Pakistan’s ‘Greylisting’ by FATF
An article by Adam Garrie published in Eurasia Future on 30 June 2018 provides a very insightful presentation of the ‘latent actualities’ of FATF’s placing of Pakistan on the ‘greylist’, as also the logical inferences drawn. The article is worth reading; as such it is reproduced below (with acknowledgement of courtesy the Eurasia Future). Underlining has been added to highlight the important aspects mentioned in the article.
Accessed 30 June 2018
Pakistan’s “Greylisting” as a Terror Sponsor Should be a Catalyst For Intensified Relations With China, Russia And Iran
Written by Adam Garrie on 2018-06-29
(Underlining added for highlighting significant aspects mentioned in this article.)
Pakistan’s war on terrorism: A misunderstood history
At an international level, Pakistan’s role in fighting terrorism continues to be not only misunderstood but totally misrepresented. As a perennial victim of both terrorist spillover from the instability of neighbouring Afghanistan and provocations on its soil orchestrated by foreign intelligence agencies including India’s RAW, Pakistan has been uniquely unfortunate in terms of being located in a region where terrorist actors are able to converge from all sides.
Secondly, when George W. Bush coined the term “war on terror”, far from being named as an enemy in such a war, Pakistan became one of America’s foremost allies. Under President Pervez Musharraf, the US was allowed to use Pakistan for its own operations in the region which primarily targeted Afghanistan, while many alleged refugees from Afghanistan that Pakistan gave shelter to, were in fact terrorists who began conducting violence in Pakistan – against Pakistanis.
The instability of border areas with Afghanistan therefore led to terrorism being proliferated on Pakistani soil while Pakistan’s civilians and security services repeatedly paid the ultimate price including in multiple so-called “friendly fire” incidents where US drones would shoot at and slaughter Pakistani civilians mistaken by poor US intelligence as terrorists.
Therefore, in fighting terrorism at the behest of the United States, Pakistan only brought more hardship upon its own people while the security services had to shoulder not only their own national burden but much of the burden placed upon Pakistan by the United States, a country which at the time was considered a partner.
No good deed goes unpunished
Under the Trump Presidency, the US has targeted Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism. This is partly owning to Trump’s desire to cut so-called “foreign aid” whenever possible, thus reducing capital outflow from the US. In the case of Pakistan, the terrorist sponsorship epithet was invoked to justify the severing of £255 million worth of “aid” to Islamabad – “aid” for which Pakistan paid dearly in more ways than one.
Moreover, with the US finding that a partnership with India is useful as part of its “China containment” strategy for Asia, the US has likewise adopted classic ultra-nationalist Indian rhetoric regarding Pakistan. Increasingly, US State Department press releases regarding Pakistan are almost indistinguishable from that which can be read in right-wing Indian newspapers regarding Islamabad.
Finally, because of Pakistan’s ever more important economic relations with its all-weather partner China, the US is seeking to “contain” China by punishing Pakistan for its warm ties with Beijing whose crowning achievement has been the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which links the Chinese mainland to Pakistan’s Arabian Sea port at Gwadar.
Because of this, Pakistan is not being punished by the US for its links with terrorism but is being perversely punished for engaging in economic connectivity projects to bring peace through prosperity, which when fully developed will help dry the regional swamps from which terrorism has often fomented. This implies that while no one denies that terrorist organisations do operate on Pakistani soil and have done so more and more ever since the 2001 American invasion of Afghanistan – it is Pakistanis who are victims not enablers of terrorism. Pakistanis have sacrificed themselves in the fight against terrorism and in recent years this hard fight is beginning to be won. Rather than applaud this achievement, the US has condemned it in the most cynical and dishonest way imaginable.
The FATF smokescreen
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is a multi-national body designed to fight the spread of dirty money used to finance terrorism among other nefarious activities. The body which remains heavily under the influence of the United States has just “greylisted” Pakistan, following on from Washington’s allegation that Pakistan is covertly sponsoring terrorism. While not officially a blacklist, the “greylist” clearly implies a slippery slope so far as Washington is concerned.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office has vowed to work with FATF in order to be removed from the “greylist”. This cooperative and dignified attitude is helpful in accurately portraying modern Pakistan as a nation which does not actively seek confrontation with any international bodies, including those which have clearly adopted the biases of countries that are hostile to Pakistan. But in order to fully counteract the provocation from FATF and to form a plan of action for further independence in security and financial agreements in the future, Pakistan must take initiative to distance itself from the unhelpful partnerships of the past.
