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The Ukraine And Ukrainian Crisis

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ByOnZine Articles

Apr 11, 2022
The Ukraine And Ukrainian Crisis

As soon as the invasion was announced, Pakistani policymakers had to take a stand — and quickly. There were two opposing points of view. The first argued that because Pakistan had recently adopted a policy of maintaining relations with every major global power, it made pragmatic sense to pursue a policy that would not jeopardize this opening with Russia. Proponents of this argument would argue that the United States had engaged in aggression against sovereign countries and was an untrustworthy friend. Much in line with this thought, Pakistan’s response included two key elements: de-escalate the conflict and resolve it peacefully.

However, there was a different point of view that prevailed. According to the second school of thought, Pakistan had sustained periods of close engagement with the US, and the US remained its largest trading partner even now, while political and economic cooperation with Russia was practically non-existent. When Pakistan chose to abstain from voting at the UN, supporters of this viewpoint were quick to question why Pakistan appeared to be provoking the US and Europe with its policy line.

In terms of interstate relations, the facts on the ground confirm that Russia invaded a sovereign country. Such aggression could not be tolerated because it violated international law. As a result, for many, Pakistan’s position fell short of the principled stance it had previously taken in the crises in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen. Pakistan has always advocated for the recognition of fellow nation states’ sovereignty and territorial integrity. Perhaps the army chief meant this when he said at the recent Islamabad Security Dialogue that “aggression against a smaller country cannot be condoned.”

This stance made sense to many people. After all, how can Pakistan accept the logic of a larger state invading a smaller neighbor? Wouldn’t countries like India be encouraged to engage in such unilateral kinetic actions against their neighbors in order to establish hegemony?

There has rightly been discussion of Russia’s security concerns that if Ukraine joins Nato, it will bring Nato’s missiles right up to Russia’s border, endangering its security. The 1962 Cuban missile crisis is cited as a precedent; America reacted strongly to the Soviet decision to deploy missiles in Cuba, only 145 kilometers off the US coast. Nonetheless, Russian concerns also weren’t taken seriously, and Nato gradually drew closer to Russia’s borders.

At first glance, the crisis could be resolved if the US and Europe assure Russia that Ukraine will not be admitted to Nato. The situation, however, has now become more complicated. For starters, Russian forces appear to be mired in a protracted conflict, unable to achieve a quick victory. Ukraine’s people and armed forces, with the help of European countries, have shown tenacity that Russia did not expect. Second, the humanitarian crisis has worsened, with millions of Ukrainians fleeing to neighboring countries.

According to the results of the UN General Assembly vote, 141 countries supported Ukraine’s right to defend itself against the Russian invasion. Some people (35 to be exact) chose to abstain. China, India, and Pakistan were among them. The debate has moved on to the Security Council, and it will also be discussed at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Pakistan must take the principled stance of respecting Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, calling on Russia to end its military operation and urging all parties to resolve the conflict through dialogue.

The issue is not which side Pakistan is on, but rather the principles of interstate conduct.

OnZine Articles

OnZine Articles

OnZine Articles main author - Max Haydon

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