The Hybrid War On CPEC Hits Karachi

By Andrew Korybko
Source

The so-called “Balochistan Liberation Army’s” suicide attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi is a serious escalation of the Hybrid War on CPEC designed to put unprecedented pressure on China ahead of President Xi’s planned meeting with his American counterpart at the G20 Summit next week.

The Chinese consulate in Pakistan’s largest city of Karachi was targeted by a suicide attack Friday morning that was claimed by the so-called “Balochistan Liberation Army” (BLA), an Indian-backed terrorist group that’s been a problem for decades. The state had recently scored plenty of successes against it though in both the military and ideological domains, the former of which is attributable to Pakistan’s nationwide anti-terrorist operations over the past few years while the latter is due to prominent separatist Dr. Jumma Baloch’s defection from his former “fellows” in February and his subsequent creation of the Overseas Pakistani Baloch Unity (OPBU) for peacefully reintegrating foreign-based fighters into their homeland’s social fabric.

Altogether, the military and ideological gains that Pakistan achieved are sustained by the fresh wind of optimism that the Baloch minority now has about their future in the Silk Road Century, seeing as how their region forms the terminal point of the Belt & Road Initiative’s (BRI) flagship project of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and is correspondingly mainland-maritime pivot in Afro-Eurasia. In fact, it can be argued that any “separatist insurgency” that might have previously existed in Balochistan had been strategically neutralized in its entirety, ergo why the foreign-backed remnants of the BLA resorted to the desperate means of carrying out a terrorist attack against the Chinese consulate in Karachi in order to instantaneously draw international media attention to their “cause”.

Unaware observers shouldn’t be fooled into falling for the BLA’s narrative that it supposedly represents an “oppressed people yearning for freedom”, since Dr. Jumma proved that not only have the Baloch’s previous misgivings been addressed by the promises that the Pakistan state made to them through CPEC, but this famous separatist also outright spilled the beans and declared that India hijacked the original struggle that he previously dedicated his life to supporting. He even traveled throughout Europe earlier this year to raise awareness about how some countries are hosting dangerous terrorists from his homeland in an important series of visits that exposed the continent’s double standards towards this scourge.

Regrettably, his warnings weren’t heeded and now some European states have blood on their hands for pretending that the BLA and other terrorist organizations from Balochistan are nothing more than “political opposition groups”, but the country that deserves the most blame for the latest attack is India. Kalbushan Jadhav, a Hybrid War operative working with India’s Research & Analysis Wing (RAW, an analogue of the CIA and Mossad), admitted after his capture last year that he was fomenting terrorist attacks in this strategic region, thereby proving that the Indo-American Hybrid War on CPEC isn’t just a “conspiracy theory” but can nowadays be regarded as a conspiracy fact.

Speaking of which, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan officially stated that the latest attack was indeed a conspiracy aimed at sabotaging his country’s cooperation with China, which isn’t surprising considering that the Chief Of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa warned over the weekend that Pakistan is “now confronting hybrid conflict where focus is shifting to subversion on religious, sectarian, ethnic and social issues”. Accordingly, the latest stage of the Hybrid War on CPEC perfectly fits into this model because it’s aimed at exacerbating identity fault lines within this diverse country, albeit in an artificial way that wouldn’t naturally occur without the crucial catalyst of terrorism.

To explain, the foreign backers behind the Karachi suicide attack are hoping that it will provoke a disproportionate military response in Balochistan that could cause collateral damage among civilians and thus set into motion a “self-sustaining” Hybrid War reaction from the locals that could roll back the recent gains that were achieved. This is highly unlikely to happen, however, because of the world-class professionalism of the Pakistani Armed Forces, which is why the only outcome will probably be that the two countries behind this destabilization operation will invest in decontextualizing, misportraying, and then over-amplifying events in order to produce the false narrative of a purportedly ongoing “identity/separatist/freedom conflict” there that could then be spread across the Mainstream Media as part of their infowar against BRI.

The weaponized management of global perceptions is intended to propagate the notion that Pakistan is allegedly a “very dangerous and unstable” country that no foreign company should risk doing business in, even if it’s to take advantage of the time-saving geostrategic shortcut of trading with China via CPEC. The whole point of this campaign is to sow seeds of doubt about Pakistan, China, CPEC, and ultimately BRI itself which could eventually lead to economic hardships for all of them if the Silk Road’s flagship project is perceived (key word) to be “functionally unviable” by the “international community” as a result of this coordinated propaganda attack against it.