Just say no to NATO
With the United States piling on the economic pressure against Pakistan, there is less and less of an incentive for Pakistan’s leaders to allow the country to be used as a transit route for NATO assets into the region. Furthermore, Pakistan should seriously review all agreements which have allowed the US to use Pakistan’s territory on a virtually “at will” basis. If the United States only sees Pakistan as a country whose territory it can use when it suites Washington’s strategic interests, this means that Pakistan too must begin to do a similar cost-benefit analysis regarding its relationship with the United States.
Intensifying security relations with China
Geopolitical expert Andrew Korybko recently discussed the prospects of China and Pakistan forming a Logistics Exchange Memorandum Of Agreement (LEMOA) which would allow each nation to use the other’s military facilities when appropriate. Regarding this proposal he stated,
“The time hasn’t yet come for a Chinese-Pakistani LEMOA, but it could be right around the corner in reaction to India’s possible eschewing of Eurasianism and tightened embrace of Atlanticism, which would itself be enough of a provocation to legitimately justify this joint escalatory measure that could more accurately be described as a “responsive rebalancing”. Figuratively speaking, the ball is in India’s court right now, and the South Asian state has become the most pivotal one at the moment in determining the long-term trajectory of Eastern Hemispheric geopolitics and therefore the overall course of the New Cold War. Its planned century-long military-strategic (junior) “partnership” with the US would completely upend the multipolar project by turning India into a dual mainland-maritime “forward operating base” for unipolarity’s southern thrust through Eurasia and its disruptive activities in the IOR, while turning its back on America would strengthen Afro-Eurasian security for years to come”.
The timing of the FATF “greylisting” and US Ambassador Nikki Hayley’s meeting with Indian Premier Narendra Modi just hours earlier makes it obvious that while under Donald Trump’s ultra-protectionist policies, India may not get the desired commercial benefits deriving from its new security partnership with Washington. It will instead get increasingly anti-Pakistan policies in return for acting as America’s barking dog in the region against Chinese economic connectivity initiatives.
In other words, while the US may not do for India what New Delhi initially sought in exchange for surrendering its old security partnerships to form a new one with the US, Washington is more than happy to “gift” India anti-Pakistan financial actions, thus proving that in order to satisfy the current Indian government, one needn’t make India rich, so long as one attempts to make Pakistan poor. This mercenary strategy of the US has thus far succeeded in solidifying an Indian partnership that is embarrassingly one-sided.
The time is now right for Pakistan to begin systematically detaching itself from the US/NATO apparatus which for decades but especially since 2001 has taken advantage of Pakistan’s geography and economic hopes in order to exert control over neighbouring Afghanistan, all the while forcing Pakistan to be America’s hostage to (mis)fortune. This strategy has come back to haunt Pakistan by creating more terrorism on Pakistani soil than there ever was prior to 2001 and now that Pakistan has successfully combated much of the terrorism that the US unleashed, it is not being thanked let alone rewarded but is being punished and humiliated as a result.
A Chinese partnership offers Pakistan the best potential for a long lasting economic and security relationship that will help to genuinely create sustainable economic development while insuring that Pakistan’s top security partner is one looking to work in a win-win format against extremism, rather than simply take advantage of Pakistan as the US has clearly done.
Russia and Iran are also potential security partners that will become invaluable to Pakistan. As a neighbouring state, Iran and Pakistan ought to work together against mutual threats from extremist terror groups in the Pakistani province of Balochistan and the neighbouring Iranian province of Sistan and Baluchestan. There is no longer any excuse not to work towards securing each other’s sovereignty against a common threat. This can help to forge a renewed understanding between the neighbouring states and end an atmosphere of distrust that has only ever worked against the mutual advantage of both Tehran and Islamabad.
In respect of the Russian superpower, as India is no longer able to transact security arrangements with Russia as it once did oweing to the threat of US sanctions, Pakistan can and should intensify its growing relations with Moscow in order to position itself at the centre of a genuine pan-Asian security alliance which will include China to the east, Russia and its central Asian partners to the north and Iran to the west.
Pakistan should take the experience it has had with the US and use this to develop a new way of thinking about itself and its position in the world so as to avoid asymmetrical partnerships while fomenting new ones that will put Pakistan in a position of diplomatic respect and economic independence, all within the framework of looking after the country’s genuine security interests.
