STRATEGIC BLOCK BETWEEN PAKISTAN, IRAN AND AFGHANISTAN
The watershed event of September 2001 has significantly changed the geo-strategic and geo-political environment of South Asia. The world is now witnessing the implications of unilateralism and frequent application of military instrument by the sole super-power of the world. Moreover, the quest to control the energy resources of the world has initiated a cold, yet dangerous, rivalry between Anglo-US and other global/regional powers like France, Germany, China and Russia. Race to gain an unchallenged and total domination of the oil rich countries of the Middle East, South Asia and CARs has created significant security challenges for the region.
Present geo-political environment has paved way for the stronger nations to intervene in any country of the world in the name of ‘combating terrorism’, ‘checking nuclear proliferation’ or ‘bringing democratic rule’ to serve their vested interest. Geographical location of Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan has put them at a cross road of regional and global clash of interest. The existing inter-state rivalry, with an air of mistrust, when seen in the perspective of vested interests of the regional as well as extra-regional powers renders them highly susceptible to interventions. Their security and survival now lies in ‘unity’ rather than ‘discord and disarray’. Strategic bloc between Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan provides such an opportunity which will pave way for regional harmony, economic cooperation and prosperity. The existing historical, cultural, social and religious bondages can be explored to realize the concept.
Formulation of a strategic bloc between Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan would certainly serve their interests. Though there are certain serious irritants that need to be addressed to realize the establishment of such a bloc; commonalties like historical, religious, cultural and social linkages do provide opportunities and basis for a greater understanding and sphere of collaboration among the three countries.
Mindful of all convergent and divergent factors, it has been concluded through this study that the possibility of formation of such a bloc in a graduated manner does exist paving way for greater stability and economic prosperity. To this end, a well thought-out strategy and practicable methodology will have to be adopted which demands greater statesmanship and vision from the leaders of these countries. Sincere efforts to create harmony, goodwill and confidence will ultimately lead to the realization of the concept of such a bloc.
It may take considerable time for such a concept to materialize yet efforts must be focused towards the right directions keeping in view the long terms objectives in sight.
In spite of existing rivalry emanating from divergent approach, clash of interest and past misunderstandings, fueled by the vested interests of regional and extra-regional powers, formation of strategic bloc between Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan remains a viable option albeit with some accommodation from each country. Formation of such a block will ensure the much needed economic prosperity and stability in the region