Instability in the region

Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani
Friday, Jan 27, 2023

In my last article, I called the current situation of Pakistan critical, which is getting complicated day by day. I still believe that no country seems to be involved in destabilizing Pakistan and we should be realistic and not blame others for our problems.

There is no improvement in the national situation. Even today, there is uncertainty over the country’s political future. And due to the inflation rate, people’s purchasing power is decreasing day by day. The countrywide power breakdown on Monday has once again put a question mark on our abilities to tackle such crises. The breakdown occurred at a time when doubts of Pakistan’s possible default are on the rise.

I always say that Pakistan is one of the most significant countries due to its unique geostrategic importance. Developments happening in the region eventually affect our country on a temporary or long-term basis. On Monday, when our country was plunged into darkness, the US and Israel conducted a significant and the largest-ever joint military exercise. The ‘Juniper Oak 23.2’ drills involve thousands of armed soldiers, a dozen warships and 142 aircrafts, including nuclear-capable bombers.

Reports in the international media say that the US-Israeli joint exercises, which will end on Friday (today), were planned two months ago. However, some defence analysts who are closely monitoring these exercises argue that such large-scale military exercises require at least one year for preparations. There are also reports circulating in the media that tensions over Iran’s nuclear programme have increased, and Israel has decided to open a military front against Tehran. The outgoing chief of staff of the Israeli defence forces, Aviv Kochavi, has confirmed in a media interview that the Israeli army considers Iran as the biggest threat to national security.

Apparently, Western powers are deeply concerned about the growing defence ties between Iran and Russia, especially Moscow’s supply of the advanced S-400 anti-aircraft defence system to Iran, and Tehran’s supply of military drones to Russia. According to media reports, Germany has announced plans to send 14 Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine, and to allow other countries to send their German-made tanks to Kyiv. Similarly, the US is also interested in sending military tanks to Ukraine imminently.

Russia, while calling the Western involvement in the region ‘extremely dangerous’, has criticized Germany for sending billions in arms and equipment in a move that goes against Russia. According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the conflict in Ukraine can no longer be defined as a ‘hybrid war’ but ‘almost a real conventional war’ launched by the West against Russia. President of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov also called the Ukraine conflict the Third World War, as per Russian media reports. Recently, former British prime minister Boris Johnson arrived in the capital city of Kyiv to express solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

Undoubtedly, international forces are quite active in our region. The current developments prove that global players, unlike the cold war of the previous century, have now come into the confrontation openly against each other. In such a situation, if any new war starts in our neighbouring country, its negative effects will inevitably affect our beloved country.

As a patriotic Pakistani, I regret seeing how Pakistan is currently indulged in several internal crises, including financial instability, instead of playing its key role in the region. Our political parties are busy playing blame games against each other just for the sake of satisfying their egos. We need to keep a close eye on the rapidly changing situation in the region and ensure we prioritize our national interests in a timely manner.

The writer is a member of the National Assembly and patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council.

He tweets @RVankwani