New Strides of Pakistan’s Foreign Policy
Dr. Muhammad Akram Zaheer
In the age of globalization, a country cannot live independently. Every country seeks development of its multi-dimensional relationships with other countries to assure its survival, security and strengthen its economy. For this, each country formulates its foreign policy according to its national interest. Nevertheless, Foreign policy directs how to deal with other nations to achieve political, economic and military goals, and somewhat less extent how to behave with non-state actors. We can say that foreign policy is a combination of strategies and actions to maintain strong relationship with other states and to deal with the non-states actors for the protection and promotion of state’s national interests.
Pakistani foreign policy is guided by the vision and principles of Quid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. According to him “Our foreign policy is one of the friendliness and good will towards all the nations of the world. We do not cherish aggressive design against any country or nation. We believe in the principle of honesty and fair play in national and international dealings and we are prepared to make our utmost contribution to the promotion of peace and prosperity among the nations of the world. Pakistan will never be found lacking in extending its material and moral support to oppressed and suppressed people of the world, and in upholding the principles of the United Nations Charter”.
The foreign policy of Pakistan is framed to achieve main five goals such as; maintenance of territorial integrity, maintenance of its political independence, acceleration of social and economic development, strengthening its place on globe and keep cordial and friendly relations with all countries. To protect its freedom and sovereignty, Pakistan came into existence on account of great sacrifices of innocent Muslim. Like other nations, Pakistan also preserves its independence and does not allow any country to challenge its freedom and sovereignty. Thus, this goal is a corner stone of Pakistan’s foreign policy. Not interference in other countries affairs, Pakistan always tries to establish cordial relationship with all the neighbors and other countries of the globe is another vital element of Pakistan’s foreign policy. Pakistan always expresses its concerns against India and Israel arrangements and about the critical situation of Kashmir, Palestine, Afghanistan and Middle East. Pakistan has always been offering its shoulders to safeguard and protect the rights of Muslim world and has been raising voice for their issues. Pakistan follows the principle of national sovereignty, non-use of force against any state and policy of not interference in other states affairs. Pakistan also acts upon United Nations charter and supports for all moves which are taken by UN for the implementation. Pakistan has been seeking the settlement of disputes through dialogue and negotiation with neighbors. In addition, Pakistan follows the policy of non-alignment and does not like to be the part of any supper power bloc but unfortunately Pakistan is considered as a partner of the United State during the cold-war. During Afghan-Soviet war, Pakistan was front line ally of United States and played a vital role to disintegrate Soviet Union. Pakistan was an allied of Washington and NATO forces to seek out of its own security because Soviet Union was creating a security threat on Pak-Afghan border. Post-Cold war Pakistan again facilitated Washington to establish peace in Afghanistan and fight against terrorism. Today Pakistan is struggling to follow its primary principle of non-alignment policy and avoid being part of any military bloc and major conflict. That’s why; Islamabad is making efforts to rescue the United States forces from Afghanistan.
Pakistan has always been remained on the front line to eliminate racism and colonialism. It has also been supporting Kashmiri people for their right of self-determination. Although Pakistan is a nuclear power but its intention is to maintain minimum deterrence. It has always been following the international nuclear non-proliferation promise and it is supporting the collective attempts for peace and security without use of arms. Disarmament is considered an imperative condition for durable peace at global level. That why, this principle is included in the principles of Pakistani foreign policy to promote peace and stability in the world. Pakistan is also the member of United Nations, OIC, NAM, ECO, SCO, SAARC and ASEAN. Being the members of these international organizations Pakistan is struggling for the regional and global peace and unifying Muslim countries to promote mutual cooperation in political and economic activities. Satisfaction and dissatisfaction has always been existed in past but today Pakistan is moving on the better side in the world affairs.
At the end of cold war, the world has shifted from bipolarity to uni-polarity and now multilateral system. Since the breakdown of bipolarity, United States allies have been more inclined to act independently and multilateral system has emerged in the world. Now Pakistan is considered as a power in the regional and international system who worked with the West to transform the international system from bipolar to uni-polar world. Today, Pakistan has helped United States to come out from Afghanistan. Soon after, the uni-polarism started to decline due to overstretching and facing of economic crisis. And now the United States is going to withdraw from the international engagements and is opening new vacuum for the regional competitors that may be refilled by the regional powers like China, Russia and Pakistan. Therefore, Pakistan is also struggling to extricate itself from the United States influence and form new alliances with China and Russia in order to pave way for the new regional blocs.
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