Pakistan’s diplomacy in 21st century

Written by The Frontier Post

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hina Rabbani Khar told the parliament on Tuesday that Pakistan was not in isolation as its foreign policy moved in the right direction with all diplomatic missions working complicatedly on all fronts. Khar was responding to the criticism made by some parliamentarians regarding the performance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the allocation of the budget for diplomacy work for the next fiscal year. According to the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Pakistan was playing a much bigger role on the international front than its size in terms of GDP. While commenting on Pakistan’s bid to participate in the BRICS forum, she was of the view that China is a part of BRICS along with Brazil, Russia, India, and South Africa, where all the member countries have to work to cooperate with each other, and if a certain unfriendly country wanted to block Pakistan and succeeded in doing so, then how can we doubt China’s intention. According to her, the foreign policy of a country was useful if it severs in the interests of the people of that country. She claimed that her team is making sure that the government works for Pakistan, not for any individual or party. According to her, Pakistan doesn’t have a role in BRICS but we still have core roles in many other international forums.

Diplomacy is a very sensitive and vital job through which a country defends its political, economic, trade and security interests in the region and beyond. In fact, diplomacy stems from the government’s policies at home and abroad while talented diplomats lobbied in the interest of their nation in other countries through diplomatic interactions, public and media engagements, scholarly work, etc. God has blessed Pakistan with tremendous natural resources, diverse geography, enormous untapped human potential along with a unique and highly important geostrategic location which had always brought Pakistan to the heart of global diplomacy throughout the history, however, what successes and achievements had been grasped by the Pakistani leadership and diplomats over the past seven decades remained an unresolved puzzle for the nation.

Historically, economic and financial agonies and Indian hostility have been the major concerns of the country’s foreign policy and these elements had driven Pakistan’s foreign policy and also restricted Pakistani leadership to play independently and bargains with global powers according to its geo-strategic milieu and national potential. Although, Pakistan had played a remarkable role in bridging the gap between China and the United States, and played a pivotal role during the Afghan war against Russia and later the war on terror, however, our diplomacy couldn’t transform this relationship into a strategic partnership with our allies. Similarly, Pakistan’s diplomatic relations couldn’t be shaped into a partnership with our close allies including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, UAE, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

According to critics, Pakistani career diplomats remained hesitant and ambivalent from engaging with foreign diplomats and government officials, mostly relayed on the Pakistani diaspora and local parties leaders of PPP, PML-N, and PTI to play on their behalf, whilst opportunists politicians always accomplished their own objectives through them. Although Khar has tried to cover up the mess, of her aides, however, this clearly demonstrates poor homework and the inability of the Foreign Office to assess reaction of Pakistan’s eternal enemy on the issue.

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