Need for a new for­eign pol­icy

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION - Mehr Is­pa­hani Email :mehrispa­hani@gmail.com

IT is clear that Amer­ica is prepar ing In­dia to re­duce China’s in­flu ence in the re­gion. The strate­gic im­por­tance of In­dia in the Amer­i­can view that can bet­ter pro­tect the US in­ter­ests in the area and China‘s rapid rise as a re­gional po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic power with global as­pi­ra­tions is an im­por­tant el­e­ment in to­day’s strate­gic en­vi­ron­ment. From the ap­point­ment of the Karzai govt to the reg­u­lar re­ports of mas­sive cor­rup­tion within the coun­try, Afghanistan con­tin­ues to be an ex­per­i­ment in US for­eign pol­icy. At no point could it been said that Afghanistan was on path to sta­bil­ity can’t blame that on Pak­istan, anti-Pak­istan po­si­tion was re­in­forced with in­flux of Indian in­vest­ments into all sec­tors of the Afghanistan econ­omy. Afghanistan it­self has shown no se­ri­ous in­ter­est in be­ing a part­ner for peace with Pak­istan. Me­dia out­lets in the United States, have given a phrase against Pak­istan – “du­plic­i­tous part­ner Yes Pak­istan takes care of its in­ter­ests be­fore con­sid­er­ing in­ter­ests of any for­eign nation and that of course any nation would do. Pak­istan has shown amaz­ing re­straint in not carpet bomb­ing ter­ror­ist safe havens in Khost and Nuris­tan right now Pak­istan is deal­ing with its own in­ter­nal problems; it has its own in­ter­nal se­cu­rity is­sues.

Pak­istan and China con­tin­ued their ef­forts in bring­ing Tal­iban to the ne­go­ti­at­ing ta­ble even there was a flare up by Afghanistan. Pak­istan hosted a meet­ing in Mur­ree in 2015 with the rep­re­sen­ta­tives from China and Afghanistan to bring about Tal­iban for ne­go­ti­a­tions then the se­cond time it was to be held in Pak­istan when Mul­lah Omar died and there was cri­sis among their own ranks. For each and ev­ery lit­tle what is go­ing on in their own cir­cle Pak­istan should not be blamed and it’s not only Pak­istan’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to bring them on the ne­go­ti­at­ing ta­ble ,peace in Afghanistan is in the best in­ter­est of Pak­istan any­way then why is it al­ways blamed for not do­ing enough .

Pak­istan has al­ready sac­ri­ficed with so many fam­i­lies los­ing their loved ones in war against ter­ror­ism; the ef­forts should not be taken for granted. With what­ever goes around in Afghanistan Pak­istan is the one to be tar­geted with­out re­al­iz­ing the fact that it has put in so much for peace and sta­bil­ity in Afghanistan which is never given any im­por­tance. Islamabad can put pres­sure on the Tal­iban lead­er­ship to sit-in for peace talks but it can’t ne­go­ti­ate on be­half of the Afghan gov­ern­ment. The im­age that has been given to the en­tire world that Pak­istan has con­trol over Tal­iban is just a mere pro­pa­ganda.

There are un­re­al­is­tic ex­pec­ta­tions from Pak­istan and then when the ex­pec­ta­tions are not guar­an­teed there is al­ways a blame game go­ing on the other side. The US has been ac­cus­ing Pak­istan for not act­ing against mil­i­tants and mak­ing a tilt to­wards In­dia. On the other hand US has an agree­ment with In­dia on civil nu­clear co­op­er­a­tion, but re­fuses to of­fer Pak­istan a sim­i­lar deal. Even af­ter cold war era, US and In­dia started work­ing on their re­la­tion­ship and widened scope of co­op­er­a­tion and ex­changes.

What we need to do is keep our na­tional in­ter­est on our pri­or­ity list, we need to be care­ful about the de­ci­sions and our re­la­tions states, and we need to re­vise our for­eign pol­icy. Pak­istan’s ties with the Mus­lim world es­pe­cially the Mid­dle East­ern coun­tries are an im­por­tant part of its iden­tity and ide­ol­ogy- based for­eign pol­icy. A rea­son be­hind China’s in­vest­ment in strate­gi­cally placed Pak­istan has much to do with its re­vised ap­proach to for­eign pol­icy.

— The writ­ers is free­lance colum­nist based in Peshawar.

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