GDP (PPP) in 2012 according to the IMF. Initiating today an economic boom plan for Pakistan can list Pakistan in the top economies of the world.
Since independence, Pakistan focused rightly on its defense capabilities; this resulted in the establishment of professional armed forces. The Pakistani Armed Forces officials showed more strategic maturity than Indians in the war of 1948 and 1965. The need to include strategic and military brilliance of the armed services professionals is of paramount importance for any force, because once the trend is set, the others follow the hall mark, and the force quality brightens with time. One classic example of this strategic brilliance is Air Marshal Nur Khan, Commander in Chief of Pakistan Armed Forces from 1965 to 1969, who also served as the Director of Organization in Air Force HQ. Under US aid, Pakistan was offered two fighter planes; one was F86 and the other was F84. He insisted to select F86 rather than F84, and he faced great criticism over this; but the stunning performance of these fighters provided Pakistan air superiority in just 24 hours. After becoming a nuclear armed state, Pakistan’s weapons and delivery systems is considered the most efficient, and the continuous innovation is disturbing for the Indians, as they find their doctrines eliminating in just few years, replacing them with new ones. Pakistan is in the possession of this D since its independence.
The 3D strategy will project Pakistan as a strong state in terms of Diplomacy, Development and Defense, and can counter and eliminate the Indian diplomatic, economic and defense related offenses.