Global Realignments–Where do We Stand?

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Hafeez Khan

When you consider foul play and financial misdoings so unacceptable in your backyards; why the double standards in Pakistan?

A friend visited Canada recently. We spent quality time together enjoying the weather and visiting breathtaking, lush green sites. After two weeks he suddenly became restless and wanted to return to Pakistan. Sitting around a fire in my backyard I enquired why the rush? You look relaxed and seem to be enjoying this respite. His response was very interesting. He said “Hafeez I have no rush or compulsion to return. I liken myself to a cockroach who has gotten used to living in a gutter. After emerging for a while, I want to return to my messy environments.” I was bowled over and suddenly ran out of arguments.
It also got me thinking. Inward thinking has its own comfort zone. However, the confined thinking process has many negative connotations. I have deeply focused on the political developments at home in my recent articles. The uncomfortable truth is that a regime change was made through support from abroad and facilitated by powers that be. Together, they lumped us with this corrupt coterie that has plundered Pakistan for decades. A quick review of the ravages of PM Sharif and his sons exposes corruption at mind-blowing levels. It continues to unfold all around sinking us deeper and deeper into our garbage.
Countries don’t exist in a bubble. They are impacted by what is going on around them. Living in the West, I am aware of the standards of morality and ethics expected from their leaders. Just an allegation of corruption and foul play triggers resignations and damning media trials. I have a serious question from the powers that ushered in this regime. When you consider foul play and financial misdoings so unacceptable in your backyards; why the double standards in Pakistan? Sharifs and Zardaris’ wealth is in your jurisdictions. They can be verified. Are we children of a lesser being?
The imported regime achieved its prime target. To kill accountability so their looted wealth is safe. They have amended laws so that all their crimes go unpunished. The rest is gravy. We heard rumblings that IMF is questioning the legalization of corruption in Pakistan. About time but highly unlikely! IMF is controlled by the USA; it is already aware of the havoc these guys have wreaked on this nation. It could be just cosmetic.
The 2nd half of June has seen very important developments on the international scene that will have deep and long-term effects on Pakistan. NATO leaders met in Madrid; there was a G7 meeting in the German Bavarian Alps and a BRICS summit by China. Pakistan was edging towards centre stage internationally under PM IK. Under this imported regime we have been relegated to an insignificant position; especially the snub by China in BRICS.
BRIC was a phrase coined by Jim O’Neill, a prominent economist in 2001. It was a time of a unipolar world with the USA dominating global economics and political happenings. Thinkers don’t live in the moment. They identify factors that will impact the future and help chart the way forward. He named Brazil, Russia, India and China as the rapidly growing economies that would challenge the economic domination of the G7. Using their first letters is how BRIC came into existence. In 2011, South Africa joined this group to amend its name to BRICS. It is emerging as a counter-weight group to G7. In their recent meeting, it was announced that Iran and Argentina are seeking membership.
Two very significant matters emerged. First, a new global currency is being worked on to undermine US dollar supremacy. With the Ukrainian war in full swing and all the sanctions in play, it may be a lifesaver for Russia. China and India are already buying their oil in Yuan. The second issue concerns Pakistan. In the second round held by BRICS, many countries were invited to this virtual meeting. UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia, Thailand, Argentina, Nigeria, Senegal and some other countries were invited. Pakistan was excluded. It appears India blocked our presence. China is our all-weather friend who has supported us in every forum on every significant matter. This time around it went along with India. A loud message for those who can hear is because of the imported regime.
NATO summit presented a unified West. Neutral Sweden and Finland are on the cusp of joining the alliance after Turkey withdrew its objections. United Europe, the USA, Canada and Japan are a formidable alliance. President Putin has cemented them. Hardliners can push it to a global conflict. This was further reinforced by the G7 summit who took time out to ridicule President Putin. They are talking about a plan for Ukraine akin to Marshall Plan after WWII. After BRICS, India, Indonesia, and South Africa were special invitees.
India and China can buy Russian and Iranian oil. This regime has failed to even consider it. I have been critical of India in my writings. This time I felt envious when their Foreign Minister reacted after being chastised for buying Russian oil at a cheaper price. He said “how come Europe’s problem becomes the world’s problem. If we have one it is our own baby!” This comes from economic independence and catering to self-respect. We have lost both under this setup. PM IK who was working towards it stands ousted. Their enablers must reflect and change course for this nation’s sake.

The writer is the director of CERF, a non-profit, charitable organisation in Canada.