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EURASIAN REAL POLITIK

Europe and Asia are geographically one land mass, British geographer Sir Halford J. Mackinder maintained as far back as 1904 that whoever controlled the Eurasian heartland would control the world. Soon after, Nicolas Spyman countered with the thesis that whoever controlled Eurasia’s rim would control the heartland and the world. China’s Belt and Road Initiative’s (BRI) enterprise of six economic corridors shifts the global developmental initiatives from the Indian and Pacific Oceans to the Eurasian mainland.

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FOREIGN POLICY IMPERATIVES

The bitter hometruth about our foreign policy is that none of the major political parties can deny the opening narrative of PML(N)’s Manifesto for the 2013 election, “Pakistan today is at war within, while isolated abroad. Its independence and sovereignty stand compromised, its economic weaknesses are forcing us to go begging bowl in hand, while foreign states undertake unilateral strikes on its territory and non-state actors use it as a sanctuary to pursue their own agendas, oblivious to Pakistan’s national interests”. We have been muddling along on a “passage to nowhere” because of the self-serving agendas of both our civil and military rulers alike.

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The Crossroads of Opportunity

Iran’s Iraq war has sputtered along violently to what seems to becoming a genuine ceasefire after long years of horrific slaughter and destruction. Mr Perez de Cuellar is hoping that Iran’s Mr Velayati and Iraq’s Mr Tariq Aziz will look each other in the eye during the ongoing Geneva talks and eventually start talking turkey. As wars go, this must rank as one of the most senseless, an unending orgy started due to misplaced Iraqi adventurism a la Saddam Hussain gone astray confounded doubly by Iranian clergical stubbornness. That Iraq clearly was the aggressor is not a debatable fact, it was; that it was Iran’s propensity to be principled on various issues that kept the war booming along is also not matter of doubt. The bottom line is that the material loss is estimated at approximately US$ 400 billion, as if the cost of a million lives, give and take 100,000, can be tabulated in such a manner.

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