Foreign policy failure

Yet again the harshly worded and intimidating tweet of the US President Trump exposes the foreign policy failures of the PML-N government. Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif kept the portfolio of foreign minister for himself and diplomacy viz-a-viz the United States and Afghanistan was kept on the backburner. The growing trust deficit between Washington and Islamabad was not seriously addressed except occasional stereotype rhetoric containing no convincing argument what so ever. The foreign office was deliberately kept dormant for fours in the hands of two elderly turkey birds and still the foreign minister has not shown prompt diplomatic skills to articulate Pakistan’s point of view on Afghanistan in the important world’s capitals.

Pakistan extended all out support to the United States in war against global terrorism which enabled the latter to smash Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. In this war Pakistan lost more than 70000 civilians and about 8000 personals of security forces. Pakistan provided land and air commutation facilities besides military bases to the United States. Rail -roads and other kind of services were made available for the transportation of various goods to the NATO forces inside Afghanistan. Moreover, fencing of Pak-Afghan Border is in progress to effectively check the cross border movement of militants.  But instead of words of appreciation from the United States, Pakistan is blamed of telling lies and deceiving its ally. It is also taunted of having received billions of dollars over the last 15 years.

Misunderstanding ups and down sometimes appears in bilateral relations but the allies engage each other through discrete diplomacy. They never give break-bat each other. In the present case both the countries failed to bridge the widening trust deficit with timely damage control measures through diplomatic channels. The federal government remained preoccupied in defending PML-N Chief Nawaz Sharif during the past 13 months. The federal ministers remained focused on bashing of future leader Imran Khan and vilification campaign against the state institutions. They intentionally ignored fast changes in the region creating a dangerous scenario for Pakistan. The incumbent Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has also not come to the expectations of the people in handling world affair despite his brilliant academic background and honorable up bringing and enriched insight in the government affairs.

War of words with the United States will not benefit Pakistan in view of domineering influence of the former in the international arena. Over the past 10 years PPP and PML-N governments pushed the economy to ventilator of International Monetary Fund IMF). External debt and trade liabilities have necessitated another IMF bail-out and economic aid from World Bank and other financial institutions where the United States enjoy majority vote. It is also a major donor of the World Bank and IMF. These lending organizations provide soft loan on minimal rate of interest. It is time to engage the United States in a meaningful and productive manner for which proactive diplomacy along with excellent diplomatic skills are inevitable.