In fact, any fake news that might be spun in the coming future about any alleged “atrocities” carried out by the Pakistani military against the Baloch (either in the past or the present day) could be used to set the narrative basis for the US to sanction Pakistan, just as it might be planning to do with China as regards the issue of Uighur terrorism in Xinjiang, with it being implied by the US that entities doing business with the South Asian state (especially its Balochistan region) and/or the western Chinese province could be eligible for “secondary sanctions”. This would in effect amount to the indirect sanctioning of CPEC, a disturbing scenario that Pakistan and its all-weather Chinese ally should possibly prepare for.

BRI is currently undergoing an unofficial period of “restructuring” after countries from Malaysia to the Maldives and even Ethiopia are renegotiating their previous commitments to this worldwide series of connectivity projects, so putting pressure on CPEC at this specific moment (be it of the Hybrid War and/or sanctions variant) is intended to destabilize the foundation of China’s grand strategy. It also can’t be forgotten that all of this is occurring in the run-up to President Xi’s planned meeting with his American counterpart at the G20 next week right on the heels of Vice President Pence’s dramatic declaration about an impending “all-out cold war” between the two Great Powers during last weekend’s APEC Summit.

Some media reports have speculated that the US wants China to agree to a so-called “truce” in their “trade war”, which might turn out to be nothing more than a euphemism for demanding its rival’s strategic capitulation. Considering this very plausible scenario in light of the new American administration’s tendency to unabashedly bully its counterparts on the international arena, it wouldn’t be surprising if Washington tasked its new allies in New Delhi with ordering their BLA proxies to carry out the terrorist attack against the Chinese consulate in Karachi in order to exert maximum pressure on Beijing prior to next week’s summit between Presidents Xi and Trump.

Regardless of the analytical conjecture about who might have really been behind this high-profile suicide attack and why, it should be expected that this brazen act of terror will be exploited by third parties for their own benefit, be it by India to distract from its abuses in occupied Kashmir or by the US to push China into complying with its terms for a “truce”. Concerted efforts will be made in the near future by both of those countries to portray this event as “proof” that Pakistan is “unstable”, but what it really proves is that the Hybrid War on CPEC is just getting started and that the “Zipper of Eurasia” has a game-changing global geostrategic significance that neither of them will ever openly admit.

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This is What Can be Accomplished During Imran Khan’s Visit to China

By Adam Garrie
Source

Later this week, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan will take his first official visit to China. As Pakistan’s neighbour and most important all-weather ally, the visit is of incomparable importance as Pakistan stands on the verge of fulfilling the next stages of inspiring new projects throughout the country, many of which have been jointly initiated with China. Furthermore, international pressures as well as domestic challenges that have arisen over the last year mean that China is well placed to offer Pakistan the kind of sustainable economic assistance required to rectify problems that previous Pakistani governments failed to address. With this in mind, here are the goals that can be achieved during Imran’s inaugural visit to China:

Securing a loan 

Last week Saudi Arabia gave Pakistan a one year loan of $3 billion with an addition $3 billion offered in the form of deferred payments for oil. The agreement was made on the same day that Imran Khan attended the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh. This itself is demonstrative of the no nonsense approach that Imran takes when dealing with important multilateral issues. Imran Khan’s positive meetings with the Saudi leadership along with his statement that Pakistan is willing to play a role as a mediator in regional conflicts including the war in Yemen, indicates that far from Saudi offering a “sympathy loan” to Islamabad, rapidly emerging geopolitical trends and Pakistan’s own economic development makes Pakistan a crucial partner for Riyadh.

The $10 billion that Saudi Arabia has invested for the purposes of building an oil refinery in the Pakistani port city of Gwadar makes it clear that not only is Gwadar fast becoming one of the most important hubs for global trade but that in integrating Saudi investment into the city that represents the southern terminus of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Saudi Arabia is attempting to utilise the decades of good will between itself and Pakistan in order to become more immersed in the win-win relationship stemming from direct participation in the Belt and Road Initiative.

The IMF has already made it clear that as expected, all of Pakistan’s current internal and bilateral projects will be scrutinised from the overtly American perspective of the IMF’s top officials. As such, Chinese officials are well aware that Washington could use its influence on the IMF to meddle in the progress of multiple CPEC related and other regional Sino-Pakistani projects. This gives China a clear incentive to help its neighbour whose current account deficit has widened due to the economic mismanagement of previous Pakistani governments.

