Pakistan’s relations with Central Asian states in the perspective of energy depletion, economic & population growth & terrorism
The concept of Peak Oil was explained in the context of the Hubbert Curve. It showed that after peaking, fossil fuel was finishing rapidly. Alternate energy was not kicking in fast enough. Larger supply demand gaps and oil price hikes were inevitable, with black outs in the developed economies kicking in about 2015.
� Pakistan must examine its relationship with the Central Asian states in the context of its energy needs, which were contested by other powerful states in the neighborhood. These states were also on the path of economic growth and had large populations. There was a natural conflict of interest leading to tension.
� Further more, both the United States and Europe were in need of additional energy because of dwindling reserves. The United States, which is the only super power wants to dominate the region for energy security. Its military-industrial complex compels it to do so. Therefore, it had spread its bases through out the region; NATO defense umbrella was gradually enveloping all the staging areas to secure the oil producing regions and the pipeline routes. It now had deep polical influence in Central Asia now.
� The race for diverting energy to the west and by China was explained with the help of maps.
� The recent agreement between United States and India on nuclear cooperation was explained in the context of reducing Indian demand on the international fossil fuel reserves. It was a tit for tat which would help both countries.
� In the event of failure to provide alternate energy resources, Pakistan would not be able to assure a secure future for its people.
� The world population growth had rising Muslim and Asian populations. While Europe was declining. The United States population rate of growth was keeping a ratio with the growth of Muslim population; the ratios of both were similar.
� It was argued, that dictatorships in Central Asia was forcing people to join the ranks of the radical Muslims fighting in Afghanistan and in Waziristan. Unless this supply was dried up there will be a perpetual security / terrorism issue in the weakly administered states, particularly Afghanistan & tribal areas of Pakistan. Isolation and lack of employment was the real cause of terror. Both were the result of absence of investment in their people by the respective states.
� The common ethnicity of Afghanistan and Central Asian states was compared. It showed how similar the Afghan march land was in its ethnic composition with the population of Central Asian states. Any de-stabilization here could lead to re-making of maps.
� It was recommended that our foreign policy should not be driven by violent or religious dictates; such a policy had back fired in the past, when Pakistan supported the violent Hikmatyar during the Afghan Civil War. It had spread fear of Pakistan in the whole Central Asian region.
� It was argued that policy makers should not be country specific but base policies on themes which others easily join. We should be inclusive and not exclusive in our approach.
� Projections by two foremost US experts on oil, Dick Cheney, the US Vice President and Simmons were explained in the context of dwindling fossil fuel supply and the damage that higher oil prices will do to the world and our economy particularly.
� The coming energy crisis, rapid population growth, and generation of terror in the Central Asian region were factors, which needed to be underlined and taken seriously by policy makers in Islamabad. These likely pressures must be solved in partnership with the stake holders to avoid chaos. Pakistan could not afford conflict.
� It is projected that the youthful nature of Pakistan’s population would keep the country radical till 2040 – how will the health of the state be maintained till then? Much more needs to be done in the field of employment generation through economic growth, education, skill development. No amount of defence expenditure will bring us internal cohesion or peace.