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Monday, November 27, 2023

Analyzing Pakistan’s foreign policy

The US has remained in close partnership with the West, Israel, India, Japan, South Korea, Japan and Australia. Israel is the most pampered country followed by India and the trio has formed a strategic nexus to achieve their global ambitions. The three are anti-Pakistan and have never spared any opportunity to harm Pakistan.

The US has all along pursued a dual faced foreign policy. It has based it’s external policy on the principles of buying the services of an ally, using it for the accomplishment of its short term objectives and paying for it, and no sooner it’s objectives were accomplished, throw away the hired ally in the dustbin like a used tissue. It has not even spared it’s blue eyed boys like Reza Shah of Iran, Pinochet of Chile, Marcos of Philippines, Saddam of Iraq, who all had brutalised their own people to curry favours of Washington. Osama bin Laden was also a darling of CIA but he was hounded for over a decade and killed. ISIS which was CIA creation, was also badly mauled when it became a liability in the Middle East.

Pakistan which was the most allied ally of the USA since 1954 was repeatedly betrayed and unfairly mistreated. Pakistan is among the few countries that put its security at stake by earning the hostility of many states including former USSR to serve the US interests. During the war on terror, the US leaders and officials crossed all limits of decency and diplomatic decorum, and blatantly accused, ridiculed, insulted and punished Pakistan.

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Understanding the matter better

The US has remained in close partnership of the West, Israel, India, Japan, South Korea, Japan and Australia. Israel is the most pampered country followed by India and the trio have formed a strategic nexus to achieve their global ambitions. The three are anti Pakistan and have never spared any opportunity to harm Pakistan. While the US cares for the security concerns of India, it has never paid any attention to Pakistan’s security and national interests.

As opposed to double dealings of the USA, Russia has remained honestly committed to its allies including India and never played a underhand game with any. It maintained close political, cultural, economic, scientific and defence ties with India and there was no change in their relationship when India became a strategic partner of the US in 1990. Kashmir issue couldn’t be resolved due to the repeated use of veto power by Russia.

Pakistan came into Russia’s bad books after Liaqat Ali khan preferred USA over Russia in 1949. Relations dipped further when Pakistan acted as a conduit to bring about a thaw in the US-China relations in 1979. Relations worsened when Pakistan organised the proxy war at the behest of USA in the 1980s to defeat and pushout Soviet forces from Afghanistan.

Pak-Russia relations began to improve from 2011 onwards and the visit of Imran khan to Moscow in Feb this year brought the two countries closer. Pakistan was promised gas and wheat on 20% lower prices, and to also complete the laying of gas pipeline from Multan to Gwadar, as well as expediting gas pipeline from Turkmenistan TAPI. These promises made by Putin have run into snag after the sudden deposition of IK regime in April, and it is yet not known whether Putin would still like to honour his commitments in spite of Gen Bajwa’s harshly worded condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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Why US was involved in IK’s ouster?

One of the major reasons behind the US conspiracy to unseat IK was his hobnobbing with Russia and his refusal to vote in the UN to condemn the Ukraine invasion.

No such annoyance was expressed by Washington against India which has all along maintained strategic relationship with USSR. It’s over 60% of defense hardware is Russian origin, it has recently inducted a Russian-made S 400 anti-missile system, abstained from voting in the UN and has not condemned Russia over its Ukrainian adventure.

To tease Pakistan, Russia has offered oil to India at a 40% discount. Gas and wheat will also be given on cheaper prices. What has the US offered to Pakistan so far to help it in easing it’s economic crisis? Whatever aid was given by the US was always tied to stringent conditions.

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In the 20 year war on terror, in which Pakistan fought as a frontline state and sacrificed 80, 000 people and suffered a financial loss of 150 billion dollars, the US total assistance was 20 billion in which bulk was of the close support fund which was also ceased in 2018.

The incumbent regime of Shahbaz Sharif has yet to spell out its foreign policy. It appears that it has not only reverted back to old Pakistan, but it is also keen to shift all the eggs back into the US basket.


The writer is a retired Brig Gen, war veteran, defense & security analyst, international columnist, author of five books, Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre, & Member CWC PESS & Think Tank. He can be reached at asifharoonraja@gmail.com. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.