Beyond this, a Chinese investment in Pakistan in the form of a loan should also be described as an investment in China. As China and Pakistan have shared interests in seeing that the full extent of neighbourly cooperation bears the sweetest possible fruits, China requires an economically stable Pakistan in order to realise this win-win goal. Imran Khan’s optimistic spirit and his domestic war on corruption itself mirrors that which Xi Jinping has engaged in for the benefit of the Chinese people. While no nation wants to throw money away, China knows that Pakistan has the potential to be a great economic power and that as such, a loan to Pakistan would represent an effort to help Imran Khan bring his nation back to economic solvency while the unwise practices of his predecessors that were ultimately bad for Pakistan and its partners are now a thing of the past and as such encouraged investor confidence from many quarters. Thus, a Chinese loan to Pakistan should be viewed as an important investment in a mutually sustainable future based on transparency and a neighbourly opposition to all forms of degrading corruption.

Taken in totality, there remains an opportunity for Imran to secure a loan from China which when combined with the existing Saudi loan could help Pakistan to avoid the IMF all together.

Fight fake news about Belt and Road/CPEC together 

Those with an interest in retarding the progress of Belt and Road and CPEC specifically have launched an all out disinformation war about the current healthy state of China-Pakistan relations. This disinfo war itself is part of a wider drive among certain malicious actors to drive a wedge between China and its partners in the Ummah (global Islamic community). It also serves as an outgrowth of America’s zero-sum attitude to Belt and Road that is expressed in non-factual media reports across several journalistic markets.

When Pakistan’s Foreign Minister addressed the United Nations last month, he presented Pakistan as a champion of the multi-national Belt and Road initiative that is sometimes described as merely a Chinese rather than multilateral initiative. In standing beside Xi Jinping, Imran Khan has the opportunity to not just expose the lies but attack the sources of the lies regarding malicious anti-CPEC stories while showing the world that Pakistan and China remain positively jointly committed to win-win relationships that will transform not just Pakistan but multiple Asian and African nations through enhanced connectivity and economic modernisation in the wider Afro-Eurasian space.

A rounded perspective on Xinjiang

Unlike some of Imran Khan’s predecessors, Imran Khan has shown himself to be deeply in touch with the charitable, austere and compassionate roots of Islam. As such, Imran Khan has vowed to revitalise the dream of national father Muhammad Ali Jinnah to transform Pakistan into an Islamic welfare state.

While mostly non-Muslims and non-Chinese continue to write absurd stories about life in the Chinese province of Xinjiang, particularly where the welfare of Muslims residents are concerned, Imran Khan is well placed to dispel this rumour by publicly relating how Chinese and Islamic values are neither incompatible nor mutually exclusive in practical terms.

As Xinjiang province borders Pakistan, there is all the more reason for Imran Khan to express feelings of unity as a means of dispelling attempts to divide the Ummah from its natural Chinese friend and partner.

New economic initiatives

The spirit of Naya Pakistan (new Pakistan) has been felt not only by Pakistanis but by much of the wider world. Chinese officials have already expressed how it is Beijing’s desire to tap into this spirit of forward thinking to work on new mutual projects that will transform the lives of multiple people in both nations, thus offering the Pakistani and Chinese people a future based on sustainable development through deeper and wider cooperative efforts.

While many Pakistanis are squarely focused on the loan that they hope to secure from a partner like China, Imran Khan has been wise in reminding Pakistanis not to be consumed by the negative legacies of the past. While the mistakes of the past must be dealt with, Imran Khan has also encouraged Pakistani’s to dream positive and healthy dreams for themselves and their country. This attitude is similar to the Chinese Dream that is encouraged through the people-centred initiatives detailed in Xi Jinping Thought. Because of this, it is clear that the only thing more constructive than two neighbours dreaming big is dreaming big together.

More cultural exchange 

Prioritising visits by Chinese tourists to Pakistan and Pakistani tourists to China is a vital way to secure the best possible future relations. Additionally, musicians, artists, sportspeople and great minds from both countries ought to present their talents to those on the other side of the border in order to demonstrate that the benefits of a modern win-win partnership have the ability to foster enlightened human development as well as economic and infrastructural development.

A commitment to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation 

Pakistan’s membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation gives the country a seat in an important organisation that can help bring further peace to Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan, help to foster peace within Afghanistan and work to fight terrorism across multiple states. Iman Khan’s own views that extremism must be fought through a combination of proactive security measures and the draining of the swamp of economic destitution in which extremism foments is itself not dissimilar from the methods China has used to rid Xinjiang of extremism.