Tags: #Pakistan’s greylisting by TATF #TATF #US’ influence on TATF #US’ War on Terrorism #Geopolitical options for Pakistan
Expansion of US’ Pacific Command to US’ Indo-Pacific Command
July 9, 2018 by intrinsic • Archive, Noteworthy News • Tags: Geopolitical Expansion in Indo-Pacific Oceans, Indo-Pacific, Indo-Pacific Command, US’ anti-Iran and anti-China Maritime Strategy, US’-India Naval Cooperation • 0 Comments
Oriental Review has published an important article on 28 June 2018, regarding the ‘expansionist’ re-designation of US’ Pacific command to US’ Indo-Pacific Command. The author of this article Leonid Savin is a geopolitical analyst, Chief Editor of Geopolitica.ru (from 2008), founder and chief editor of Journal of Eurasian Affairs (eurasianaffairs.net); and author of numerous books on geopolitics, conflicts, international relations and political philosophy.
Reference and some extracts of that article are as following (courtesy Oriental Review):-
Accessed 29 June 2018
The Indo-Pacific: The Expansion Of A Geopolitical Presence
Written by Leonid SAVIN on 28/06/2018
- On May 30, US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattisannounced that the Pacific Command was being renamed as the Indo-Pacific Command.
Thus the Pentagon’s largest (in a geographical sense) command has grown even more gigantic.
- The US media that specialize in the military have dismissed the idea that this rebranding has anything to do with the need to contain China and Iran. Although China has a coastline on the Pacific, Iran borders the Indian Ocean. But the more centralized decision-making will make it possible to react more quickly to any potential challenges or threats. So the Pentagon believes. And they have already begun to gradually translate their intentions (by suggesting that China and Iran are potential enemies) into reality.
- Although anti-Chinese sentiments are nothing unusual among the American establishment (as are anti-Iranian, anti-Korean, and anti-Russian attitudes), as can be seen by the most recent doctrines on national security, national defense, and the assessment of the country’s nuclear forces, this name change nevertheless reflects more profound shifts (or intentions).
- What is behind this decision, other than anti-Chinese and anti-Iranian rhetoric? The first thing that leaps to mind is the close cooperation seen today between the US and India in that region. And it’s true that Washington has recently been paying more attention to New Delhi, describing it as one of the future poles of regional security there, along with Japan, Australia, and other allies. (In that context, this Oriental Review article also contains a photograph of the meeting between Indian PM Modi and US’ Secretary Mattis just days after US renamed its Pacific Command as Indo-Pacific Command.)
- India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi commented on the US command’s name change on June 3 at the Shangri-La Dialogue (SLD) conference in Singapore, noting that for India it seems quite naturalto group the Indian and Pacific Oceans into a single geographical expanse.
- At the same summit, the news was released that the US, Australia, Japan, and India, which have joined to form the “Quad” group, will now view those two oceans as a new strategic domain.
- It is revealing that the joint American-Indian-Japanese Malabar naval exerciseswere held June 11-16 near the island of Guam. In an official statement, the US Navyclaimed that the maneuvers were intended to emphasize war-fighting skills and to demonstrate maritime superiority and power projection. In view of the fact that Pakistan is rapidly emerging from the orbit of US influence, the Pentagon’s interest in India as a local base of operations is rapidly growing. And since India’s neighbors — Pakistan and China — themselves have certain territorial claims against that country (as it does against them), this factor is impacting the evolution of Indian-American relations.
- The US concept of a free and open Indo-Pacific strategy (FOIP) serves as an umbrella concept masking deeper intervention in the guise of large-scale cooperation. This strategy is simultaneously intended to both replace the failed Trans-Pacific Partnership on trade that Donald Trump rejected, as well as to lure ASEAN members over to the US side, or at least to ease them away from China’s expanding influence.
- It is the same situation with the term Indo-Pacific — here we see an easily discernible expansionist model, albeit one masked in the guise of cooperation.
- Now this region will become the Indo-Pacific. Although the US maritime presence is global, and every country in the world, in one way or another, falls under the responsibility of the various Pentagon commands, the official line justifying the US presence from the Horn of Africa to the Strait of Malacca will now be more assertive and direct.
