Johann wrote:Rajesh A,
I'd largely agree.
- The threat from the Pakiban (specifically their violence, not their social policing) has kept the most of the Pakjabi public, and even large segments of the Pushtun public close to the PA despite its failures, and its overall responsibility for nurturing the violent movement. The PA seems to be enjoying good press even from the floods while letting the civil powers take the blame for failures.
I have however noticed some strong animosity between the Pakjabis and the Pushtuns. With Afghanistan still embroiled in war, and with Americans drone-bombing the tribals most of the Pushtuns are still concentrating their fight and hate towards the Americans.
However when the curtains come down, and the Pushtuns are not dependent on TSPA goodwill for money, arms and safe haven, then the Pushtun would come down on the Pakjabis and take their due. There would always be Pushtun who would be disgusted by the ferocity and barbarity of the Taliban, and may tend to lean towards TSPA, but TSPA is not really inclined to give protection to the civilians, so even there their will be disillusion.
The Taliban is actually a TSPA beast, but in the last 16 odd years of its existence, it too has learned the ways of the world and the politics of the high and mighty. Once the Afghan Taliban breaks out of the Pakjabi TSPA's leash, IMHO, there is going to be a consolidation of the Pushtuns - and the Taliban would move to build their identity more on Pushtun Nationalism and less on Islamic purity. They too have learned how skin deep all the Ummah and Brotherhood balderdash is. In that case even the ANP people would be taken on board. The Durand Line is not going to last very long.
Should the Chinese promote themselves to Pakistan's masters, they too would be advising Pakistan to get rid of the Pushtun shackles. The Khyber Pass may not be that important for the Chinese.
Johann wrote:- The Sindhi establishment in the form of powerful families like the Bhuttos/Zardaris, as well as its professional and middle classes have not broken with the idea of Pakistan yet, rather they want a larger share of power and the benefits of power.
That is exactly the kind of people PRC is looking for - people who can use strong arm tactics and suppress all dissension - single families who can rule with an iron rod and provide services to the Chinese - of security, transport, logistics.
Johann wrote:- China's growing involvement in Pakistan's economy and its plans to turn it in to a Freightlinistan/Pipelineistan should not be assumed to include a complete commitment to preserving Pakistan's integrity or Islamabad's direct control. If the PA and Pakistani elite fall down on the job, the PRC will hedge its bets by making friends with powerful groups, both ethnic and religious. If the PA can not crush the Baluchis, the Chinese will do their best to buy their support and partnership - support for autonomy, restrictions on Pakjabi/Sindhi/Pashtun settlement, etc plus of course lots of money.
The Baluchis will be crushed. The Chinese would see them as unnecessary, just like Tibetans, who hold vast swaths of land, are moderate, and have no friends in the world willing to take up arms in their favor. The Baluchis also have had a long flirting with Russians, Indians and Americans and will always be looked at with suspicion. It would give other powers too much of leeway to trouble the Chinese so far away from mainland China. Of course, the Chinese would not be making their hands dirty; the Pakjabi TSPA would be doing that, but TSPA will get ample support from the Chinese. Also when you want to build pipelines through their territory carrying Oil and Gas from the Gulf and especially Iran all the way to Tibet through PoK, one doesn't want irksome Baluchis running around and blowing those pipelines. We all know what happened in Darfur. There can be a repeat of that in Baluchistan also. Even TSPA need not do the butchering by themselves, they can have Tanzeems doing their dirty work. Regimes like CPC and TSPA consider deniability a great asset.
The Pushtuns too would be kept at arm's length, as long as they are in uprising. Once they have their Pushtunistan, China may offer them some support to keep them away from Uighurs, and not to make too much trouble for their regime in Rawalpindi. Gilgit-Baltistan would be PLA territory. Gwadar will be a Chinese outpost. Pakjab, Sindh and a de-Baluchized Baluchistan would form the core of Pakistan under TSPA.
Johann wrote:There are important questions however;
- If it is up to the Pakistanis, Sindh and Pakjab are likely to remain places where the economy is overwhelmingly dominated by agriculture. Issues of water management, land management, rural health and education, the global commodities market, internal rural-urban migration, climate change, access to capital etc will all have an enormous impact on the social and economic fate of Sindh and Pakjab. Will the elite continue to control the countryside and make real money off of it through things like textiles? Or will it become an enormous drag, unable to feed itself?
One thing the Chinese can do, is enormous engineering projects, put up factories and supply-chain. Where ever possible the Chinese could help the Pakistanis to keep Pakistan from collapsing. One class that may not survive long, would be the Pakistani middle-class, or the unnecessary civilian governments. PRC has some experience in Myanmar, where the junta can deal with PRC, and any middle-class only makes it difficult to rule with the iron hand. The rest of society needs to be kept at a low (or lowest) level of equilibrium. This much a Chinese supported regime would in fact be able to accomplish.
Johann wrote:- Is China likely to contribute towards Pakistan's industrialisation and economic modernisation? Could it make sense for them to invest in the PA and the Pakistani elites for both agricultural and even certain kinds of industrial production given the low cost of labour and the lack of labour organisation, environmental controls, etc? The PRC has cultivated militaristic pariah regimes like North Korea, Pakistan and Burma for geopolitical reasons, but they offer economic potential as well, and one that goes beyond transit trade.
Yes the regimes need a broader context to survive, and get support from the population.
Johann wrote:- Will deep-seated economic involvement give the PRC greater incentive to reign in the PA? The PA's traditional approach breeds both internal and regional conflict that would threaten production, transportation and the general flow of trade.
If the consideration is transnational involvement of Pakistanis in conflict and terrorism, then China would at the maximum try to curb only support for Uighurs, but the Ghazwa Projects against India would not be curtailed. This is especially so the case, because China would want a broader corridor into Pakistan, which means the Kashmir Valley coming under the sway of TSPA. Even after that Pakistan would be used against India to keep India off balance. Any retaliation by India against Pakistan, would not be possible because of Pakistani and
Chinese nuclear threat.
As far as terrorism against Western targets is concerned, that too would be carried out on a similar patterns as now. It will be similar to how North Korea is used to keep East Asia including American allies off balance. That would mean European and Western nations running off to Beijing, pleading with them to reign in the Tanzeems. Through TSPA, it could become possible for China to even get partial control over Global Jihad.
China is going for Asian and World Domination here like no other empire, even America has enjoyed earlier. They have big ambitions, and they have time on their side.
It could be a world order where the Hans control world markets and the geopolitics of the world, a world where the Hans will have the right to the first bite, and where the rest can go for the crumbs, an Asia where in each country a small elite minority would be co-opted and the rest suppressed, a world where no other country or continent would stand up against Chinese hegemony in Asia and unquestioned superpower status outside Asia. All the other developed countries outside Asia would be co-opted in the Chinese capitalist system, where slowly and steadily even there the economic difference would grow. In countries in Africa and even South America, the model would be the same as in Asia.
This is the world I expect (unless something about it is done now). Here I am just a bit brain-storming.
Since we are still in the beginning of this possible world order, it is difficult to fathom its extent. That is why it is important for India and for the world, that there exists at least a duopoly in Asia - China and India. If that equilibrium gets broken, then we will be looking at the world order mentioned above.
I think regaining PoK and establishing a military alliance of strong countries in Asia is a must.
Just some thoughts.