Transition in foreign policy of Pakistan | By M Shoaib Khan


Transition in foreign policy of Pakistan

IN 1948, Pakistan’s foreign policy was sketched by its founder, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

Now, key areas of foreign policy which Pakistan need to tackle are relations with US and China, maintaining relations with Russia especially after Ukraine crisis, dealing with Afghan situation after Kabul fall, to maintain equilibrium relationship with KSA and Iran and lastly most importantly managing relationship with India.

Now, at first when it comes to US then it is well known that Pakistan is strategic ally of US since its birth, we have seen several era’s when tensions emerged in between the two countries, issues like WoT, Afghan invasion, NATO supply and OBL operation caused serious mistrust in between the two sides.

Even in FATF review meeting US didn’t helped Pakistan to come out of the grey list. The aforementioned issues led Pakistan to overlook and rethink its dependence on US.

Secondly, when it comes to Pakistan relations with Russia, then both countries did not enjoyed good diplomatic relations in past due to several reasons, but at present Pakistan is also looking towards Russia as well to fulfil its needs especially in energy sector.

Recently PM IK visited Russia and discussed bilateral relations and cooperation in between the two countries.

Pakistan gained from that visit both diplomatically and economically. At third I think it’s the US withdrawal from Afghanistan that cause Pakistan to rethink on its foreign policy because the way US troops left Afghanistan was not expected, due to which humanitarian crisis and security threats to region emerged.

Pakistan is now solely on its own doing efforts to help Afghan refugees to overcome human catastrophe.

Fourth factor is situation in Middle East and role of Pakistan especially when it comes to KSA-Iran tensions, Pakistan enjoys good relations with both countries but there is impression that Pakistan is more inclined towards KSA than Iran.

Pakistan once again diplomatically tried to engage both countries on negotiations table and somehow remained successful.

Last issue which could be addressed in Pakistan foreign policy is its relations with India, as bitter relations of both countries have affected both countries, now Pakistan is urging India to resolve Kashmir issue so that our region could progress.

If both countries start trade then it will have impact on region and its prosperity. As recently Pakistan announced it national security policy which clearly indicated that Pakistan is more focused towards economic gains rather than having armed conflict with India.

I think, if the aforementioned issues will be addressed and tackled by Pakistan then it will be beneficial for Pakistan.

So there is a transition in foreign policy of Pakistan which clearly says that look towards allies in east as well, rather than only relying on western countries

If Pakistan wants to realign its foreign policy then at first it needs to boost economy, as it is an important factor in modern era to build diplomatic relations with world by having a strong economy.

In an increasingly multipolar world, Pakistan also needs to raise its diplomatic clout by vigorous outreach to other key countries and actors beyond governments to secure its foreign policy goals.

—The writer is political and media analyst who regularly writes on international political issues.


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