Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Muslim 'Millat' and Pakistan's Role in Ensuing Decade (2)

In part (1) of this article, we have seen that political and economic systems adopted by Muslim countries have been based on nation state concept and as such these political and economic systems have failed to resolve political and economic issues faced by Muslim countries. The deficiencies found in these Muslims’ political and economic systems may be removed by Muslim countries through forging a Muslim Political and Economic Union on the European Union pattern in which all member countries maintain substantial independence but integrate their economic and political systems to pool up their economic resources and to combine their political power.

Establishment of Islamic Political and Economic Union is not a short term process; it would take many years before completion. But, thanks to Pakistan’s geo-strategic position, Pakistan is in a favorable position to give a politico-economic and geo-strategic impetus to initiate this process.
China, which is the second greatest world economy after USA, has become world greatest oil importer. About 50% of its oil imports are coming from Gulf States. Gawadar Port is likely to be developed as deep sea port where large ships may be docked. Gawadar port, when it becomes functional, is likely to become vanguard to Chinese   exports and imports to and from not only the Gulf States but also the countries beyond. Similarly China is destined to overtake soon Russia and USA as a dominating foreign power in Central Asia both politically and economically; China is investing a lot in Central Asian economies. This policy is leading China and Central Asia to mutual dependence. Pakistan also may connect Gawadar Port to Central Asian States  through roads or railways links through Afghanistan or through both Iran and Afghanistan so that Central Asian states may make use of Gawadar Port for imports and exports. China is also compelled to enhance its political influence in the Gulf where from China is receiving half of its oil imports, and Pakistan may play an important role in bringing China and Gulf States together in the form of political and economic collaboration. All these likely developments may be transformed into a Political and Economic Alliance among Pakistan, Iran, CAS, China and Gulf States.
The pivotal position gained by Pakistan in the above mentioned geo-strategic scenario gives Pakistan a favorable position to initiate the process of political and economic cooperation among the Muslim countries as well. Apart from geo-graphical advantage, Pakistan is a nuclear power of 200 million population and among the fastest growing economies in Muslim world along-with Turkey, Indonesia, Egypt and Malaysia; Pakistan’s economy has increased by 8.9 times since 1980 whereas world’s GDP has grown in the same period by 6.4 times. Pakistan is rich with natural resources, huge agricultural land and large industrial sector and skilled manpower. Pakistan is fourth among Muslim countries to invest in R&D and has big imports and exports market. All these factors put Pakistan in a favorable position to initiate the process of establishment of political and economic union among the Muslim countries. For the purpose, Pakistan may have following steps.

Firstly, Pakistan should try to forge out a non-intervention agreement between Iran, Pakistan and GCC members. Such an agreement would go a long way to soothe security apprehensions nurtured by Bahrain, saudia and Iran in the present scenario. Pakistan suspects that some sectarian and terrorist organizations in Pakistan are funded from Iran and Gulf countries; Iran suspects that GCC countries and possibly Pakistan may destabilize Iran; Saudia and Bahrain suspect that Iran may support Shiite communities living in saudia and Bahrain. A non-intervention agreement between all these states may remove the mutual apprehensions of intervention feared by these states.  

Secondly, Pakistan may work out the possibility of a free-trade agreement among Iran, some GCC members including Saudia, and Pakistan; if, initially, it is not possible to chalk out such agreement, Pakistan may enter into free trade agreements separately with Iran and some GCC members including Saudia. 

Thirdly, Pakistan may forge a no war pact between Iran, GCC and Pakistan; Pakistan’s presence in such a pact would be to guarantee implementation of this pact.
Fourthly, Pakistan may enter into a defense pact among Pakistan, GCC,  and Iran. If, initially, it is not possible for Iran and GCC to enter into such defense pact, Pakistan may enter into such pacts separately with Saudia, Iran and some other GCC members.

If Pakistan, GCC and Iran are able to put into place above mentioned pacts in coming five years successfully, superstructures of Muslim Political and Economic Union may be erected on the basis of these pact arrangements in near future.

 It may be appreciated that a completed Economic Corridor linking China with fully functional Gawadar Port after ten years or so, may greatly facilitate and speed up the process of establishment of Muslim Political and Economic Union. This Economic Corridor would go a long way to make realignment of regional forces. Political and economic influence of China would gain in strength in the region and replace USA’s influence which is a big hurdle in the way of political and economic collaboration among regional Muslim countries. When USA’s regional influence would be subsided, regional Muslim countries would be opened to make new alignments and new political and economic alliances. Similarly, by that time, Pakistan also may have emerged as  a pivotal member of likely emerging Political and Economic Alliance between China, Pakistan, CAS, Gulf States, and Iran. All these likely changes may speed up the process of establishment of Muslim Political and Economic Union after a decade.

We may conclude that political and economic systems, presently adopted by Muslim countries, are based on concept of Nation State, and as such have failed in tackling successfully with political and economic issues faced by Muslim countries. The deficiencies found in nation state based political and economic systems may be removed by Muslim countries through integrating their political and economic systems into Muslim Political and Economic Union on the pattern of European Union.   

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