By: Zahid Hussain Khalid
The timing of the inauguration of Pak-Iran Gas Pipeline has multiple geo-economic, diplomatic and military dimensions that need to be re-visited.
The historical background and its different aspects can be studied here:
Iran is the second last frontier, Pakistan being the last frontier, in the war against terrorism as a strongly perceived threat to American and Israeli interests and survival as categorically declared by both the countries repeatedly. The economic strangulation of Iran through strict sanctions, though against the commercial interests of a large number of oil and gas dependent countries in every continent of the world, is a bitter pill that majority of the countries have been forced to swallow. Will this kind of diplomatic pressure through such sanctions will work or fire back is not yet clear because the serious impact of the efforts to economically isolate Iran has been so far non-productive for a number of defensive country-to-country counter measures by Iran and its trade partners. Things have not gone so bad that serious discussions on the re-alignment of economic, diplomatic and even military formations can be initiated in media because media only starts serious discussions on a subject when an event of historical significance knocks the heads of content developers and shakes up their fixed point charts, news bulletins and discussion programs.
What today’s global scenario presents is an arena full of ill-advised hawkish leaders with their boxing gloves on working on pre-planned military solutions of those artificially engineered issues that need to be discussed not with a bi-lateral or a multi-lateral but global perspective to replace diplomacy of confrontation and threats of military action with dialogue for economic cooperation by turning security threats into initiatives for global peace, progress and prosperity.
Israel is NOW a sovereign REALITY that cannot be IGNORED and defied for any reason whatsoever. The Muslim countries will have to ultimately admit that and live with it. Having said that now is the time that instead of pushing South Asia and Middle East into the hell of war without the slightest idea of the magnitude of its global impact it is better to stress on an initiative of peaceful co-existence forgetting and forgiving everything, particularly reminding or recalling who had done what, for making the world a better place to live. Instead of adding fuel to the fire it will be advisable to put an Economic Plan on table guaranteeing both Israelis and Palestinians that they will have equal access to social and economic opportunities and justice making GCC countries, OIC, Arab League, USA, EU and Chairmen of all regional social and economic development alliances as co-guarantors. There is only one solution to Arab-Israel Conflict and that solution is Consensus on an Arab-Israel Economic Agenda based on equal opportunity for Israelis and Palestinians. This may appear over ambitious at present but the ambition needs to be taken out and replaced with a serious plan of action to put an end to a perpetual threat not to Israel and surrounding countries alone but the entire world peace.
The second bone of contention is nuclear proliferation and Iran’s determination to acquire nuclear capability no matter what. The exchange of threats between Iran and Israel has become nerve shattering routine in a world passing through a storm after storms of crises. Is Iran-Israel confrontation on nuclear issue such a serious military threat that it cannot be dealt with in any other way? Yes, there is a way and that way is to declare nuclear capability an international asset for non-military uses by an international consortium of nuclear scientists for which a comprehensive plan needs to be developed for the creation of Regional Nuclear Research and Social and Economic Services Felicitation Hubs. Every nuclear state will surrender its military command’s control except overall comprehensive security vigilence on nuclear sites handing over their management to the proposed International Consortium of Nuclear Scientists. This is another over-ambitious proposal for the consideration of global leaders.
It is said that extraordinary situation demands exceptional leadership qualities and today’s world is presenting a bouquet of such opportunities to the world leaders. Now the world has to see how capable they are.
Inauguration of Pak-Iran Pipeline Project is the first step in that direction. There are other similar projects pending for consensus on action. Will the world leaders re-visit their international priorities and work for peace instead of adding fuel to fire.