Pakistan foreign policy – is it failed?


After the blockage of subsidy for eight F-16s to Pakistan by U.S. senate, our foreign policy is under the radar of critics. Some media channels also reported that army leadership has showed its discomfort over the weak foreign policy. The government tried to calm the questioners in the beginning that Obama administration will convince the senate over the issue but all in vain and Pakistan now planning to move on alternate options.

The heat of this issue was still at high point – the drone strikes and subsequent statement by the U.S. that we will strike the terrorist anywhere in Pakistan in case we found necessary, added insult to injury.

Now! The recent NSG issue again put questions on our foreign policy and lobbying in the U.S. In the tour of Modi to U.S., U.S. has clearly backed the bid of India to nuclear supplier group instead the foreign secretary john Kerry has written to members to support India’s bid in coming meeting in Seoul.

On one side, the afghan peace talks have failed at least for now & India is trying to adopt alternate strategy to CPEC and signed a development accord with Iran to develop Chah Bhar port. While on the other, analysts are hinting that U.S. has abandoned Pakistan again?

In this whole situation, one thing is clear and it was cleared from a long time that our foreign planning has no strength at all.

However, people must understand some basics about foreign policy before start shouting on the government. There was a time, when your negotiation power can achieve many tasks but the world has change much now. In US, you have official permission to lobby for your country- this does not mean that by just the magic of words; you can convince them to favor you.

In today’s world, the fundamental planner or we have to say, the backbone of the foreign policy is our country’s economy. The countries with weak economies can’t take stands and developed nation don’t have enough space to facilitate them.

Let me share with you an example, Germany and Russia were the biggest enemy of each others throughout the history, although some know that in the Second World War, Russia army actually played the decisive front lead and capture the Berlin. However, very few know that in the world war, most of the people who died, were the Russian citizens and the Nazi army was responsible. Both have common history dipped in hatred, blood and millions of innocent lives.

That was 1945, now just came to 2016, both are strongest trade partners, Germany was the main force behind stopping the global powers to put some bans on Russia after annexation of Crimea. You know why? Simple because Germany is highly dependent on the gas and mineral resources of Russia and in future they are planning to expand their energy link.

The point to ponder is, in today’s world, the only thing which drives your foreign policy is your economy and strategic position. In case of US and china – the third addition is their global agenda. Days have gone when the foreign policies were guide under the light of ideology, history, religion and culture.

Now! Lets analysis the case of Pakistan, unfortunately, since the inception, we have failed to adopt comprehensive foreign agenda. Reasons are many from dictatorships to the lack of political process, our religious adventures to our sectarian preferences.

No doubt, our foreign office has some of the best minds, but reality is, they have nothing in hand. Our foreign planning never went beyond to India, US and Afghanistan. Even in just three countries, the civilian leadership can’t bargain owns its own.

The need here is to unchain ourselves from religious and ideological bindings, and devise new ways to grasp the maximum resources in outside world for the benefit of economy.

Your relation with US can be improved if you agree to counter Haqqani network and with India – their primary concern is the banned terror outfits.  The leaderships needs to understand that these two demands have to be met for any kind of forward step from Pakistan otherwise there is no chance of comprehensive dialogue. India has one of the largest markets of the world, and their economy is growing with the average of 7.9 %. How can you expect world powers to treat you both together? If you want same privileges, then you have to match them economically, you have to match them politically with smooth flow of democracy. It is pity, that in today’s world, we have one of the weakest foreign missions throughout world.

We have to make new friends in international politics like we never tried to make durable ties with South Korea, Japan, and south East Asian countries. These countries have much to give us from technology to gas and petroleum raw products. We have to invest in Latin America, through which we can provide new markets to our dwindling exports. All this requires to active our diplomatic mission there and by giving them some powers to negotiate. We have greatest natural wealth of our strategic location; we can just make billions of dollars just by giving the routes to neighboring nation to warm waters and central Asians republics.

Foreign policies are made with just one focus point “our interest” – as it is said that there are no permanent friends and enemies in politics, permanent are the interest. Our hyper nationalism needs to be replaced by real ground policy making.


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