August 12, 2021

Sanctions on Pakistan Will Not Happen

"Any state that is still unwilling to sanction Pakistan is not yet serious either about peace in Afghanistan or about upholding basic principles of international law.

Let's do the right thing, at long last."

- Chris Alexander, former Canadian ambassador to Afghanistan.

Sanctions on Pakistan will not happen because China, Russia, England and the United States all want to maintain their economic, military and diplomatic ties to the country.

Since Pakistan was created by the British, it is not surprising that the criminals in London remain strong backers of their failed Jihadi experiment. An excerpt from"What is the UK-Pakistan relationship?" by Ayesha Siddiqa: 

British Chief of Defence Staff General Nicolas Carter is a frequent visitor to Rawalpindi and the British High Commission is the largest diplomatic mission that the UK has anywhere in the world.

Russia, for economic and security reasons, is edging closer to Pakistan. It recently signed a deal to build a new gas pipeline worth over $2 billion and it is also forming a military relationship. An excerpt from, "Russia warms to Pakistan after three decades of cold ties" by Mifrah Haq:

"So far, Russia's defense cooperation with Pakistan has been a relatively new and limited phenomenon," said Krzysztof Iwanek, head of the Asia Research Center at the War Studies University in Poland. "Over the past few years, an agreement to cooperate in security has been signed, a few Russian helicopters have been sold to Pakistan, officers of both countries visited each other, joint military exercises have been held."

And, of course, there is China. Its competition with India makes Pakistan an obvious partner. An excerpt from, "The China-Pakistan Partnership Continues to Deepen" by Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan: 

Pakistan has been an important partner to China for decades. Its importance may have increased further for a number of reasons. One, China has antagonized a large number of countries with its wolf warrior diplomacy, from its neighborhood in the Indo-Pacific to Europe. This raises the importance of the few real partners it has, like Pakistan. Also, increasingly worsening relations with India have resulted in New Delhi becoming closer to Washington and its allies, including Canberra and Tokyo. India has, in addition, developed a web of security and strategic partnerships including the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue with the U.S., Australia, and Japan, (known as the Quad), and a number of trilateral strategic partnerships such as India-U.S.-Japan and Japan-India-Australia. All of these new partnerships are clearly designed to counter China, even if India is reluctant to say that plainly. But all of these also make China depend more on Pakistan to counter India. 

And who can forget about Washington? The U.S.-Pakistan relationship is undergoing changes and both sides are drifting apart. But don't expect the U.S. to alienate Islamabad by campaigning for international sanctions. An excerpt from, "Biden and Washington’s Perennial Pakistan Problem" by Richard Olson:

While Islamabad’s strong tilt toward Beijing might be seized upon as an easy way for Washington to get out of a dysfunctional relationship, there are costs: Pakistan is a nuclear weapons state with the world’s sixth largest army. That is a lot of combat power to allow simply to fall into a rival’s hands. Moreover, the United States has historically played an important (if quiet) role in de-escalating Indo-Pakistan conflicts. If the United States entirely gives up its leverage in Islamabad in favor of building influence in Delhi, its ability to play that role will be diminished. Since China shows little interest in assuming this responsibility, and in any case will not be perceived by Delhi as an honest broker given that China has its own border conflicts with India, the likelihood of an escalatory cycle getting out of control seems more likely.

Washington, Beijing, Moscow and London do not care about Pakistan's support for terrorism in Afghanistan as long as the violence doesn't reach their borders. They will never endorse sanctions against Pakistan.

The terrorist state in Islamabad has two things that can't be ignored: its strategic location and its nuclear arsenal. And as long as it exists it will sell its services to the highest bidder, of which there are many.