The Great Game is a term used by historians to describe a political and diplomatic confrontation that existed for most of the nineteenth century between Britain and Russia over Afghanistan and neighboring territories in Central and Southern Asia. Russia was fearful of British commercial and military inroads into Central Asia, and Britain was fearful of Russia adding "the jewel in the crown", India, to the vast empire that Russia was building in Asia. This resulted in an atmosphere of distrust and the constant threat of war between the two empires.
The timing of the beginning and end of the Great Game is not completely agreed. One author believes that the Great Game commenced when Franco-Persian alliance of 1807 followed the same year by the Franco-Russian Treaty of Tilsit and attempt to negotiate trade deals with Maharaja Ranjit Singh and the Talpur Amirs of Sindh. Another believes that it began with Russia's victory in the Russo-Persian War (1804–13) and the signing of the Treaty of Gulistan of 1813 or the Treaty of Turkmenchay of 1828. Another believes that it started in the aftermath of the Crimean War (1853–6) and Caucasus war (1828–59).
One author proposes that The Great Game was over at the end of the First Anglo-Afghanistan war in 1842 with the British withdrawal from Afghanistan. Some authors believe that the Great Game came to a close with the three Anglo-Russian agreements of 1907 which delineated the spheres of interest between British India and Russian Central Asia in the borderland areas of Persia, Afghanistan, and Tibet.
Another that it was trailing off not long after that time, and another with the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 and the end of Russia's interest in Persia. One has stated that unofficially, the Great Game in Central Asia might never end. When everyone is dead, the Great Game is finished. Not before. - Rudyard Kipling
Note: - Almost the Same game was played in 1980’s. Three players Russia, Pathan, and Punjabi were the same players but British were replaced by the America and Punjabi nation supported the America in the game, as supported the British in 1839.
Exactly the same game is again in practice. Three players Russia, Pathan, and Punjabi are the same players but British are replaced by America. However, British is still a joint venture player with the main player America and India is also included in the game as a proxy player for America. China is an additional player. Some regional players are also added in the game but, these players are assisting the America, China, or Russia, therefore, they may be called as the extra players of the game and game is called as a ‘’New Great Game’’.
Nevertheless, the role of Punjabi nation in present Great Game is not only essential, as the role in previous games but it is significant too, due to the inclusion of China in the Great Game and project of CPEC as a joint venture project of Pakistan and China.
What will be the Strategy of Punjabi Nation in New Great Game?
1. Will the Punjabi nation support the America in the game as supported the British in 1839 and supported the America in the game of 1980’s to obstruct the Russian advancement via Central Asia into Afghanistan to reach the warm water?
2. Will the Punjabi nation support the Russia in present Great game to facilitate the Russia to reach the Gwadar via Central Asia and Afghanistan to join the CPEC project by expanding the CPEC (China, Pakistan Economic Corridor) project into PCPREC (Pakistan, China, Pakistan, Russia, Economic Corridor) project?
3. Will the Punjabi nation keep himself neutral in the present Game in Afghanistan and concentrate on the CPEC project, therefore, the game in Afghanistan be played by the America, Russia, and China?