Invoking the third party

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Introduction:

This position paper aims at the strategic options that are available to Pakistan in light of the situation on its eastern and western borders. It will look at the effect on the strategies by a slightly change in relationships with the neighboring countries (Nicholas, 2006). In the present day world, which has shrunk to a global village, stability is impossible to achieve without preventing and eliminating the danger of aggression from any country. Adoption of a common strategy for meeting the challenge of hegemonic designs, whether at regional or global level, is becoming inevitable. Some and Pakistan has to exhibit exemplary cooperation in this regard (Shaoxian and Zhichao, 2007).

In this position paper, there are four sections. The first section tells about the introduction of Pakistan as a country, provincial division of the country and foreign policies. And in the second section, eastern and western bordered wise segmentation of Pakistan is defined. However, in the second section, there are further two more major sub-sections are there. In 1st sub-section of the second section titled as: "Pakistan's relationships with the eastern bordered countries and strategic options", is there which involves Pakistan and India and Pakistan and China is described in detail. In the 2nd sub-section titled as: "Pakistan's relationships with the western bordered countries and strategic options", is described in detail which involves Pakistan's relationships with Afghanistan and Pakistan's relationships with Iran is described in details. In the third section, Pakistan's futuristic strategic options are discussed as the concluding remarks which are basically the summary of the whole position paper. At the end, references section is also there. Here it goes.

Pakistan as a country and Foreign policy:

Pakistan as a Country:

Pakistan is the second largest Muslim country in terms of population (After Indonesia), and its status as a declared nuclear power, being the only Islamic nation to have that status, plays a part in its international role. Pakistan is also an important member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) (Cheema, 2004).

Recently the Politics of Pakistan has taken place in the framework of a federal republic, where the system of government has at times been parliamentary, presidential, or semi-presidential. In the current semi-presidential system, the President of Pakistan is the head of state, the Prime Minister is head of government, and there is a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is largely vested in the Parliament. Pakistan has been ruled by both democratic and military governments (Cheema, 2004).

Provincial Governments:

Pakistan is subdivided into 4 provinces, 1 territory, and 1 capital territory. Each province has a Provincial Assembly, a directly-elected legislature. Members are elected for five-year terms. Each Assembly elects a Chief Minister, who then selects the ministers of his or her cabinet (Musharraf, 2007).

  1. Balochistan
  2. Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)
  3. Islamabad Capital Territory
  4. North-West Frontier Province (NWFP)
  5. Punjab
  6. Sindh

Note; the Pakistani-administered portion of the disputed Kashmir region includes Azad Kashmir and the Northern Areas.

To develop the good relationships across the borders is an ages old phenomenon. Its forms' varies tactics dissimilar, and the underlying causes and the desired outcomes catalytic toward earning it different names at different times, which automatically make the good and bad relationships with the bordered countries (Nayar, 2005).

eastern and western borders of Pakistan:

Pakistan is the second largest Muslim country in terms of population, and its status as a declared nuclear power, being the only Muslim nation to have that status, plays a part in its international role (Cheema, 2004).It is also an active member of the United Nations. As, Pakistan has four bordered neighbors, which includes two countries on eastern side i.e., China and India. However, Pakistan has two countries on the western bordered as neighbors i.e., Afghanistan and Iran (Najam, 2005).

Historically, its foreign policy has encompassed difficult relations with India, a desire for a stable Afghanistan, long-standing close relations with the People's Republic of China, extensive security and economic interests in the Persian Gulf and wide-ranging bilateral relations with the United States and other Western countries. Pakistan has used the OIC as a forum for Enlightened Moderation, its plan to promote a renaissance and enlightenment in the Islamic world (Musharraf, 2007).

Wary of Soviet expansion, Pakistan had strong relations with both the United States of America and the People's Republic of China during much of the Cold War. It was a member of the CENTO and SEATO military alliances. Its alliance with the United States was especially close after the Soviets invaded the neighboring country of Afghanistan (Musharraf, 2007).