Furthermore, the regional government that PTI first formed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 2013 helped to pioneer education and social welfare as means of lifting people out of both poverty and the related trap of extremism simultaneously. As China continues to do the same in Xinjiang in accordance with Chinese characteristics, both countries can share and pool their experiences in fighting extremist threats that continue to dominate issues at the level of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. Such an exchange of methodology can help the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation to become a more potent force for security in the region.

Conclusion 

Iman Khan’s visit to China will be an important moment where a dignified and forward looking Pakistani leader will be able to make the most out of a decades long all-weather friendship with the most important economic superpower in today’s world. So long as the meeting is guided by the optimistic spirit of Naya Pakistan, both countries will be able to achieve much on a win-win basis.

Imran Khan Has Successfully Exposed Liberalism as Pakistan’s Greatest Enemy

America’s Establishment – the military-industrial complex

During his final address as President of the United States of America, General Dwight D. Eisenhower warned of the development of a military-industrial complex in the following way:

“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government.

We recognise the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted.

Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defence with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together”.

Since Eisenhower’s speech, the US military-industrial complex has become so influential that its policy making role in government is thought to exceed that of elected officials up to and including the head of state. As the country with the world’s most powerful military and strongest economy, this means that not only does the US military-industrial complex threaten democracy in the US but it threatens the peace and freedom of those in other nations whose governments may occasionally quarrel with Washington.

Against this background, it is both absurd and hypocritical for anti-patriotic forces within Pakistan to heap scorn on the young government of Imran Khan and his PTI party under the guise that they are “too close” to Pakistan’s military establishment. In the United States, it has proved to be impossible to even get close to power by promising a revision in the nation’s foreign policy while in Pakistan, PTI proved that a party with a clearly reformist approach to foreign policy making can not only win but in many cases obliterate the vote of the old legacy parties as well as fringe extremist parties.

It is in fact true that Pakistan has a long history of open conflict between civilian governments and what is widely called The Establishment – the military. In July of this year however, a peaceful democratic election signifying only the second ever peaceful transition of power in Pakistan’s history has signalled the early stages of a shift from a policy of confrontation between the Establishment and government to one of cooperation. Before going further, it must be noted that while conflict between the military and elected government is a phenomenon that the international media tends to universally associate with Pakistan, such conflicts transpire in multiple nations with different histories and societal issues.

Turkey

Modern Turkey has a long history of civilian governments in open conflict with the military. In spite of reforms early during Erdogan’s time as Prime Minister to harmonise the relationship between the Turkish Army and elected government, the apogee of conflict between the military and government in Turkey occurred as recently as 2016 when elements of the Fethullah Terror Organisation infiltrated the Army and led an illegal coup against President Erdogan. The result has been an intensified effort by Erdogan and the civilian government to bring to justice those in the Army associated with all forms of anti-government activity. After his recent re-election under new constitutional regulations, Erdogan has made good on his pledge to make the army directly answerable to the president rather than operate as a body that was previously allowed to make public political pronouncements without conclusion with civilian factions.

Egypt

After the US backed de-stabilisation of Egypt in 2011, a Muslim Brotherhood government came to power in Cairo that was directly at odds with the military. In 2013, the military led an ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood’s leader Mohammad Morsi and put General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in power who remains President to this day. While some called Sisi’s rise to power a coup, others point out the reckless incompetence, unpopularity and social extremism of Morsi and his followers. Egypt is clearly a country where mainstream forces all make reasonable arguments both for and against the Army’s strong influence on the country’s national political development.

Pakistan’s light at the end of many tunnels 

Therefore, while Turkey took decades to peacefully harmonise military-civilian government relations and while Egypt has yet to fully do so, Pakistan stands on the verge of peacefully achieving such harmonisation. Furthermore, this was largely accomplished through the ballot box and domestic diplomacy. This is not to imply that the incoming PTI led coalition government of Pakistan is “subservient” to the Army as some of PTI’s domestic detractors have said for obvious enough self-serving reasons. Neither is it to say that Fatima Bhutto (whose relations with a powerful Pakistani political family are minimised by the Guardian’s editors) is correct in stating that “Imran Khan is only a player in the circus run by Pakistan’s military” as she recently did in Britain’s ultra-liberal Guardian newspaper.

