US created Jehadi organisations and funded them monetarily and also militarily to counter Russia in 70s. Not only from Pakistan, Jehadis were brought to Afghanistan from all over the world and trained them. After more than a decade long war, Russia was defeated in Afghanistan and there was no further plan for these Jehadi fighters. US left them and these Jehadis in different groups and started ruling different areas of Afghanistan.
Taliban were strongest of them. This strategy was criticised within US after 9/11. In 2009, then Foreign Minister Hilary Clinton stated that we are fighting the people who are funded and trained by US in the past. After achieving goals, we left Pakistan to deal with the consequences and today we are on door of Pakistan again. Not only this, we also put sanctions on Pakistan.
US is planning to leave Afghanistan by September 11, 2021 but their actions are suggesting that they may leave Afghanistan but they will not leave region to monitor Afghanistan. It is a hot debate in US that abandoning Afghanistan again will be a grave mistake. On 7 April, 2021, US Chargé d’Affaires Angela Aggeler visited Gwadar and held meetings with local military leadership and port authorities which raised eyebrows of a lot of people. On 17 May 2021, Moeed Yousuf, NSA of Pakistan was given status of Federal Minister and later on May 23 news came that Pakistan NSA Moeed Yousuf met his US counterpart Jake Sullivan. On May 24, Pentagon claimed that Pakistan will provide air and ground routes to US for Afghanistan. On 27 May, Assistant Sect. Defence David Helvey stated in front of US Senate that Pakistan has assured air routes in Afghanistan. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Foreign Office on two different occasions rejected the news regarding provision of any routes to US. Nearly after a decade, a bill is presented in US Senate with title “Pakistan-Afghanistan Economic Development Act”. This act will help in boosting economy of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
With all above mentioned points, we must also keep in mind that China is a big stake holder in Pakistan as well. Under CPEC, a large investment is under process by China in infrastructure and other sections of Pakistan. US, China rivalry is not hidden from world. Question arises if Pakistan provides land/ air routes or bases to US, what will be reaction of China? What will be the future of Pakistan China relationship? And will China take it as threat to its interests in
Pakistan and Asia? Answers of all these questions end up at Pakistan on the losing side. If China decides to reroute One Belt One Road initiative, they can continue it without Pakistan. Recent deal of economic cooperation for 25 years between Iran and China is an example. Pakistan must understand that US is an unreliable partner and new deal with US may result in loosing China along with all the investment.
On the other hand, China has delayed the payments of several projects. ML-1 railway project is an example. Gwadar is epicentre of CPEC but is deprived of basic facilities of water and electricity. Water supply and distribution was an important project which facing delays. Similarly, Gwadar Intl. airport is also facing delays due to economic constraints. 300 MW coal based power plant is of great importance as it will provide electricity to not only to Gwadar but also other areas of Balochistan and is important for economic activities in port city. Unfortunately, this project is also facing funding issues. Concerned banks are not funded by Chinese government to loan money for these projects.
China must understand that Pakistan suffered badly due to Afghanistan and lucrative economic project by China called CPEC reduced worries of Pakistan and resulted in reduction of US influence in region. If China will step back or will not fulfill commitments with Pakistan, than, Pakistan would have no choice but to look for US again. Strong US in region and weak Pakistan is not in favour of China as it will affect Iran as well like in the past. It is need of time to speedup economic activities in Pakistan so that Chinese and Pakistani interests can be safeguarded.