Pakistan made appearance on the map of the world in August 1947. The founder of the nation Muhammad Ali Jinnah vowed to make it a tolerant and progressive state to protect the rights of minorities. The country will remain independent in its policies and be on good terms with neighbouring countries as well as with the international communities.
The distressing economic and security situation of the time required Pakistan to get urgent financial assistance from foreign powers. After the ill-timed death of the father of the nation in September 1948, Pakistan had to face a situation in which it had to either choose the Western bloc or the Soviet bloc for military and economic assistance.
Pakistan made up its mind to join the Western bloc. Soon afterwards the US officially made Pakistan a client state of the Western bloc in South Asia to strengthen its leadership in the region for countering communism. Over the next several years Pakistan received substantial amount of assistance from the US that boosted its military and economic ability especially during the reign of Field Marshal Ayub Khan and later of General Zia-ul-Haq’s era respectively.
Later on the Saudi government and the Chinese regime also got the chance to dominate the domestic and external policies of Pakistan. A best specimen of this were the funds donated by the Saudi Arabia and the US through different channels for the Soviet-Afghan war that had destructive effects on Pakistan’s domestic security situation. No doubt the policy of receiving assistance from foreign powers ameliorated the economic and security situation in Pakistan, the political influence of these powers increased to such an extent that the Pakistan defence personnel had to induct regimes on the influence of external powers which we observe during the NRO deal of 2007.
Further to that Pakistan had to submit itself to the US demand of drone strikes in tribal areas that caused huge collateral damage. Gradually in the international political arena in the context of relations with the US gradually faded. The short term economic assistance and political closeness to these regimes were not useful for Pakistan in the long run particularly in the context of the relations with neighboring countries.
The geo-economic and geo-political importance of the world is now based on globalization and multi-polarity. The situation in the Middle East has become mostly complex and tense after the rise of the Islamic State and the civil war ensuring in Yemen. In this context Pakistan for its own benefits should act wisely as the Yemen situation is all about Saudi-Iranian rivalry. The entire world cannot move on with such a situation, as it will create damage in the hitherto unstable region. Rather than battling amongst each other, diplomacy and peace should be given more emphasis in which Pakistan can use its impact to preserve the region without being intimidated to take sides.
Iran which was significant for Afghanistan’s leaning towards Pakistan recently was only possible through strong tactful efforts made by former COAS General Raheel Sharif and his military team. Being a close neighbor, Iran is as predominant as Afghanistan since in the long run it can help strengthen our grip against India’s nefarious designs, including the Chabahar seaport to counter Gwadar.
An independent security and foreign policy is the only way to achieve peace in the region and strengthen trade that can decrease Pakistan’s dependence on foreign aid and influence.
Pakistan’s policymakers should fully know this in order to accommodate into this newly global society. This can only be done if Pakistan is truly a sovereign regime that can use its mastery at the correct place and at the proper time.
The international community should acknowledge and support the counter terrorism efforts made by Pakistan on the basis of respecting sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan. One must understand that Pakistan is not harbouring militant groups and it is an important country in South Asia. Peace, stability and economic development in Pakistan serve the interest of regional countries and people.
Pakistan is on the forefront of global fight against terrorism. It has been firmly opposing terrorism and it has made substantial sacrifice and contribution to fighting terrorism and maintaining regional security and stability. Pakistan and Afghanistan should enhance their communication to deepen their mutual trust and improve relations. They should work together to ensure regional peace and stability in the region.