The world is changing, with the ever-transmuting world, the nature of challenges and opportunities is also transmuting as well. To forfend, sovereignty, dignity and national interest of your country, you are required to have a coalescence of both hard and soft power. Pakistan is located at a very paramount geostrategic position, due to which, to achieve our national interest we required to build an accumulation of hard and soft power.
A combination of hard and soft power is known as Smart Power. Pakistan has lots of economic challenges, due to these challenges maintaining the combination of both powers is an infeasible task.
Pakistan is a country of great resilience that has overcome numerous challenges in the past. Especially, Pakistani armed forces have always remained at the forefront to defend Pakistan’s security and sovereignty. Despite many challenges, the Pakistan Navy has become the epitome of Smart Power.
On one hand, the Pakistan navy is adopting the approach of building a balanced navy to bulwark Pakistan’s maritime boundaries. Establishing a balanced navy to engender deterrence against the traditional threats and withal taking initiatives to defend Pakistan’s maritime boundaries against non-traditional threats as well. One example of Pakistan Navy’s readiness and exceptional capabilities was witnessed by the whole world when Pakistan Navy thwarted endeavor by an Indian Submarine to enter in Pakistani territorial waters. In the past, Pakistan withal ravaged Indian navy ship with its submarine.
Pakistan Navy is additionally utilizing its naval diplomacy to highlight Indian human rights infringement in Kashmir. It is also exhibiting the authentic and gruesome face of India to the whole world
However, Pakistan’s navy understands the transmuting dynamics of the world, it is additionally availing Pakistan in building a soft image abroad utilizing naval diplomacy. Pakistan Navy defines naval diplomacy in its naval doctrine “An activity to influence the behavior of other states employing Navy as a diplomatic instrument to support, persuade… Frequent port visits and international collaboration are examples of Naval Diplomacy.”
Pakistan’s navy initiative is very important in light of the current geopolitical and regional environment. After Modi came into power, India is actively endeavoring to isolate Pakistan. It is withal utilizing different forums to malign Pakistan’s image. It has additionally forcefully annexed Kashmir and is carrying out a genocide in Indian held Kashmir. Pakistan Navy has also come forward to give India a befitting response on the diplomatic front as well.
Pakistan’s Navy is sending its ships to different African countries to promote a positive image of Pakistan and it is also highlighting the Indian atrocities and genocide in Indian held Kashmir. Africa is the second most sizably voluminous continent of the world. It has 54 sovereign states. It has virtually 1.2 billion population and collectively a very big GDP. According to the World Bank estimate, the majority of African countries will reach Middle-income status in 2025. Trade between Pakistan and Africa is currently at 3.6 Billion US dollars. Bilateral trade between India and Africa is reaching 63 billion US dollars.
Despite India’s vigorous economic cognitions with African countries, Pakistan Navy is giving a befitting response to India not only in Pakistan but also in peregrine lands. Pakistan Navy is availing Pakistan to achieve its objectives utilizing finite resources. Due to domestic constraints, Pakistan can’t fixate on the African continent as it should have. Pakistan holds only 13 resident missions in 54 African States. China and India are investing a plethora of wealth in Africa. Russia celebrated 2019 as the year of Africa. Despite inhibitions, the Pakistan navy’s blue diplomacy is victoriously triumphing hearts and minds of African people. It is availing Pakistan in winning the war of narrative.
Pakistan Navy is additionally utilizing its naval diplomacy to highlight Indian human rights infringement in Kashmir. It is also exhibiting the authentic and gruesome face of India to the whole world. Last November, Pakistani Navy ships Moawin and ASLAT visited Port of Casablanca, Morocco as the component of overseas deployment in Africa. During the visit, the Mission commander highlighted Pakistan’s sacrifices in the fight against terrorism.
It was a very consequential message to the world because due to lack of felicitous diplomacy, Pakistan’s efforts and sacrifices are not highlighted in the world as they should have been. During the stay on the port, a reception dinner was withal hosted onboard PNS MOAWIN. The reception was attended by a large number of guests including Senior Officers of Moroccan Navy, members of Diplomatic corps and prominent members of the local community. On the occasion, Mission Commander updated people about the genocide in Indian held Kashmir.
These diplomatic efforts utilizing soft power and giving befitting replication to India, on Pakistan’s maritime boundaries, utilizing hard power makes Pakistan navy an exceptional example of the use of Smart Power by an institution. Such a superb utilization of Smart power is an initiative and other institutions should learn from Pakistan Navy’s excellent example.
Zohaib Altaf is a student of M.Phil IR at the National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad and has worked previously with Express Tribune. He can be contacted at: Zohaibmar123@gmail.com. Views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.