The curse of dependency | By Tariq Mehmood Khalid

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The curse of dependency


PAKISTAN’S National Security Advisor Dr Moeed Yusuf has expressed his resentment over the fact that the US President has not yet spoken to Prime Minister Imran Khan ever since he came into office.

His desperation was absolutely pitiful. Mr Yusuf warned the US leadership in an ‘intimidating’ manner that his leadership does have ‘other options’ if the Biden Administration continues to give a cold shoulder. He looked to remind the US leadership that they were ought to be Pakistan’s friends, not masters.

In a major setback, Pakistan’s request to join UN Security Council meeting, which was held to discuss the future of Afghanistan post-US withdrawal, was turned down in spite of the fact that Pakistan is a major stakeholder in Afghanistan.

Even the US didn’t help owing to Islamabad’s refusal to clear up the mess that they have left behind in Afghanistan.

Despite having exhausted all its energies and compromising the self integrity to fulfil the US objectives since the cold war era till date, Pakistan has never been able to create a relationship with the US based on mutual trust and respect. The US has always scapegoated Pakistan with a never ending demand to ‘do more’.

The parasitic behaviour against Pakistan by the US is one reason for the never ending trust deficit between the two countries.

Pakistan’s continued dependency on the US for economic and strategic interests is another mistake. Pakistan has never utilized the ‘other options’ for the said purposes in true sense of the term.

The political instability and incompetent regimes have also damaged the national integrity to core.

Pakistan could not shape its foreign policy to a level of global acceptance. Instead of adopting a balanced approach, Pakistan chose to stand on the wrong sides without anticipating the implications down the road. Now Pakistan has to revisit its foreign policy goals.

A robust strategy is desperately required to explore multiple options to ensure that the country will no longer be used as a scapegoat for anyone’s interests.

It is high time to realise that the US is no longer the sole superpower given the humiliation it has suffered in Afghanistan. In the ever-changing global scenario one country alone can not decide the destiny of the world.

There are multiple players in the game. Pakistan must not rely on any single country to a level where they start exploiting its dependency.

Individuals at the helm of affairs must formulate a vigorous counter narrative against the propaganda campaigns launched by the hostile countries against Pakistan. Such malicious campaigns have dented the national image globally.

Pakistan has been portrayed as a peace spoiler. A comprehensive media strategy is paramount to propagate the national narrative worldwide.

There is an urgent need for this realization that political polarisation at home, the evil of dependency and a frail foreign policy, will never earn good name for the country.

—The writer is contributing columnist, based in Sargodha.

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