The 2017 BRICS Summit announcement on Terrorism. A brief comment.

Syed Haider Raza Mehdi.

In my view the BRICS announcement is actually an announcement of a change in Pakistan’s policy vis a via the Jihadis especially LeT and JeM which have the potential of stumbling Pakistan and India into a military conflict.

Here’s the actual clause numbered 48 of the 71 Clause declaration available at BRICS 2017 SUMMIT DECLARATION

*48. We, in this regard, express concern on the security situation in the region and violence caused by the Taliban, ISIL/DAISH, Al-Qaida and its affiliates including Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, TTP and Hizb ut-Tahrir.*

I’m fairly certain that China and Pakistan were aligned on this text prior to the announcement.

And to me, it appears the rationale is simple.

For China it is imperative that her OBOR project and CPEC are not put at risk under any circumstances.

All militant organizations named in the announcement have the potential of doing so in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Russia and China.

For China this is very important, especially in the context of India Pakistan relations.

To them, any activities in Indian held Kashmir by any groups with ties to Pakistan, formally or informally, have and will continue to result in Indian actions inside Pakistan. Balochistan and CPEC being two easy targets. Earlier it was FATA through the TTP.

India nearly took over Pakistan through Nawaz Sharif. And for this betrayal of Pakistani interests must Nawaz face capital retribution. He and his family must never again be trusted with Pakistan’s governance.

Pakistan has now fully committed itself to China and CPEC (really an extension of Chinese policy) has to do two things.

1. Align to Chinese advice and direction because like it or not, the die is now cast.
2. Ensure that we now move on from our previous position and approach in using Jihadi outfits as instruments of  State Strategy and Foreign Policy.

Hence this announcement now gives Pakistan a very strong cause belli to begin the very difficult and complex task of defanging these two outfits, LeT and JeM  using China’s public position in support of these actions.

It is a very complex task, laden with serious potential consequences because of the nature of these groups.

They are highly motivated, very well armed, heavily funded from across the length and breadth of Pakistan, but primarily by the Punjabi metchants and the fact that they are predominantly Punjabi with roots in the heartland of Pakistan, Punjab.

But most importantly because of the fact that they symbolise a very emotional cause, close and dear to a large part of our population, Kashmir.

So if the disengagement turns nasty, just Imagine two heavily armed militias comprising predominantly Punjabis and Kashmiris, in the heartland of Punjab, turning rogue.

It’s not easy but has to be done and must be done.

We have to fight for Kashmir on every forum possible, except through such non state actors.  Because the consequences and outcomes of such a strategy will certainly not be an independant Kashmir or a Pakistani Kashmir,  but a weak Pakistan.

We must thank our lucky stars that Gen. Bajwa is our Chief, awowedly against using the Jihadist strategy as an instrument of state policy and publicly against all forms of militancy and non state militias.

However, this announcement is no reflection on the larger congruence between Pakistan, China, Russia and Iran on a common strategy towards Afghanistan to counter rhe USA of containing China and de-nuking Pakistan.

China is very smart. They do not want to jeopardise their $45 Trillion OBOR and want to woo India away from the USA, because India can potentially cause great harm to CPEC in its efforts to undermine Pakistan.

Therefore wants to remove all stumbling blocks between Pakistan and India to stop Indian attempts to scuttle CPEC.

The BRICS announcement was China’s carrot to India and a go ahead to Pakistan.

And because beggars can’t be choosers we have to now listen to the Chinese.

We’ve now cast our lot with the Chinese. Lock stock and barrel.

This is the deepest ingress we’ve allowed into Pakistan. Much much beyond Badaber, Shamsi and the largest CIA station in Islamabad.

And the government who negotiated the CPEC terms is still in power and no one knows what has been given and signed away.

We know nothing except that the Chinese will dominate most if not every aspect of our lives in the forseeable future.

Welcome to Pekingistan!

Makes sense?

-Syed Haider Raza Mehdi.

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