Exit the bipolar world order (Foreign affairs) -The Nation

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The 20th SCO Summit at Dushanbe called for the implementation of a new game as far as geopolitical engagements are concerned. Recently, the allies in Europe and Asia—also called the Eurasian alliance—have been strengthening. This is diluting the hegemony of the unipolar movement exercised by the United States.

Discussions and deliberations held at the Dushanbe Declaration signal towards a multipolar world that is slowly spreading its wings of influence. The concept of a multipolar world, therefore, is expected to be implemented where values and principles are followed, international law is revered, cultural diversity and inclusion are respected, and bilateral relations are valued. In this regard, the role of the United Nations will be of paramount significance.

When speaking of geopolitics and its impact on the region, Afghanistan has emerged as a key topic. With the US withdrawal from Afghanistan complete and the Taliban’s rise at its peak, the world’s regions—especially the US and Europe—will continue to monitor the situation in Kabul.

In this regard, a meeting held on September 21 was of significance. Abdullah Abdullah met with former Afghan president Hamid Karzai along with Zamir Kabulov, Russian presidential envoy; Yue Xiaoyong, China’s special envoy; and Mohammad Sadiq Khan, Pakistan’s special envoy.

This may be a sign of a possible union on various fronts between Afghanistan, Russia, China, and Pakistan. Indeed, China’s role in economic and trade development in South Asia cannot be ignored. The CPEC is moving on as planned.

Pakistan, too, is eyeing economic growth because of CPEC. Russia has had smooth relations with China and Pakistan. Afghanistan, too, would want to become a part of this bloc to strengthen South Asia. Furthermore, China, Pakistan, and Russia were also seen on the same page during the SCO. They discussed the future of Afghanistan and how an inclusive government can bode well for the country and the region.

Afghanistan will also want itself to be included in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The withdrawal of the US troops will herald the socio-economic rise of the country that will depend on how the new government implements laws and policies affecting national and international relations.

Iran is also expected to regain its political significance in South Asia. It was observed during the recent SCO Summit that Iran moved a step closer to obtaining full membership. China expressed its interest in this regard as well.

Iran’s inclusion in the SCO has been garnering support from Russia and China. Moreover, Russia has been supportive of a polycentric or multipolar world order in contrast to the bipolar world order. China, on the other hand, foresees a democratic world where US dominance is non-existent.

The rise of the Eurasian alliance can be seen as the European balance of power during the 19th century maintained to avoid conflict. The European Union’s foreign ministers are also planning to launch a global infrastructure project akin to China’s BRI. Time will tell how these two projects will co-exist.