El camino de Pakistán a China

ISLAMABAD – Los grandes acontecimientos a veces tienen consecuencias estratégicas no intencionadas. Parece que esto es lo que está sucediendo tras el asesinato de Osama bin Laden en un complejo en Abbottabad, una ciudad dominada por el ejército cerca de Islamabad, la capital de Pakistán.

El hecho de que el hombre más buscado del mundo viviera media docena de años en una casa grande a escasa distancia de la Academia Militar de Pakistán, donde el país entrena a sus oficiales, provocó una reacción que los paquistaníes deberían haber esperado, pero no lo hicieron. Al establishment civil y militar del país lo sorprendió y lo preocupó el nivel de sospecha que generaron los acontecimientos que culminaron con la muerte de Bin Laden -muchos paquistaníes lo llaman "martirio"- y existe una creciente demanda popular de una reorientación importante de las relaciones de Pakistán con el mundo. A menos que Occidente actúe con premura, la muerte de Bin Laden probablemente resulte en un importante realineamiento de la política mundial, impulsado en parte por el paso de Pakistán de la órbita estratégica de Estados Unidos a la de China.

Yo experimenté personalmente la velocidad con la que China puede moverse cuando ve a su "amigo en las buenas y en las malas" (frase del primer ministro paquistaní, Yousaf Gilani) en extremo peligro. En 1996, cuando Pakistán estaba al borde de la bancarrota y evaluaba la posibilidad de caer en un incumplimiento de pago, fui a Beijing en calidad de ministro de Finanzas del país para pedir ayuda. Mis años de servicio supervisando las operaciones del Banco Central en China me habían puesto en estrecho contacto con algunos de los altos líderes del país, entre ellos el entonces primer ministro Zhu Rongji.

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