Europe, News Watch, Side Feature, South Asia

International News Review 02/04/2022

Putin Seeks Ukraine Exit but West Insists on Standing Firm
Pakistan’s Imran Khan Exploits Ukraine Crisis for Political Survival

Putin Seeks Ukraine Exit but West Insists on Standing Firm

The war is going badly for Putin. The Russian President has built his leadership on the idea of Russian greatness yet personal weakness compels him to try to prove it at every opportunity. America exploited Putin’s earlier boastful grandstanding to provoke him into invading Ukraine, and America is exploiting Putin’s need to be seen as the victor to provoke him into continuing a war that is clearly impossible for Russia to win. Instead of rapidly collapsing Ukraine, Russia has become stuck in the Ukrainian mud and has now limited its objectives to taking a small part of eastern Ukraine only. According to The Washington Post:

When Russia launched its war in Ukraine in February, Russian President Vladimir Putin probably expected a quick battle and a quick win. Instead, we are now in the second month of a grinding, brutal fight. Thousands of civilians almost certainly have been killed (though there’s no precise count), Ukrainian cities have been leveled, and 4 million Ukrainians have poured into Europe, causing the greatest refugee crisis on the continent since World War II. Russia has also taken heavy losses, with as many as 40,000 of its soldiers killed, captured or wounded and at least seven Russian generals killed by Ukrainian forces — even as most major Ukrainian cities remain under Kyiv’s control. In what looked like an effort to save face, Russian military officials announced recently that they would shift strategy to refocus on “liberating” the eastern Donbas region.

At the same time, Russia is in negotiation with Ukraine in Istanbul. Ukrainian President Zelenskyy indicated progress in a video address on Tuesday, while committing to continuing the war effort, “We can say that the signals that we hear from the negotiations are positive, but those signals do not drown out the explosions or Russian shells.” Western leaders similarly refused to be persuaded by indications of Russian flexibility. US President Joe Biden said, “We’ll find out what they do, but, in the meantime, we’re going to keep strong the sanctions… We’re going to continue to provide the Ukrainian military with the capacity to defend themselves, and we’re going to continue to keep a close eye on what’s going on.” Anthony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, said, “There is what Russia says and what Russia does… We’re focused on the latter, and what Russia has been doing is the brutalization of Ukraine and its people.” The Washington Post reported, ‘The Pentagon’s top officer overseeing U.S. troops in Europe, Gen. Tod D. Wolters, said during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday that he could verify reports of Russian forces pulling back in the area around Kyiv. But at a briefing for reporters later in the day, Kirby suggested Russia was carrying out a repositioning, not a “real withdrawal.”’ According to The Guardian, ‘A spokesperson for Boris Johnson, the British prime minister, said the UK had seen signs of “some reduction” in Russian bombardment around Kyiv, but added: “We will judge Putin and his regime by his actions, not by his words … We don’t want to see anything less than a complete withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukrainian territory.”’

It is of the nature of the Western secular liberal Capitalist ideology to evaluate the success of foreign policy based on material benefit only, irrespective of the human cost. This is because the empiricist Western people view religious belief as speculative, and so separate religion from life’s affairs, instead basing their decisions in life on material worldly calculations alone, as the material world is all that they can confidently accept as definitive. Embroiling Russia in war in Ukraine, despite the tens of thousands of lives lost on either side, is a victory for the West. This is in contrast to Islam, which dominated world affairs for over a thousand years and established a values-based approach to foreign policy that came to influence the manner in which all states in the world conducted themselves internationally. Remnants of this values-based approach exists in Western foreign policy rhetoric but has become largely absent from actual Western practice. But with Allah’s permission, the Muslim Ummah shall soon re-establish the Islamic Khilafah (Caliphate) State on the method of the Prophet (saw) that shall unify all Muslim lands, liberate occupied territories, implement the Islamic sharia, restore the Islamic way of life and carry the call for Islam to the entire world. The Khilafah State shall, almost from its inception, join the ranks of the great powers on account of its great size, vast population, immense resources, unparalleled geopolitics and unique Islamic ideology. The Khilafah State shall confront, contain and calm the other great powers restoring the world to the general peace and prosperity that existed before the rise of the disbelieving imperialist West.

Pakistan’s Imran Khan Exploits Ukraine Crisis for Political Survival

On 24 February 2022, the day Russia invaded Ukraine, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was in Moscow on a long-planned visit to meet with Putin, hoping to achieve a foreign policy success by making the first official state visit by a Pakistani head of government in two decades. A mature statesman would have found a way to rearrange the visit, as the Ukraine crisis had by then already escalated significantly. On 21 February, Russia had formally recognised Donetsk and Luhansk, within Ukraine, as independent entities and ordered Russian troops to “maintain peace” there. The US, in response, had already announced initially sanctions on Russia. However, Imran Khan, desperate for success abroad to help his weakening position at home, instead pressed ahead with the visit as planned, portraying Pakistan as neutral in the conflict between Russia and the West. Now, facing a no confidence motion at home that threatens to unseat him from power, Imran Khan claims that it is America that is backing the Pakistani opposition because of his anti-American foreign policy.

In fact, Imran Khan has fully supported long-established American foreign policy objectives for Pakistan. America generally has no issue with its agents connecting with Russia or with China, and in fact sees this as a beneficial source of potential leverage over those powers to be employed at any time that America so wishes. Under Imran Khan, Pakistan has fully continued its policy of non-confrontation with the Indian BJP government that also follows American directives. Indian PM Modi was able to take steps to regularise Kashmir’s status within the Indian constitution without fear of any conflict with Pakistan over the matter. Similarly, it was under Imran Khan that Pakistan pressed a section of the Taliban leadership into negotiating with America through their Doha office.

In truth, Imran Khan is an agent to foreign interests just as are his parliamentary opposition leaders. Pakistani politics is supervised by the military on behalf of the disbelieving American imperialist. It doesn’t matter all that much to America who becomes Prime Minister. Indeed, it was the overwhelming support of the Pakistan army that enabled Imran Khan’s PTI to come to power in the first place, a party very much assembled by the army itself by pressing members of other parties to join it. If the army has withdrawn support from Imran Khan, it is not because he has annoyed America but because he has annoyed the army over domestic matters.

Meanwhile, the army has once again signalled its complete subservience to US interests. According to Bloomberg, ‘Pakistan is seeking to expand its relations with both the U.S. and China, the chief of the country’s powerful army said, two days after Prime Minister Imran Khan accused the Biden administration of planning [to] oust his government by backing a no-confidence vote against him in Parliament.’ Army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa said in a speech on Saturday, “We have a history of long and excellent strategic relationship with the U.S., which remains our largest export market.” He also said, “Pakistan enjoys a close strategic relationship with the China demonstrated by our commitment towards Pakistan China Economic Corridor. We seek to broaden and expand our ties with both the countries without impacting our relationship with the other.”

The Muslim Ummah continues to be governed by an agent political class that owes its loyalty to the disbelieving Western imperialists. But with Allah’s permission the time is close that this entire class will be overthrown and Muslims will pledge their obedience to a righteous Khalifah (Caliph) who will implement Islam and be supervised and accounted by the Ummah on this basis alone.