In reality, Pakistan is maturing into a state where both the military and civilian leaders are increasing cooperating for the benefit of the nation, just as is the case within all three major superpowers where open schisms between the military and government are largely unheard of. While all such moves in any nation are bound to have growing pains, the fact of the matter is that Pakistan’s leaders are embarking on a new era of national unity – something that is necessary in order to ensure peace and prosperity for future generations. Therefore, less open antagonism between the government and military in Pakistan should be welcomed rather than be subject to conspiracy theories and wild speculation disguised as analysis.

Pakistan has a real enemy within and it is not The Establishment 

With PTI is moving to modernise and harmonise the government’s relationship with the Establishment on a legal and win-win basis, Imran Khan’s transformation from opposition leader to statesman has laid bear the face of the true enemy within. In Pakistan, Imran Khan’s critics have sunk to new lows in their ever more frequent gossip column style criticism of the new Prime Minister. Before Imran has even settled into his new desk, his critics are already proclaiming the PTI led government a failure in a manner that only serves the foreign enemies of the Pakistani people and which in turns threatens the unity and survival of the state.

But while Imran Khan’s opponents continue to hurl stones within a glass house, they fail to realise that in shrieking about their own country’s supposed inferiority under the prying eyes of India, Afghanistan and The United States, they do not realise that when compared with other nations, Pakistan’s problems are not unique. To say otherwise is to fall into the trap of the colonial mentality which in the last election doomed the PML-N and PPP to electoral failure.

Liberal Pakistanis complain about the country’s blasphemy laws and the fact that PTI has no plans to change such laws. Meanwhile, such forces ignore the fact that in the countries of Europe and North America – countries which face a substantially low terrorist threat vis-a-vis Pakistan, legislators are hastily drafting new laws to censor criticism of just about any social trend ranging from feminism to sectarian politics. While Pakistani laws defend the country’s historical religious traditions, western governments are passing laws to protect the pagan gods of the west – the totemic ramparts of ultra-liberalism. Thus, Pakistan’s blasphemy laws should not be viewed in a vacuum and should certainly never be seen as more dangerous than the decrepit state of Indian society in which Muslims are being openly lynched with the support of members of the ruling political party simply for going about their daily business in peace. Until western hypocrisy and Indian mob rule are addressed, there is little point in growing hysterical over Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.

Liberal Pakistanis then complain about press freedom before realising that Pakistan actually has some of the freest political speech in the world.

In an age where US corporate media, European corporate and state media and the Indian government all look to clamp down on free speech, Pakistan remains a place whose levels of political free speech are staggeringly high. Whether on Urdu, English or provincial language media, Pakistanis can say almost anything they want about almost anyone they want and for the most part it is all done in relative peace.

When the PTI government announced a further step to free Pakistan’s already highly open media it was clear that existing trends will only improve under the leadership of Imran Khan While private media outlets have long had editorial freedoms, according to a recent statement from Pakistan’s Information Minister Chaudhary Fawad Hussain, now even state owned media will be given full editorial freedom.

As per vision of @ImranKhanPTI Ended political censorship on PTV, clear instructions issued for a complete editorial independence on PTV and Radio Pakistan, drastic changes ll be visible in Information Dept in coming 3 months Inshallah — Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) August 21, 2018

This means that if fully realised, Pakistan’s private and state owned media will be more free to criticise the government than both private and state owned media outlets in many European countries where opposition views are increasingly shunned or derided as “fake”.

The real fight for Pakistan’s future 

Imran Khan has drawn the liberal werewolves out of their hiding places and has thus exposed the real enemies of social and economic progress in Pakistan to be liberal forces who see it fit to criticise every element of Pakistani society without cessation. Such people take perverse delight in blaming the Establishment for doing that which it does not do while summarily ignoring how the US military-industrial complex is vastly more powerful than Pakistan’s Establishment ever was. Likewise, Pakistan’s liberal fifth column somehow believe that Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are unusual while similar things either already exist or are being legally erected in the countries who join Pakistan’s home grown liberals in heaping scorn on a nation being antagonised both on its eastern and western borders.

What good is it to be on guard against terrorism from Afghanistan and India if Pakistan’s own liberal fifth column continues to scapegoat the nation itself for every problem under the sun. Pakistan does have problems and most of these problems are not unique to Pakistan. What is however unique is the agility with which supposed patriots of Pakistan do more for the country’s foreign enemies than the foreign enemies themselves could ever hope to achieve.

By increasing the amplification of these anti-national voices in so far as his presence seems to agitate them into fits of Pakistan hating hysteria, Imran Khan has already proved why he is in the best position to fight this enemy within and secure a better internal and external future for Pakistan.

By Adam Garrie
Source: Eurasia Future

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