In 1964, Pakistan signed the Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD) Pact with Turkey and Iran, when all three countries were closely allied with the U.S., and as neighbors of the Soviet Union, wary of perceived Soviet expansionism (Hussain, 2007). To this day, Pakistan has a close relationship with Turkey. RCD became useless after the Iranian Revolution, and a Pakistani-Turkish initiative led to the founding of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) in 1985. Pakistan's relations with India have improved recently and this has opened up Pakistan's foreign policy to issues beyond security. This development might completely change the complexion of Pakistan's foreign relations. Pakistan joined the Non-Aligned Movement in 1979 (Najam, 2005).

Followings are the details of the eastern and western bordered countries of Pakistan, their alliances with Pakistan and best strategic options for Pakistan:

Pakistan's relationships with Eastern bordered countries and strategic options:

However, Pakistan has two countries on the western bordered namely: People's Republic of China and India (Najam, 2005).

Pakistan and India:

A-Kashmir: Stances of Pakistan and India:

The checkered histories of Pak-India relations is mired by suspicion and covert as well as open wars. Kashmir, according to the Partition formula, was likely to be part of Pakistan but the Indian government acted otherwise and occupied a large part of the state by military action (Pandher, 2006). The people of Kashmir have invariably been challenging this occupation, initially through peaceful means and subsequently by armed resistance (The Hindu, 2006) .Islamabad holds that the people of Kashmir should have the right to decide their destiny in a fair and free plebiscite under the relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. Traditionally, Pakistan's Kashmir policy has revolved around this historical stance. The country has always claimed that the people of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) are suffering under Indian rule and seek its help. Thus, the government and the people of Pakistan have always been on the forefront of the Kashmir cause, despite the huge cost involved (Hussain, 2007).

Despite two open wars, one nearly full-scale war (i.e., the Kargil confrontation in 1999) over Kashmir, and the Tashkent and Simla agreements between Pakistan and India, the Kashmir dispute remains unresolved. Meanwhile, an armed resistance movement continues inside Indian held Kashmir (IHK) and the masses have rendered huge sacrifices to obtain the right of self-determination. Until 9/11, both countries had been engaged in periodic negotiations (The Hindu, 2006). The Indian Prime Minster Atal Behari Vajpayee visited Lahore in February 1999 and Pakistan's President General Pervez Musharraf went to Agra in 2001 to meet the Indian leadership to find a solution to all the intractable problems, particularly the Kashmir problem. But the two countries failed to narrow down their divergent views. Thus both these summits, despite the initial fervor, proved futile and added to despair among the people and leaders on both sides (Baruah, 2005).

B-Post-9/11 Developments:

After 9/11, new international game rules were set by the United States. The newly coined 9/11 terminology helped New Delhi to bracket Pakistan with Taliban, a hub of terrorism, and project India as a victim of terrorism. Besides, the situation also offered India and Pakistan a watershed opportunity to transform their diplomatic relations with the USA. New Delhi immediately extended all-out support to Washington's War on Terror, presenting its war-related facilities for use against the Taliban regime (Naqvi, 2006a).

C-Pakistan's Policy in the Changing Scenario:

The events of 9/11, the attack on the Indian parliament, and the following war-like situation between India and Pakistan not only greatly impacted the Kashmiri resistance movement but also compelled Islamabad to change its track on Kashmir (Mahmud, 2005). Moreover, the unfriendly international environment and Pakistan's deep involvement in Afghanistan forced Islamabad to rethink its relations with India and its Kashmir policy (Naqvi, 2006a). The decision of General Pervez Musharraf to join the US-led War on Terror was also a factor in changing Islamabad's strategic position on Kashmir, particularly in terms of its ideological foundation. The economic condition of the country, unrest in the tribal areas, and allegedly externally sponsored violence in some parts of Balochistan, and the growing engagement along the Afghan border also played an instrumental role in bringing about a paradigm shift in Islamabad's thinking towards India. It is also said that Pakistan's trusted friends, like China and Saudi Arabia, advised it to seek an unconventional way out for a lasting deal with India over the Kashmir issue and bilateral relations; besides, constant persuasion from the United States also continued (Dawn, December 6, 2006b).

