KARACHI: A new bloc is in the making. As a matter of fact, this ‘roble bloc’ has incorporated Russia, China, Pakistan and Central Asian countries. India and Afghanistan are also there. For being at a strategic location and the door to the Islamic world, Pakistan has once again become the center of attention for the global powers.
Recently, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi visited China, where he also met with the foreign ministers of Russia, Iran, Afghanistan and the Central Asian countries. Much was discussed and even more was assured to Pakistan. Although, the NATO bloc has been able to stir up things in Pakistan, but Imran Khan handled the mess.
Washington is weaker now. After humiliating defeat in Afghanistan and helplessness against Russia, United States is exposed for its double standards and racism now, and nations are not willing to trust the US anymore.
The assemblies have been dissolved and general elections are on their way. The recent drama patronized by United States for the regime change in Pakistan only served Imran Khan better. The opposition has failed miserably in capitalizing on the opportunity. Instead, the opposition parties suffered in their popularity and credibility. Washington’s involvement in regime topples is no secret. Only recently, POTUS said on record that Putin should be toppled.
It seems general elections are going to be fair this time. Given the rising graph of Khan’s popularity, the outcome can be predictable i.e. serious mandate to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf.
Coming back to the ‘Russian roble bloc’, Pakistan is soon going to be the first Muslim country to import oil and gas from Russia in robles, and at highly discounted rates with easy payment terms. Moreover, Russia and China have agreed to transfer cutting edge technology to Pakistan.
Grapevine has it, a large scale industrial zone is being planned, which would sufficiently help Pakistan address multiple economic challenges. Mammoth industrial development is also being discussed for Baluchistan, which would generate employment and development in the province, thus minimizing foreign funded insurgencies.
The word is that the Central Asian countries will soon be open for Pakistanis for trade, business, tourism, education without visa restrictions. Later, Russia and China would also have such movement relationship with Pakistan. India is already tilted towards Russia for its fuel and other supplies, which is only fair since dollar deals have gone costlier. India is buying fuel from Russia at discounted rates, and these trades may soon turn into robles.
Sanctions on Russia didn’t hurt Russia as much it hurt the NATO partners. Europe is unable to give up on Russian gas and food supplies. American gas and fuel are not going to be cheap, so few countries suspending gas imports from Russia would soon get back to Russia.
The Arabs have also expressed their plans to switch from US dollar as the medium of exchange for regional trade. It seems, Iran may not be lured by US since the nation has suffered under the thumb of US. The entire region is going to move away from dollar based trade. Turkey may join this bloc sooner than expected.