South Caucasus and new security paradigm - OPINION

  23 April 2021    Read: 3551
  South Caucasus and new security paradigm -   OPINION

Conflicts are subdued but complex and complicated conspiracies are still being schemed to tarnish the peace process in the new power playing filed i.e. South Caucasus Region (SCR). Armenia despite its historic defeat is still indulged into series of secretive confrontational ploys and activities to harm the people, nature and infrastructure alike. Denial of sharing the details of “explosive mines” spreading like a jungle mushroom is the prime example of its “inherited enmity” against peaceful and innocent people of Azerbaijan.

Victory of Azerbaijan in the second war of Nagorno-Karabakh has now changed the nature, utility, scope and prospects of “power dynamics” in the SCR. The emerging security equation of the SCR has further consolidated bilateral relations between the Azerbaijan and the Turkey. The custodian of Armenia has somehow retrieved to its actual position of sovereignty and self-inserted territorial claims.

Now there is a new “chessboard” of power politics which has reshaped the equation of bilateral or trilateral relations orientations. It has established a new security “paradigm”, which is now “dictating” its political superiority, economic dominance and geopolitical preferences in the SCR and beyond. The race of winners and losers is finished but an effort for the completion of “unfinished” agenda against simple and pure “humanity” is still alive.

Azerbaijan’s better military preparedness, tactical and professional superiority, use of innovative and advanced technologies of warfare, effective and ideal combination of human as well as artificial intelligence mechanism and last but not least, visionary leadership of President Ilham Aliyev ultimately achieved a “miracle” in the second war for the liberation of illegally occupied areas of Nagorno-Karabakh from fascist Armenia.

Furthermore, outstanding military formations of Azerbaijan armed forces has drastically changed the concept of “war threat” history and moreover, excellent diplomatic maneuverings of incumbent President Ilham Aliyev regionally and globally left no options for Armenia and its supporters to accept defeat and leave the illegally occupied areas.

European Union (EU) and the West termed it emergence of “New Middle Power (NMP)” in the SCR which has successfully changed the equation of engagement, security, defense, socio-economic integration and geopolitical orientation. Azerbaijan, Turkey directly and strategic partner Pakistan afterward, emerged as winners.

New victory of Azerbaijan has now opened new window of opportunities in the SCR. Energy and food security has been further amplified and strengthened. Azerbaijan has now become an important player in the “economics of gas” (demand & supply) in the Black Sea Region (BSR), SCR, EU and beyond.

Its chances of “trans-regional” energy cooperation with South East Asia especially, Pakistan is getting momentum and Azerbaijan’s SCOR is rigorously engaged with the government of Pakistan in this regard.

The victory of Azerbaijan is a good omen for the further strengthening of trilateral strategic dialogue/partnership of Pakistan, Azerbaijan and Turkey which will hopefully change the basic dynamics, directions and development concepts of the region in the days to come.

Series of bilateral and trilateral military drills among Azerbaijan, Pakistan and Turkey has signaled emergence of new defense partnership in the region. It has actually further strengthened bilateral and trilateral defense cooperation in terms of joint exercise, production, technical education and tactical preparedness.

Reconstruction of newly liberated areas has been in full swing but unfortunate implanted deadly mines have become a “killing machine” for robust socio-economic development and transformation. Time and again, Azerbaijan requested to international community to force Armenia to share the details of mines but still arrogance and enmity against humanity remained a “stumbling block”. Thus development work is being carried out cautiously.

While visiting to newly liberated areas, international community and reputed NGOs have now witnessed a “deadly demonstration” of Armenia to damage basic infrastructure of roads, homes, schools, nurseries, hospitals, social welfare centers, libraries, community centers and last but not least, nature. It has been indeed horrifying acts of sabotages, deliberate demolitions, massive destructions, and devastating anti-environmental activities and perpetual madness of “ethnic cleansings” even “genocide” did not spare “graveyards” and departed souls which have been inhumanely out rooted during all these years of siege and illegal occupation.

The government of Azerbaijan has established a “development fund” for the massive reconstruction of these newly liberated areas. A regulatory body has also been established for its easy, smooth functioning and speedy development. President Ilham Aliyev has already instructed the authorities to institutionalize the concepts of “smarter living” and “smart cities” with green-energies in all the newly liberated areas i.e. Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Zangilan, Qubadli, and Shusha which will definitely revolutionize human settlements, shelters and infrastructure development.

On its part, the government of Pakistan has already shown its commitment to lend a hand in the reconstruction of these areas. Even the chairman of Frontier Works Organization (FWO) visited Baku and explored different avenues for the reconstruction of these areas. The FWO also offered its vast expertise in de-mining and reconstruction of mountainous areas to government of Azerbaijan which according to reliable diplomatic sources is at advance stage.

Series of visits of chiefs of armed forces i.e. Air Forces of Pakistan, Joint Chief of Staff Committee and many other high officials all indicate further strengthening of defense cooperation between the brotherly countries. In the past, Azerbaijan’s government showed its keen interest to buy JF-Thunder 17 block-II which may be now seriously negotiated.

Joint collaboration on the further development of drone technologies among Pakistan, Azerbaijan and Turkey is the need of the hour. A joint cooperation in electronic warfare may be game changer among the three brotherly countries. Even close liaison in naval cooperation would be a value addition in these countries in the days to come.

Being prominent regional expert of Azerbaijan and South Caucasus I suggest that for the further consolidation of bilateral or trilateral strategic partnership among the three brotherly countries Pakistan, Azerbaijan and Turkey there is an urgent need to build a “Development Bank” to cater the financial requirements and speed-up the investment activities in these countries. It would boost Azerbaijan’s efforts of reconstruction of these newly liberated areas.

Swapping of local/respective currencies for the further development of bilateral or trilateral relations in diverse fields of economy, FDIs, FPIs, joint ventures, science & technology, agriculture, textile, energy cooperation and last but not least, culture cooperation would be game changers. Formation of “Energy Bank” would speed-up energy cooperation among these countries. A joint “Tourism Company/Corporation” would further enhance tourists attraction and development among the three countries.

Emergence of new security dynamics in the South Caucasus merely demands an innovative bilateral/trilateral collaboration, consolidated military cooperation, enhanced socio-economic integration and cemented political consultations to make real castles of sustainable economic development/cooperation, political harmony, social unity and above all geopolitical & geostrategic friendship form the rabbles and debris of newly liberated areas. To conclude Turkey-Nakhchivan corridor and Pakistan, Turkey and Iran commercial cargo train may be a point of convergence among Pakistan, Azerbaijan and Turkey in the days to come.

Dr Mehmood-ul-Hassan Khan

Director, Geopolitics/Economics Member Board of Experts, CGSS

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