Introduce some new faces in Foreign Affairs

WHILE Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, on a week-long visit to China, is having a series of high-level meetings with Chinese defence authorities, urging repeatedly to forge better ties between the two militaries for getting ‘third party factor’, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held wide-ranging talks with Chinese and Russian Foreign Ministers. Apart from this India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, who was in Beijing for 19th round of Sino-India boundary talks, is reported to have raised so-called concerns over China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the issue of Masood Azhar. These visits are aimed at building up the gains made during visit of the Indian Prime Minister to China in May 2015, triggering heightened interaction between the two countries.
Seen in the perspective of stir creating royal reception given to Indian PM Narendra Modi by King Salman of Saudi Arabia, it seems India has launched an aggressive show-casing of its desire for ‘peace’ in the region and the world over and to counter pro-Pakistan moves and developments. India’s well-oiled propaganda machinery is very supportive of the country’s foreign policy strategic objectives. India has already made strong inroads in Afghanistan where it seeks a greater role and Americans too are helping New Delhi strengthen its foothold there. With Iran as well, India is fast developing a comprehensive relationship, which, in some way, could go against the interests of Pakistan. In sharp contrast to this, the domestic issues ridden Pakistan is without a full-fledged Foreign Minister for the last three years, which speaks volumes about significance and importance that those at the helm of affairs accord to the foreign policy. Foreign affairs is not a part time job and this highly complicated and sophisticated subject requires full devotion and dedication and that too at this critical juncture of the history when Pakistan is passing through a number of challenges in the realm of foreign affairs. If for any reason, very experienced and statesman-like Mr Sartaj Aziz cannot be entrusted the responsible of representing the country as honourable Federal Minister and over-burdened Mr Tariq Fatemi can’t be spared from PM’s Secretariat, then why not to introduce some new faces who may counter India’s lethal campaign against Pakistan. Though Pakistan achieved much in the shape of a long and comprehensive reference to Jammu and Kashmir issue and plight of Kashmiri people in the Final Communiqué of the recently concluded OIC Summit at Istanbul but one cannot digest the blow received in the case of shifting of OIC Science and Technology moot to another member state and possible shifting of COMSTECH headquarters from Islamabad in view of lamentable attitude of concerned officials of Ministries of Science and Technology and Foreign Affairs. This is reflective of dismal and poor handling of the foreign policy related issues, which could inflict more harm to the country in near future. This is despite the fact that Pakistan has many fertile minds whose services can be availed for the cause of the country. FO’s own officials like Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jillani in Washington can be assigned the responsibility of a special envoy to visit various capitals. We would go to the extent of saying that if the system has become so barren then even retired ambassadors like china-famed Masood Khan, who is known for his deep insight into foreign policy issues, may be elevated as GOP’s special envoy to enhance and show-case Pakistan at various regional and international forums and important capitals. In any case, if and when the Government gets itself free from day-to-day trivial domestic issues and scandals, then please bring Pakistan out of the deepening vacuum. To quote an example, our valiant Armed forces have launched a successful operation against terrorists but due to lack of required projection, countries like India succeed in portraying us negatively on the issue. We must realise that Pakistan is on international agenda for various understandable reasons and it is need of the hour to build a new team of special envoys with tasks of shuttle diplomacy besides bringing transparency and clarity to foreign policy management.

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