Changing Foreign Policy Dimensions By Asad Hussain

The world seems to be on a roller coaster, changing its dimensions abruptly. If history is any guide, states conquered vast swathes of territories to maintain their upper hand in the comity of nations. However, this trend was transformed into establishing large standing armies and strengthening military warfare to increase national power. This contour for maintaining supremacy over international affairs also short-lived and ideological combat started holding the vanguard position. The emergence of communism and liberal democracy in the late 1940s is the clear manifestation that defensive strategies were given ideological colour. Notwithstanding, in the ongoing globalised era, effective diplomacy and efficient foreign policy channels are ruling the roast to bring power and prestige to the country.
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Since the emergence of Pakistan on the face of the earth, she severely lacked a mature and detailed foreign policy due to which she lost her desired and deserved international standing and stature. The diplomatic corridors of Pakistan failed to take a clear and practical stance on various issues involving our interests and survival. The setback in the diplomatic field where Pakistan could not manage to achieve its national interests was primarily due to inept decision makers and visionless political elite. For most of Pakistan’s history, the foreign office lacked a clear and farsighted vision. Instead, the geo-strategic compulsions and challenges forced the earlier leadership of the country to rely on shortcuts. As a result, the state failed to devise a sustainable foreign policy.
Nevertheless, on a positive note, under the incumbent government, the foreign policy of Pakistan took a turn for the better and improved multifold. A clear foreign policy remained the principal objective of Imran Khan and the foreign office, presently, is slowly and gradually regaining the position that Pakistan deserves in international society.
On the eastern front, Pakistan was facing the brunt of severe warmongering techniques by an extremist and militant India. This militant drive spearheaded by the Modi administration brought the two regional and nuclear powers on the verge of catastrophe. However, these all-out war plans were averted by the mature diplomacy and foreign policy of Pakistan. The Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan was extremely vocal about the peace and cooperation between the inseparable neighbours. He invited India, time again, to exterminate the ancient rivalry and start working on regional prosperity and human development through cooperation and trade linkages. He did not rely on the verbal statements regarding maintaining sustainable peace in the region and proved his stance by extending an olive branch by releasing the war captive of Indian pilot.
This mature handling of the grave issue of war with India by the Pakistani administration is the reflection of streamlined foreign policy objectives of Pakistan based on peaceful co-existence and development-oriented plans. Not only this, but Pakistan also approached international bodies and organisations and reported the brutality of India and asked them to use their good offices to resolve this war-like situation in the South Asian region to safeguard the world from witnessing bloodshed and financial loss. These efforts and mature handling of the issue was praised worldwide and projected the image of Pakistan as a responsible nuclear state.
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Moreover, Pakistan has further flexed its muscles by increasing its interest-based relations with the emerging power- China. China is keen to build CPEC on a priority basis, and Pakistan is reaping its fruit by using the forum of Beijing to streamline its worsening relations with India and the European powers. Pakistan is using China as a strategic card to balance the power structure as the US is aligning its interests towards militant India. This foreign policy of Pakistan based on counter-balancing approach has sponsored Pakistan’s security and development structure to operate in a desired manner.
Pursuing this further, Pakistan has established its diplomatic and developmental relations involving a large amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The recent visit of Muhammad Bin Salman (MBS) to Pakistan in the time when KSA is a leading partner of the USA, India and Isreal- opponent block of Pakistan- was made possible due to strong diplomatic channels and foreign policy experts in Pakistan. Pakistan will use KSA as a Muslim card to normalise its hostile relations with the block above. This is no doubt an achievement on the part of Pakistan if it could yield a peaceful atmosphere to invite international dignitaries to visit Pakistan being the strategic and nuclear power of the world.
In the same manner, the great Mahathir Bin Mohamad, the Prime Minister of Malaysia is visiting Pakistan which is the success of the rightly guided foreign policy of Pakistan under our visionary Prime Minister Imran Khan. The frequent visits by the international leaders are strengthening Pakistan’s credibility of being a stable, credible, responsible and peaceful country. Hence, all such expeditions are possible due to a reliable and timely foreign policy of this government.
Moreover, Pakistan is playing its effectual and consequential role in the Afghan peace process which would surely streamline its interests with its neighbour and to a greater extent serve its interests in the American political corridors. Not only this, but a friendly foreign policy of Pakistan towards bleeding Afghanistan will also impede the international terrorists to establish their stronghold on the Afghan soil. This would in-turn save Pakistan from the vicious evils of extremism and extremist tendencies from flexing their muscles in Pakistan. Furthermore, Pakistan’s access to the energy-rich markets of Central Asian Republics (CARs) and increasing trade relations are also possible once our relationship is cordial with Afghanistan. The current government is arranging diplomatic channels to achieve afore-stated objects.
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Pakistan is also increasing its clout in the international arena. Pakistan is the member of Shingai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and remained two times of non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Under the current drive, Pakistan is pursuing its primary and secondary national interests through diplomatic means and by involving the United Nations (UN) in that process. The example of this can be seen in that Pakistan has spoken on the matter of Kashmir issue on the forum of the UN and told the world regarding the reign of terror and violent brutalities of the Indian government. Moreover, Pakistan demanded to resolve the Kashmir issue under the resolutions of the UN, which would surely enhance Pakistan’s credibility on the international scene.

March 23, 2019

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