Pakistan's capacity to protract the low cost conflict in Kashmir is beyond any doubt. Although the likely spillover effects of this on Pakistan's polity are obvious, they will be, to a great degree, manageable (Naqvi, 2006a). On the other hand, despite its conventional military superiority and strong diplomatic backing from the world, India could not subdue the resolve of Pakistan to support Kashmir's right to self-determination and its demand for sovereign equality with India. Pakistan's ties with the United States, and its role as an ally of the West, are considered advantageous for seeking a settlement of the Kashmir issue (Dawn, April 6, 2007).

The 'covert' US engagement with Islamabad, Delhi and Kashmiris is no longer a secret. Washington has expressed its desire at a number of times to help settle the Kashmir issue within the existing territorial parameters but with minor realignment. It views India as a potential rival to China, not only in the region but also in global affairs (Navlakha, 2007).

Termed as naïve (immature) by critics, Pakistan's calculations of the ground realities are optimistic, being based on the belief that India will never be able to bring normalcy into Kashmir because Kashmiris are highly skeptical towards it, and that India will need Pakistan's support and will ultimately makes tangible transformations in its current stance over Kashmir. The majority of Kashmiris do not trust the Indian government and, ever since the eruption of the resistance, their aspiration for the right of self-determination has multiplied manifold and now cuts across even the hardcore pro-India circles in the Kashmir Valley (Pandher, 2006). India's carrot and stick tactics and the brutalities of its forces have alienated the local population and invoked armed resistance, which may not die down easily. It is this assessment of the situation that emboldened Islamabad to make tangible concessions on Kashmir and bring India to the table for talks. Some also believe that the personal ambition of the President Musharraf - his wish to be regarded in history as a statesman who settled one of the world's most complicated disputes, is a driving factor that has brought essential changes in Islamabad's policies (Navlakha, 2007)..

Besides various other factors that caused India and Pakistan to change their policies on the Kashmir issue, back channel diplomacy led by the US played a major role in alleviating the crisis and creating a viable atmosphere for initiatives towards a comprehensive normalization process (Pandher, 2006).

So concludingly, the best options that Pakistan and India have and must be followed by them are: as, the dialogue process between Islamabad and New Delhi should be continued, either slowly progressing which may lead to several ups and downs. It is often said that the continuation of the process is in itself a success because, in the past, the two countries have been unable to remain engaged in a sustainable dialogue. However, the substance of the process and prospects of its success need to be analyzed and Kashmir issue must be resolved and certain steps are needed to create conducive environment so that the two governments could sell the 'package' to the people of Pakistan, India and Kashmir (Naqvi, 2006a).

Pakistan and China:

A-Introduction:

Pakistan and China enjoy exemplary friendly ties, which have not only sustained changes of governments and the ups and downs in the regional and global situation, but, in fact, have been expanding and becoming even deeper (Shaoxian and Zhichao, 2007). It is in the interest of both the countries to keep an eye on the new and emerging regional and global scenario and come up with appropriate strategy to meet the challenges. The selection of "Regional Situation and Security" for discussion and deliberations between the Chinese and Pakistani scholars is both important and timely (Nicholas, 2006).

China and Pakistan are situated in an area that has great geographical importance and hosts almost half of the world's population. Along with the human resources, the area is also rich in natural material resources. This speaks volumes about the importance of stability in the region and of amiable relations between the countries situated here. The fact that three of the seven, declared nuclear states of the world are situated here, and another, Russia, has its own interests in the region because of Central Asian states' being contiguous to the region, further adds the importance to this region (Aji, 2007).

B-China's Comprehensive Development Policy:

China is a fast emerging global power. Yet, in sharp contrast with other powers, it has demonstrated no hegemonic designs. With a firm commitment to comprehensive and all-round development, China has registered fast and sustained economic growth. China's foremost objective is to sustain the growth and the growth rate (Shaoxian and Zhichao, 2007). It is needless to say that peace and stability in the region is a must for this end. Central Asian states and Afghanistan are China's neighbors. So, it desires for stability and peace in these areas (Frontline, April 21-May 4, 2007). It is also interested in accessing the energy resources lying here through pipelines. Then, China, Central Asia, Afghanistan and Pakistan are linked by the traditional trade route. Revitalization of this route in the wake of peace and stability in the region would be extremely beneficial for all these countries (Nicholas, 2006).

