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The robust change in the foreign policy of Pakistan

By Abdul Rahman Malik

he Robust Change in Foreign Policy has started bearing fruit for Pakistan since the Countries like the US and Russia has appreciated  Pakistan’s role in Peace Process as well as in the War on Terror.

The recent request from US President Donald Trump to bring the Taliban on negotiating Table heralds that Pakistan’s Foreign Office has done a tremendous job in bringing the diplomatic relations with the US to Normalcy.

The Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his Team has played a pivot role to melt the ice between US and Pakistan to pave the way for regional cooperation especially in US’ planned phased withdrawal from Afghanistan. Unfortunately, in the previous PML-N Government, a great vacuum was created due to non-appointment of Foreign Minister that led to the isolation of Pakistan. The current PTI government has been successful in realignment and redesign of External Policy and Internal Policy.

The World has started to appreciate the Positive image projected by PTI Government under PM Khan. Undoubtedly, a new Chapter of peaceful Pakistan has been unfolded where the peace has a central role to play. 

The Opening of Kartarpur Corridor, Peace efforts for Afghanistan quagmire and Propagating Peaceful settlement for IOK on the basis of UN resolutions will certainly bear fruit and carve the way of Progress and Economic boom for crisis-ridden Pakistan.

The Foreign Policy of any country can play a great role in building the relations of nations on the basis of equality, friendliness and mutual cooperation in the hours of need. The history is stalled with several instances of diplomatic stalemate that led the countries to the hostile decisions and the Poor People of the respective countries bear the brunt of hostile rulers or the leaders.

It is ironic that Pakistan’s foreign policy has never been crafted as per the national interests or Mutual interests rather it was driven by individual priorities which were never fruitful for the country or for the countrymen. The First Prime Minister of Pakistan Liaquat Ali Khan’s refusal to the invitation extended by Russia and preferring US visit echoes that how diplomatic relations have rise and fall in the history of Pakistan.

During the Political transition, especially during the Bhutto regime, we can ascertain that Bhutto’s legacy was to influence the Muslim world and aimed at uniting the Islamic countries against the bipolar world. Since at that time, the two big powers had the stake in the World i.e US and the Soviet Union.

During that phase, Bhutto challenged the status quo and even made a thundering historical speech in UN General Assembly since no leader has been able to deliver such speech by criticizing the role of Superpowers so far. He propagated the equality of Nations and believed the issues must be resolved on the basis of priority rather than through vetoing the prime issues if any superpower opposes them. 

The foreign Policy during last PML –N government remained worst since there was no finance minister for almost four years and lastly Mr Sartaj Aziz was inducted as Advisor to PM on Foreign Affairs. He failed miserably since he could not perform effectively owing to his limited authority for engagement with the world powers.

That was why Pakistan was isolated in the world and diplomatic relations experienced the setback at the international level. India had outplayed Pakistan by propagating Foreign policy options and Americans’ inclination towards India was witnessed apparently by the world because of the vacuum created by weaker foreign policy.

Luckily, the diplomatic relations in the existing circumstances have been very effective due to PTI’s effective implementation of External policy to engage with world powers including the all-weather friend China. The Prime Minister’s Visits to Saudi Arabia, China, UAE and Turkey  has painted a positive image  of Pakistan Globally and even in his poll victory speech had drawn the attention of World  that Pakistan intends to enjoy friendly and peaceful relations with the world especially China, Iran, Afghanistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, US, Central Asian States, Middle and the Far East .  

Imran Khan’s Speech was also welcomed by India since he had offered India to initiate Strategic Dialogue to restart the stalled Talks. He went on to say that if India comes forward one step he will advance twice.

 That was apparent from his gesture that he along with Army chief offered Navjot Sidhu the willingness of opening the Kartarpur Corridor to facilitate the Sikh pilgrims to the holy place of Baba Guru Nanak -the Founder of Sikhism. The gesture received positive welcome throughout the world especially from the Sikh Community of India.

The Indian response was disappointing as the Indian Foreign Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj went on to say that Do not link the Kartarpur Corridor with peace Talks since it has nothing to do with Diplomatic Engagement and she categorically rejected the possibility of dialogue leaving the PTI leadership in dismay.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has so far played the instrumental role by visiting the Kabul and holding the meeting with President Ashraf Ghani to ensure Pakistan role in peacebuilding process especially the US phased withdrawal plan and influencing the Taliban to come to negotiating table. 

With Russia taking lead in hosting the Afghan Taliban moot after almost 30 Years of Afghan invasion with an aim to find a peaceful political solution to the Afghan mess. Historically, the Soviet Union was disintegrated after sustaining a humiliating defeat in the hands of Afghan Mujahedeen and insurgent groups.

It is like history repeating itself since unlike Russia, the US plans to initiate the phased withdrawal. The US has fought the longest war ever in Afghanistan but consequently lost the war morally that prompted it to pull out its forces out of Afghanistan in phases so that civil administration may take the charge of Security.

The US intention for regime change was half fulfilled in terms of toppling the Taliban regime but it has not been able to suppress or weaken the insurgent Taliban rather they have become little stronger and controlling vast areas.

That was the reason that after twitter tirade against Pakistan, Donald Trump changed its aggressive stance against Pakistan and wrote the letter to PM Khan for help to bring peace in War-torn Afghanistan. That is really a tragic and dismal end to US-Afghan war since the US mission remained impossible due to strong Taliban. Trump Administration followed the aggressive policies that led them to isolation.

Trump’s Request was welcomed by the Civil-Military Leadership of Pakistan as Pakistan has always advocated the political solution to the Afghan conflict. Pakistan has also played an effective role in so-called War on Terror and will continue to play its part in bringing peace in Afghanistan. Pakistan will use its all resources to bring Taliban on negotiating table given the request from President Donald Trump.

In this connection, two sessions of Talks were held. The first round of Talks was hosted by Russia in Moscow and second was held in UAE with Taliban Leadership.

Pakistan will keep on playing its role for peace in Afghanistan since it’s is in best interests of the country to secure its borders especially the Trade routes of CPEC.  Pakistan’s surging balance of Payments issue was resolved with the assistance of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and China which is the result of the robust and reshaping of Foreign policy making it independent based on equality.  Pakistan’s recrafted and redesigned  Foreign policy serves its interest in the best manner and all credit goes to PM Imran Khan, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his foreign Office team for projecting the positive image of Pakistan in the world. This positive image will attract more foreign investment in the country since apart from external policy, the internal policy has also improved manifold and so far no any big incident of Terrorism has surfaced thanks to our brave soldiers of Rangers, Army and the Police who are always ready to sacrifice their lives to defend the dear homeland with true spirit of Patriotism.

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