Pakistan in a fragmented world | By Haya Fatima Sehgal


Pakistan in a fragmented world

“The hope is that by reaffirming and strengthening foundations of cooperation, the next page in history can turn toward cooperation and security rather than conflict and strife.

” — BorgeBrende, President of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

THE World Economic forum theme this year is ‘Cooperation in a Fragmented world’.

With Global inflation on the rise; globalization under threat and crises like the Russian invasion of Ukraine have worsened the situation.

Six broad themes in WEF cover issues such as the Ukraine crisis, climate, food and energy issues, global recession, health disparity (preparing for next pandemic), gender inequality and living in a digital future, all of which are already highlighted affecting Pakistan’s security ecosystem with severity.

There looms another threat in the form of the Covid-19 omicron subvariant spreading from China.

With close interactions and linked routes, it is likely to spread quickly through Pakistan. Perhaps, Pakistan should start this year by making the above quote their mantra.

The silos that are a construct of Pakistan’s diplomatic relations is a strategically bad mistake.

Pakistan also seems bent on ignoring the global polycrisis that is currently enveloping the world.

In a mounting global chaos, it would serve the country well to manoeuvre towards civil diplomacy for intra and inter-regional cooperation.

This year could also deal with better conversations as far as local governance is concerned. A mature focus should be on the interconnectivity of multilateral relations vital to any country in the world today, the balance of which is going to be a key factor to undertake as a better and more stable form of governance.

The immaturity displayed in domestic politics remains a distraction from the severity of a multiple series of security concerns.

This is another distraction from addressing the millions within the country who are currently facing a food emergency whilst suffering rising militant Taliban-related security issues.

The security issues which are mounting will be due to its own inability to cope with containing its domestic affairs on several fronts.

Pakistan must move beyond certain dialogues which serve to deviate from a greater one on the national emergency, which is incumbent.

The region of Central Asia, will be a scaling security issue to look towards. The development surrounding it, including shifting power blocs will be vital to keep an eye on.

Pakistan’s internal security is sacrosanct to maintaining regional security in Central Asia. The interconnection of this small but vital state will be of interest for many to include in their security dialogues in a new light.

Pakistan’s civil diplomacy methodology still remains weakened and ill-advised. Any government which has failed to set ties for regional cooperation, means it does not have sustainable multilateral goals for the near future either.

There was once a probability of the PTI returning to power, given elections. But it seems their higher echelons are not in the mood of establishing any kind of stability – or playing well with others.

Pakistan must move quickly out of falling into a void of global isolation through offbeat stratagem.

There is also no ‘deliberate regional or international script’ being played as far as Pakistan’s domestic politics are concerned.

The only ‘script’ currently is the debris of the conspiracy theory which keeps evolving and failing.

The emergency declaration, be it military, financial or just a ‘national emergency’; which one of the instruments will be the most tacit in deciding the country’s future, is a matter of time.

This would only be a connecting step towards establishing a presidential system for the future.

Investing in a multilateral approach for cooperation would be words of wisdom to follow for the nation.

Pakistan already lives in a fragmented world within and outside its borders. The security and economic integrity of this region will be a clear marker for what happens next in a power struggle to control it.

—The writer is known for her articles on socio-cultural impact.