Tuesday November 28, 2023

Islamabad takes paradigm shift in foreign policy

After a long time, a major paradigm shift has been brought about in the country’s foreign policy by the government with the concurrence of key stakeholders after having arrived at the conclusion that national interest would henceforth reign supreme over all other interests, including the western or American interests.Talking to

By our correspondents
January 11, 2015
After a long time, a major paradigm shift has been brought about in the country’s foreign policy by the government with the concurrence of key stakeholders after having arrived at the conclusion that national interest would henceforth reign supreme over all other interests, including the western or American interests.
Talking to The News, a defence source, which has insight into foreign policy and national security issues, opined that the paradigm shift in Pakistan’s foreign policy has come about in the wake of “failed state of Pakistan” mantra that is usually resorted to by American top notches till today.
The sources quoted some instances from the recent past with reference to the statements made on the record by some powerful US lawmakers, like New York Democrat Congressman Gary Ackerman.
According to the sources, the American Congressmen have been taking undue advantage of the universal rights for freedom of expression in a bid to censure Pakistan and have been urging the successive US presidents to turn their back on Pakistan because it (Pakistan) has potential to collapse, and instead build meaningful relations with India, which, in their judgement, has all the prospects to become the strategic centre of gravity for the region. Similar unreasonable use—or misuse—of freedom of expression has also been continuously relied upon by many other significant officials of the US to include US Congressional Panel Chairman (Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific in 2013), Steve Chabot, a Republican from Ohio and the US State Office official Robert Blake, who have been propagating about the so-called basic divergences of the US government on vital issues with Pakistan.
Steve and alike, in their effort to subvert public opinion, have been demonizing Pakistan’s security structure, specifically its powerful spy agency for allegedly using extremists as strategic assets against its external and internal enemies despite the fact that all organs of Pakistani state are united in defeating all types of terrorists without discrimination ie without any likes or dislikes. It looks as if the US lawmakers, irrespective of their political association, are apparently convinced that India can play a primary role in the region to safeguard the American as well as West’s pursuits of undermining its opponents and promoting its interests whereas Pakistan is likely to resist what is considered the American interest. In addition, several other American officials and intellectuals like Senator Dana Rohrabacher, US army officer Ralf Peter and Ms Victoria Nuland have time and again been bashing Pakistan on account of its domestic affairs that should not have bothered them at all.
Hillary Clinton’s ‘candour’ vis-à-vis Pakistan, that is not a matter of distant past, is also a case in point in which she had, inter alia, stated: “Now we are making up for a lot of lost time.”
Unfortunately, smear campaigns against Pakistan have not stopped even after high level visits and resultant admiration from the US government for a renewed effort by Pakistan’s political and military leadership to defeat extremists.
At this point, the sources were reminded of the appreciation the American government made during COAS General Raheel Sharif’s recent visit as well as on other occasions during interaction with Pakistan’s higher echelons. The sources admitted that no doubt there has been appreciation which meant recognition of Pakistan’s efforts to launch operations against terrorists in comparatively inaccessible areas (a feat that could not be accomplished by forces of a dozen countries) but at the same time, the sources pointed towards certain instances of Pakistan-bashing which have rather taken a new dimension whereby books written by frustrated Pakistanis like Syed Aqil Shah, a Pashtoon origin American, and several other ‘stooges’ are provided ample opportunities for launching to explain their “masterpieces” (sic) at renowned institutions like Columbia University, New York. His book titled ‘The Army and Democracy: Military Politics in Pakistan,’ has been given undue importance by offering a stirring pedestal for promotion and biting misinformation against Pakistan and its armed forces, remarked the sources.
While going through some other interesting readings regarding events at the reputable think tanks like Hudson Institute and some Indian academic organizations, it becomes obvious that deliberate attempts of unfounded allegations are being overplayed to the extent of half truths to excessively undermine and malign Pakistan at a juncture when its security structure is fully involved in a decisive operation to combat terrorism, the sources stated further.
The sources also told The News that one Arif Jamal has authored two books titled, ‘Shadow War: The untold story of Jihad in Kashmir’ and ‘History of Islamic Militancy in Pakistani Punjab’. As the titles and moderators of the events suggest, the books are full of anti-Pakistan narrative with focus on Pakistani armed forces and ISI. And it is not just coincidence that the misgivings raised in the books are exactly the same tirade that is regularly unleashed by India especially after Ajit Doval’s taking over as Indian security advisor.
The sources said that all this implies that there is surely a deliberate international campaign going on to defame the well-reputed Pakistan’s security institutions in order to demonize Pakistan and dent the resilience of Pakistani nation and its armed forces while encouraging merciless Taliban in their carnage across Pakistan.
There is a need for apt understanding at both national and international levels to realize the magnitude of threat and take steps for trouncing unfounded propagation without compromising on the national interest of Pakistan, the sources suggested.