China is faced with separatist movement in its border areas, particularly in Xinjiang. It justifiably fears that under-ground elements are fanning this separatist movement. In this situation, China has supported the war against terrorism, and wants it to succeed in its declared objectives, though there is evidence of US backing of the separatist sentiment in Xinjiang. Thus, US presence and influence in the region in particular and in Central Asia in general can create problems for China.

C-China and Pakistan:

China and Pakistan have signed eight agreements during President Pervez Musharraf's recent visit to China. The most important is about preferential trade between the two countries: China would give concession in tariff on 839 items to Pakistan while Pakistan would extend its concession to 200 Chinese items. This agreement would not only strengthen economic ties, but would also help in establishing a better trade balance between China and Pakistan. Other countries of the region should also move forward for preferential trade between them. There is a growing realization among the Asian countries of the importance of joint efforts and common strategies for collective benefit (Nicholas, 2006). It is a good sign. The second annual Boao Asia Forum Conference, held in China's southern province of Hunnan, also holds great promise in this regard. Pakistan's President in his address stressed on the need of chalking out comprehensive plan for Asia's development. He also enumerated obstacles in the realization of this vision. The situation of security and law and order tops these obstacles. Similarly, referring to China's economic achievements as an example to emulate and a guarantee for stability in Asia, he also highlighted the importance of enhanced cooperation between China and the countries of the region, particular in transfer of technology (Shaoxian and Zhichao, 2007). Chinese Premier Wun Jiabao asked for higher level of cooperation between Asian countries for economic development. The participating heads of states and governments of the conference concurred with these observations as they all realize the importance of greater cooperation. The need is to not only maintain the momentum but boost it up further so that the goal of real and comprehensive development in the region is realized (Huntington, 1997).

Pakistan's relationships with Western bordered countries and strategic options:

As, Pakistan has four bordered neighbors, which includes three eastern countries i.e., Afghanistan,Iran and India (Najam, 2005). Followings are the details of these three countries along the strategic options available to Pakistan:

Pakistan and Afghanistan:

A-Introduction (Afghanistan):

The country is in the throes of war and internecine conflicts for more than 25 years. While the country was already witnessing infighting and strife in the '70s, direct attack by the now defunct Soviet Union in 1979 aggravated the situation, not only for the country or for its neighbors, but also for the whole world because of the mighty and scale of invasion (Noorani, 2000). A large-scale resistance movement against the Soviet occupation and international pressure did succeed in expelling the Soviets from Afghanistan in 1989-90, but the war-ravaged country was left abandoned. Faulty withdrawal scheme, delay in the formation of a broad-based consensual government, and international community's indifference to the plight of Afghans led to widespread anarchy and chaos and those who had waged war against an occupation force, turned against one another in a bid to establish own writ in a country devoid of any modicum of peace and rule of law (Zunes, 2005). Feeling compelled to safeguard their interests, neighboring countries also got involved in the brawl. Even now, when a coalition government exists there with the backing of international alliance since the fall of Taliban regime in December 2001, infighting is continuing - in one form or the other.

B-Strategy must be opted:

As In fact, Afghan movement across the border continued during the Afghan conflict, but it was ignored by the international community as the stress was on refugees' situation. These movements even existed prior to the Soviet invasion. In the pre-invasion period, the people were never considered refugees (Noorani, 2000). They were at home on both sides. This movement across the Pak-Afghan boundary never made headlines because it was something normal and caused no interruption in the lives on both sides of the border. However, the Afghans who came in huge influxes in the wake of the Soviet invasion in 1979 were quickly categorized as refugees who had fled to Pakistan to avoid war and political persecution. Pakistan, being although a non-contracting party of the 1951 UN Convention Related to the Status of Refugees, was however expected to treat them according to the Convention, and Afghans became the largest load for UNHCR.

