FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
Fighting on three fronts
Posted:Mar 20, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
Pakistan has very able diplomats but an underperforming diplomacy. Quality of diplomacy largely depends on policies. But diplomats do not make policies, the leadership does. And our leadership is still trapped in old assumptions about the world, about ourselves and other countries. In some ways, we are still trying to preserve the fiction of the old world.
Foreign policy involves making difficult choices, often between imperfect options. The worst choice you can make is not to make any choice. That is what we have done most of the times. We have let others make choices for us. Yes, the relations with China enjoy a national consensus and remain a success story but largely because the Chinese laid down the terms of engagement and drew up its broad parameters. And they did it so shrewdly it gave Pakistan an illusion of being an equal partner.
 
As for our other two “friends”, Saudi Arabia and the US, they have tried to buy our friendship. And this does not work, especially when you are dealing with a superpower, as it demands too much and does not take no for an answer. The fact is that US-Pakistan relations have been sporadic, focused on limited interests, and have operated in the context of the two countries’ differing interests, priorities and policies. And that is a recipe for recurring tensions.
The Saudis however have no such compunctions. They operate insidiously, and buy the friendship not only of the country but of its rulers as well. That is why the Saudi-Pakistan relationship has survived and prospered.
These two and a half relationships have enabled Pakistan to maintain a complaisant foreign policy and given enough margin of error to continue to live dangerously. You take away these status quo relationships and what are you left with? A whole lot of countries, especially in the region, with whom we have varying degrees of tension and conflict. Of course you cannot blame it all on Pakistan. It does after all live in a tough neighbourhood and has legitimate security concerns.
 
Read more at: https://tribune.com.pk/story/1360865/fighting-three-fronts/
 
The Express Tribune, March 21, 2017 
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will be visiting India between 7th and 10th of April and plethoras of agreements are likely to be signed then. Among the various agreements, the two countries will be signing the defence cooperation agreement which  has been getting the most attention. 
 
read-more
The Congress needs to come up with a more aspirational narrative than that of the BJP. The party doesn’t lack talent, but its leadership clearly lacks hunger and enthusiasm required for winning elections, writes Tridivesh Singh Maini for South Asia Monitor.
 
read-more
 India should not hesitate in using both overt and covert means to bring its policies to successful fruition. Indian policy makers must be guided by the dictum that there is no permanent friend or enemy but only permanent interests, writes Adarsh Singh for South Asia Monitor.
 
read-more
Society for Policy Studies in association with India Habitat Centre invites you to a lecture in the Changing Asia Series by by Prof. K. Srinath Reddy, President, Public Health Foundation of India on Health And Development: India Must Bridge The Disconnect Chair: C Uday Bhaskar, Director, Soci...
 
read-more
spotlight image 'Covert military actions or surgical strikes against terror launch pads in Pakistan have limited utility that won't change the mind of the Pakistan Army or the ISI  which sponsor cross-border terrorism
 
read-more
In Dutch politics, alliances are imperative to construct an administration. The post-election government formation is, therefore, a slightly time-consuming process. In due course, a coalition led by the incumbent Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, will surface.  
 
read-more
Japan is a special country in several ways. For centuries, it remained isolated and disconnected with the outside world. But once it opened itself up to the West with the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854 by the use of force by Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry of the United States Navy, Japan has never looked back. Japan is a spe
 
read-more
Recently, under the leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, and earlier under the late Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdallah bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud, Saudi Arabia has rolled out a series of women-friendly initiatives.  Recently, under the leadership of Custodian of the
 
read-more
spotlight image No First Use as a nuclear deterrent without additional caveats should work well enough
 
read-more
Column-image

India remians the inflexible bête-noir for Pakistan, yet there are few books by Indian authors that have sought to interpret the prodigal neighbour in a holistic, informed and empathetic manner.

 
Column-image

The line that Mortimer Durand drew across a small map in 1893 has bled the Pashtun heart ever since. More than a century later both sides of that line remain restless. But the mystery behind what actually happened on 12 November 1893 has never ...

 
Column-image

What went wrong for the West in Afghanistan? Why couldn't a global coalition led by the world's preeminent military and economic power defeat "a bunch of farmers in plastic sandals on dirt bikes" in a conflict that outlasted b...

 
Column-image

What will be Pakistan's fate? Acts of commission or omission by itself, in/by neighbours, and superpowers far and near have led the nuclear-armed country at a strategic Asian crossroads to emerge as a serious regional and global concern whi...

 
Column-image

Some South African generals, allied with the British forces, sought segregation from the enlisted men, all blacks, after being taken prisoners of war. The surprised German commander told them firmly that they would have to share the same quarte...

 
Subscribe to our newsletter
Archive