Some of the inferences in the above-mentioned extracts, which are especially noteworthy, are:-
“So the Pentagon believes. And they have already begun to gradually translate their intentions (by suggesting that China and Iran are potential enemies) into reality”;
“this name change nevertheless reflects more profound shifts (or intentions)”;
“What is behind this decision, other than anti-Chinese and anti-Iranian rhetoric? The first thing that leaps to mind is the close cooperation seen today between the US and India in that region”;
“In view of the fact that Pakistan is rapidly emerging from the orbit of US influence, the Pentagon’s interest in India as a local base of operations is rapidly growing”;
“It is the same situation with the term Indo-Pacific — here we see an easily discernible expansionist model, albeit one masked in the guise of cooperation”; and
“the official line justifying the US presence from the Horn of Africa to the Strait of Malacca will now be more assertive and direct”.
Tags: #Indo-Pacific Command #Geopolitical Expansion in Indo-Pacific Oceans #US’-India Naval Cooperation #US’ anti-Iran and anti-China Maritime Strategy #Indo-Pacific
Modernization of nuclear weapons continues – number of peacekeepers declines
Accessed 22 June 2018
Modernization of nuclear weapons continues – number of peacekeepers declines
4 days ago on June 18, 2018
By MD Staff
World nuclear forces: reductions remain slow as modernization continues
At the start of 2018 nine states—the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea)—possessed approximately 14 465 nuclear weapons. This marked a decrease from the approximately 14 935 nuclear weapons that SIPRI estimated these states possessed at the beginning of 2017.
The decrease in the overall number of nuclear weapons in the world is due mainly to Russia and the USA—which together still account for nearly 92 per cent of all nuclear weapons—further reducing their strategic nuclear forces pursuant to the implementation of the 2010 Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START).
Despite making limited reductions to their nuclear forces, both Russia and the USA have long-term programmes under way to replace and modernize their nuclear warheads, missile and aircraft delivery systems, and nuclear weapon production facilities. The USA’s most recent Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), published in February 2018, reaffirmed the modernization programmes and approved the development of new nuclear weapons. The NPR also emphasized expanding nuclear options to deter and, if necessary, defeat both nuclear and ‘non-nuclear strategic attacks’.
The nuclear arsenals of the other nuclear-armed states are considerably smaller, but all are either developing or deploying new nuclear weapon systems or have announced their intention to do so. India and Pakistan are both expanding their nuclear weapon stockpiles as well as developing new land-, sea- and air-based missile delivery systems. China continues to modernize its nuclear weapon delivery systems and is slowly increasing the size of its nuclear arsenal.
In 2017 North Korea continued to make technical progress in developing its nuclear weapon capabilities, including the test of—what was claimed to be—a thermonuclear weapon, in September. North Korea also demonstrated unexpected rapid progress in the testing of two new types of long-range ballistic missile delivery systems.
* ‘Deployed warheads’ refers to warheads placed on missiles or located on bases with operational forces. ** ‘Other warheads’ refers to stored or reserve warheads and retired warheads awaiting dismantlement.
Total figures include the highest estimate when a range is given. Figures for North Korea are uncertain and are not included in total figures. All estimates are approximate.
(Note). The above-mentioned report is a reprint of the original SIPRI for the media report which can be read at https://sipri.org/media/press-release/2018/modernization-nuclear-weapons-continues-number-peacekeepers-declines-new-sipri-yearbook-out-now
Why are EU countries reluctant to intervene in Yemen’s war?
Under the above mentioned caption DW has published a ‘commenting report’ on 24–04– 2018.
For that report, DW has also drawn on the reports by Reuters and the comments of Ali al-Absi, a Yemeni researcher who specializes in EU affairs and a consultant at the Arab-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Ghorfa), and Günter Meyer, the director of the Centre for Research on the Arab World at the University of Mainz.
According to the report, “Yemen’s conflict has raged since 2011. However, the European Union appears to have prioritized Syria’s civil war, which started the same year, because of economic considerations and a lack of urgency on refugees”.
According to Günter Meyer, “Both Britain and France sell arms to Saudi Arabia, which means they have no interest in dealing with the humanitarian catastrophe there“.
Ali al-Absi told DW that EU countries were also dissatisfied with Yemen’s Saudi-backed government and were therefore wary of providing financial assistance to a regime that has proved to be “inefficient.”