The transnational strategy has its strengths and would be more feasible if the relationship between the two countries was friendly, and there were no issue of support to a revolution. In a normal situation and cordial environment, such networks can become a cementing force in the future (Aji, 2007). For the present, however, Pak-Afghan relations are marred by mutual suspicion and distrust. Through the transnational strategy, the international community would be relieved of supporting refugees, and UNHCR would not face criticism for its failed repatriation policy. In a subtle manner, it is being recommended that the Afghan population should move freely or stay wherever it is, in contrast to the refugee framework.

So concludingly, Instability in Afghanistan gives rise to instability in the whole region, besides being an obstacle in the way of full use of resources in the region for economic development. No doubt, this is a formidable challenge and interests of different countries even conflict with each other, at times, the common destiny requires that Afghanistan's neighbors should increase mutual consultations and contacts and find out some common strategy (Zunes, 2005). It should not be forgotten that instability in Afghanistan is exploited by the outsiders for their own intervention and presence in the region.

Pakistan and Iran:

A-Pakistan and Iran at the start:

Prior to the revolution in 1979, the ties between Pakistan and Iran were very close. Pakistan enjoyed strong military relations with Iran during the Shah era (Gundogan, 2003). Both Pakistan and Iran were in the American camp opposing the Soviet Union and its allies which included India. During the 1965 war of Pakistan with India the Shah provided free fuel to the Pakistani planes who used to land on Iranian soil, refuel and then take off (Afrasiabi, 2006).

B-Recent scenarios:

The situation has changed since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. For Pakistan, the new government was a threat. Pakistan, which was for the United States an important ally in the cold war, was afraid to get in conflict with the Islamic Republic of Iran (Westphalen, 2008). The strong Sunni Pakistan Islam was in direct conflict with the Shiite Islam of Iran. Pakistan also established close ties to Saudi-Arabia during the war in Afghanistan against the USSR, which was a rival of Iran during that time. During the war between Iran and Iraq, Pakistan was among the small number of countries (together with Turkey) whose roads and ports Iran could use for the delivery of strategic goods and arms (Gundogan, 2003). In the 90s Iran and Pakistan had opposing positions in their Afghanistan policy. Iran and India tried to contain the Pakistani influence in Afghanistan. Iran and Pakistan were rivals during the last decade of the 20th century. But since the rise of India for both countries the situation had changed. India needs gas and resources and Iran has enough resources, which the country needs to export. A pipeline to link Iran and India must cross Afghanistan or Pakistan. The instability in Afghanistan and still the failure of different projects, for example linking the Central Asian states with Pakistan, left no choice for Pakistan and the two other countries. Since 9/11 Pakistan had to come closer with India and also with Iran. Iran was a winner in this situation. The Northern Alliance had won the war and Iran was able to strengthen its influence in the western provinces of Afghanistan, especially around Heart (Green, 2005).

Iran and Pakistan were rivals but there was also a period of cooperation. The United States suspected that Pakistan helped Iran, when Iran wanted to build up its own nuclear programme. So in 1987 Pakistan supported the Iranian nuclear programme (Frontline, April 21-May 4, 2007). However, later Teheran suspected that Islamabad was the first to inform the United States, and after Washington, the IAEO in Vienna (Aji, 2007). Pakistan is now interested in good relations between India and Iran. For Pakistan this cooperation could help the country to minimize its new dependence upon the United States. Pakistan now has a chance to change its relationship with Iran and India, to increase its profit from the growing economic ties between India and Iran. In 2005 Pakistan and Iran set a $1 billion trade target. The two sides also agreed to establish a monitoring system under the Joint Economic Council (JEC) to keep a check on trade and investment between the two countries. Under one agreement, Iran will give Pakistan $200 million in credit to develop infrastructure. An Iranian private company will execute various development projects under this agreement. The two sides decided the JEC would meet every six months to monitor joint economic projects and trade. Currently, trade between the two countries is around $400 million (Westphalen, 2008).

