Foreign Policy And Economic Challenges By Sheraz Zaka

After succeeding in the elections held on 25 July 2018, likely-to-be-prime minister-Imran Khan addressed the nation and also talked about the challenges the country is facing at present. Imran Khan not only discussed the problems the country is facing internally but also regarding the external relations especially with India and Afghanistan. Imran Khan was right in his observation when he stated that, it will be difficult to restore peace in the country unless the Afghanistan-conundrum is resolved and the rising tide of terrorist activities there, are brought to a complete halt. Similarly with respect to relations with India he stated that cordial relations between the two countries would ultimately benefit the entire South Asian region.
In the past, the Obama administration had made stringent efforts to bring Pakistan and Afghanistan closer. After Imran Khan would be sworn in as Prime Minister the first task would be to change the global perspective of Pakistan, especially with the present United States administration. The US is currently contemplating reducing the security aid it provides to Pakistan, it is also becoming increasingly inclined towards India regarding Afghanistan and Kashmir.
Since 2004 Pakistan and India have been attempting to engage in composite dialogue, which was hindered by the Mumbai attack in 2008. While the dialogue was suspended for some two-three years, Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and Yousaf Raza Gillani attempted to restart the dialogue. However it yielded no fruitful results, and not even Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been able to improve relations with India since 2013.
The aggravating situation in Kashmir resulting in the killing of innocent civilians by the brutal Indian army has also made it difficult to bring both the governments onboard to talk. India has placed conditions that before initiating a dialogue Pakistan must fairly investigate and punish the non-state actors involved in the Mumbai attacks, whereas on the other hand Pakistan’s government is of the view that if talks have to be initiated then the Kashmir issue will be of utmost significance. Although Pakistan has never refused India regarding the conduction of a fair investigation, it is the India who has never demonstrated its intention to show flexibility on the Kashmir issue. Furthermore India has never taken the aspirations of the Kashmiris seriously, despite the United Nation’s resolution for a plebiscite.
Only when Pakistan is less vulnerable, economically and militarily will it be able to resist US bullying
Hence PTI should not expect an immediate breakthrough with the Indian government as their general elections will take place in 2019, and Narendra Modi is relying on his radical stance towards Pakistan, to gain votes.
It is noteworthy that in case both countries do not resolve their core issues, they will resurface in other dealings between them. This is evident in the water issues; especially regarding the construction of the Kishinganga Dam. Furthermore Pakistan alleges that India is diverting water from the Neelum River, a tributary of the Jhelum, to construct its dam in violation of the Indus Water Treaty, 1960.
On the other hand, the Pakistan-China relationship must be developed, however on the basis of its convergent strategic objectives, and not due to ‘market principles’. Apart from assuring that Pakistan remains solvent and possesses the means for credible defence, China’s vocal opposition to Indian threats and US pressure against Pakistan would go a long way towards ensuring peace, stability and development in South Asia. China’s support must be accompanied by a national campaign to mobilise the resources required to promote the promised welfare state.
It is only once Pakistan is less vulnerable, economically and militarily that it will be able to resist US bullying and build a relationship of mutual respect and benefit with America.
In terms of our domestic situation, it seems that the new government is likely to face a strong opposition. This will make the first hundred days of government, highly important as it will be able to set its priorities. One of the foremost tasks this government will face is the devolvement of administrative functions to local governments as it will nurture good governance principles and empower people at local levels. Implementing the Punjab Local Government Act 2013 in pith and substance will be a task of immense significance.
Pakistan’s population is one of the youngest populations in the world but unfortunately at present more than twenty million children are out of school which is in negation of Article 25 of the constitution 1973, which ensures that every child shall attain free and quality education as per his/her fundamental rights. The challenge for this new government is to secure the attainment of education for every child and also to make ensure that labour inspectors are functioning effectively in every district in order to clamp down upon child labour menace in industrial establishments.
Furthermore the civil service reforms have become a need of the time especially in departments like the police, custom, foreign services and tax departments, which are in dire need to induct competent people, and to making sure that appointments are made based on merit in every cadre or non-cadre post.
The writer is a human rights activist, teacher and a constitutional lawyer. He can be contacted at
Published in Daily Times, August 8th 2018.

About The CSS Point

The CSS Point is the Pakistan 1st Free Online platform for all CSS aspirants. We provide FREE Books, Notes and Current Affairs Magazines for all CSS Aspirants.

The CSS Point - The Best Place for All CSS Aspirants

September 2023
Template Design © The CSS Point. All rights reserved.