Issuing empty threats?
The European Union on Friday expressed solidarity with the people of Balochistan in the face of growing human rights abuses by the Pakistan military. European Parliament vice president Ryszard Czarnecki has said the European Union may impose economic and political sanctions on Islamabad if the South Asian nation fails to stop human rights violation in the region. The threat of economic sanctions may not carry much weight, considering how Pakistan has cosied up to China and more recently, Russia. On Friday, Russian troops arrived in Pakistan for their first ever joint military exercise. Reports indicate that a part of their joint military exercises will be held in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, despite New Delhi’s concerns.
This joint military drill as another indicator of growing Russia-Pakistan ties after years of Cold War rivalry. Islamabad is looking to diversify its options in the event of any fallout with Washington. Ties between the two nations have soured due to Pakistan’s inability to contain the Afghan Taliban and support the government in Kabul. In past few years, this realisation has dawned on the Americans.
Earlier this month, US Secretary of State John Kerry announced the third round of trilateral talks between India, Afghanistan and the US. It is yet another indicator of a steady departure from the American policy of facilitating the peace process in Afghanistan through Islamabad. New Delhi, meanwhile, has reaffirmed its support for the US-backed government in Kabul. China has decided to use Pakistan as a buffer against potential security threats in light of a growing tide of fighters from the troubled Xinjiang province to jihadist groups. On the economic front, it is heavily invested in the $46 billion dollar-China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, which stretches between Chinese province of Xinjiang and the Pakistani port city of Gwadar.