C-Pressure on Iran:

The establishment of a Northern Alliance-dominated government in post-Taliban Afghanistan was a development Iran could derive satisfaction from, as it had good relations with the Alliance, yet what intrigues Iran is that this government has come into being in the wake of the US invasion and is a cause of growing US influence (Nayar, 2005). In the face of the US pressure Iran is feeling now, for scores of reasons, it would try its best to avoid diplomatic isolation along with safeguarding its ideological and economic interests. Perhaps this also explains why Iran has assented to international inspection of its nuclear installations. Since American presence in Afghanistan and Iraq poses serious problems for Iran, it would naturally look towards establishing more cordial relations with its neighbors (Green, 2005).

D-Options and Choices:

Iran may be isolated from the international community on various levels. The US and the rest of the West are in a position to squeeze the banks and pressurise international conglomerates and companies to not do business with Iran. Through such an action, they can stop the flow of money from the world into Iran. This situation would create immense problems for Iran (Green, 2005). On the other hand, many in the US, especially in the Bush administration, have said that they would rather face the consequences of military strike than have Iran become a nuclear power. This option would be the most dangerous and catastrophic choice. However, another school of thought in the United States believes that, even if Iran does become a nuclear weapon state, the US may use the same deterrence against Iran that worked against the Soviet Union and would work against China (Nayar, 2005).

There is also a point of view that Iran should be attacked before its nuclear program becomes active. This would involve strikes on about 1,025 targets. Once the aggression starts, it will not be confined to the nuclear establishments because they are all placed in civilian areas; therefore, there will be a large number of civilian casualties. If and when these casualties are exposed to the world, anti-Americanism will increase, which the US might not be able to afford (Westphalen, 2008).

If Iran reduces its oil production to counter these sanctions and coercive measures, there are always other countries willing to step up their oil supplies. In any case, the US has sufficient reserves to cope with any oil squeeze for a period of five to six months. Therefore, Iran may not consider oil to use as a weapon.

Iran could try to disrupt the oil supply through the Strait of Hurmuz with mines. However, US aircrafts conduct constant surveillance in the area, and are likely to immediately detect any mine placed in the Gulf or around the Strait of Hurmuz. Thus, this tactical option may also not work for Iran.

pakistan's Futuristic strategic options (SUMMARY):

Concluding, In view of the regional situation and the impact of developments at the global level, a proper strategy for security in the region should focus on the following facts. There should be no doubt that the region has been in the throes of instability because of mutual conflicts between the states of the region as well as because of the proxy wars of global powers (Westphalen, 2008). This region is one of the most backward areas in the world, in terms of development of human resources. It is, therefore, necessary to give attention to economic and social development (Frontline, April 21-May 4, 2007).

In the present day world, which has shrunk to a global village, stability is impossible to achieve without preventing and eliminating the danger of aggression from any country. Adoption of a common strategy for meeting the challenge of hegemonic designs, whether at regional or global level, is becoming inevitable. China and Pakistan have exhibited exemplary cooperation in this regard (Shaoxian and Zhichao, 2007). Maintaining these good relations and keeping the level of cooperation high, efforts should be made to include other countries of the region in any such scheme of mutual cooperation and working together. It is pertinent to note here that relations between Pakistan and Russia have improved during the last few years, while the relationship between China and Russia has become stronger. The need is to come up with a common vision and a scheme for joint actions, taking along the Central Asian states (Nayar, 2005).

Instability in Afghanistan gives rise to instability in the whole region, besides being an obstacle in the way of full use of resources in the region for economic development (Frontline, April 21-May 4, 2007). No doubt, this is a formidable challenge and interests of different countries even conflict with each other, at times, the common destiny requires that Afghanistan's neighbors should increase mutual consultations and contacts and find out some common strategy. It should not be forgotten that instability in Afghanistan is exploited by the outsiders for their own intervention and presence in the region (Huntington, 1997).

A review of the defense capabilities and technological development of the countries in the region establishes that India's efforts about acquiring latest, sophisticated military equipment along with developing its own nuclear and missile programs have Pakistan as their first target, and China as the second. However, defense strategies of both the countries and their close relations have prevented it from committing any aggression. It is necessary to keep a check on India's growing war capabilities (The Hindu, 2006).

