Adaptation to change

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THE outcome of the 3-day conference of selected Pakistani envoys that concluded in Islamabad on Thursday clearly shows the country is willing to adapt to the change that is shaping geo-strategic situation at regional and global levels. Though no details have been shared but Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif stated that the foreign policy experts have evolved a new narrative of Pakistan’s foreign policy aimed at bridging gap between perception of Islamabad and important world capitals on the issue of terrorism, which has achieved centre stage in the global diplomacy.
A change was long due but it seems all stakeholders were not on the same page on the issue as some strategists advocated for the change while others argued the country should stay on old course. This is no more viable in the prevailing environment and in the backdrop of realignment of alliances at regional and global level. For too long, we kept all our eggs in one basket and this policy might have suited successive rulers personally as well as civil and military bureaucracy but the country surely lost much in this blind pursuit that no other country of the world would afford given the kind of hostile environment that Pakistan has been facing ever since its inception. Pakistan always had the choices but our inept rulers and policy makers never made right decisions and opted for ad-hoc approach. There was logic when the Foreign Minister emphasised that the country would not sever relations with the United States and would continue to remain engaged with Washington but we will not depend too much on the world’s only superpower. Thanks to the civil-military vision, Pakistan has already started meaningful diversification of relationship with the countries of the globe with focus on China and now also on the Russian Federation. As for narrative of terrorism is concerned, we must make a good brief to convince influential members of the global community about our role, contribution and achievements but we should also lend ear to what they say and try to adjust our policies accordingly. What happened at BRICS summit should serve as a food for thought and the narrative evolved by the foreign policy experts should be further refined with input from National Security Committee and Parliament and then implemented without regard for any transitory gain or loss.