The report also highlights that one of the reasons for EU countries’ interest in halting Syria’s war, and not so in the case of Yemen, is the influx of Syrian refugees to EU countries – about one million of them (out of above 11 million) have taken refuge in EU countries. However, the Yemeni refugees find it too difficult to reach Europe, as explained by al-Absi, instead of attempting to reach Europe as refugees via a nearly impossible land route that would force them to transit Saudi Arabia and possibly Syria, Iraq or both, displaced people there are fleeing to the remaining safe areas within the country.
The detailed DW report may be read on http://www.dw.com/en/why-are-eu-countries-reluctant-to-intervene-in-yemens-war/a-43513746
Iran’s offer to Pakistan and China to Participate in Iran’s Chahbahar Port Project
May 5, 2018 by intrinsic • Noteworthy News • Tags: Iran’s Chahbahar Port Project, Iran’s offer to Pakistan and China to Participate in Iran • 0 Comments
According to news item, captioned ‘Iran invites Pakistan to participate in Chahbahar project’, published in the Dawn on 13 March 2018, “Iranian Foreign Minister Dr Javad Zarif on Monday invited Pakistan to participate in Chahbahar seaport project and development of its link with Gwadar Port as he sought to allay concerns here over Indian involvement in the Iranian port. “We offered to participate in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). We have also offered Pakistan and China to participate in Chahbahar”. He made these remarks while addressing, in the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad, the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of Pakistan-Iran diplomatic relations.
The report by Dawn also mentioned, “Pakistan had always been concerned about Indian involvement in Chahbahar port. These concerns got amplified after Iran last month signed a lease agreement with India, which would give operational control of the port to the latter.”
In that context the Iranian Foreign Minister tried to allay Pakistan’s concern about the increasing influence in Iran of India – the arch rival of Pakistan. However according to the Dawn report, “He likened Iran’s relations with India to Pakistan’s ties with Saudi Arabia. “Our relations with India, just like Pakistan’s relations with Saudi Arabia, are not against Pakistan as we understand Pakistan’s relations with Saudi Arabia are not against Iran,” the crafty and skilful diplomat said trying to remind about his country’s concerns”. (1).
That mention of Iranian Foreign Minister, about Iran’s offer to China and Pakistan to participate in Chahbahar Port project, were also reported by many other media outlets, including the Indian media.
However, this reported aspect has again been picked up. This time Bloomberg, headquartered in New York, has published it under the caption, ‘How a Remote Iranian Port Could Heighten China-India Tensions’ (2).
While highlighting many aspects related to the possibility of China or / and Pakistan accepting Iran’s offer to participate in the Chahbahar Port project, Bloomberg also quotes the remarks of Mr. Ebrahim Jamili, head of the Iran-India Chamber of Commerce in Tehran. In that context Mr Ebrahim Jamili mentioned, “Still, for Iran the port’s development is important. It will be a vital trading hub in the Gulf of Oman. The priority is with the Indians — they’ve been involved and came forward first,” Jamili said. “But if another investor comes along and is interested in Chabahar, there is certainly enough space and opportunity for them and for their investment”.
So far there has been no official response on this offer by the government of China. However, following related aspects appear clear:-
- Due to its deep economic problems, any attempt by Pakistan to participate with investment in Chahbahar Port project is least likely.
- India has scored a major success by getting the right of operational control of Chahbahar Port by making Iran to sign a lease agreement to that effect.
- However, it is still to be seen whether India could actually continue to finance the development of this project as per the aspiration of Iran. That aspect is somewhat dicey – there have been delays in that regard.
- On the other hand China obviously can afford much better financially.
- Besides that, China already has a China-Iran Rail Link connecting Zhejiang province just south of Shanghai on China’s eastern coast with Tehran (see map below).
(Map – Courtesy Google Search) (3)
The first cargo train had already moved on this rail route as reported on 16 February 2016 by The Diplomat. That journey took 14 days – 30 days less than the maritime route from the Chinese Shanghai port to the Iranian port of Bander Abbas. (4).
- Even if China does not directly participate in the development of the Chahbahar Port, and if Iran comes under financial constraints (specially keeping in view the ‘heat’ on the Iran Nuclear Deal issue), the possibility of Iran-China agreement for Chinese investment at least in the development of related infrastructure cannot be ruled out. Such an eventuality is certain to work against the current Indian geopolitical endeavour to ‘encircle’ Pakistan from the west also, after the successful Indian endeavour in Afghanistan.
It is therefore worth keeping a tag of any news appearing in that context.