By Asif Ali Zardari, Monday, May 2
Although the events of Sunday were not a joint operation, a decade of cooperation and partnership between the United States and Pakistan led up to the elimination of Osama bin Laden as a continuing threat to the civilized world. And we in Pakistan take some satisfaction that our early assistance in identifying an al-Qaeda courier ultimately led to this day.
Zardari and Chinese leaders reportedly discussed investment opportunities in numerous sectors, including port development, hydropower, roads, railways, mining and others.
Among the projects discussed between Beijing and Islamabad is a proposed railway to link Kashgar to the southern Pakistan port of Gwadar. If realized, it would give China direct access to the Arabian Sea and provide an alternative route should a naval blockade cut oil supplies from the Middle East.
“All Chinese plans for gaining access to resource-rich Central Asia and building energy pipelines pass through Gilgit-Baltistan,” said Syed. “Gilgit, the northern areas capital, has acquired the status of gateway to Central Asia after Pakistan-China barter trade agreement and accords with Central Asian States.”
Benazir’s husband is voted in amid muted rejoicing, but army hostility and militant violence could threaten hopes for stability, reports Jason Burke
Phi Beta Iota: The Op Ed is “party line” stuff. Not in the Op-Ed is the fact that China is the President’s primary ally, and the military and the tribes do not like him. Not in the Op Ed is China’s enormous success across multiple fronts in Pakistan, including its ownership of the port of Gwadar, previously addressed here at Phi Beta Iota. While the USA has been waging war, badly, without a strategy and without a return on investment in mind, China has been waging peace. We are reminded of how Iran lured the US neoconservatives into Iraq. In the absence of intelligence and integrity at the highest levels of the US Government, China wins, Russia ties, and US loses, across Central Asia, over the next decade. Ultimately this region is about water and rare metals. The region is not conquerable. Brzezinski and his disciple Obama don’t get that yet. President Zardari is not the man his wife was (see our review of her book below).