LAHORE: Chairman Senate Defence Committee, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, that any New Cold War will ‘unacceptable to Pakistan and instead of asking us to balance our ties between China and US, Washington itself needs to balance its role and relations with India and Pakistan’.
He said the US tilt towards India had led to a credibility gap in American regional policies, as US condemned Russian annexation of Crimea while it condoned Indian annexation of Kashmir.
Senator Mushahid was addressing an International Conference as Chief Guest on the ‘Significance of BRI in Regional Connectivity’ organised by the Punjab University. He said BRI had already delivered with 300,000 jobs, of which CPEC was centre piece with 75,000 jobs provided, making Gwadar Port the point of regional connectivity, reviving Thar Coal Project with Women’s empowerment and strengthening the Federation through speedier car connectivity.
Mushahid said CPEC was back on track and revival of the Railways ML-1 Project would be the centre piece of CPEC in the second phase which will include Agriculture and relocation of Chinese industry in special economic zones.
Senator Mushahid dismissed notions of a New Cold War as untenable and unacceptable to Asians, rejecting NATO’s expansion into Asia as ‘unnatural’ as it was beyond its stated mandate. He urged for a Maritime Security policy and lauded role of Pakistan Navy in promoting Maritime Diplomacy. He said Asia-Pacific cannot be merely an ‘American Lake’ and it must be inclusive to include all the major Asian powers, particularly Pakistan and China. Senator Mushahid Hussain said participation in the Maritime Silk Road of BRI through Blue Economy connectivity was pivotal to Pakistan’s future security and prosper and urged Pakistan policymakers to ‘shed their inherent sea-blindness’ as geoeconomics and geopolitics were inextricably intertwined.
Dr Huma Baqai, an eminent foreign policy expert, termed US efforts to contain China as ‘myopic and unsustainable’. DG National Institute of Maritime Affairs (NIMA), Pakistan Navy’s premier think tank, Vice Admiral Aleem, announced that NIMA will host an International Conference on Maritime Security in Islamabad during 13-15 September 2022.