When question comes of National Security, then nothing can be taken on a light mode. When a country’s foreign policy is running in a streamline, a light shook can make it shaky. And that’s all a country’s sovereignty demands for. But that seems diverse in case of Pakistan. Since independence, Pakistan has no clear policy options that can make Pakistan’s National Security, a safe heaven. From the last many years, Pakistan is under the typhoon of regional and global geopolitics. Throughout the Cold War, Pakistan was fully engrained into the American led camp. After the crumble of Soviet Union, the constricted bipolarity of Cold War ended and furnished way to a unipolar world order. It also paved the way for intrastate conflicts in Global South and occasioned the rise of non-state actors across the globe. Post 9/11, US was a big proponent of “coercive diplomacy” and “regime change” in other countries. Pakistan was again allied to US and designated as a major Non-NATO Ally in war on terror. Pakistan is the most affected country in the war against terrorism. It was just only one terrorist incident in the US but Pakistan has faced and still facing number of such attacks on her territory on daily basis, being an ally and a front-line state in the US war on terror. Having peace in region and friendly relations with the super powers, Pakistan is engaged in a silent and soft foreign policy approach towards the world because the Great Powers wanted it to be.
One attack on US soil resulted in War on Terror. In the aftermath of Uri attack, India adopted aggressive foreign policy towards Pakistan. There are continuous aggressive statements from India. Tensions on Iran’s border made Iran to be more hostile towards Pakistan. A non-stop hostile behavior of Afghanistan towards Pakistan. That’s all the game and for the sake of National security. But where is Pakistan’s National Interest and Security lies? Pakistan’s policy makers including the high officials are keen to develop warmth relations with the Externals, regardless of what type of effects they are imprinting on Pakistan’s security.
Despite of the tensions and threats proposed by India, Pakistan’s policy makers are giving India rail and road access to Afghanistan and Central Asia through the city of Lahore, in addition to cooperating with India on regional projects like the Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the Central Asia-South Asia (CASA) energy transmission line. Such moves, they believe, will bridge the trust discrepancy and ease tensions between the two neighbors, thus paving the way for peace and prosperity in the impoverished South Asian region.
With the US, Pakistan aims to maintain its global “war on terror” alliance as long as Washington provides financial and logistical assistance to Pakistan’s military. But the relations between the two had also shaken when the things went counter to US interest, then Pakistan went a side. This patron-client relationship has been in place for the last several decades.
Some policymakers point to the China-Pakistan friendship as a foreign policy success. But the fact is that this time-tested partnership exists mainly because of a convergence of security interests with respect to Indian hostility, not because of successful diplomatic drills. The CPEC is not a gift to Pakistan; it is a part of Beijing’s inclusive network of infrastructure projects, which it intends to spread across different regions in order to increase its trade and commerce outreach. In the forthcoming, China, with the help of Pakistan, can counter the growing Indian-U.S. military occurrence in the Indian Ocean through this corridor.
As far as, Pakistan’s National security is concerned, we don’t need to go far. Let’s witness the case of Indian spy Khulboshan Jadev, a very serious threat to the country’s security. Recently, we got a stance of ICJ on this matter. Well this should not be surprising for Pakistan. India-US strategic relations are on their way to progress. India being a candidate for the permanent seat in UN and has support of major powers. The strong cartel of major powers in UN and the right to veto has made this case crystal clear that why India has got the international support, in spite of being guilty and a case of serious security threat for Pakistan. The striking point is, what’s Pakistan waiting for after being victim of such threats to her sovereignty. Why don’t hawks get up and call for the offensive policy if Pakistan is unable to secure its defensive policy? Why there is no call from the high-ups that “our reaction would be mortal if faced any threat to our national security”? Doves are the policy builders, but sometimes Hawks should be active to save state’s sovereignty.