Farhat Asif, Pres­i­dent In­sti­tute of Peace and Diplo­matic Stud­ies

The Diplomatic Insight - - Editor's Note -

n the cur­rent global and re­gional geopol­i­tics, Pak­istan is con­tin­u­ously ad­just­ing its for­eign pol­icy keep­ing in fo­cus its own na­tional com­pul­sions and na­tional in­ter­ests. Pak­istan is ex­plor­ing new av­enues and ar­eas in its for­eign re­la­tions in or­der to grad­u­ally re­duce its re­liance on west for eco­nomic, po­lit­i­cal and strate­gic as­sis­tance. Pak­istan is the sec­ond largest Mus­lim coun­try in terms of pop­u­la­tion and is a de­clared nu­clear power with rea­son­able and ra­tio­nal nu­clear weapons pro­gram as be­ing one of the only Is­lamic na­tion to have such sta­tus hence made it an im­por­tant player in its in­ter­na­tional role. Pak­istan has in­de­pen­dent for­eign pol­icy based on it’s the con­cept of guard­ing the na­tional in­ter­est. Pak­istan also has im­por­tant strate­gic geo-po­lit­i­cal lo­ca­tion with hav­ing cor­ri­dors of world’s ma­jor mar­itime oil sup­ply lines, bor­der­ing with not one but three nu­clear pow­ers. It has also the prox­im­ity to the re­source rich Cen­tral Asian re­gion. Pak­istan is also mem­ber of OIC and is ranked as United States as a ma­jor non NATO ally in the war against Ter­ror­ism. Soon af­ter in­de­pen­dence of Pak­istan, diplo­matic re­la­tions be­tween Pak­istan and Por­tu­gal was es­tab­lished. Both coun­tries con­tin­ued to en­joy deep rooted his­tor­i­cal link­ages with each other since then. Ear­lier the diplo­matic mis­sion of Por­tu­gal was es­tab­lished in Karachi but when Is­lam­abad was made as cap­i­tal in 60s, it was moved to the new lo­ca­tion. Both states sup­port each other in all spheres of co­op­er­a­tion at in­ter­na­tional and na­tional level. Por­tu­gal al­ways lauded the ef­forts of ex­trem­ism. Pak­istan and Por­tu­gal en­joy mul­ti­fac­eted and friendly re­la­tions char­ac­ter­ized with shared in­ter­est and both states sup­ported each other can­di­da­ture to a num­ber of po­si­tions in var­i­ous UN and in­ter­na­tional bod­ies. It of sev­eral high level vis­its be­tween the two coun­tries in re­cent years pro­vide a fresh mo­men­tum in bi­lat­eral re­la­tions. Por­tu­gal also con­sid­ers Pak­istan as a close ally and im­por­tant part­ner in col­lab­o­ra­tion both in terms of eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion and de­vel­op­ment. Both states have the urge to de­velop fur­ther link­ages in Health­care, ed­u­ca­tion, de­vel­op­ment affairs along with cul­tural ex­changes. Re­cently Pak­istan-Por­tu­gal Busi­ness Coun­cil was es­tab­lished in or­der to stream­line the in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties to the coun­ter­parts in both states There are sev­eral op­por­tu­ni­ties to strengthen the ex­ist­ing ties as there are sev­eral im­por­tant and worth­while op­por­tu­ni­ties of in­vest­ment that Pak­istan has of­fered to the in­vestors of Por­tu­gal. En­ergy is one such an im­por­tant sec­tor which Pak­istan is fac­ing sev­eral chal­lenges with short­fall mount­ing day by day. There can be reg­u­lar ex­change of ex­perts and shar­ing of knowl­edge and prac­tices to the prob­lem of en­ergy dearth in the coun­try. Por­tu­gal is also leader in pro­duc­tion of re­new­able en­ergy and in July 2014 around 70 per cent of the en­ergy came from the re­new­able sources such as wind, so­lar and hy­dro power. It also has world’s largest pho­to­voltaic farms near the town

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