Besides the hegemonic designs of India, the prolonged Kashmir issue between India and Pakistan poses a grave threat to regional security. Because of deep public emotions on both sides, the two countries cannot resolve the issue by themselves (Green, 2005). All bilateral efforts have invariably failed to produce any tangible results, let alone a lasting solution of the contentious issue. It is, therefore, inevitable for the international community and the neighbors to play their role and try to enforce a judicious solution to it for the sake of peace in the region. Being a major country in the region as well as being a neighbor of Pakistan and India, China can play a role in diffusing tension between Pakistan and India. It can play a better role than any 'outside' power. Obviously, no outside country can be as sincere in, or in as much need of, peace in the region as those situated here (Navlakha, 2007).

Along with the Kashmir issue, the question of Palestine and other problems are symbols of injustices committed in the past, yet they are victims of indifference of the international community and institutions. Continued insensitivity of the international community has turned political movements in these areas into armed struggles, which, in return, has led to an unending chain of violence and counter violence (Navlakha, 2007). Doubts and suspicions over the US-led war against terrorism carry weight: that it is more about serving self-interests rather than elimination of terrorism, that this war has in fact increased the dangers to world peace. Lest these suspicions come true and the situation get further aggravated, the need is to make international institutions stronger and more effective. Along with recognizing movements for right of self-determination and distinguish between freedom struggle and terrorism, these institutions should be able to resist the US unilateralism and the US approach of bypassing international law and norms. Otherwise, wide-spread anger and frustration would feed those who can go to any extent of use of force for achieving their ends (Ahmad, 2004).

So concludingly, the prolonged Kashmir issue between India and Pakistan causes a grave threat to regional security so, it must be resolved at first. China and Pakistan have exhibited exemplary cooperation in every regard (Shaoxian and Zhichao, 2007). Maintaining these good relations and keeping the level of cooperation high, efforts should be made to include other countries of the region in any such scheme of mutual cooperation and working together (Naqvi, 2006a). It is pertinent to note here that relations between Pakistan and Russia have improved during the last few years, while the relationship between China and Russia has become stronger (Nayar, 2005). The need is to come up with a common vision and a scheme for joint actions, taking along the Central Asian states. No doubt, there is a formidable challenge and interests of different countries even conflict with each other, at times, the common destiny requires that Afghanistan's neighbors should increase mutual consultations and contacts and find out some common strategy (Nicholas, 2006). It should not be forgotten that instability in Afghanistan is exploited by the outsiders for their own intervention and presence in the region. Mutual respect, mutual cooperation, mutual interests and mutual objectives are the elements that need to be emphasized in the policy- and decision-making process at all levels. Until the regional actors understand the importance of their role in the internal affairs of the region, external forces, through political, diplomatic and military maneuvers, will continue to shape the internal dynamics of the Middle East.

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* Khurshid, Ahmad., (2007). Terrorism and War against Terrorism: Some Fundamental Issues, Policy Perspectives, Institute of policy studies Vlm 3, No.2.

* Robert, A. Pape., (2005). Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism. New York: Random House. p4.

* Samuel Huntington, P., (1997). The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. London: Samuel and Schuster. p187.

* Westphalen, Kirsti.,(2008). Western View on Democratizationin the Arab World: Addressing the Grey Areas, Policy Perspectives , Vlm 5, No.1

* Pak-China relations in the 21st Century: Regional situation, security, economic & trade cooperation, Policy Perspectives, Vlm 1, No.1

* Ahmad, Shamshad. August 5, 2004. "Kashmir Policy: An Overview." Dawn.

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* Baruah, Amit., (April 18, 2005). "Peace process irreversible, says India, Pak." The Hindu.

* Baruah, Amit., (September 24, 2005). "Invoking the third party." The Hindu.

* March 25, 2006. "Discussions with Pakistan should lead to peace treaty: Manmohan." The Hindu.

* Hussain, Shaiq., (April20, 2007). "Pakistan, India near 'accord' on Kashmir." The Nation, Islamabad.

[1] Professor in University Of Management & Technology Lahore, Pakistan.

[2] Wrote this article,Student of MS (MGT) in UMT Lahore, Pakistan; aarabiaa@gmail.com; 17TH August, 2009.

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