Pakistan foreign policy is responsible for creating relations with other states however it is faced with many challenges today.
This paper will explore the challenges faced by Pakistan foreign policy.
All states in the world are independent and sovereign, but they must cultivate relations with other states. These relations must be based on some principles, steps and ways and means- it is foreign policy.
No country in the world can live in isolation. Hence, in the interdependent world foreign policy is like a ship with radar which drifts aimlessly in the water, therefore foreign policy is responsible for sound strong and cemented relations among the comity of nations.
“Foreign policy consists of the different measures which states take to promote protect and preserve their interest not only externally but internally as well”
So, sum up we can say that foreign policy is a policy which deals with the external relation of states based on the internal aspiration of the people.
Challenges of Pakistan Foreign Policy:
Following are the challenges that are faced by Pakistan Foreign Policy:
· The US foreign policy under Donald Trump.
· The nature of Chinese foreign policy.
· Break the isolation imposed by India.
· Whether CPEC is enough to boast of?
· Pakistan’s foreign policy is its crippling economy based on poor foreign trade.
The US foreign policy under Donald Trump:
The first challenge concerns the US foreign policy under Donald Trump. Obama’s tilt towards India, economically as well as strategically, had disturbed the strategic balance in South Asia. Moreover, his administration granted too much leverage to India in the post-withdrawal period in Afghanistan. This resulted in Indo-Afghan-US triangular alliance that hurt Pakistan’s interests in the region. The US administration under Trump will be a testing time for both the nations.
In 2017, Pakistan’s Foreign Office has a challenge for the next four years to deal with Trump. How to make Pakistan more attractive for economic investment, foreign aid and assistance for carrying out war on terror depends on how Foreign Office plays its cards efficiently.
The nature of Chinese foreign policy:
The second challenge relates to the nature of Chinese foreign policy. General Xiong Guangkai says: “Pakistan is China’s Israel.” Pakistan’s role has been central to China’s transition from a regional to a global power. It is at the heart of Beijing’s plans for a network of roads, pipelines, railways, energy projects, fiber optics and ports.
The way China is proceeding with its various networks in the region, it’s anticipated that in the next two decades, it will give a doctrine in line with the US “Monroe Doctrine of 1823”, thereby declaring that this region is the sphere of influence of China. This will limit the US to the shores of Atlanta and Europe. Any such futuristic approach of Chinese foreign policy will bind Pakistan forever. Thus, Pakistan will have a permanent regional bloc which may be joined, in future, by countries like Russia and Iran.
Break the isolation imposed by India:
The third challenge to the Pakistan foreign policy in 2017 will be to break the isolation imposed by India, thereby developing and normalizing relations with Afghanistan and Iran. Afghanistan, under Dr Ashraf Ghani, tried its best to smoothen relations with Pakistan. But somehow, this could not happen. Pakistan was very late in responding to his positive overtures. Now, India is right in the heart of Kabul from where it’s firing shots against Pakistan. “We learn from history that we do not learn from history” and one of the lessons that we don’t want to learn is that “one can change friends but not neighbors”. Hence, Pakistan needs to get back Afghanistan as a friend due to the 2340-km long border; border management mechanism; cross-border terrorism; common enemies in shape of the Taliban; economic ties; and stable peace in the region. Peace in Afghanistan is attached with peace in Pakistan.
Relationship with Iran will also proceed in the same tone. Iran is also a candidate for the CPEC. Thus, Iran can be encouraged for having closer relationship with Pakistan rather than sitting in the lap of India.
Whether CPEC is enough to boast of?
The fourth challenge is to see whether CPEC is enough to boast of? Ask any one about the foreign policy of Pakistan and the answer will be CPEC, CPEC and CPEC. Nations form their foreign policies based on multi-pronged strategies. Yes, CPEC is a great achievement, but it’s not the foreign policy. Pakistan needs to normalize its relations with its neighbors, and the US. Pakistan’s role in the UN is going very slow. This needs to be expedited, especially with the arrival of the new Secretary General of the UN, António Guterres.
Pakistan’s foreign policy is its crippling economy based on poor foreign trade:
The fifth and final challenge that confronts Pakistan’s foreign policy is its crippling economy based on poor foreign trade. Without any new or creative economic perspective, Pakistan’s GDP growth rate is sluggishly 4.3 to 4.6 per cent. Pakistan is addicted to foreign aid and the year 2017 calls for a replacement of foreign aid by foreign trade. This is possible when we garner courage to say no to the US foreign assistance and emphasize on purchase of our products on preferential basis.
Role of Foreign Policy:
the role of Foreign Office has been very poor on this front. It needs to appoint economists as commercial attaché and receive their regular input for the Pakistani products in the host country. Believing in the 21st century as the era of economics, let the year 2017 be the year of economic development for Pakistan. All Pakistani missions abroad must follow the agenda on war footings: mustering economic opportunities for Pakistani products and attracting foreign investment for the country.
Pakistan deserves a foreign policy based on pragmatism and facts. Security, economy, normalization of relations with key countries and countering its enemies must be robust for a brighter and prosperous Pakistan.