I was born in an era when previous Soviet Union was still engaged in Afghanistan and few years after my birth Soviet Union collapsed and that brought the end of a long lasting Cold War between former communist Soviet Union and Capitalist USA and the fall of Berlin Wall. So, on a funny note my birth saved the world from precipitating a Third World War and ushered the world into an era of unipolar International politics in which USA and its European allies had the final say in every matter concerning world community. At that time and in that age of under ten I loathed news channels let alone taking interest in international affairs.
As I turned 16, the leftovers of USA’s and Russia’s 1980’s interventionist policy in Afghanistan turned rogue and launched an attack on the very soil of world’s remaining superpower. In the aftermath of that terror attack what we saw was a military confrontation between people hostage to an Extreme Religious group “Al- Qaeda and Taliban” and world’s only superpower USA. Everyday I would read newspaper articles about a clash of civilisations and conspiracy theories. And though I was studying business education I had a keen interest in international politics and knowledge of international conflicts.
With the West’s attention focused on Islamic militancy, a new power “People’s Republic of China” was rising and its rise to 2nd biggest economic and military power is being hailed as “Peaceful”. And with the menace of radical Islamic militancy tamed to some extent, eastern powers have begun to align their interests with the new power that is growing its economic and military might and has been emphatic and overt about its maritime and continental interests. One thing I have learned after a decade of leafing through the newspapers is that there are no fixed alliances in the realm of international politics. Alliances change as new powers rise and national interests change. Old rivalries, however, don’t change.
In this perspective of larger international politics, historically, Pakistan’s apprehension of Indian hostility towards Pakistan has to a large extent defined what camp Pakistan is in. Previously, Pakistan made the right choice by not siding with communist Soviet Union. This time, however, Pakistan’s relations with china are bringing the countries, Pakistan and Russia, previously from opposite camps closer. Not to mention that Indian hostility and rival ambitions with China have led India closer to USA. A shift of alliances unprecedented in the history of PAK-Indo relations.
And now again after two decades of somewhat peaceful silence between East and West marred by Islamic hostility towards west we are seeing a new alliance of Asian powers rising to challenge the West’s economic and military supremacy. Is it a beginning of another prolonged age of Cold War between Eastern powers against western powers, is yet to be seen?